Phillips, Julie A.
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, 1998
Professional Summary/CV [.PDF]
Department of Sociology, School of Arts and Sciences, New Brunswick; Rutgers
Areas of Interest
Violent Crime, Marital Disruption, Migration, and Health-Related Outcomes, focusing on the causes and consequences of various forms of social inequality in the United States.
Criminology, Statistics, Research Methods, and Population Studies.
Memberships and Professional Service
Session organizer and chair, “Violence in Families and Relationships," Annual Meetings of the American Sociological Association, 2005; Library Liason, Department of Sociology, Rutgers University, 2004-2005; Conference Presenter, “Premarital Cohabitation and Marital Disruption among non-Hispanic White, non-Hispanic Black and Mexican-American Women.” (With Megan M. Sweeney). Presented at the Annual Meetings of the American Sociological Association, 2004; Library Liason, Department of Sociology, Rutgers University, 2003-2004;
Grants, Honors, and Awards
Principal Investigator, IHHCPAR, Rutgers University, “Explaining Recent Temporal Trends in U.S. Suicide Rates,” 2003-2004; Principal Investigator, National Science Foundatio,. “Understanding Variation in U.S. Homicide Rates across Time and Space, 1970-1996,” 2002-2005; Co-Invesitgator, Joint Center for Poverty Research, University of Chicago/Northwestern University, “Disenrollment from NJKidCare: A Multilevel Analysis of SCHIP Retention,” 2001-2002.
Academic Interests and Plans
Inequality drives many of America’s persistent social problems. My research on violent crime, marital disruption, migration, and health-related outcomes explores the causes and consequences of various forms of social inequality in the United States. In particular, I seek to identify the contexts through which inequality persists, focusing on the characteristics of groups that perpetuate types of inequality.
As a social demographer, I often quantify the effects of inequality by asking hypothetical questions: How, for instance, would racial and ethnic differentials among groups change if structural conditions such as poverty or education were improved? My work also illuminates seemingly paradoxical findings. Why is it, for example, that larger places exhibit higher homicide rates, but population growth over time appears to reduce crime? Young people are far more likely than older individuals to be involved in a violent criminal incident, so why don’t increases in the relative size of the young population always produce rising crime rates?
A number of common features define my overall research approach. Nearly all my work investigates issues of social inequality across demographic subgroups, attempting to understand the characteristics of such groups that engender disadvantage. Much of my work incorporates a geographic component, examining how the environment may affect a social outcome, and all my research relies on large data sets drawn from a multitude of different sources. I use a variety of quantitative methods (econometric and demographic techniques) to analyze the issues at hand, at times making methodological contributions in addition to the substantive ones. Finally, my research often points toward possible policy directions that may alleviate social problems.