Leora E. Lawton

Leora E. Lawton's picture
Executive Director, Berkeley Population Center
Research Interests: 
Sociology of the family, parent-child relations and divorce, aging, demography, migration, sociological practice, survey research methodology, ego-centered social networks, pets
360 Barrows
510 643-1270
Curriculum Vitae: 

Leora Lawton wears many hats, and these include being a lecturer in the Sociology and Demography Departments, principal of TechSociety Research (a consultancy specializing in custom social science and marketing research for businesses, non-profits and government agencies); and Executive Director at the Berkeley Population Center.

Since 2013, she has been the Project Scientist with Claude Fischer on his NIA-funded project, the UC Berkeley Social Networks Project.

Dr. Lawton is Director, with Prof Joshua Goldstein (Demography) of "Cal-ADAR" a program designed to increase underrepresented minorities in the field of Demography of Aging.  Demography is a STEM field because of the reliance on statistics, and it can lead to a meaningful and enjoyable career in research and policy. Sociology majors are particularly well-suited for demography because of courses such as family, poverty, education and social stratification, to name a few.  If you enjoyed Soc 5, you might want to consider this program.  To learn more, visit the website listed below.

Her academic research interests vary from internet research methodology to parent-child relations across the life course. She is now exploring areas concerning work-family balance, as well as other areas of family research.

Dr. Lawton is active in organizations supporting non-academic applications of the sociological mind. She served as council member, chair and secretary, webmaster and newsletter editor of the Sociological Practice section of the American Sociological Association. She was Treasurer and Executive Officer of the Society for Applied Sociology from 2003-2005, and for the last four years has served as co-editor for PAA Affairs, the newsletter of the Population Association of America. In 2011 she received the William Foote Whyte Award from the ASA's section on Sociological Practice and Public Sociology for a distinguished career in applied sociology.

A Cal alum, Dr. Lawton received her AB in economics in 1977, a masters in demography from the Hebrew University in 1985, and her doctorate in sociology from Brown University in 1991.

Representative Publications: 

2017.  "Loneliness and social isolation among young and late middle-age adults: Associations with personal networks and social participation." Child, Stephanie and Leora Lawton.  Aging and Mental Health, 1-9. DOI: 10.1080/13607863.2017.1399345.  PMC5967985

2015. “Jewish Deadheads: A cultural demographic story.” Journal of Popular Music Studies. 27(1): 69-89.

2004. A framework and review of customer outage costs: Integration and analysis of electric utility outage cost surveys. Lawton, L., Sullivan, M., Van Liere, K, & Eto, J.  Prepared for the Energy Storage Program, Office of Electric Transmission and Distribution, U.S. Department of Energy. LBNL-54365.

2001. "Parental divorce and the 'switching' of religious identity". Lawton, Leora & Regina Bures in Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 40(1): 99-112.

1998. "Family experience and the erosion of support for intergenerational coresidence." Goldscheider, Frances & Leora Lawton, Journal of Marriage and the Family, 60: 623-632.

1997. "Intergenerational solidarity and the structure of adult child-parent relationships in American families" Silverstein, M., Bengtson, V., & Lawton, L.  American Journal of Sociology, 103: 429-460. See Change of Authorship, published in AJS, 106(4), 2001.

1994. "Affection, contact and geographic distance between adult children and their parents." Lawton, Leora, Merril Silverstein & Vern Bengtson, Journal of Marriage and the Family, 56, 57-68.

For a complete list of publications please see the Curriculum Vitae.