RWJF Health & Society Scholar:
Area(s) of Expertise:
Demography, Sociology, Mortality, Methods/Methodology, Race
Elizabeth Wrigley-Field is a formal demographer and a sociologist. Her work integrates demographic methods, designed to shift perspectives between population-level patterns and individual-level transitions between social statuses, with a sociological approach to the study of inequality, in which multiple dimensions of stratification interact in specific settings.
Wrigley-Field’s dissertation concerns mortality selection: disadvantaged members of a cohort tend to die at the youngest ages, leading cohorts to be increasingly selected for social advantages as they age. Wrigley-Field uses formal, statistical, and simulation analysis to reveal new challenges in recovering information about inequality in the presence of such selection. Her work explores how demographic theory can be revised to incorporate more substantively realistic models of heterogeneity and inequality within populations.
Wrigley-Field’s work brings formal demographic techniques to the sociology of inequality and sociologically informed concerns about hidden dimensions of racial inequality to formal demography. As a Health and Society Scholar, she intends to bring these perspectives to bear on human-microbe interactions. She plans to develop demographic tools to study the social side of microbiome development and infectious disease spread.
Beginning in 2016, Wrigley-Field will be an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, and a Faculty Member of the Minnesota Population Center.