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New Book


From the lead researcher of The New York Times Best Selling Book, Lean In, comes the new book, Cut Adrift: Families in Insecure Times.

Read Reviews

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New Book


From the lead researcher of The New York Times Best Selling Book, Lean In, comes the new book, Cut Adrift: Families in Insecure Times.

Read Reviews

ABOUT

Marianne Cooper, Ph.D. is a sociologist at the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University and an affiliate at the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality.

She was the lead researcher for Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg.  She is a contributor to LeanIn.org, a contributing writer to the Atlantic, and a LinkedIn Influencer.  

She is the author of Cut Adrift: Families in Insecure Times, which examines how families are coping in an insecure age.  She is an expert on gender, women's leadership, diversity & inclusion, financial insecurity, and economic inequality.  She writes, speaks, and consults about these issues for media outlets, professional groups, and companies such as Amazon, American Express, and Kraft. 

Dr. Cooper received her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley.  She lives in Silicon Valley with her husband and two young children.  

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BOOK


"With great insight, Marianne Cooper shows us how Americans are coping in an era of heightened economic anxiety." Robert Reich

"This is a brilliant book and a must-read."  Arlie Hochschild

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BOOK


"With great insight, Marianne Cooper shows us how Americans are coping in an era of heightened economic anxiety." Robert Reich

"This is a brilliant book and a must-read."  Arlie Hochschild

Accessible, elucidating, and grounded in real stories. . . . Cooper offers a robust analysis of gender dynamics, with sharp insights about the heavy burden on women to manage the family’s anxiety. Cooper’s necessary and timely study is a discomfiting reminder of the human cost of the recession.
Publishers Weekly STARRED REVIEW

SYNOPSIS

Cut Adrift: Families in Insecure Times  makes an important and original contribution to the national conversation about inequality and risk in American society. Set against the backdrop of rising economic insecurity and rolled-up safety nets, Marianne Cooper’s probing analysis explores what keeps Americans up at night. Through poignant case studies, she reveals what families are concerned about, how they manage their anxiety, whose job it is to worry, and how social class shapes all of these dynamics, including what is even worth worrying about in the first place. 

This powerful study is packed with intriguing discoveries ranging from the surprising anxieties of the rich to the critical role of women in keeping struggling families afloat.  Through tales of stalwart stoicism, heart-wrenching worry, marital angst, and religious conviction, Cut Adrift  deepens our understanding of how families are coping in a go-it-alone age—and how the different strategies on which affluent, middle-class, and poor families rely not only reflect inequality, but fuel it.

A compelling examination of the pressing economic issues of our time.
Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook and Founder, LeanIn.org
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REVIEWS


By providing a glimpse into the lives of families under economic pressure, Cooper enables us to see what happens when a nation fails to modernize its relationship to women and helps us understand what we need to do about it.”

— Maria Shriver, mother, award-winning journalist and producer, founder of The Shriver Report, and former First Lady of California

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REVIEWS


By providing a glimpse into the lives of families under economic pressure, Cooper enables us to see what happens when a nation fails to modernize its relationship to women and helps us understand what we need to do about it.”

— Maria Shriver, mother, award-winning journalist and producer, founder of The Shriver Report, and former First Lady of California

With this well-researched book, Cooper, a sociologist at Stanford University’s Clayman Institute, leads a grand return to a publicly committed sociology that is accessible, elucidating, and grounded in real stories. The book charts how individual American families at all income levels have dealt with the anxiety induced by the recent recession. Though each story is sensitively told and rich with personal details, the research focuses on the author’s core finding—the variation of “security strategies” among families. Though conventional wisdom dictates that wealthier families feel more secure, Cooper finds the opposite is true: they experience a mixture of status anxiety and the sense that everything they have isn’t enough. Parents fret about having enough money to send their children to elite schools, even if they have more than enough to pay for state universities. For the poorer and middle-tier families—contrary to popular stereotypes of the grasping, entitled modern American—many are figuring out how to survive with less, and even valorizing that. Cooper offers a robust analysis of gender dynamics, with sharp insights about the heavy burden on women to manage the family’s anxiety. Cooper’s necessary and timely study is a discomfiting reminder of the human cost of the recession. —Publishers Weekly STARRED REVIEW

With great insight, Marianne Cooper shows us how Americans are coping in an era of heightened economic anxiety—with the wealthier seeking ever greater financial security and the poorer trying to accommodate ever greater precariousness. Such upscaling and downscaling explains much of the emotional reality behind the menacing economic conditions in modern America.
Robert Reich, Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley
In this powerful book, Marianne Cooper weaves together carefully researched data about growing economic insecurity and gripping stories of families coping with these trends. Cooper has written an intimate look into what families are up against and the strategies they use to navigate the challenges they face. Cut Adrift provides a compelling examination of the pressing economic issues of our time.
Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook and Founder, LeanIn.org

"Too often the statistics about rising insecurity crowd out the real-life stories of families struggling to adjust to new realities. With this deeply researched examination of families living in the nation’s tech capital of Silicon Valley, Marianne Cooper reminds us why the statistics matter. She offers not only a wrenching journey into the lives of the insecure but a revealing framework for understanding the varied ways in which Americans are coping, or not, with increased financial risk and strain." —Jacob S. Hacker, Yale University, author of The Great Risk Shift and Winner-Take-All Politics

"Talking with moms at soccer matches, accompanying anxious shoppers at the mall, listening to news of a pink slip, Marianne Cooper takes an emotion-sensing stethoscope to the hearts of parents—from richest to poorest—in Silicon Valley, California. In an age of insecurity, Cooper finds that each family assigns a 'designated worrier' to manage anxiety about drawing to—or going over—the financial edge. This is a brilliant book and a must-read." —Arlie Hochschild, author of The Second Shift, The Outsourced Self, and So How’s the Family? and Other Essays

"Cut Adrift is one of the best books I have read in a long time. Cooper’s study of families from different social classes shows how worries about financial security penetrate the rhythm of daily life in all of the families (albeit in different ways). The book has impressive ethnographic detail, clarity of the analysis, and originality. My students loved it. Highly recommended!" —Annette Lareau, University of Pennsylvania, President, American Sociological Association

"A poignant, powerful story of how families are coping with rampant economic insecurity." —Allison Pugh, University of Virginia, author of Longing and Belonging: Parents, Children, and Consumer Culture

"An important and insightful examination of family life during an economic downturn." —Vicki Smith, University of California, Davis, author of Crossing the Great Divide: Worker Risk and Opportunity in the New Economy

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MEDIA


Marianne has been quoted or featured in:

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MEDIA


Marianne has been quoted or featured in:

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BLOG & EVENTS


Find recent articles, quotes or comments by or about Dr. Cooper here as well as upcoming opportunities to see her speak.

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BLOG & EVENTS


Find recent articles, quotes or comments by or about Dr. Cooper here as well as upcoming opportunities to see her speak.

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SPEAKING & WRITING


As an expert on gender, family life, work, economic insecurity, and social and economic inequality, Marianne Cooper welcomes opportunities to collaborate in the following capacities:

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SPEAKING & WRITING


As an expert on gender, family life, work, economic insecurity, and social and economic inequality, Marianne Cooper welcomes opportunities to collaborate in the following capacities:

SPEAKING

Invite Dr. Cooper to inspire your organization or audience with her expertise and insights. She is available for speaking engagements such as keynotes; interviews in print, radio/podcast or tv/video; corporate meetings, events or conventions; and graduations. Please request a quote using the contact form.

WRITING & CONTRIBUTING

Need a sociologist's input on your media? Dr. Cooper is available to share her research and expert opinion in writing, comments, soundbites, and guest articles. Please describe the project and request a time to discuss it using the contact form. 

CONSULTING

Dr. Cooper welcomes the opportunity to share her research and expertise with companies and organizations as well as politicians, marketing strategists, product developers, and executives. She is available for webinars and on site consulting on such topics as women's leadership, work/family integration, gender bias, women’s economic power, financial insecurity, and economic inequality. Please describe the project and request a time to discuss it using the contact form.