Abigail Ocobock

Assistant Professor

Research Interests

Family sociology, Gender, Sexualities, Institutional sociology


Gender and Family, Stratification and Inequality, Theory


Dr. Abigail Ocobock obtained her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Chicago in 2015, where she was a William Rainey Harper Dissertation Fellow, and the recipient of a National Science Foundation SBE Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant.

Her research combines family sociology and gender and sexualities studies with institutional sociology. Her work is driven by questions about how social institutions impact our most private, intimate and familial relationships. She is particularly interested in studying how the institution of marriage shapes and constrains relationship aspirations, choices and experiences.

Her forthcoming book, Marriage Material: How an Enduring Institution is Changing Same-Sex Relationships (Fall 2024, University of Chicago Press) focuses on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer (LGBQ) individuals who gained access to legal marriage. Drawing on mixed methods research with 116 participants, it examines the institutional mechanisms through which marriage impacts their couple relationships, and what this teaches us about the enduring power of marriage as an institution. Her next project focuses on second and third generation South Asian Muslims experiencing arranged marriages in the United States. It investigates how they navigate their relationships in the context of two competing institutional marriage models.

Dr. Ocobock is also interested in how families shape, and are shaped by, gender inequality. She is currently investigating how couples navigate the competing demands of work and parenting during the COVID-19 pandemic. She is particularly interested in how the crisis contributes to and/or alleviates gender inequalities in work-life balance.  

Her work has been published in The American Journal of SociologyThe Journal of Marriage and Family and Current Sociology.

Please sign up for office hours here


Email: Abigail.R.Ocobock.2@nd.edu
Phone: (574) 631-5081
Office: 4083 Jenkins Nanovic
Office Hours: Wednesdays 10:30am-12:00pm (students must sign up via google calendar, link is under profile)