Isabel Pike

Assistant Professor

Stephen Leacock Building, Room 826
855 Sherbrooke Street West
Montreal, Quebec, H3A 2T7
E-mail: isabel.pike [at]
Telephone: 514-396-2128
Office: Leacock 826

Research Areas

Gender; Development; Demography; Culture; Family; Life Course



PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2020

Isabel Pike is a sociologist whose research focuses on gender, development and inequality. After receiving her PhD in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2020, she served as an Assistant Professor at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. In summer of 2023, Dr. Pike joined the Sociology department at McGill. Her current book project explores the contested narrative in Kenya that “the boy child has been forgotten” as a means to understand gender backlash as well as the ways that development discourse can be repurposed. The book explores the narrative from a variety of vantage points: how it circulates in the media, how it resonates on the ground, and how NGOs and other policy actors put it into action. Another stream of Dr. Pike’s research draws on quantitative and qualitative methods to examine how gender and economic status shape the life course, particularly in the realms of relationships and work. Born in the UK, she grew up in Uganda and prior to academia, worked for the UN World Food Programme in Senegal, Burkina Faso, and Mali.


Selected Publications

Pike, Isabel, Cara Kraus-Perrotta, and Thoai D. Ngo (2023) "A scoping review of survey research with gender minority adolescents and youth in low and middle-income countries." PLoS one 18, no. 1, e0279359.

Pike, Isabel and Monica Grant (2022) “Gifting Relationships and School Dropout in Rural Malawi: Examining Differences by Gender and Poverty Level” Studies in Family Planning 53(1), 173-192

Pike, Isabel (2021) “Men’s Economic Status and Marriage Timing in Rural and Semi-Urban Malawi” Social Forces 100(1), 113-136

Pike, Isabel (2020) “A Discursive Spectrum: The Narrative of Kenya’s “Neglected” Boy Child”, Gender & Society 34(2), 284-306

Grant, Monica and Isabel Pike (2019) “Divorce, Living Arrangements, and Material Well-being during the Transition to Adulthood in Rural Malawi” Population Studies 73(2), 261-275

Pike, Isabel, Sanyu Mojola and Caroline Kabiru (2018) Making Sense of Marriage: Gender and the Transition to Adulthood in Nairobi, Kenya. Journal of Marriage and Family, 80(5), 1298-1313


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