Connect with Patricia
Boling’s work focuses on issues that straddle the public-private divide: housework, childrearing, reproductive issues, sexuality and nutrition. Boling's early work traces the transformation of practices that seem normal, natural, and unquestionably private into political issues that demand recognition and change. Boling's issues that are central to much of her work are constitutional protection for the right to privacy. Boling has compiled a reader, Understanding the Gender Gap: Readings and Cases, which focuses on the economic impact of taking time off to raise children, and the approaches developed by courts and individuals to address these inequities. Boling has also compared work-family support policies in four countries to explain the political dynamics of why different countries develop particular approaches to supporting working families. Boling is skeptical of the approach taken by many sociologists that urges frugal welfare states like the U.S. or Japan to be more like Sweden, and offers instead a perspective on work-family policy making that is realistic and committed to working through the institutions and processes we have, not exhorting countries to emulate a social democratic utopia. Boling’s current and forthcoming work examines food policy, especially the issue of obesity and measures to address it.