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 2017

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.

Teaching Areas

Sociology of Community, Research Methods


Ph.D., University of New Hampshire