Julie A. Phillips
Department of Sociology
Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research
Email Address: jphillips at sociology dot rutgers dot edu
Curriculum Vitae: Click here to see my CV
Research: Click here to download some of my recent publications
Teaching: Click here to view selected course syllabi
I am a social demographer who studies how structural and cultural features of society influence behavior and produce inequality. Much of my work has focused on lethal violence as the outcome of interest, suicide in particular. My current research projects attempt to gain a comprehensive understanding of factors that generate variation in suicide rates over the life course and time period, with a particular focus on understanding the role of social generations, or birth cohorts, in producing those differences. My work follows in the tradition of Durkheim, illuminating the ways in which social structure importantly shapes the phenomenon. Both academic and prevention work on suicide are dominated by the fields of psychology and psychiatry which tend to emphasize individual risk factors rooted in biology (e.g. mental illness, substance abuse). In contrast, my work brings to the fore the social elements of suicide, showing that even the most individualistic and intimate behaviors are products of the society we inhabit.
I earned both my BA and PhD at the University of Pennsylvania and currently hold a joint appointment in the Sociology department and the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research at Rutgers University. I regularly teach research methods, population studies, and criminology at the undergraduate level and offer classes in demography and health and quantitative methods at the graduate level.