Dr. Butler-Sweet’s primary areas of interest include sociology of the family, race
and ethnicity, and racial identity. 

Her research focuses on racialized family structure and explores the combined impact of
race and class on identity development in varying family contexts. In recent articles in
Social Identities and The Journal of Comparative Family Studies, she examines how
middle-class identity is learned and negotiated in families where parents and children
may or may not be of the same race, particularly families formed through transracial
adoption. The next phase of her research expands on the racialized family structure theme
by exploring the dynamics of transracial adoptions by same sex couples. 

Dr. Butler-Sweet’s teaching responsibilities include introductory courses in sociology
along with changing families and the sociology of youth and childhood. 

Degrees: BA Mount Holyoke College; Ph.D. Boston University. 



'Race Isn't What Defines Me': Exploring Identity Choices in Transracial, Biracial, and Monoracial Families, Sociology Faculty Publications (2011)

Transracial adoption [TRA], particularly the adoption of black children by white parents, has been a...



"A Healthy Black Identity" Transracial Adoption, Middle-Class Families, and Racial Socialization, Sociology Faculty Publications (2011)

In May of 2008 the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute issued a report that questioned...


Popular Press


Sociology Professor Participates in White House Summit on Working Families, Sacred Heart University News Story (2014)

The call from the White House aide came on a Friday morning in June, and...




Family and Race Matters: Identity Development in Monoracial, Biracial, and Transracial Families, Sociology Faculty Publications (2008)

This study explores how black middle class identity is learned and negotiated in families where...