Naomi Gerstel’s research focuses on work and families, with particular attention to gender gaps in paid and unpaid caregiving. She explores the effects of employment on the care adult daughters and sons give to their parents, the effects of marriage on women’s and men’s ties to their parents, siblings and the broader community, the ways race, gender and class jointly shape work and family ties, and how social class shapes fathering as well as the enforcement and utilization of the Family and Medical Leave Act.
As a Family Research Scholar, Dr. Gerstel and Dr. Dan Clawson (FRS '03-04 and Professor of Sociology) developed proposals to study the ways work hours are shaped by organizations, occupations, unions and families. Together with Dr. Clawson she has published numerous books and journal articles, most recently Unequal Time: Gender, Class, and Family in Employment Schedules (2014). The National Science Foundation funded two of their proposals, NAEMT funded a third, and the Sloan Foundation funded a fourth. Dr. Gerstel has also been a visiting scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation and her research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Rockefeller Foundation and the National Academy of Science.