Zelda Abramson, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Sociology
My doctoral dissertation examined why, from the age of 45, women's rates of labour force activity begin to decrease and their rates of part-time employment rise. To capture the structural and individual factors that influence midlife women's labour force activity, I chose to explore patterns of midlife women's labour force participation by analyzing large databases to identify population characteristics of midlife women and conducting in-depth interviews to capture individual work experiences. Consequently, I interviewed 30 women between the ages of 40 and 55: 15 midlife women who have exited the labour force and 15 midlife women who have shifted from full-time to part-time employment. I tried to choose a diverse group of women representing various ethnic and racial backgrounds, occupational groupings, and socioeconomic positions.
While in graduate school I began an oral history project examining women's survival strategies of concentration camps during World War II. I recently had an article accepted from this research in Atlantis and I intend to write more in this area.
Since the early 1980s I have been involved with the women's health movement. My decision to pursue a doctoral degree was rooted in a desire to conduct research in the area of women's health. My approach here is to examine critically scientific research related to women's health and situate its development within a broader cultural history. I am in the process of completing an article based on focus groups I did in Newfoundland in 2003 on women's experiences with hysterectomy. Hysterectomy is particularly prevalent among lower income women and racialized women. I am at present particularly interested in examining the hysterectomy experiences of women in Nova Scotia. Overall my research interests lie in the area of midlife women, work and health, and women's reproductive and gynecological health. I am also interested in doing research on regional variation of cancer rates among women in Nova Scotia.
Finally, in terms of teaching, issues of diversity and tolerance underpin all courses I teach.
"Masked Symptoms: Mid-Life Women, Health, and Work." Canadian Journal on Aging/La Revue Canadienne du Vieillissement 26.4 (2007): 295-304.
"(Re)Producing Family: Women Surviving the Holocaust." Atlantis 32.1 (2007):79-88.
Homeward Bound [microform] : an Examination of Midlife Women's Labour Force Inactivity and Part-time Employment. Toronto: York Publishing, 2002. Print.