In my research, I apply institutional approaches from sociology to study communities and families.

I have focused on three diverse cases: marriage, immigration, and a resource industry.  My first project examined how the institutional context of rural communities influences cooperation, entrepreneurship and transactions in economic processes.  That project honed my interest in institutional perspectives, which I later applied to the institution of marriage.  I also continued my interest in the sociology of community with research on immigration and community-based organizations.

My current research continues in these directions.  I am examining the formation of social, creative/collaborative and governance skills through participation in community-based organizations.  I also continue to study the institution of marriage, addressing questions of institutional change.

Current Grants

Place Based Approaches to Strengthening Communities. Co-Investigator. Supported by a SSHRC Insight Grant.

Neighborhood Inequality, Diversity, and Change. Co-Investigator. Supported by a SSHRC Partnership Grant.

Recent Publications

Yodanis, C and Lauer, S.R. (2014). Is marriage individualized? What couples actually do. Journal of Family Theory & Review, 6, 184-197.

Lauer, S.R. & Yodanis, C. (2014). Money management, gender and households. In Treas, J., Scott, J. & Richards, M. (eds) Wiley-Blackwell Companion to the Sociology of the Family. Wiley-Blackwell.

Yan, M.C., Lam, C.M. & Lauer, S.R. (2014). Return migration or diaspora: An exploratory study of new-generation Chinese-Canadian youth working in Hong Kong. Journal of International Migration and Integration, 15, 179-96.

Lauer, S.R., & Yan, M. C. (2013). Voluntary association involvement and immigrant network diversity. International Migration, 51, 133-150.

Yodanis, C. Lauer, S.R., & Ota, R. (2012) Interethnic romantic relationships: Enacting affiliative ethnic identities. Journal of Marriage and Family, 74, 4, 1-17.

Lauer, S.R. & Yodanis, C. (2011). Individualized marriage and the integration of resources. Journal of Marriage and Family, 73, 669-683.

Lauer, S.R. & Yan, M.C. (2011). Neighbourhood Houses in Vancouver: Bridging differences in the community. Diverse Cities, 8, 87-92.

Lauer, S.R. & Wong, Q. (2010). Transnationalism over the lifecourse. Sociology Compass, 4, 1054-1062.

Lauer, S.R., & Yodanis, C. (2010) The deinstitutionalization of marriage reconsidered: New institutional approach to changes in marriage.  Journal of Family Theory and Review, 2, 58-72.

In Progress

Immigrant Voluntary Association Involvement and Cross-Ethnic Friendship Ties

We’re Getting Married!  The public nature of our private relationships

Building Social Capacity: Outcomes of Participation in Community Based Organizations

Winter 2016

SOCI354B Community Studies - COMMUNITY Sections

Study of the organization of human communities; a focus upon collective activities including family, work, neighbourhood, and formal and informal networks.

Winter 2016

SOCI328A Social Statistics I - SOCIAL STATS I Sections

The testing of sociological theories using quantitative data analysis techniques on numerical data from social surveys, experiments and official statistics.

Teaching Areas

Sociology of Community, Research Methods


Ph.D., University of New Hampshire