Skip Navigation
UT wordmark
College of Liberal Arts wordmark
sociology masthead
Robert Crosnoe, Chair CLA 3.306, Mailcode A1700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-6300

Shannon E. Cavanagh

Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Associate Professor
Shannon E. Cavanagh

Contact

Biography

Shannon Cavanagh is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and a Faculty Research Associate at the Population Research Center at UT.  Cavanagh received her PhD in Sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2003. After that, she completed a three year NICHD-funded Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Texas at Austin. She began her faculty position at Texas in 2006.

Cavanagh’s research program consists of two general themes. The first focuses on the implications of family instability for children across the early life course. Her work documents children’s movement into and out of different family structure statuses and examines whether this instability, the characteristics of parents’ that select children into these unstable families, or a combination of both is most important to the health and well-being of children and adolescents.  Most of her work to date has focused on the US context; Cavanagh is currently exploring the prevalence and implications of family instability in the UK and South Africa.

Publications related to this research include:

Cavanagh, Shannon and Paula Fomby.  Forthcoming.  School Context, Family Instability, and the Academic Careers of Adolescents: The Role of Family Instability within Schools. Sociology of Education.

Cavanagh,Shannon and Aletha Huston. 2008. The Timing of Family Instability and Children’s Social Development. Journal of Marriage and Family. 70: 1258-1269.

Cavanagh's research on family instability has been supported by grants from NICHD and the National Center for Family and Marriage Research.

The second area focuses on the role of pubertal timing in the lives of young women. Puberty is one of the few universals in early development, producing change throughout the body. Given the social value attached to the female body, the significance of this event often extends beyond the physiological and biological to include many other, non-physical changes in life. What interests Cavanagh most here are the ways that notions of gender, the body, and social context come together to shape how girls negotiate adolescence and the transition into adulthood.

Publications related to this research include:

Cavanagh, Shannon. 2011. Early Pubertal Timing and Union Formation Behaviors of Young Women. Social Forces. 89:1217-1238.

Cavanagh, Shannon, Catherine Riegle-Crumb, and Robert Crosnoe. 2007. Early Pubertal Timing and the Education of Girls. Social Psychology Quarterly 70: 186-198.

NIH Biosketch

SOC 369K • Population And Society

46300 • Fall 2014
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm CLA 0.102
show description

Description

Population studies or demography is an interdisciplinary field, encompassing the study of the size, distribution, and composition of human populations, and the processes of fertility, mortality, and migration through which populations’ change. These processes are closely connected to many of the pressing problems facing contemporary societies. For instance, the funding of health care in developed countries is a major issue because of declining fertility and population aging. Civil unrest in parts of Africa and the Middle East are, in part, a function of persistently high fertility rates. These processes are also important drivers of many contemporary environmental problems. Finally, a grasp of population processes is important for a deeper understanding of the population explosion in urban areas and the higher transmission and impact of AIDS in the developing world. 

This course provides an overview of the field of population studies. A sociological approach is emphasized, but economic, geographic, anthropological, and biological perspectives will also be used. Attention will be given to a) the demographic concepts needed to objectively evaluate population issues and b) the substantive content of the population issues. Emphasis will be given to evaluating the evidence regarding debates on population topics. 

Reading Materials 

Required text: Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, 10th edition, John R. Weeks. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Co. ISBN-10: 0495096377 

On-line Readings: There are a number of short reading assignments, marked with an [EL]. These readings can be found in External Links section of the class Blackboard site and should be read prior to class period. 

Grading and Requirement:

You are expected to complete all readings for the day's class before coming to class. Read as actively as possible. Class time will be an opportunity to discuss and further explore the readings, so it is essential that everyone comes prepared to participate. Our class periods will be more productive and enjoyable when we all begin with the same materials. 

There will be TWO examinations during the semester, each worth 20% of your final grade. The exams will draw from both readings and class discussions. The exams are not cumulative. Each will include multiple choice and short answer questions. Make-up examinations will not be administered except in extreme circumstances and only if I am notified beforehand. All make-up examinations are 100% essay. 

You must also complete TWO assignments and ONE short paper during the semester. The assignments—on mortality and fertility—are designed to familiarize you with demographic data on the web, give you an overview of your country of choice, and help you identify your country’s population angle that most interests you and that you will explore in more detail in the short paper. Each assignment is worth 15% of your final grade. The short paper is worth 25% of your grade. 

The final 5% of your grade is based on attendance/class participation. I expect you to show up and engage (i.e., not text, sleep, or read the newspaper) with classmates, the TA, and me in the class. 

SOC 369K • Population And Society

46510 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm BUR 136
(also listed as WGS 322 )
show description

Description

Population studies or demography is an interdisciplinary field, encompassing the study of the size, distribution, and composition of human populations, and the processes of fertility, mortality, and migration through which populations’ change. These processes are closely connected to many of the pressing problems facing contemporary societies. For instance, the funding of health care in developed countries is a major issue because of declining fertility and population aging. Civil unrest in parts of Africa and the Middle East are, in part, a function of persistently high fertility rates. These processes are also important drivers of many contemporary environmental problems. Finally, a grasp of population processes is important for a deeper understanding of the population explosion in urban areas and the higher transmission and impact of AIDS in the developing world. 

This course provides an overview of the field of population studies. A sociological approach is emphasized, but economic, geographic, anthropological, and biological perspectives will also be used. Attention will be given to a) the demographic concepts needed to objectively evaluate population issues and b) the substantive content of the population issues. Emphasis will be given to evaluating the evidence regarding debates on population topics. 

Reading Materials 

Required text: Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, 10th edition, John R. Weeks. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Co. ISBN-10: 0495096377 

On-line Readings: There are a number of short reading assignments, marked with an [EL]. These readings can be found in External Links section of the class Blackboard site and should be read prior to class period. 

Grading and Requirement:

You are expected to complete all readings for the day's class before coming to class. Read as actively as possible. Class time will be an opportunity to discuss and further explore the readings, so it is essential that everyone comes prepared to participate. Our class periods will be more productive and enjoyable when we all begin with the same materials. 

There will be TWO examinations during the semester, each worth 20% of your final grade. The exams will draw from both readings and class discussions. The exams are not cumulative. Each will include multiple choice and short answer questions. Make-up examinations will not be administered except in extreme circumstances and only if I am notified beforehand. All make-up examinations are 100% essay. 

You must also complete TWO assignments and ONE short paper during the semester. The assignments—on mortality and fertility—are designed to familiarize you with demographic data on the web, give you an overview of your country of choice, and help you identify your country’s population angle that most interests you and that you will explore in more detail in the short paper. Each assignment is worth 15% of your final grade. The short paper is worth 25% of your grade. 

The final 5% of your grade is based on attendance/class participation. I expect you to show up and engage (i.e., not text, sleep, or read the newspaper) with classmates, the TA, and me in the class. 

SOC 389K • Training Smnr In Demography

46580 • Spring 2014
Meets F 1000am-1200pm CLA 3.106
show description

Summary and Goals:

The main goal of this course is to serve as a practical guide to a launching professional career in social demography.  We will spend the semester participating in activities and discussions aimed at providing concrete, practical advice and assistance for getting ahead.  Some topics we will cover are: collaboration, authorship, research ethics, presenting at professional meetings, publishing, grants, conducting international research, and interviewing for jobs.  For one hour of the course, we will be joined by colleagues throughout the University for the Population Research Center Brown Bag Seminar. Most weeks, this lecture will be followed by lunch and an informal meeting with the brownbag speaker.  Students are welcomed to repeat the course.  

Requirements:

For credit, students are required to regularly attend class meetings, participate in class discussion, attend the weekly Brownbag Lecture, and meet with the speaker.  All absences must be cleared, preferably in advance.  To prepare for class discussion, students will be required to read occasional articles and websites and/or prepare materials for class.  The listed readings are to be completed prior to our meeting.  

Credit will be determined as follows:

Consistent attendance and participation are required for credit. 

SOC 369K • Population And Society

46270 • Fall 2013
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm CLA 0.102
(also listed as WGS 322 )
show description

Description

Population studies or demography is an interdisciplinary field, encompassing the study of the size, distribution, and composition of human populations, and the processes of fertility, mortality, and migration through which populations’ change. These processes are closely connected to many of the pressing problems facing contemporary societies. For instance, the funding of health care in developed countries is a major issue because of declining fertility and population aging. Civil unrest in parts of Africa and the Middle East are, in part, a function of persistently high fertility rates. These processes are also important drivers of many contemporary environmental problems. Finally, a grasp of population processes is important for a deeper understanding of the population explosion in urban areas and the higher transmission and impact of AIDS in the developing world. 

This course provides an overview of the field of population studies. A sociological approach is emphasized, but economic, geographic, anthropological, and biological perspectives will also be used. Attention will be given to a) the demographic concepts needed to objectively evaluate population issues and b) the substantive content of the population issues. Emphasis will be given to evaluating the evidence regarding debates on population topics. 

Reading Materials 

Required text: Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, 10th edition, John R. Weeks. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Co. ISBN-10: 0495096377 

On-line Readings: There are a number of short reading assignments, marked with an [EL]. These readings can be found in External Links section of the class Blackboard site and should be read prior to class period. 

Grading and Requirement:

You are expected to complete all readings for the day's class before coming to class. Read as actively as possible. Class time will be an opportunity to discuss and further explore the readings, so it is essential that everyone comes prepared to participate. Our class periods will be more productive and enjoyable when we all begin with the same materials. 

There will be TWO examinations during the semester, each worth 20% of your final grade. The exams will draw from both readings and class discussions. The exams are not cumulative. Each will include multiple choice and short answer questions. Make-up examinations will not be administered except in extreme circumstances and only if I am notified beforehand. All make-up examinations are 100% essay. 

You must also complete TWO assignments and ONE short paper during the semester. The assignments—on mortality and fertility—are designed to familiarize you with demographic data on the web, give you an overview of your country of choice, and help you identify your country’s population angle that most interests you and that you will explore in more detail in the short paper. Each assignment is worth 15% of your final grade. The short paper is worth 25% of your grade. 

The final 5% of your grade is based on attendance/class participation. I expect you to show up and engage (i.e., not text, sleep, or read the newspaper) with classmates, the TA, and me in the class. 

SOC 395F • Marriage, Family, & Kinship

45985 • Spring 2013
Meets T 1200pm-300pm CLA 1.302A
show description

Description

This course focuses on theories of family, kinship, and social change. We will draw on several perspectives on families, including literature from sociology, history, anthropology, demography, and economics. Questions addressed include: What is a family? What is the relationship between family and household structure and economic, political, and cultural change both historically and in the more recent past? Who marries whom? How do couples allocate their time and money in relationships? How does population aging affect family life and intergenerational obligations? And, how have the attitudes, expectations, and behaviors surrounding marriage, childbearing and childrearing changed over time?

Texts 

Readings will be limited to journal articles and government and other websites. 

SOC 369K • Population And Society

45655 • Fall 2012
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm BUR 212
(also listed as WGS 322 )
show description

Description

Population studies or demography is an interdisciplinary field, encompassing the study of the size, distribution, and composition of human populations, and the processes of fertility, mortality, and migration through which populations’ change. These processes are closely connected to many of the pressing problems facing contemporary societies. For instance, the funding of health care in developed countries is a major issue because of declining fertility and population aging. Civil unrest in parts of Africa and the Middle East are, in part, a function of persistently high fertility rates. These processes are also important drivers of many contemporary environmental problems. Finally, a grasp of population processes is important for a deeper understanding of the population explosion in urban areas and the higher transmission and impact of AIDS in the developing world. 

This course provides an overview of the field of population studies. A sociological approach is emphasized, but economic, geographic, anthropological, and biological perspectives will also be used. Attention will be given to a) the demographic concepts needed to objectively evaluate population issues and b) the substantive content of the population issues. Emphasis will be given to evaluating the evidence regarding debates on population topics. 

Reading Materials 

Required text: Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, 10th edition, 

John R. Weeks. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Co. ISBN-10: 0495096377 

On-line Readings: There are a number of short reading assignments, marked with an [EL]. These readings can be found in External Links section of the class Blackboard site and should be read prior to class period. 

Grading and Requirement:

You are expected to complete all readings for the day's class before coming to class. Read as actively as possible. Class time will be an opportunity to discuss and further explore the readings, so it is essential that everyone comes prepared to participate. Our class periods will be more productive and enjoyable when we all begin with the same materials. 

There will be TWO examinations during the semester, each worth 20% of your final grade. The exams will draw from both readings and class discussions. The exams are not cumulative. Each will include multiple choice and short answer questions. Make-up examinations will not be administered except in extreme circumstances and only if I am notified beforehand. All make-up examinations are 100% essay. 

You must also complete TWO assignments and ONE short paper during the semester. The assignments—on mortality and fertility—are designed to familiarize you with demographic data on the web, give you an overview of your country of choice, and help you identify your country’s population angle that most interests you and that you will explore in more detail in the short paper. Each assignment is worth 15% of your final grade. The short paper is worth 25% of your grade. 

The final 5% of your grade is based on attendance/class participation. I expect you to show up and engage (i.e., not text, sleep, or read the newspaper) with classmates, the TA, and me in the class. 

 

SOC 369K • Population And Society

45650 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm WEL 2.304
(also listed as WGS 322 )
show description

Course Objectives

Population studies or demography is an interdisciplinary field, encompassing the study of the size, distribution, and composition of human populations, and the processes of fertility, mortality, and migration through which populations change. These processes are closely connected to many of the pressing problems facing contemporary societies. For instance, the funding of health care in developed countries is a major issue because of declining fertility and population aging. Civil unrest in parts of Africa and the Middle East are, in part, a function of persistently high fertility rates. Debates about migration and borders grow more heated each day in the US and Europe. Population processes are also important drivers of many contemporary environmental problems. Finally, a grasp of population processes is important for a deeper understanding of the population explosion in urban areas and the higher transmission and impact of AIDS in the developing world. This course provides an overview of the field of population studies. A sociological approach is emphasized, but economic, geographic, anthropological, and biological perspectives will also be used. Attention will be given to a) the demographic concepts needed to objectively evaluate population issues and b) the substantive content of the population issues. Emphasis will be given to evaluating the evidence regarding debates on population topics.

Reading Materials

Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, 10th edition, John R. Weeks. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Co.

On-line Readings: There are a number of short reading assignments, marked with an [EL]. These

readings can be found in Electric Links section of the class Blackboard site and should be read prior to

class period.

Course Requirements

You are expected to complete all readings for the day's class before coming to class. Read as actively as possible. Class time will be an opportunity to discuss and further explore the readings, so it is essential that everyone comes prepared to participate. Our class periods will be more productive and enjoyable when we all begin with the same materials.

There will be two exams  worth 20% each. The exams will draw from both readings and class discussions. The exams are not cumulative. Each will include multiple choice and short answer questions. Make-up examinations will not be administered except in extreme circumstances and only if I am notified beforehand. All make-up examinations are 100% essay.

You must also complete TWO assignments, THREE reflection essays, and ONE short paper during the semester. The assignments—on mortality and fertility—are designed to familiarize you with demographic data on the web, give you an overview of your country of choice, and help you identify your country’s population angle that most interests you and that you will explore in more detail in the short paper. Each assignment is worth 8% of your final grade. The reflection exercises are short essays in which you relate what we read and discuss in class to your own experiences/expectations and the experiences of your parents and grandparents. Although having children, health and death, or moving out of Texas may seem like events you will experience in the future or never, we were all born, have expectations about what are family might look like, and will likely move at least once. We are also part of families that have also experienced births, deaths, and moves. Because we bring these experiences to our reading of the literature, it is helpful to make them explicit and use the literature to help you make sense of the patterns you observe. I will provide guidance on the questions to be addressed in each as they are assigned. These short papers should be typed and double-spaced. Each essay is worth 8% of your final grade.

The short paper will provide an overview of your country’s demographic situation and provide a more in-depth discussion of a particular demographic phenomena. This paper will give you the opportunity to synthesis what you have learned about your country through the course material and assignments. The paper should include demographic data and reflect an understanding of the country’s history, culture, and contemporary sociological situation. It should be organized around a particular population problem—very low fertility, high AIDS prevalence, aging population, high migration. Think carefully as you select your country—you are to become an expert on the country by consulting demographic, sociological, and other scholarly material. This does not include travel brochures but can include newspaper articles. The short paper is worth 20% of your grade.

 

SOC 369K • Population And Society

45470 • Fall 2011
Meets TTH 930am-1100am UTC 4.132
(also listed as WGS 322 )
show description

Population studies or demography is an interdisciplinary field, encompassing the study of the size, distribution, and composition of human populations, and the processes of fertility, mortality, and migration through which populations' change. These processes are closely connected to many of the pressing problems facing contemporary societies. For instance, the funding of health care in developed countries is a major issue because of declining fertility and population aging. Civil unrest in parts of Africa and the Middle East are, in part, a function of persistently high fertility. These processes are also important drivers of many contemporary environmental problems. Finally, a grasp of population processes is important for a deeper understanding of the population explosion in urban areas and the higher transmission and impact of AIDS in the developing world.This course provides an overview of the field of population studies. A sociological approach is emphasized, but economic, geographic, anthropological, and biological perspectives will also be used. Attention will be given to a) the demographic concepts needed to objectively evaluate population issues and b) the substantive content of the population issues. Emphasis will be given to evaluating the evidence regarding debates on population topics.

SOC 369K • Population And Society

46195 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm WEL 2.304
(also listed as WGS 322 )
show description

Population studies or demography is an interdisciplinary field, encompassing the study of the size, distribution, and composition of human populations, and the processes of fertility, mortality, and migration through which populations' change. These processes are closely connected to many of the pressing problems facing contemporary societies. For instance, the funding of health care in developed countries is a major issue because of declining fertility and population aging. Civil unrest in parts of Africa and the Middle East are, in part, a function of persistently high fertility. These processes are also important drivers of many contemporary environmental problems. Finally, a grasp of population processes is important for a deeper understanding of the population explosion in urban areas and the higher transmission and impact of AIDS in the developing world.

This course provides an overview of the field of population studies. A sociological approach is emphasized, but economic, geographic, anthropological, and biological perspectives will also be used. Attention will be given to a) the demographic concepts needed to objectively evaluate population issues and b) the substantive content of the population issues. Emphasis will be given to evaluating the evidence regarding debates on population topics.

SOC 369K • Population And Society

45640 • Fall 2010
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am BUR 220
(also listed as WGS 322 )
show description


Population studies or demography is an interdisciplinary field, encompassing the study of the size, distribution, and composition of human populations, and the processes of fertility, mortality, and migration through which populations' change. These processes are closely connected to many of the pressing problems facing contemporary societies. For instance, the funding of health care in developed countries is a major issue because of declining fertility and population aging. Civil unrest in parts of Africa and the Middle East are, in part, a function of persistently high fertility. These processes are also important drivers of many contemporary environmental problems. Finally, a grasp of population processes is important for a deeper understanding of the population explosion in urban areas and the higher transmission and impact of AIDS in the developing world.

This course provides an overview of the field of population studies. A sociological approach is emphasized, but economic, geographic, anthropological, and biological perspectives will also be used. Attention will be given to a) the demographic concepts needed to objectively evaluate population issues and b) the substantive content of the population issues. Emphasis will be given to evaluating the evidence regarding debates on population topics.

SOC 389K • Family And Household Demog

45715 • Fall 2010
Meets W 1200pm-300pm BUR 231
show description

WGS 393

 

Summary and goals:
This seminar examines changes in family behavior and household relationships from a demographic perspective.  The major focus of the course is on family change in the post-World War II U.S.  Our discussions will consider explanations and debates about family variations as well as implications for research and public policy. 

Course requirements:
Class Participation (40% total). This course will be run as a seminar.  At the end of each class meeting, I will give a brief overview of the upcoming week’s readings, highlighting key aspects and introducing guiding questions.  In the following week, two students will lead the class discussion.  Student leaders will present the main points of the readings and facilitate discussion of the intriguing, exciting, and controversial aspects of them (class leaders – 10 %).  Other students are expected to actively participate in class discussions (general participation – 15%).  All students must post reading summaries on Blackboard by Monday at noon that a) summarize the main points of each article and b) provide your general reaction to the ideas presented in these articles (reading notes –15%). 

Research Proposal (60% total).  You will also complete a research proposal in the broadly defined area of family demography.  Data analysis is not required for this assignment.  This proposal will serve as the front end of a research paper, a description of the data set and analytic sample that would be used to answer your research question(s) should also be included.  Papers should be roughly 15 pages in length. 

UGS 303 • Difficult Dialog: Hiv/Aids

63945 • Spring 2010
Meets TTH 930-1100 MEZ 1.210
show description

See attached

bottom border