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Madonna Harrington Meyer

Madonna Harrington Meyer

Contact Information:


426 Eggers Hall

Office Hours:

By Appointment

Staff Support:

Alyssa Kirk


Madonna Harrington Meyer

University Professor, Sociology Department

Meredith Professor of Teaching Excellence

Senior Research Associate, Center for Policy Research

Senior Research Associate, Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion and Population Health

Faculty Affiliate, Aging Studies Institute

Research Affiliate, Center for Aging and Policy Studies


Summer 2023

SOC 305.800 Sociology of Sex and Gender, Online Asynchronous

WGS 305.800 Sociology of Sex and Gender, Online Asynchronous

Highest degree earned

Ph.D., Florida State University, 1991


Madonna Harrington Meyer is a University Professor at Syracuse University. She is a professor of sociology at the Maxwell School of Public Affairs and Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor of Teaching Excellence. She is a senior research associate at the Center for Policy Research, faculty affiliate at the Aging Studies Institute and faculty research affiliate at the Lerner Center. 

She is co-author, with Ynesse Abdul-Malak, of "Grandparenting Children with Disabilities" (2020). She is co-editor, with Ynesse Abdul-Malak of "Grandparenting in the United States" (2016).  She is co-editor with Elizabeth Daniele of "Gerontology: Changes, Challenges, and Solutions" (2016). 

She is author of "Grandmothers at Work: Juggling Families and Jobs" (2014), winner of the Gerontological Society of America’s Kalish Book Award. She is co-author with Pamela Herd of "Market Friendly or Family Friendly? The State and Gender Inequality in Old Age" (2007), which also won the Gerontological Society of America’s Kalish Book Award.  She is editor of "Care Work: Gender, Labor, and the Welfare State" (2000). 

Her work appears in leading journals including American Sociological Review, Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Gender & Society, and Social Problems. Her research has been reported in the media including New York Times, NPR, U.S. News and World Report, Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, Christian Science Monitor and LA Times.

In 2016 she was named winner of the American Sociological Association (ASA) Section on Aging and the Life Course (SALC) Matilda White Riley Distinguished Scholar Award. 


Social policy, aging and the life course, family policies

Research Interests

Areas of Specialization

Social policy, aging, gender, life course

Current Research

Grandparenting, care work, older women and social security

Research Grant Awards and Projects

Principle Investigator. "Hunger SNAPS: Food Insecurity Among Older Adults." Funded by Russell Sage Foundation. 2020-2022.


Selected Papers

“Policy Challenges for Grandparents Caring for Grandchildren with Disabilities.” Harrington Meyer, Madonna and Ynesse Abdul-Malak, (2020), Journal of Elder Policy, 1(1):97-120.

“Single-Headed Family Economic Vulnerability and Reliance on Social Programs in Aging Policies and New American Families.” Madonna Harrington Meyer and Ynesse Abdul-Malak, edited by Jacqueline Angel and Richard Settersten, Public Policy and Aging Report, (2015), doi: 10.1093/ppar/prv013

“Long Term Care Policies and Challenges for the Elderly.” Madonna Harrington Meyer and Jessica Hausauer, edited by Daniel Beland, Christopher Howard, and Kimberly Morgan, The Oxford Handbook of US Social Policy (2014), UK: Oxford University Press, pp. 315-333.

“The Role of Public Policy in Meeting the Needs of Diverse Aging Populations.” Madonna Harrington Meyer and Chantell Frasier, edited by Janet Wilmoth and Kenneth Ferraro, Gerontology: Perspectives and Issues, 4th Edition (2013), pp. 267-278.

“Changing Social Security in the US: Rising Insecurity?" Madonna Harrington Meyer, edited by David Lain, Sarah Vickerstaff, Wendy Loretto, Rethinking Retirement Incomes: Inequality and Policy Change in the UK and Anglo Saxon Countries (2013), pp. 135-146, Social Policy and Society, special issue, Vol. 12, No.1. 


Grandparenting Children with Disabilities, Harrington Meyer, Madonna and Ynesse Abdul-Malak,(Forthcoming), Springer Publications.

Gerontology: Changes, Challenges, and Solutions. Madonna Harrington Meyer, Elizabeth A.aniele, (2016), (Editors). Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger Publishing.

Grandparenting in the United States. Madonna Harrington Meyer and Ynesse Abdul-Malak,(2016), (Editors). Amityville, NY: Baywood Press.

Grandmothers at Work: Juggling Families and Jobs. Madonna Harrington Meyer, (2014). New York, NY: NYU Press. *Winner, GSA Kalish Book Award, 2014.

Market Friendly or Family Friendly? The State and Gender Inequality in Old Age. Madonna Harrington Meyer and Pamela Herd, New York, Russell Sage (2007). *Winner, GSA Kalish Book Award, 2008.

Care Work: Gender, Labor and the Welfare State. Madonna Harrington Meyer, New York, Routledge Press (2000).