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About Colleen Butler-Sweet

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. Dr. Butler-Sweet’s teaching responsibilities include introductory courses in sociology along with changing families and the sociology of youth and childhood. 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 is a regular Opinion Contributor to US News & World Report.
Degrees: BA Mount Holyoke College; Ph.D. Boston University.


September 2018 - Present Associate Professor Sociology, Sacred Heart University Sociology Department
August 2018 Assistant Professor Sociology, Sacred Heart University Sociology Department

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Honors and Awards

  • Tenure and Promotion as of 2018/2019 AY
  • 2022 URCG Award for “Transracial Adoption” Exploring Race, Identity and Family from the Perspective of Black Adult Children Raised in White Adoptive Homes”


Ph.D., Boston University
B.A., Mount Holyoke College

Contact Information

Sociology Department
Academic Bldg HC212-E
College of Arts & Sciences


Articles (9)

Contributions to Books (1)

Dissertation (1)