Cassandra Cotton is a family demographer and sociologist whose work primarily investigates kinship and family dynamics in sub-Saharan Africa. Her research broadly explores motherhood, changes in kinship roles and networks, and child fostering in sub-Saharan Africa.
Her current projects examine women’s decisions about childrearing in the context of internal migration into informal settlements in Nairobi, Kenya, the impact of mothers' migration patterns on child residence and child well-being across sub-Saharan Africa, and strategies to raise children in urban informal settlements. Her work has been published in Population and Development Review, Journal of Marriage and Family, Studies in Family Planning, Health & Place, and Demographic Research.
Cotton is also interested in romantic relationships, dating experiences, child well-being, and child adoption, particularly international and transcultural adoption. Prospective students for the Sociology PhD program interested in family sociology should reach out for more information.
PhD Sociology, McGill University, 2017
BA International Relations, Mount Allison University, 2008
Family Demography, Kinship, Child Fostering, Motherhood & Childrearing, Dating & Romance, Marriage & Unions, Population Dynamics, Migration, Global Health, sub-Saharan Africa, Qualitative Methods, Mixed Methods
Cotton, C., S. Clark & S. Madhavan.2022. “One hand does not bring up a child:” Child fostering among single mothers in Nairobi’s slums. Demographic ResearchVol. 46, Article 30: 865-904. https://dx.doi.org/10.4054/DemRes.2022.46.30
Clark, S. C. Cotton, R. Margolis & H-P Kohler. 2020. "The psychological benefits of marriage and children in rural Malawi." Studies in Family Planning 51(3): 251-272.. https://doi.org/10.1111/sifp.12133
Clark, S., S. Madhavan, C. Cotton, D. Beguy & C. Kabiru. 2017. “Who helps single mothers in Nairobi?: The role of kin support.” Journal of Marriage and Family 79(4): 1186-1204. https://doi.org/10.1111/jomf.12404
Clark, S., C. Cotton & L. Marteleto. 2015. “Family ties and young fathers' engagement in Cape Town, South Africa.” Journal of Marriage and Family 77(2): 575-589. https://doi.org/10.1111/jomf.12179