Dr. Simon’s research examines the ways in which individuals’ gender and other social statuses influence their emotions and mental health. Her scholarship investigates the social determinants of emotional well-being through a social psychological lens and falls into two distinct, though highly interrelated, lines of work. One focuses on social structural, sociocultural, and social psychological factors that contribute to the differential impact of marriage and parenthood on women’s and men’s mental health. The other focuses on the importance of our emotion culture, which contains gendered emotion norms, for understanding the etiology of gender disparities in both the experience and expression of emotions as well as internalizing and externalizing mental health problems among children, adolescents, and adults. She draws on insights from several areas of sociology to advance social science knowledge about why profound social change in women’s roles and the family has not closed the gender gap in emotions and mental health.
Professor Simon’s publications appear in sociology’s major generalist and specialty journals – including the American Journal of Sociology, Social Forces, Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Social Psychology Quarterly and Contexts. A recent (2020) article in Society and Mental Health (https://doi.org/10.1177/2156869320926236) provides a synopsis of her work. She has received multiple national awards for her scholarship – most recently, three lifetime achievement awards for contributions to the sociological understanding of gender and society, emotions, and mental health – and has been a member of the Sociological Research Association since 2010. The impact and reach of her work is considerable; Google Scholar shows over 5000 citations of her publications (http://scholar.google.com/citations?users=77ljeWIAAAAJ&hl=en).
Because it often debunks widespread and entrenched cultural assumptions about gender, social relationships, and emotional well-being, Dr. Simon’s research has also received extensive media attention. She enjoys sharing the findings of her studies with the public to increase their understanding of social forces affecting them and policy solutions to seemingly intractable social problems – such as the consequences of persistent systemic gender inequality for females’ and males’ identities, social relationships, emotions, and mental health. Although she retired in 2021 and is now an Emeritus Professor, Dr. Simon remains active in her professional associations, is completing two books on these topics, and continues to mentor students and junior faculty.
SOC 151: Principles of Sociology
SOC 305: Gender in Society
SOC 327: Sociology of Emotion
SOC 335: Sociology of Health and Illness
SOC 348: Sociology of the Family
SOC 386: Social Psychological Perspectives on Social Inequality
Sociology of Mental Health