Deborah Carr

Professor, Sociology; Director


Deborah Carr is director of the Center of Innovation in Social Science and a professor of sociology. She is a life course sociologist who uses survey data and quantitative methods to study social factors linked with health and well-being in later life. She has written extensively on inequality in old age, death and dying, bereavement, family relationships over the life course, and the stigma associated with health conditions including obesity and disability. She has published more than 120 articles and chapters, and several books including Aging in America (University of California Press, 2023) and Worried Sick: How Stress Hurts Us and How to Bounce Back (Rutgers University Press, 2014), as well as several co-authored textbooks including Introduction to Sociology, Essentials of Sociology, and The Art and Science of Social Research (all with W. W. Norton).  Her 2019 book  Golden Years? Social Inequality in Later Life (Russell Sage) received the 2020 Richard Kalish Innovative Publication Award from the Gerontological Society of America. She is also co-editor of the Handbook of Aging & Social Sciences, 9th ed. (Elsevier, 2021). Her research has been funded by National Institutes of Health, RRF Foundation on Aging, Templeton Foundation, Borchard Foundation, and most recently Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She was editor-in-chief of Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences (2015-20), and is principal investigator of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (NLSY79). She currently serves as editor-in-chief of Journal of Health and Social Behavior (2023-25). Dr. Carr has served on the Board of Directors of the Population Association of America, and as chair of the sections on Aging & the Life Course and Medical Sociology of the American Sociological Association. She is a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America, a member of the honorary Sociological Research Association, and the recipient of the 2022 Matilda White Riley Distinguished Scholar Award and 2023 Outstanding Mentorship Award from the ASA Aging & Life Course section. Her research and op-eds have been featured in national media including The New York Times, USA Today, CNN, Los Angeles Times, The Conversation, PBS programs including Story in the Public Square and To the Contrary, podcasts including the New Books Network, and other sources.