People Collection

Denier-Headshot

Nicole Denier, PhD

Assistant Professor

Arts

Sociology

About Me

My work considers the structure and operation of the labor market both as an engine and as a site of social transformation. I am particularly interested in the interplay between social and economic inequality. These interests have inspired two current lines of inquiry. The first conceptualizes the labor market as an agent of change by examining the nature of labor market instability and industrial transformation across the U.S. and Canada, two intertwined societies but with unique industrial and welfare state policies. Using longitudinal data, I’m looking at how workers’ lives and careers evolve in the wake of job separations part of both routine and catastrophic industrial change in both countries. The second line of inquiry focuses on labor markets as spaces of social interaction, specifically focusing on how sexual orientation factors into job outcomes. I am working with collaborators to carry out a comprehensive mixed methods project on sexual orientation inequality in Canadian workplaces. Though Canada is frequently touted as socially progressive, with model anti-discrimination legislation, evidence shows that LGBT people face discrimination and pay inequities. To understand this disconnect, we are exploring multiple pathways that could lead to workplace inequality. This effort includes employer interviews to access organizational perceptions of sexuality, interviews with LGBTQ+ workers to determine how workers navigate identities across workplace contexts, resume audits to isolate hiring patterns and an analysis of pay disparities.

I recently joined the Department of Sociology at the University of Alberta as Assistant Professor of Sociology, specializing in Work, Economy, and Society. Prior to Alberta, I was appointed as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Colby College after receiving my PhD at McGill University. I am excited to teach and build research on work, industry, and stratification systems in Canada – research essential to a vibrant field in Canada and to informing comparative research on work across North America.


Research

Selected Publications:

Denier, Nicole, and Sean Waite. “Sexual Orientation at Work: Documenting and Understanding Wage Inequality.” Sociology Compass e12667 (2019): 1-17.

Denier, Nicole, and Sean Waite. “Sexual Orientation Wage Gaps across Local Labour Market Contexts: Evidence from Canada.” Relations industrielles/Industrial Relations 72.4 (2017): 734-762.

Denier, Nicole. “Leaving Work, Leaving Home: Job Loss and Socio-Geographic Mobility in Canada.” Canadian Public Policy 43.1 (2017): 17-35.

Denier, Nicole, Sean A.P. Clouston, Marcus Richards, and Scott Hofer. “Retirement and Cognition: A life course view.” Advances in Life Course Research 31 (2017): 11-21.

Denier, Nicole, and Sean Waite. “Data and discrimination: A research note on sexual orientation in the Canadian labour market.” Canadian Studies in Population 43.3-4 (2016): 264-271.