Professor Mary Brinton is the Reischauer Institute Professor of Sociology and Director, Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies at Harvard University. She joined the Harvard faculty in 2003, having previously taught at the University of Chicago for 12 years and at Cornell University for 4 years.
Brinton’s research and teaching focus on gender inequality, labor markets and employment, social demography, and contemporary Japanese society. Her research combines qualitative and quantitative methods to study institutional change and its effects on individual action, particularly in labor markets. Brinton generally engages in primary data collection for her research projects, and has designed social surveys, interviews, and observational studies in Japan and Korea. Brinton studied sociolinguistics as an undergraduate at Stanford University, and earned an MA in Japanese Studies and an MA and PhD in Sociology at the University of Washington. Brinton served as Chair of the Harvard Department of Sociology from 2010 to 2016.