Trainee Profile: Annaliese Grant

Name: Annaliese Grant

Title: PhD candidate

Hometown: Tucson, Arizona

Educational background: Barnard College, BA in Sociology and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; minor in Math

Can you describe your research interests? Current research projects?

I study parent-child relationships and responsibilities among low-income families. I use both qualitative and quantitative methods. In my qualitative work, I focus on mother-daughter relationships and responsibilities, comparing between white financially-struggling and financially-stable families. I find a gap between financially struggling and stable families in the type of responsibilities daughters have while growing up, as well as a broad range of examples where the directions of family care go against the norm. In the families I work with, children have responsibilities and perform a variety of care work from young ages. Parents aren’t the only caregivers; care goes many directions. In my quantitative work, I use population-level data to explore what the emotional aspects of the parent-child relationship (closeness and communication) mean for child wellbeing, and how parent- versus child-reports come to affect what we find.

How did you get into your field of research?

As a student from a low-SES background, many of my research questions come from putting in conversation the current literature, my personal experiences, and the experiences of the people around me.  My undergrad senior thesis used interviews with financially-struggling white mothers and daughters to explore “adultification” in low-SES white daughters’ lives. I found the work and interviews incredibly interesting, and have been passionate about class, gender, and race in family life since then.

What attracted you to UW-Madison?

Almost all of my undergraduate training was qualitative, and with a minor in pure math, I knew I wanted to explore more methods and get more training on issues of class, poverty, and inequality. Wisconsin (and CDE, specifically) was by far the best place to expand my quantitative skills and build my knowledge of class-based inequality, and the experiences of low-SES families.

What’s one thing you hope people who are exposed to your research will come away with?

I hope they come away thinking more complexly about family, and low-SES families in particular. I want to complicate how we define “family” and push us to think about how things like class, gender, age, and race come to play a part in family dynamics. Care goes in all directions, and what could be cooler than expanding care?

Do you feel your work relates in any way to the Wisconsin Idea? If so, please describe how.

I hope so, I hope thinking in more nuanced ways about families, socioeconomic status, age, and gender will do some small part in getting us closer to liberation and a more just world.

Hobbies/other interests:

I am a huge TV and pop culture fan, and am really interested in how people engage with media. I also dance, have two cats, and love to spend time with my partner and family.