Mieke ThomeerAssistant Professor
Heritage Hall 460P
(205) 996-2301

Research and Teaching Interests: Aging, Family, Gender, Health, Sexuality

Office Hours: By appointment


  • BA, University of Virginia, Sociology
  • MA, University of Texas at Austin, Sociology
  • PhD, University of Texas at Austin, Sociology

Like many other sociologists, I was first drawn to sociology because of an undergraduate class. I learned how sociology makes "the strange familiar and the familiar strange." I learned basic principles of sociology in the classroom and then observed these same principles all around me — at the gym, at my job at a nursing home, in my family relationships. I became most interested in questions about relationships, gender, and health at older ages. My research explores these topics, with a particular emphasis on caregiving, chronic conditions, and marriage. For example, past studies consider how one person’s depression impacts his/her spouse’s mental health, what intimacy looks like in gay, lesbian, and straight relationships, how nursing home admission rates differ across racial/ethnic groups, and how parenthood changes health habits. I address these research questions through statistically analyzing large datasets and through interviewing women and men, asking questions about their health and personal experiences across the life course.

I teach undergraduate and graduate courses on aging, family, the body, and health, as well as general sociology. Through classroom discussion and assignments, I challenge students to connect what they learn through lectures, readings, and other media to broader social structures and realities and to critically examine their own lives and experiences and see them as embedded in broader social systems.

Download CV (pdf)

  • Introduction to Aging
  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Introduction to Sociology (Honors)
  • Intimate Relationships and the Family
  • Sociology of Sex and Gender
  • Body and Health (graduate)
  • Qualitative Methods (graduate)
  • Dentistry & Culture (School of Dentistry) 
  • Thomeer, Mieke Beth, Rachel Donnelly, Corinne Reczek, and Debra Umberson. 2017. Planning for Future Care and the End of Life: A Qualitative Analysis of Gay, Lesbian, and Heterosexual Couples. Journal of Health and Social Behavior 58(4).
  • Umberson, Debra, Mieke Beth Thomeer, Corinne Reczek, and Rachel Donnelly. 2016. Physical Illness in Gay, Lesbian, and Heterosexual Marriages: Gendered Dyadic Experiences. Journal of Health and Social Behavior 57(4): 517-531.
  • Thomeer, Mieke Beth, Stipica Mudrazija, and Jacqueline Angel. 2016. Relationship Status and Long-Term Care Facility Use in Later Life. Journal of Gerontology Series B: Social Sciences 71(4): 711-723.
  • Thomeer, Mieke Beth. 2016. Multiple Chronic Conditions, Spouse's Depressive Symptoms, and Gender within Marriage. Journal of Health and Social Behavior 57(1): 59-76.
  • Thomeer, Mieke Beth, Corinne Reczek, and Debra Umberson. 2015. Relationship Dynamics around Depression in Gay and Lesbian Couples. Social Science & Medicine 147: 38-46.
  • Thomeer, Mieke Beth, Stipica Mudrazija, and Jacqueline Angel. 2015. How Do Race and Hispanic Ethnicity Impact Nursing Home Admission? Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study. Journal of Gerontology Series B: Social Sciences 70(4): 628-638.
  • Editorial Board Member, Journal of Marriage and Family
  • Best Mental Health Paper Award, Sociology of Mental Health Section, American Sociological Association, 2014
  • Louise Johnson Scholar Award: Academic Merit and Outstanding Scholarship, Medical Sociology Section, American Sociological Association, 2013
  • Norval Glenn Prize: Best Graduate Student Paper in Family Sociology, University of Texas at Austin, 2013
  • American Sociological Association
  • Gerontological Society of America
  • Population Association of America