Associate Professor of Sociology
Office: 309 Mencoff Hall
Tel: (401) 863-3239
Fax: (401) 863-3351
Nancy Luke joined the Department of Sociology as Assistant Professor in 2006, having served as Assistant Professor (Research) at the PSTC since 2003. Luke is also an affiliate of the Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) and the International Health Institute at Brown. She holds a PhD in Sociology and Demography from the University of Pennsylvania, an MA from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and a BA from Miami University (Ohio).
Luke is a social demographer whose research focuses on the role that social relationships play in shaping health and development outcomes in developing countries. In particular, she studies the exchange of resources within familial relationships, including bargaining between spouses over the allocation of household resources in India and the exchange of psychosocial and economic support between migrant children and their families of origin in Kenya. With respect to nonfamilial relationships, she examines the exchange of money and gifts within nonmarital sexual partnerships (often referred to as “transactional sex”) in sub-Saharan Africa. Dr. Luke’s recent work concerns important health issues, such as sexual behavior and HIV risk, marital violence, son preference, and child nutrition.
Luke’s research is interdisciplinary, incorporating theoretical and methodological insights from sociology, economics, anthropology, and public health. She has designed and directed several large-scale surveys as well as conducted qualitative studies in Kenya, Malawi, Ethiopia, India, and Vietnam. In support of her research, Luke has received grants from the National Institutes of Health, the World Bank, and the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation. Luke’s research appears in American Journal of Sociology, Demography, Population and Development Review, Review of Economics and Statistics, Economic Development and Cultural Change, Journal of Development Economics, Studies in Family Planning, and Violence Against Women among other journals and edited volumes.