Robert E. Turner Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Population Studies and Sociology, Brown University
Dennis Hogan grew up in Iowa, and attended the University of Iowa, where in 1972 he obtained his bachelor’s degree in Sociology (with highest distinction), a first step in a distinguished career in Sociology and Demography. Dennis moved on to the University of Wisconsin for his graduate work in Sociology, holding a NICHD traineeship in demography and receiving his PhD in 1976. The research of his dissertation would lead to his book, Transitions and Social Change: The Early Lives of American Men (1981), which signaled his lifelong interest in life course research. After Wisconsin, Dennis moved on the University of Chicago, joining the Community and Family Study Center and expanding the geographic reach of his research to include developing countries, most notably Thailand. Dennis soon became a faculty member within Chicago’s Department of Sociology, rising in rank and helping to invigorate its Population Research Center. After about a decade at Chicago, Dennis would spend about another decade at Penn State, where he would be recognized as Distinguished Professor of Sociology and lead its Population Research Institute. In 1995 Dennis was recruited to Brown University, where he again played a leadership role in that institution’s demography program, directing the Population Studies and Training Center, and also serving the Sociology Department as Chair.
Throughout this time, Dennis’ research spanned a wide variety of geographic settings and subjects, all the time undergirded by the demographer’s concern for careful analytical work and hearkening to his long-standing interest in the life course. Dennis continued to examine the early life outcomes of young Americans, through schooling, family building and employment. Not to be confined to contemporary settings, Dennis also collaborated on research into family and household structure in 19th Century Italy. A steady stream of parallel work took up studies of reproductive and child health in developing country populations. Later on, Dennis’ interest in health would extend to the study of disability. This pathbreaking work shed new light on the prevalence and correlates of child disability. The book The Family Consequences of Children’s Disability (2012) showed how lives of other family members were impacted by the presence of children with disabilities.
In his time at Brown, Dennis once again expanded his geographic reach. He established a research connection to scholars in Ethiopia, and collaborated on a longitudinal study of Ethiopian youths, revisiting key issues of the life course in a setting of socioeconomic transformation. Further international outreach (under a 2011 Fulbright Scholar/Teacher Award) with Birzeit University in the occupied Palestinian territories, where Dennis helped build a presence in population research. In both of these cases, Dennis was instrumental in recruiting international students to Brown and training them in sociology and demography.
Throughout this research career, Dennis has always been a dedicated citizen of the academy, especially the population community, generous on behalf of institutions and other scholars. For PAA, Dennis served on the PAA Board of Directors and numerous other PAA committees. For undergraduates Dennis brought home the insights of social science through courses in introductory sociology, methods, and market research. Dennis has always been keen to involve graduate students and other junior scholars in his research, and his publication list includes dozens of co-authors who received invaluable mentoring and research, and who are now spread throughout the international population research community.