Isabel Pike


Isabel Pike is a sociologist whose research focuses on gender, development and inequality in Africa. She received her PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2020. 

Her current book project explores the contested narrative in Kenya that “the boy child has been forgotten” as a means to understand both reactions to social change 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. 

Using both quantitative and qualitative methods, she has several parallel projects, focused on the life course. These projects explore the gendered and economic dynamics of marriage and romantic relationships, occupational gender segregation in the informal sector, and the theoretical and methodological challenges of research on youth. 

She grew up in Uganda and prior to academia, worked for the World Food Programme in Senegal, Burkina Faso, and Mali. 

Areas of expertise

  • Development, Aid policies
  • Gender, women and public policies
  • Redistribution policies, social inequalities, poverty

Geographical Region of Expertise

  • Africa
  • Subsaharan Africa

Personal Information




Entwicklungszusammenarbeit – Development
Armut – Prekarität


Gender Studies, Sozialanthropologie