Professor Collins conducts cross-national qualitative research on gender inequality in the workplace and family life. She is broadly interested in the relationship between policy, culture, and social inequality.
Her current project is an interview study of 135 working mothers in Sweden, Germany, Italy, and the United States. These countries offer distinct policy approaches to reconciling work-family conflict. Collins examines how different ideals of gender, motherhood, and employment are embedded in these policies, and how they shape the daily lives of working mothers in each country. A book based on this research, Making Motherhood Work: How Women Manage Careers and Caregiving, was published in February 2019 with Princeton University Press.
Her work also appears in peer-reviewed journals like Gender & Society and Qualitative Sociology, and several edited books, and has been featured in The Atlantic, Harvard Business Review, National Public Radio, The New York Times, and Washington Post, among others.
She is a 2019 Nancy Weiss Malkiel Scholar (Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation) and a 2018 Work and Family Researchers Network Early Career Fellow. Collins' research is supported by the National Science Foundation, American Association of University Women, and German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), among others. She has a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Texas at Austin and a bachelor’s degree from Whitman College. Her next project is an ethnographic study of the market for childcare.