Angela M. O'Rand

Angela M. O'Rand

Professor Emeritus of Sociology

External address: 
417 Chapel Hill Drive, Campus Box 90088, Durham, NC 27708
Internal office address: 
Box 90088, 417 Chapel Drive, Durham, NC 27708
(919) 660-5629


My major research interests focus on patterns of inequality across the life span, with a special interest in the temporal diversity of life transitions, their consequences for later life, and the impact of institutions on these transitions over time. Over forty years I have examined workplace policies related to wage and benefit structures and the impact of workers' educational, work and family histories on socioeconomic outcomes. The changing employment relationship and the re-organization of retirement institutions (especially pensions) have been a central concern of my research. Most recently, I have turned to the cumulative impact of economic adversity on mid- and later-life health risks, such as heart attack. This research has uncovered the persistent effects of childhood adversity on adult heart attack risk, especially among women. I am expanding this focus over the next few years to examine the more general question of "life course risks" and increased economic and social inequalities in life course trajectories of health and wealth (including the role of debt as a stressor).

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Temple University 1974

O Rand, A. M., and R. T. Campbell. “On re-establishing the phenomenon and specifying ignorance: research design and theory development in aging.” In Handbook of Theories on Aging, edited by V. Bengtson and K. W. Schaie, 59–78. Springer, 1999.

Elman, C., and A. M. O. Rand. “Midlife entry into vocational training: a mobility model.” In Social Science Research, 27:128–58, 1998.

O’Rand, A. M. “Structuration and individualization: the life course as a continuous multi-level process..” In Generating Social Stratification, edited by A. C. Kerckhoff, 3–16. Westview Press, 1996.

O’Rand, A. M. “Context, selection and agency in the life course: linking social structure and biography..” In Society and Biography: Interrelationships Between Social Structure, Institutions, and the Life Course, edited by A. Weymann and W. R. Heinz, 67–81. Deutscher Studien Verlag, 1996.

O’Rand, A. M. “Women and retirement..” In Encyclopedia of Women and Work, 25–27. Garland Press, 1996.

O’Rand, A. M., and Sara Rix. “Equal employment opportunity commission (EEOC).” In The Encyclopedia of Aging, edited by G. L. Maddox, 327–28. Springer, 1995.

O Rand, A. M. “The cumulative stratification of the life course.” In Handbook of Aging and the Social Sciences, edited by R. Binstock and L. K. George, 188–207. Academic Press, 1995.

Elder, Jr, and A. M. O’Rand. “Adult lives in a changing society..” In Sociological Perspectives on Social Psychology, edited by K. Cook, G. Fine, and J. House, 452–75, 1995.

O Rand, A. M. “Women: their changing status; Gender; and The employee income retirement security act (ERISA).” In The Encyclopedia of Aging, edited by G. L. Maddox, 974-977;392-393;and307-308-974-977;392-393;and307-308. Springer, 1995.

O’Rand, A. M. “Mathematizing social science in the 1950’s: the early development and diffusion of game theory in the social sciences..” In History of Political Economy, (Special Issue) 24:177–204, 1992.


Elman, C., and A. M. O’Rand. “Perceived job insecurity and entry into work-related education and training among adult workers.” Social Science Research 31, no. 1 (January 1, 2002): 49–76. Full Text

O’Rand, A. M., and J. Farkas. “Couples’ Retirement Timing in the US in the 1990s: The impact of market and family role demands on joint and sequential work exits.” International Journal of Sociology 32 (2002): 11–29.

Elman, C., and A. M. O’Rand. “Midlife work pathways and educational entry.” Research on Aging 20, no. 4 (July 1, 1998): 475–505. Full Text

Elman, Cheryl, and A. M. O. Rand. “Midlife entry into vocational training: a mobility model” 27 (1998): 128–58.

O’Rand, A. M. “Observations on the practice of life course research..” Edited by J. Giele and Jr G H Elder. Methods of Life Course Research: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches, 1998, 52–74.

Farkas, J. I., and A. M. O’Rand. “The pension mix for women in middle and late life: The changing employment relationship.” Social Forces 76, no. 3 (January 1, 1998): 1007–32. Full Text

Hiedemann, B., O. Suhomlinova, and A. M. O’Rand. “Economic independence, economic status, and empty nest in midlife marital disruption.” Journal of Marriage and Family 60, no. 1 (January 1, 1998): 219–31. Full Text

O’rand, A. M. “New Editor's Statement.” Research on Aging 20, no. 1 (January 1, 1998): 3–5. Full Text