Alumni Book



Ken Bock Died August 9, 2014 at the age of 98


Rick Biernacki (PhD 1988) writes:

Prof. Bock served graduate students as a model of prudence in remaining unfashionably true to the grand questions of social inquiry.  He also rescued me with his calm adroitness.  During the interminable period in my graduate studies when I was readying field papers for the qualifying exam, Prof. Bock spontaneously invited me to his office and began quizzing me on historical method.  “How would a happening qualify as an historical event from your point of view?” he asked.   Then he queried me on interpretations of The Eighteenth Brumaire.  I had no clue as to why Prof. Bock was quietly posing such a variety of challenges.  It seemed my drafts had struck him as unintelligible.  After thirty minutes of probing, Prof. Bock advised me to take the qualifying exam as soon as the relevant faculty could assemble – quit rewriting the qualifying papers was his advice.  Prof. Bock was so statesmanlike in shepherding me toward the dissertation itself, I have tried to carry on his earmark style of wisdom in advising graduate students ever since.


Jack Bloom (PhD 1980) writes:

I was a TA for Ken Bock.  He was my first experience teaching; I was nervous, not sure that I had something to say to the students I would be teaching.  He encouraged me, allowed me to participate in choosing the books for the course and to give some lectures to the whole class, not just the sections I was teaching.  He regularly sat in on one of the twice-a-week section meetings, never saying anything, but he included questions about what I had been teaching on the final exam, which told me that I was at least on the right track.  He was always encouraging, even though he did not agree with my point of view.  (He was much more conservative than me.)  He was a true mentor, and I am grateful for the experience he provided me.


Robert S. Palacio (Ph.D. 1980) writes:

I met Professor Kenneth Bock during my first year as a graduate student at Berkeley, fall 1972.  In his courses on Social Change and Social Evolution he introduced me to a body of literature and set of ideas that continue to fascinate me to this day.  My life-long interest in the writings of the Enlightenment, as well as his views related to the “organic analogy” vs. the “historical sociology” approach to the study of social change and development, began in his courses.  All this was new to me at that time.  I have fond memories of seminars at his home up in the Berkeley hills.  We sat around the living room with drinks in hand, bread and cheese, discussing the assigned readings related to theories of social change.  It was my introduction to student graduate and academic life.  I was just beginning to read some of the great writers in the history of sociological ideas, and therefore did not feel too secure, yet with him and his courses, I felt welcomed and accepted.  Although formal, Professor Bock always made us feel comfortable.  This mentoring made an impression on me, and over the years, I have tried to mentor my students in a similar way.  

I remember one day I mentioned to him that I did not have transportation to his home for a seminar, so he offered to take me in his car.  Along the way we talked about my academic interests and about my background.  I mentioned to him that I was from the rural central valley of California, Fresno more specifically.  I found him to be interested in me as whole person, not just as a graduate student.   During the ride I   learned that he had lived in Modesto, CA in his youth.  I felt some degree of connection with that.  As my dissertation committee Chair, Ken Bock guided and encouraged me through my some difficult times.  I had some problems forming a dissertation committee, since I did not have any contacts with faculty outside the department.  He arranged a meeting with Jack Potter from Anthropology; he also introduced me to Wolfram Eberhard who became the second member of my committee. After I completed graduate studies, Professor Bock was always available to help me with letters of recommendation for teaching positions at many colleges and universities; I often felt I was burdening him; but he was always supportive.

When my wife and I learned about Professor Bock’s passing, we recalled the time when he called me at home at our graduate student housing (University Village) and our three year old daughter picked up the phone.  He was not upset even though she chatted with him for several minutes before we knew we had an incoming call.  When I got the phone, he said it was no problem, even though she had taken up some time with him.   Professor Bock was a kind and gracious person.

Over the years, we kept in touch by letters and my visits to his office.  He sent us a gift when our third child was born in the early 80s.  But I regret that I did not continue to reach out in later years.  I wish I had said that he was an example to me, not only as a teacher-scholar, but as a gentleman.


Mary Waters (PhD 1986) writes:

Professor Kenneth Bock was a wonderful man who taught me a great deal.  At the time I studied with him I would have said he taught me social theory.  He cared a lot about social theory and appreciated very much that my undergraduate degree had been in philosophy and so we had a lot to talk about.  Now, 28 years after I graduated from Berkeley, I realize what he taught me was far, far more important than social theory.  He taught me how to treat graduate students and how to live a balanced life.  I don’t think I have been as good at either as he has, but his example has given me something to strive for. 

If you did not know Ken Bock well you would have thought he was old fashioned and conservative.  He always wore a suit and tie to teach and he was rather formal when you first met him.  In fact, he was ahead of his time in so many ways. His politics were progressive but he also lived according to his principles. He treated women graduate students exactly like the men—something I see few male professors able to do even decades later. He drove a truck, waxed eloquent about fly fishing and the mountains, had many friends, and did not get upset about academic nonsense. He had a great sense of humor and enjoyed being with people a great deal. He and his wife Margaret invited me to his house for wonderful dinners and drinks where we talked about ideas and everything else under the sun. He told great stories and had a great laugh. He was generous and kind and he and Margaret once even had me spend the weekend with them so that I could take a break from writing my dissertation.  We walked the dog, drank stiff drinks on the deck overlooking the hills and he gave me advice about being a professor; the most important of which was not to get caught up in academic politics. When his wife Margaret died I wrote a letter to him, remembering her and describing her personality and specific acts of kindness I had experienced with her.  Ever the teacher, he responded and added a sentence at the end, “Such letters are a great help and matter a great deal you know”.  Of course I didn’t know.   I was young and no one close to me had died yet.  I had written because it was something I had heard was polite to do.    I know he did not believe in obituaries and did not want one when he died, but writing this has helped me feel better.  It helps, you know, to remember and to celebrate the life of such a good man.


Steve Warner (PhD 1972) writes:

Being a student of Kenneth Bock in my senior year at Berkeley was the chief reason I wound up going to graduate school. I was one of the small group in his Senior Honors seminar (Janet Salaff was another), all of whom he encouraged to grow intellectually, in part by taking advantage of our privilege of access to the stacks of the Doe library. I also took his course called “Social Evolution,” numbered Sociology 100 as I recall, which meant that advanced undergraduates and graduates were in the same class. This was my real introduction to independent scholarship in sociological theory, which turned out later to be the bread-and-butter of my career. Prof. Bock (I never called him “Ken”) was ready to write me a glowing letter of recommendation for graduate fellowships, but, aware of his obscure status in the profession, introduced me to then department chair Kingsley Davis who, so far as I know, endorsed the letter as his own. It worked. I’m glad I listed Bock among my teachers in the acknowledgments to the first monograph I published (in sociology of religion). I regret that I didn’t reach out to him in his years of retirement.

By the way, when I became a major in the department at the start of my junior year (fall 1961), it was still called the Department of Sociology and Social Institutions. I always felt that Bock’s historical leanings were not at all marginal given the huge presence of such figures as Reinhard Bendix, Leo Lowenthal, Franz Schurmann and others in the department.


Charles Perrow (PhD 1960) writes:

Kenneth Bock was responsible for setting me on the sociological path, which in the early 1950s was narrow but rapidly expanding. I took my first sociological course from him, "The Idea of Progress." We started with Hesiod’s “Works and Days” and ended, I think, with Hannah Arendt. In keeping with the broad scope of the course I wrote an impertinent paper called "All About War," and he loved it. His course was so much more trenchant than my history courses and his amiable manner and wide ranging erudition reinforced his urgings that I pursue a sociological career. It was also encouraging that you could be a good sociologist by taking time with projects and not perish for the lack of publications. Alas, those days and that kind of a mentor have long since perished.


Irwin Sperber (PhD 1975) writes:

I still have a vivid recollection of Kenneth Bock as the very first professor from whom I took a course (Social Change) in the Spring, 1961.  Freshly arrived from NYC, I was altogether insecure and uncertain about the courses I should initially take.  A couple of unofficial "greeters" from the Graduate Sociology Club assured me that he's especially interested in the history of social theory, and, in the bargain, an extraordinarily calm and reflective person.  So I signed up accordingly.  Thanks to his empathetic and sympathetic outlook, I was able to accept and utilize his trenchant criticisms of my work over the long haul.  He guided and encouraged me at every turn in my fits and starts throughout my "progression" toward the doctorate.  As the decades have rolled by, I've continued to incorporate his work into my teaching of the history of sociological theory.

Since his remarkably long and distinguished career at Berkeley will be the object of many informed accolades by his faculty colleagues, it would be redundant to attempt a survey of his courses and his publications in the present context.  I cannot help but offer a footnote to the many reminiscences that will be presented in his honor.  Although he was not a prolific author, his substantive writings on the history of sociological theory and, most importantly, on the impact of evolutionist assumptions and ideologies in mainstream theorizing are among the most cogent and profound contributions to our discipline in living memory.  The world and the academic community are poorer places with his passing.


Troy Duster writes:

Throughout the tumultuous period of the 1960s and 70s, when local and national politics often rendered “department politics” very contentious, Bock was a model colleague by every measure - always  gracefully engaged with all factions. He was a kindly and quiet mentor, who spoke softly but effectively. One important example was the story of how he guided the late Lillian Rubin into a career in Sociology.  Bock took notice of a fine paper she had produced in her last year as a late-entry undergraduate.  Lillian fondly remembered how Ken Bock called her into his office and asked if she had considered graduate school.  She replied that this was hardly on her agenda, at which point he told her to “go see Phil Selznick” and show him the paper. The rest, as we say, is history.  Ken’s own scholarship was a socio-historical account of evolutionary theory – and how it would influence social theory for a full century.  It certainly influenced me, and was a significant pre-cursor of what would become the Social Studies of Science.


Lyn Spillman (PhD 1991 ) writes:

Ken Bock's first year theory class in the 80s surprised me. New to Berkeley, but not to sociology or philosophy, I'd never really been introduced to the links between the two. ​Ken's erudition showed me that link. His strong emphasis on the influence of theories of human nature has stayed with me through the decades, and seems more important than ever these days. Apart from his erudition, I'll remember Ken for his egalitarian kindness in many Barrows Hall conversations about grad school worries which must have seemed to him by that time both minor and predictable. Erudition and kindness made a great combination, and a good model.


Bob Blauner (PhD 1962) writes:

Ken Bock was the only faculty member who had been a student of Teggart,  the leader of the dept before it was sociology: Social Institutions. He was definitely marginalized, once the department had highpowered publishing giants like Bendix, Lipset, and Selznick. He was a very gentle, nice person, who got too little respect from faculty or students. In the 70s and 80s, his theory course was chosen by the new group of minority students to fulfill the theory requirement so he became popular. He was accessible, nonthreatening, and therefore blacks and chicanos were comfortable with him.  I once visited him in Grass Valley where he lived after retirement.  He must have been 95 or so. I liked him a lot.  Bob


Elwood Carlson (PhD 1978) writes:

Ken's remark that he was "left homeless" when Social Institutions gave way to Sociology resonates with me, because I was also "left homeless" when UCB's department of Demography was dissolved a month after I was admitted to it in 1972. My grad funding survived the end of the department, though, and Sociology graciously took in three of us orphans. There I found Ken Bock, and took his History of Social Thought seminar not once but twice, since it was a different course each time. He showed us the way into the labyrinths of historical development of social theory, and I too got Halevy's Philosophic Radicals to read. I spent many hours talking with him in his office, pretty continuously during the entire time I spent at Berkeley, and he shaped my perspective on sociology more than anyone else in the department at that time. Eventually I went off and did my demographic thing, but I can still hear the country music coming from the radio in his small pickup truck to this day. I treasure the copy of Acceptance of Histories he gave me, and have read it several times. Thank you, Ken, for being the best example of a mentor I have yet encountered.


Arlie Hochschild (PhD 1969)writes:

Ken Bock was a quiet and kindly scholar who taught the history of sociological theory, who wrote elegant prose, stood aside from fractious departmental encounters, felt bypassed by the march of the hotshot quants but upheld  a qualitative flag.


Christine Williams (PhD 1986) writes:

Ken Bock was my professor in graduate school in the 1980’s.  He taught social theory to generations of graduate and undergraduate students, but he never called himself a sociologist.  He was quintessentially an historian of ideas and a humanist.  He assigned Hobbes, Locke, and Tocqueville to his undergraduates, and among many other books, I recall reading Mandeville’s Fable of the Bees and Halevy’s Growth of Philosophic Radicalism in his graduate class.  (I didn’t recognize this approach to social theory as subversive until much later in my career.)  I had the privilege of being his RA when he was working on his book, Human Nature Mythology.  Ken labeled “human nature” a myth that denied humans agency and responsibility for history.  He traced the myth of human nature from its origins in religion, through the enlightenment, to the twentieth century rise of psychoanalysis, sociology, and sociobiology.  He believed that disciplines like sociology—with its emphasis on structural causes for social behavior—robbed people of our agency and responsibility for making the world a better place.

Ken taught me that being a good sociologist is not as important as being a good person.  He and his wife Margaret often invited Martin and me to his house for delicious dinners, country music, and martinis.  He was an avid fly-fisher who escaped every summer to his cabin in the Sierras, where we visited him once.  I remember the only time he raised his voice at me was when I stood upstream of him in the river and scared away the fish.  He was a fair, kind, and wise mentor and role model, and I miss him very much. 

Ron Roizen (Phd 1991) writes:

Everybody, I hope, especially remembers at least one teacher for the deep and lasting impact he or she had. Mine was Ken Bock. I first encountered Prof. Bock soon after transferring, as a Junior, to Berkeley in February, 1963. He led the sociology honors program in 1964-1965 and I, a lowly and not very confident transfer student, was invited to join the honors seminar. All of us in the seminar, I recall, got special passes into the Doe Library’s stacks and keys to collective office space on the top floor of Wheeler. These were big, big bonuses for mere undergrads, and I vividly remember the rich sense satisfaction and pride associated with making use of either of these perks. The main text Bock used was Theodosius Dobzhansky’s then-recently published volume, Mankind Evolving: The Evolution of the Human Species. I also remember reading Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, but no longer recall which specific work or works. Truth be told, I had a very hard time making any sense out of the seminar’s fare. Bock’s quiet style of seminar management and the open-endedness of the medium left me struggling to figure out what I was supposed to be learning.

I have no trouble at all however remembering the critical comments Bock made on a number of the short commentaries we were assigned in the seminar. Bock was entirely straightforward in his responses to the weaknesses and immaturity in my writing. I, in turn, slowly learned important lessons from his comments. For instance, he made me aware of the overarching scholarly norms requiring plainspoken exposition and carefully crafted argument. Somehow, nobody had mentioned these to me before!  To this day, I’ve never known anyone who could identify the flaw in an argument’s construction as precisely as could Ken Bock.  He introduced me to other scholarly norms as well. I remember he once commented, more favorably this time, that my essay had used secondary sources when they were appropriate and primary sources when they were.  Until the moment of this comment I don’t think I was consciously aware there were scholarly norms and standards governing that sort of thing. Kind and gentle as Bock, the man, was, it was his sterner side that for the first time opened my eyes to what constituted acceptable scholarly exposition and argument. Incidentally, I belatedly submitted my honors thesis to him in 1965. Alas, he didn’t think much of it.  Even after all the effort we’d both spent on improving my prose, his penciled-in, sharply critical marginal comments let me know I still had a long way to go.

There was a lot going on in the University, in Berkeley, and in the nation in the mid- and late-1960s. Social change was furiously afoot.  Language norms, among others, were changing.  I remember Bock once commenting to me privately about how taken aback he was when, for the first time, during an office hour, a young, female undergrad spoke to him about being “pissed-off” about something. I left Berkeley, without a B.A., in the mid-‘60s and returned in 1970-1971, when the foreign language requirement was dropped. Somehow, I managed to slip into the graduate program, leaving with an M.A. in 1972.  Marriage, family, work, divorce, and my military experience in the U.S. Army Reserve filled my time over a long stretch. Then, in the early ‘80s, I re-enrolled in the graduate program, now determined to finish a Ph.D.  One of the bonuses of my new commitment was Bock’s graduate social theory class (Sociol. 201).  I was “the old guy” among the class’s students.  But absorbing Bock’s lectures in this class was fresh and wonderful.  It was a distinct pleasure, in fact, to hear him actually lecture, in part because of the frustration I remembered feeling in the honors seminar’s sessions, when he said so little.  One day, as class ended, a fellow student must have noticed the look of appreciation and even awe on my face as Bock’s lecture came to an end.  “Don’t you wish you could bottle this stuff,” he said to me as he passed by my chair-desk.

Bock formally retired at the end of that same academic year.  Some of us organized getting a big, decorated flatcake, with an inscription, along with paper plates and plastic forks, for after the class’s final lecture. The cake’s inscription read, “We Go Vico!” — for one of Bock’s favorites in the history of social thought, Giambattista Vico.  I remember sitting through the last twenty minutes of the class with the cake on my desk wondering if Bock would be kind enough to wind-up the lecture a little early, making more time for the little party. But,  true to form, Bock consumed the entire class period with his prepared remarks.  Yet, this was a laudable and memorable example of a teacher’s profound commitment to his duty and task, even right up to the last seconds of his last teaching hour. I turned in my term paper for this class with a little trepidation, remembering Bock’s unforgiving disposition in the then-deep past. Thus, what a pleasant surprise it was, a few days later, to see the paper returned with an “A+” grade and very positive remarks. I was already a 40-year-old man at this point, and yet Bock’s glowing evaluation of my humble paper remains one of the things I’m proudest of in my life.

By the mid-‘80s Bock’s and my relationship had taken on something of a more personal side. I remember exchanging stories with him on a few occasions. Once he told me a story about a well-known chemistry professor (maybe Hildebrand) in years past. Apparently this professor had served as an expert witness at an important trial.  During the trial’s course he’d responded to a lawyer asking if he were “the world’s greatest expert” on the particular area of chemistry the case called into play.  The professor responded that yes, he was.  Sometime later, the professor was chided by colleagues at the Faculty Club bar about this response. “Well,” replied the chemistry professor, “I was under oath!” We also talked about substantive matters from time to time, including subjects Bock was currently working on.  These conversations touched on Bock’s interests in such topics as Adam Smith’s “Invisible Hand” and Christianity’s “Original Sin.”  I once got a good chuckle out of Ken by asking him why he spent so much time thinking about things that didn’t actually exist!  It was, as might be imagined, no little honor for me to be invited into those conversations with him.

Once again, years passed between when I was advanced to candidacy and the completion of my long-overdue, midlife dissertation. Bock was my dissertation committee’s chair. He patiently struggled over the chapters I gave him for review. Once he told me, ruefully, he was “eye-sore” from reading one of the work’s longer chapters. My dissertation’s subject matter was of little interest to him, but Bock’s commitment to maintaining high scholarly standards was no less strong on that account. If nothing else, at least my narrative was about one aspect of social change, a subject Bock had interested me in long before and certainly one of his own enduring scholarly preoccupations. I hammered away on the text in my chapters, trying one way or another to get them into presentable shape. By the time the dissertation was ready for filing, I gave Bock another look at its preface. The next day, I think it was, he responded that it was “beautiful.” I was so surprised and pleased I asked him to repeat it – and he did.  My thank-you to Professor Bock in the preface’s acknowledgment section read as follows:

Kenneth Bock, my dissertation committee’s chair, sparked my interest in social change a long time ago — when, as an undergraduate, I had the good fortune to enroll his 1964 seminar on that subject. My indebtedness to him, however, must be said to stretch considerably beyond. As scholar, teacher, and mentor, Professor Bock, more than anyone, has provided over the years my clearest image of the ideal of scholarship and the scholarly life. He has also played an all-important part in this dissertation–indeed, without him it would never have seen the light of day.

When my degree was finally granted, Bock presented me with the gift of a fine, cherrywood (I believe it is) reading stand.  It’s performed its very useful function on my desk ever since and sits near at hand on my left as a write this. I visited Ken once in Grass Valley, ten years ago or so.  I was en route from North Idaho, where I live now, to visit family in the Bay Area.  His house was so orderly, spotlessly clean, and well-cared-for that I felt a little out of place. We had a good visit, but I remember having the impression that living alone was no picnic for Ken.  He’d buried his first wife, Margaret, and then, years later, his second wife, whose name I cannot now recall. I do remember him once, sometime after Margaret’s passing, remarking quietly that the arrival of his second wife saved his life.  I’ve emailed the department three or four times over the years asking if Ken Bock were still alive, but never got a reply. I guess in the back of my mind I assumed he’d passed away in one of the intervening years. So it came as something of a surprise — a melancholy surprise — when word was circulated of his death yesterday.  I know all of us must one day die. But somehow it would be better if an exception to this rule were made in the case of especially respected and loved scholars and teachers – for instance, Ken. Even today, and as I write this at over age 70, I sense how much whatever critical capacity I may have for evaluating argument I owe, from so long ago, to him.


Neil Smelser writes: 

Ken Bock was the principal transition figure between the "pre-sociology" department of Social Institutions (notable members of which were Frederick Teggart, Margaret Hodgkin, and Robert Nisbet) and Berkeley's "new sociology" department.   In 1946 this name was changed to the Department of Sociology and Social Insititutions, and Herbert Blumer was hired with a mandate to build it into a first-class general sociology department.  All three of these figures either retired or departed, and none of them were present in the department when I arrived in 1958.  Current members of the department at that time, all of whom came after 1946, almost never talked about the Social Institutions past. Ken Bock, who was an Associate Professor in the transitional period, carried on until his retirement as a member and citizen the transformed department.
Given the great transition into a general sociology department, Bock's work, which was still primarily in the area of evolutionary sociology (the main stress of Teggart and the Department of Social Institutions), was outside the new emphases on theory, stratification, and political sociology in the 1960s (Bendix, Lipset, Selznick, Kornhauser). That work on evolution was marginalized and unrewarded in the atmosphere of the new, aggressive department.  He remained a loyal citizen of that department, however.  In my period as editor of the American Sociological Review I published one of his essays (on a topic in evolutionary sociology) in the American Sociological Review, and essay that I regarded as of excellent sociological quality, even though far removed from the dominant emphases of the field of sociology in that period.
I also became personal friends with Ken in his continuing years in the department, right up to his retirement.  I found him a very intelligent, thoughtful man, and balanced in his intellectual judgments.  He was a good citizen of the department, even though he was not highly rewarded intellectually or professionally, given its emphases.  I also regarded him as a kind, tolerant, pleasant, and congenial colleague and friend.

In 2002 Ken Bock wrote this for the alumni site

I do not really belong in this group, for my degree from the University was in Social Institutions, not Sociology. Because the Department of Social Institutions soon disappeared in 1946 (mine was the last degree I believe) I was left homeless. It was my good fortunate, then, to be received as a faculty member in the new Department of Sociology and allowed to teach and write in the field of history of ideas for more than 45 years. The many friends among students, faculty, and staff that I made during those years remain fresh in my memory.



Cesar Grana (1919-1986), professor of sociology at UCSD, was killed in a car accident near Cadiz on Aug. 22, 1986. These are Guenther Rothâ’s memories, made at a memorial meeting on Nov. 7, 1986 in La Jolla.

Many years ago Cesar and I resolved to meet one day in Sevilla. We became friends thirty years ago in Berkeley, where we were both foreign students and working on European nineteenth-century themes. We shared the troubles of writing a dissertation and also our women troubles; one day he asked me to help him meet the elusive Marigay, who was to become his wife. Cesar and I were highly ambivalent about our cultural backgrounds. When Cesar went back to his native Peru in 1967 for the first time since leaving it in the early forties, he was badly shaken up and felt the urge to flee from all things Spanish. He flew to my German hometown and holed up for a few days to recover his balance. When I took him to a well-preseved Cistercian monastery, he was upset because it turned out that the little railroad bus was loaded with several dozen Spanish women who worked as Gastarbeiter in a nearby factory. But around 1970 he made his peace with the southern Spanish culture and joined a Gypsy brotherhood, in whose cemetery he was to be buried. In 1986 the constellation was finally right for our Spanish meeting. The previous year my wife Caroline Bynum and I had taken our daughter Antonia Walker through Cesar's decaying birthplace Lima to her own native Andean highlands. On July 4 Cesar met the three of us at the Madrid airport, where we rented a car together. Skilfully maneuvering through the traffic jams of Madrid, Cesar explained the Spanish notion of space which left only inches between cars, assertive egos jostling one another. That evening he showed us the quarters around the Plaza Mayor, beginning with a bar full of fading photographs of bullfighters. His enthusiasm about bullfighting was boundless. He liked to talk to waiters about the heroes of today and yesterday. The next day we headed south in 100 degree weather. Taking the wheel, I quickly discovered that the main road from Madrid to Sevilla and Cadiz was not a freeway. Without any speed limit thousands of cars hurtled through a landscape full of sunflowers and grapevine but empty of villages, castles and monasteries. Cesar was amused about the spectacle of hundreds of Moroccan Gastarbeiter driving their grotesquely overloaded Mercedes cars to Cadiz for the crossing of the Straits. Toward evening we reached Cordoba and a swimming pool in which we could recover from the day’s terrible heat. After nightfall the two of us made a preliminary exploration of the old quarters, the Juderia, past the synagoue and the monument of Maimonides to the enormous Mudeja Pardon Door of the closed Mesquita Cathedral. Cesar rediscovered an ancient bar where old timers used to talk about the bullfights, but it had turned into a noisy discotheque for young people. The next day we visited one of the great wonders of the world, the Mosque-Cathedral. In the Court of Orange Trees, at the old Moorish basins for ritual ablution, we cooled our hands and quenched our thirst. In front of the fountain Caroline Bynum took a picture of Cesar squinting into the sunlight. Having just written about Islam, she had come to see its great architectural survivals, not to study the culture of bull-fighting. To Cesar’s dismay she always took the side of the bull in our conversations.

Leaving the city-driving to Cesar, I drove next to Granada, six or seven hours of winding roads, trusting no driver and surviving a few hair-raising situations. Cesar had not been in Granada for many years and wanted to see it once more in his lifetime. The Alhambra was the high point of our journey together, one of the most beautiful sights in the world. Cesar showed me the plaster decorations and tiles that had changed Marigay’s life; he talked much about her and his two sons and his grandson full of pride.

Granada turned out to be the early termination of our journey together. The heat was too great for driving in a little car. Antonia had become car-sick. The prospect of another six or seven hours on winding roads to Sevilla appeared too daunting, the traffic dangers too great. It seemed better to take the family back by air-conditioned train to Madrid and air-conditioned sightseeing of Segovia, Toledo and Avila. We spent a relaxed morning together visiting the cathedral and the burial site of the Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand and Isabel, who had taken Granada in 1492. It turned out that Cesar had long ago formed a picture of me as a northern Lutheran agnostic, who would chafe at Catholic culture high and low. He was, in truth, not quite prepared to find me married to a historian of medieval spirituality and with a daughter who liked to light candles at altars. Finally, it became time to say good-bye at the railroad station. We were, after all, never to consummate that trip to Sevilla, the place which he wanted to make his home in his remaining years and where he wanted to finish his sprawling manuscript on Spanish culture. We also had to give up the idea of driving down from Sevilla to the sherry wineries of Cadiz. So he made that trip alone and never returned.

Cesar and I were very different from one another, but I considered him one of the few close friends I made in the United States and felt much affection for him in spite of our rare meetings over the years. Ignorant of the future, we had a few very intense and beautiful days together. I shall not forget them!




A memorial service will be held for Robert Parks Rankin, 93 of Chico, on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2005 at 2 p.m. at the Trinity United Methodist Church. He passed away Friday, Dec. 2, 2005 at the Sierra Sunrise Health Center.

Bob was born July 28, 1912 to John and Irene Rankin in Pueblo, Colorado. He received his B.A. degree from San Jose State, M.A. from Union Theological Seminary in New York City and his doctorate degree from U.C. Berkeley. During World War II he served in the U.S. Navy as Chaplain.

In 1938 he married Madge Slayden in Waverly, Tenn. Bob was a Methodist minister in El Cerrito, Santa Rosa, Orland, and Red Bluff and was a sociology professor at Chico State until he retired in 1975. He loved playing the guitar and piano, skiing, hiking, reading and golf. He enjoyed traveling the world and spent a summer in Japan with Madge and daughter Jo on a U.O.P. tour.

His survivors include son Jim Rankin of Port Angeles, Wash.; daughter Jo Rankin of Ashland, Ore.; six grandchildren, Karli Farley of San Clemente, Chris Ballard of Dana Point, Todd Rankin of Port Angeles, Wash., Drew Rankin of Seattle, Wash., Bret Rankin of Walla-Walla, Wash. and Kari Jacobs of Windsor and seven great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Trinity United Methodist Church in care of the Brusie Funeral Home which is handling the arrangements.

Published in Chico Enterprise-Record on December 6, 2005



Charles Emmert Woodhouse passed away December 28, 2008. He was Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of New Mexico, and earlier was a professor at UC Riverside. Born in Rochester, New York, March 14, 1920, he was raised in Ohio and Wyoming. He served in the US Navy on aircraft carrier, the USS Bunker Hill, during WWII. Upon discharge, he attended University of Colorado and then UC Berkeley where he was awarded his doctorate in Sociology. He was polite and civil and sure of his academic convictions. He was a dedicated scholar and expected excellence from his students. Some welcomed his challenge and became scholars and professionals themselves. He was preceded in death by his former wife, Margaret. He is survived by his domestic partner, Carol Higgins; his son David Woodhouse and wife Gloria in San Diego; granddaughters Louella and Lillian, and great-granddaughter Sidney in San Diego; daughter Ann Marie in Belen, NM; daughter Kristen Schroeder and husband Michael in Kent, Washington; his sister, Betty French in Norman, Oklahoma; nephew Robert French and wife Barbara also in Norman, Oklahoma, niece Sarah French and her partner, Warren, in Pullman, Washington and her son Jacob Rhoads; his extended family of Carol's children and their spouses - Leah and Nat, Bruce and Bonnie, Mark and Tish, Paula and Jerry. Memorial Services will be scheduled at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to Arc of New Mexico Foundation, 3655 Carlisle Blvd., NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110-1644 Those who wish to send condolences may do so at



Biography prepared by Roger Friedland, Department of Sociology and Religious Studies, UC, Santa Barbara

Robert Alford died of pancreatic cancer on February 14, 2003, just months before his 75th birthday. There was to be a celebration at his parents' ranch in Avery, California in the Sierras. Bob grew up near here at Angel's Camp, the site of the Calaveras jumping frog contests fabled by Mark Twain. Bob loved to walk the forests paths that radiate out across the property, past the pond dense with water lilies and an apple orchard with forgotten species of fruit. The lupine and the Indian paintbrush would have been in bloom. Bob was a huge man who loped gracefully and could walk for miles. He thought best walking, which was how we worked out the structure of the Powers of Theory (1985), through hours and hours of movement.

A socialist radical with a Wobbly heritage, he dropped out of UC Berkeley in 1951, opposed to the McCarthy loyalty oaths, and went to work and to organize as member of the Labor Youth League in an International Harvester truck factory. Robert Blauner was a fellow worker and cell-member there. After Khrushchev's 'secret' speech to the 20th Party Congress leaked out, a speech detailing Stalin's 'crimes,' his incarceration and execution of spies and enemies who were, in fact, loyal Communists, Alford, like many others, including Blauner, returned to the university. The state's promulgation of information that was, in fact, disinformation, or outright lies, would later become a theme in his work.

A graduate student of Seymour Martin Lipset, his 1961 doctoral dissertation on class voting was subsequently published as Party and Politics, distinguishing between determinants of the class distinctiveness of parties and the partisan distinctiveness of a class in Anglo-American democracies. The young quantitative political sociologist left for the University of Wisconsin, where, together with Michael Aiken, he led the Social Organization program until 1974. In this multivariate citadel, a generation of young students fired by the new-left enabled Bob to return intellectually to the home terrain of his politics, and indeed to leave behind the econometric rewriting of the social. In his turn Alford took his students through a critical re-engagement with the classic debates with Marxism as the way forward. It was at the seminar table, through a combination of withering critique and an overwhelming sense of care, that Bob shaped generations of sociologists who learned from him that a statement of a problem, the choice of an indicator, the settling on a particular level of observation, could have fateful consequences. His objective, as he put it, was 'to unpack' a student's approach to a problem. Doctoral prospectuses, chapters, seminar papers all merited copious, typewritten comments. His seminars were always charged, overcrowded zones of engagement. We all foolishly thought that this was how academic life was lived everywhere. Teaching for him was a kind of wrestling, a loving combat. Sometimes after Bob's 'unpacking,' you just wanted to go home and get in bed for the indefinite future. But you knew he knew you could go farther. And you did. His students didn't just admire him; we loved him. In 1997, he was given the ASA's Distinguished Contribution to Teaching award.

Bob left Wisconsin to return home to California in 1974, taking on the direction of the sociology program at UC Santa Cruz. In 1975, he published Health Care Politics: Ideological and Interest Group Barriers to Reform. In that work he showed the ways in which displays of rationality and rituals of rationalization were forms of symbolic politics, part of a political process by which interest groups, organizations and the very structure of the system blocked substantive reform. The volume won the C. Wright Mills award.

This work on politics as aesthetics, beautiful form as substitute for interested transformation, was later followed by work on the politics of aesthetic production. Music was Bob's first passion and the piano a life-long gift, one whose pleasure was later denied him by a congenital ear defect that steadily rendered him deaf. I think music was, in fact, the template by which he understood the practice of sociology, the imagination and construction of a beautiful structure, a disciplined passion, an enchanted reconstruction of the world. And it was from music that he learned the problematic of technique. A gifted teenage pianist, he had hitchhiked from Angels Camp to San Francisco just to hear Artur Rubinstein play. If you asked him, forty years later, he would still talk about Rubinstein's piano-playing technique. Bob discovered that concert pianists, as well as other types of musician, often experienced bodily pains, sometimes quite extreme, indeed even leading to permanent injury. This pain, however, was not a necessity, but a taken-for-granted cost of an institutionalized technique. Bob wrote about it with Andras Szanto in 'Orpheus Wounded: The Experience of Pain in the Professional Worlds of the Piano' (1996, Theory and Society). He had wanted to write much more, but his own pain at not any longer being able to hear the music ended that research.

Bob used to take out his dog-eared copy of The Sociological Imagination and read passages out loud to me like a catechist. C. Wright Mills had felt that he arrived when he finally made it to Manhattan. Bob had fallen in love with New York City as a result of doing research there for his health care politics book. Like Mills, in 1988 Alford, too, finally made it to Manhattan, where he was Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the CUNY Graduate Center. At CUNY, he spent most of his time working with students crafting their dissertations. Sociologically speaking, Bob was a committed Trinitarian. Everything came to him in threes: home domains, theories, levels of analysis, modes of inquiry, classical theorists, and as it turned out, academic homes. His last major book The Craft of Inquiry: Theories, Methods, Evidence (1998), an exploration of historical, quantitative and interpretative modalities, developed out of decades of doing what he did best--working through the design, the genre, the technique by which one sought to apprehend the social. Bob was the master of the master class. There are hundreds of scholars out there whose craft was learned at his table. And for this we give thanks.

Roger Friedland

Departments of Religious Studies and Sociology, UC Santa Barbara


Tributes to Bob Alford from David Peerla and Neil McLaughlin, and Marc Renaud can be found at



A Friend for Fifty Years

By Bob Blauner

Bob Alford died of pancreatic cancer on February 14, 2003, after a very brief illness. Because of his incredible vitalityand the fact that his father had lived to 90, Bob's death, only months before his 75th birthday, and its very suddeness,came as a terrible shock to his family and to his legion of friends. In this remembrance I recount how we first met in the early 1950s and why of all my old friends, the breadth and range of Bob Alford's humanity was unparalleled.


I first saw Bob Alford in the fall of 1952. He was wearing goggles to protect his eyes and a gray apron or smock over his work clothes to collect the metallic dust coming from the machine he was operating. The punch press was even taller than Bob's six foot plus frame. I watched him pull down the lever and the press made holes in the piece of sheet metal Bob was feeding it. Those holes were needed so that the fenders and other parts he would drill in Department 12 (Sheet Metal) could be assembled onto the chasses of truck frames, after the gray metal parts had been primed and spray painted. Add to each frame a diesel engine and a cab for the driver to sit in and a brand new truck would roll out the door.

There were only 150 blue-collar workers at our International Harvester plant in Emeryville, California in 1952. And yet three of us were Communists, or at least members of the party's youth group. The late Bill Lowe was the party's youth organizer in the East Bay then and it was Bill who told me about the other two guys at IHC who had also quit college "to go into industry". Our goal was to radicalize the working class, for according to the Marxist theory of the time, the proletariat ensconced in such heavy industries as steel, auto, and rubber manufacturing, was the only stratum that had a revolutionary potential. College students, the group each of us had abandoned, was the last---and I mean last---social group that could be expected to shake up American society.

I stood by Bob's machine several minutes before he noticed me. I was fortunate to have gotten a job in parts, which gave me the chance to move from one department to another, sometimes while rolling tires twice my size, a lucky break, since only a few months earlier, while working in an Oakland transformer plant, I had gotten panic attacks from remaining in front of the machine all day. Bob shut off his press, I introduced myself, and told him that Bill Lowe had suggested that the two of us, along with Burt, should start meeting every week as a club in "the League," meaning the Labor Youth League, the party's youth organization.

For four years the three of us would meet regularly at each other's houses talking about the factory, how we were getting along in making friends and influencing people---"contacts" was the word we used---and how we could push our extremely conservative local of the United Auto Workers in a more progressive direction. As you can imagine, given that the industrial concentration strategy was misguided to begin with, and to make matters worse, we were trying to colonize what was sadly one of the more conservative sectors of the society, the American working class, and add to all that the fact that it was 1952, the height of the hysteria brought on by McCarthyism and the Korean War, it's not surprising that we got absolutely nowhere. The best we could point to were the friends we had made in the plant, who once in a while---but only a rare while---consented to go to a union meeting with us.

What workers care most about in deciding whether to accept a new man in the informal work group is how good he does his job---and I say "man" and "he" because we were all men on the shop floor at International Harvester then. And Bob did excellent work on his punch press, and at times on another machine, the shears. He wasn't quite as loose in shooting the breeze as Burt was, but he still earned enough respect to serve as his department's shop steward. And as I walked by his work station, I could see that he was on very friendly terms with several of the young Mexican American workers, namely Johnnie Rivera and Johnnie Mena. Whether they visited back and forth at each others homes as Burt and I did with several of the plant's Negro workers, and I also did with a white guy from Arkansas who had befriended me, I no longer remember. 

I used to think that of all my comrades from the 1950s, Bob Alford was the least likely to have become a Red. I thought that because he seemed to be---and was---a normal, well-adjusted, and happy person. Without any of the deep core of alienation that in my case had come from growing up in an unhappy family with a silent withdrawn father. That may be so, but as I recently learned from Roger Friedland, Bob's grandfather had been a lumber worker and a Wobbly, that is a member of the anarcho-syndicalist Industrial Workers of the World, perhaps the most authentically American---as well as Western and militant--radical movement American society has known. 

Today I believe that Bob's becoming a Communist is best explained by one over-arching quality, his essential goodness. Bob Alford was the most unequivocally good human being I've ever known. His growing radicalism didn't come from a wild-eyed youthful idealism. It went deeper than that. It came, instead, from a an urgent desire to do good, to make the world a better place. So that even when we all had to admit that our early efforts to change the world had not borne fruit, Bob never ceased trying to do good, in politics, in community and university affairs, and above all in his work as a professor and as a father to his three children.

After graduating Angels Camp's Bret Harte High School in the heart of Northern California's gold country, where he was already active politically, Bob came to Cal in 1946. It was one year after the end of World War II, so he had missed being drafted to fight in that conflict by a mere year. At Berkeley he would become first active in, and then the president of, Stiles Hall, the campus YMCA, at the the time its leading liberal organization. As part of our "boring from within" tactics, communists worked in such "mass orgs" as the Y, looking for potential recruits and it was there that Bob met the man who brought him into the Labor Youth League. But as he told me two years ago when I was interviewing old friends about why they had become Reds in the 1950s---a most unlikely time---what most influenced Bob was not any one person or group of people. Nor was it ideology. It was music.

What made music such a fitting vehicle is that it speaks to the heart. And Bob was a man with a big heart. He was also a fine classical pianist, played regularly in the 1950s in a Berkeley chanber group led by a brilliant cellist, Dick Anastasia. But it was folk music that would move him politically.

The late 1940s was the beginning of the folk music revival in America. Leadbelly and Woody Guthrie were gaining big followings on college campuses. Bob heard their music sung by Pete Seeger, but it was the songs of Earl Robinson that most influenced him. Robinson's "The House I Live In" was brought to a mass national audience by two great singers, who couldn't have been more different, Paul Robeson and Frank Sinatra.

Bob graduated Cal and went on to work for an M.A. in sociology during the height of the Loyalty Oath controversy. President Harry Truman had set the process in motion in 1948 when he ordered that federal employees must sign affadavits that they did not belong to the Communist Party or any organization advocating the forcible overthrow of the U. S. government. A year later the State of California followed with an oath for its employees, including professors at Berkeley and UCLA. The oath was universally despised as a blatant violation of academic freedom. But except for a few brave souls, who years later were exonerated when the law was overturned, most of the faculty caved in and signed.

The oath settled it for Bob. Knowing that if he went on for his Ph.D he'd have to sign just to work his way through school as a teaching assistant, he finished his master's degree and left Cal.

Bob never regretted the years he spent at Harvester. We both felt that there was no other place that could have taught us so much about American society. But by the beginning of 1956, with almost four years under our belts, we were getting restless. The work had gotten old and it had become even more clear that we would never be successful in organizing our fellow workers. And there were all the ambitions to make something of ourselves, to become successful in a profession, that we had put to rest for so long.

And then in February 1956 came a bombshell, the report that Kruschëv had made a "secret speech" to the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, a speech in which he revealed that Stalin had been a criminal monster. The same Stalin who in my first year at IHC had made me feel safe, even as a group of right-wing Irishmen were baiting me as a "Jew-Communist," because with him at the helm in Moscow, all was right with the world. 

Stalin's death in March 1953 would in time lead to a thaw in the Cold War. Tensions eased measurably when the Korean War ended that summer. At home McCarthyism would be dealt a death blow a year later when the Senator from Wisconsin's hearings into subversive activities in the Army backfired.

Years later I would learn that Harvester knew all along that we were communists, but had considered us too harmless to get rid of. Our more politically minded fellow workers also knew what we were up to. Bob may have been red-baited less than I was, because he didn't stand out as a Jew. Our comrade Burt took the most flack, because he was not only a "Jew-Communist like me," but was also married to a Negro woman. But Burt was so unapologetically matter-of-fact about his wife, and also his politics---although none of us ever revealed the full extent of our radicalism---that he was probably the most accepted and the most politically effective of us.

Burt's wife Bru and Ginny, to whom I was then married, were as died-in-the-wool true believers as their husbands. But Gloria never bought into our illusions that the Soviet Union was a workers' paradise or that socialism in America was virtually around the corner. Her healthy skepticism undoubtedly gave Bob a somewhat greater sense of political reality than was typical among Communists and fellow travellers in the 1950s. But reading Kruschëv's speech that spring devastated Bob as much as it did the rest of us. 

Everything we had believed about the Soviet Union, everything we knew to be true about the world,  came down crashing like a house of cards.

For weeks we talked about the Report and what it meant for us. Meanwhile our friends and comrades were beginning to leave the Party and the LYL. First in trickles, then in droves. After a while, as the shock wore off, Kruschëv's words began to look like an act of deliverance. For people like Bob and myself, it meant we had a second chance. The same American society which, only a few years earlier, might have locked us up in concentration camps---for the 1954 McCarran Act had actually provided for the rounding up of dangerous subversives in a national emergency---was now saying that our future was open. 

Although I was admitted to Berkeley's Sociology Department  that September, Bob  decided to wait six months to save up money for his Ph. D. studies. Harvester's union-scale wages were high  and hard to give up.

For two years in the late 1950s Bob and I ate lunch together every day, sitting in the sun in front of the Campanile. We were often joined by others in our cohort, Ken Walker, Ralph Beals, Lloyd Street, and Harry Nishio. Bob and I still packed the same black metal lunch boxes we had used in the factory, but it was what was inside Bob's that provoked the same wonder and jokes that it had at Harvester. With an enormous appetite, he always ate  three or four sandwiches and several pieces of fruit.

Our return to Berkeley came at an opportune time. A new department was being built by Herbert Blumer that would soon be the best in the country. Blumer and his former student Tam Shibutani had a huge following of grad students interested in social psychology that included Tom Scheff and Arlene Caplan Daniels. The other major segment was political and industrial sociology, with such luminaries as Reinhard Bendix, Philip Selznick, Seymour Martin Lipset, and Bill Kornhauser. Along with Bob and I, the political and industrial students included Bill Friedland, Art Stinchcombe, Pat McGillivray, Amitai Etzioni, Fred Goldner, Günther Roth, and Gayle Ness.

The curriculum for students of class, social movements, politics, and work at the time couldn't have been more tailor-made for Bob and me. The books on the Ph. D. core reading list---and the others our profs recommended---were books that helped us make sense of our recent political and industrial experiences, answering questions that we were finally ready to face, questions about capitalism and socialism, the Soviet Union, and the politics of the working class. The books Bob and I read would influence our outlooks forever: Joseph Schumpeter's Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy, Selig Perlman's Theory of the The Labor Movement, Karl Mannheim's Ideology and Utopia, and perhaps the biggest eye-opener of all, Roberto Michels' Political Parties. Art Stinchcombe turned me on to Trotsky's History of the Russian Revolution and I also learned a great deal from the anarchist theorists, Bakunin and Kropotkin.

Although I became an industrial and Bob a political sociologist, we both soon found ourselves Marty Lipset's star students. The year after I was Marty's research assistant for a book on social mobility, Bob became his leading assistant, doing much of the spade work, and even some of the writing, for the classic text Political Man.

What strikes me now as remarkable, looking back over 45 years, is how we remained good friends, indeed comrades, without falling prey to a competition that would have been natural, given that our relation to our mentor made us virtually sibling rivals. And given also the dog-eat-dog nature of the academic world. I attribute that mostly to Bob and his impressive inner security---he never needed to feel better than someone else to feel good about himself. 

After eight years in which we had seen each other practically every day, Bob left the Bay Area to teach at the University of Wisconsin. A dedicated and selfless teacher, his career took off at Madison and he was the first of our peer group to be promoted to tenure. Still, we managed to see each other at least once a year, at ASA meetings, or when he arranged for me to be invited to Madison to deliver a talk.

As a man with such deep roots in California and the West---his favorite novelist was Wallace Stegner---Bob might have been a bit envious when I became the first Ph.D. in a generation to have been invited back as a regular faculty member in sociology. But he returned himself a few years later, as a full professor at UC Santa Cruz. 
My feelings about sociology changed dramatically in the mid-1970s. Involved in primal therapy I became focussed on personal experience and much less interested in work and the profession. My contacts with many old sociology friends dropped off as I began to find many academic people---especially men---too involved in their work for my taste, too consumed with ideas, too much "in their heads," if you will.
Bob was the great exception. Even though he himself remained involved in the field, active in professional associations, with his circle of friends and colleagues constantly expanding, whenever we met he was always first and foremost a  human being, a man with feelings, I never hesitated to ask him to read whatever new non-sociological manuscript I was working on. His comments on a memoir about my struggle with depression were especially thoughtful.
He was also much more grounded in the earth than any other professor I've known. A lover of nature, he spent every summer and every Christmas holiday at the family ranch near Avery, California. There in a hundred acres of semi-wilderness, he constructed trails so that he and his friends could go on long and strenuous hikes, reach ponds to swim in, and he also did much of the work himself in building an office where he could work and a home for him and his companion Noll Anne Richardson.
Unlike most of my old friends and colleagues, he became as close to my wife Karina as he was to me. Whereas other academic people usually showed little interest in her work and who she was as a person, after all she was not a sociologist or a professor but a mere artist, Bob was as curious about her projects and her reactions to events, as he was to mine. So that whenever he brought food over to our house for lunch---his hearing deficit having gotten so bad that restaurants were too noisy---he positioned himself at our table with his good ear next to where Karina was sitting. And then halfway through his time with us he would move closer to me.
* * *
Bob Alford made important contributions to sociology in a number of areas: politics, health care, music, theory, and methodology. As a teacher he guided scores of graduate students in dissertation research and to professionial success, teaching with a selfless dedication that earned him their respect and love. But having said all this, Bob excelled even more in two areas: as a father and as a friend.
Bob was an unusually nurturant father when his children were young and they remained his number one priority after they were grown up. At his 70th birthday celebration, Heidi, Jonathan, and Elissa each made a moving tribute to their father, who was always available at every turning point or crisis in their lives.
Along with his family and students, Bob was invested in a rich circle of friendship. And he knew that friendships have to be continuously cultivated, so that he would not think of passing through the Bay Area on the way from New York to his ranch in the gold country without coming over to visit with us. 
A number of qualities made him a great friend: loyalty, being a good listener, modesty, and sensitivity to others. He never boasted about his many accomplishments, so that I had to read Roger Friedland's obituary to learn he had been awarded both the C. Wright Mills Award and a Distinguished Teaching prize from the American Sociological Association. Did he not tell us out of modesty? Or out of a sensitivity that came from knowing that I had regrets about almost winning the first and never having been nominated for the second? 
It must have especially pained him that his cancer progressed so rapidly that he did not have the chance for fimal meetings with his friends. Still, on the day he died, barely able to speak, he dictated an e-mail to Noll Anne, so that she could forward his goodbyes to us.
I can still see Bob walking through our door with Noll Anne, placing our deli lunch on the table, to free his arms for the big hugs he would greet us with. And then finding his place at the table, ready with his everpresent curiosity, to ask us about our lives. Exuding as always a vitality that makes it hard to believe that he won't be coming any more.

Bennett Berger, Professor Emeritus of Sociology, died November 10, 2005 at his home in La Jolla. The cause of death was pancreatic cancer. He was 79. 

Professor Berger's research and writing covered several fields, including suburbanization, youth culture , counter-culture and communes. Such a bare recital of "fields" (a term he hated) does injustice to the thrust of his interest. He was focused on the images of public attention. Thus in his first book, "Working-Class Suburb: A study of Auto Workers in Suburbia" (1960) he asked: "Does living in suburbs create a unique style of life or do residents continue to practice the cultures they bring with them?" He observed and interviewed auto workers living in a suburb of San Jose, mostly new home owners with middle-class incomes. Residence in suburbia had little effect on styles of life. Berger concluded that the idea of a suburban culture was a myth. But he did not stop there. He was interested in why and to whom the myth existed, for some as an aspiration, for others a nightmare. 

His interest in the cultures of America and the images of them in public discourse was the center of his formidable contributions to Sociology. He published a number of papers and book reviews on what he called the myth of a unique American youth culture He criticized the view that adolescent culture was unique to youth. For Berger it was at one with the American emphasis on glamour, romance, sports and popularity backed up by parents' and the schools' efforts to promote solidarity. These thoughts and observations are collected in his 1973 book "Looking for America: Essays on Youth, Suburbia and Other American Obsessions".

These themes of cultural imagery were continued in his many papers and other books. Chief among these was his 1981 observational study, "The Survival of a Counter-Culture: Ideological Work and Everyday Life Among Rural Communards". Here again his focus is on the self-images of the commune dwellers and the contrary actions which practical activities demanded. What he called "ideological work" was the ways this was made acceptable.

As he often said, he was born in Brooklyn, raised in the Bronx but did not grow up until he came to Berkeley as an adult. He served as a Marine in the Pacific during World War II. Was a high school athlete and once tried out for the NY Giant farm system. He was, for a brief time, a singer with a popular music band. He did his undergraduate work at Hunter College and has a Ph.D. from UC Berkeley where he was a lecturer for one year. He was a faculty member in the School of Communications at the University of Illinois. After four years he left to assume the Chairmanship of the Sociology department at UC Davis in 1963. He joined UCSD ten years later. 

At UCSD he served as Chair for three years; was active on many committees and since retirement in 1991 was on the advisory group for the Theatre and Dance Department. He was active in Sociological meetings, conferences and guest lectureships and was the editor of the major review journal Contemporary Sociology (1975-78) He is survived by his daughters, Jane Berger, of Augsburg, Germany, Nora Mitchell of Mendocino, CA , Stephanie Berger of Long Beach, CA, a son, Kenneth Berger of San Francisco ,CA and one grandchild, Sarah Veith of Augsburg.

His wit, his insight and his analytic skill will be deeply missed. 

Richard Madsen, Chair, Department of sociology, November 23, 2005


Bennett Berger wrote the following bio in 2002:

I got my Ph.D. in 1958 with a dissertation on suburbia under Reinhard Bendix and Bill Kornhauser. UCPress published it unchanged in 1960 and 1968. After year lecturing at Berkely, my first ladder job was at the University of Illinois which gave me tenure in 1962. In 1963 I moved to UC Davis as Chair of its then rapidly expanding dep't. While there I began studying and writing on youth and was eventually given a large grant by NIMH for field research on child rearing in Hippie communes. That research produced several Ph.D.s by my students and ten years later my book The Survival of a Counterculture which will soon re-appear in a new edition. In 1971 a collection of my essays was published. In 1973 I moved to UC San Diego. In the late 70s I was Editor of Contemporary Sociology. At San Diego I chaired the committees of several first class Ph.Ds (some mediocre ones too) and continued writing lots of reviews and review-essays. In 1990 UCPress published Authors of Their Own Lives, my collection of 20 autobiographical essays by American sociologists and in 1995 my last book An Essay on Culture. I retired in 1991 and don't do much sociology anymore though I continue to write a lot, mostly not for publication.

Berkeley shaped my way of thinking by its theoretical diversity which prevented me from ever becoming a partisan of a particular "school of thought." Pierre Bourdieu was the first theorist I ever read who thought like I did. I doubt that "my" sociology has shaped the world in any way. The poet Auden is often quoted as saying "poetry makes nothing happen" (an exaggeration of course, which makes it quotable). Sociology also seldom makes anything happen, maybe because its structural way of thinking is deeply offensive to American individualism which is why economics (which knows perhaps even less than we do) has become the dominant social science.


Alex Garber came to California State University, Sacramento as an Assistant Professor of Sociology in the fall of 1964. He had been on the faculty at the University of Colorado Boulder. He received his BA and MA in sociology from the University of Chicago and his PhD from UC Berkeley. He was promoted to associate professor and then full professor during his tenure. He chaired the department from 1968 to 1974.

Upon arriving in Sacramento, Alex introduced three courses to the curriculum: Political Sociology, Soviet Society, and Arab-Israel Conflict. He also taught theory and social organization, both at the graduate and undergraduate level. He always had a group of students, both undergraduates and graduates, who followed him around and who were greatly influenced by him. He was an imposing figure. He could talk on and on about many topics, always giving an insightful analysis, even when discussing baseball statistics! He retired in 1982 at the age of 70 and died in Los Angeles in 1984 at age 72.

Alex was extremely bright, very well read, a macro sociologist in the best tradition of those graduating from the sociology department at Berkeley in those days. He knew history, read history and combined his historical knowledge with the sociological perspective. In that sense, he was I would guess a product of the Teggart-influenced department at Berkeley.

Alex did not publish much, but took his passion and considerable erudition into the areas union organizing and politics, especially his involvement over the years with the Democratic Socialists of America. He was a close friend of Michael Harrington, for example. He helped organize the first faculty union on the campus. He was one of the original seven members of the founding AFT chapter. Garber was interested in both the professionalization of faculty and the unionization of faculty. For him this was not a contradiction. Through professionalism faculty gained a voice in running the university in ways they thought were best for students and for themselves, and through unionization faculty gained support for increased resources such as graduate TA's, travel money, assigned time for research, etc.

When I came to CSU Sacramento in 1964 as a young man just out of graduate school, it was the first time in my life that I was in a position to interact with faculty members as a peer. Alex was older and wiser. I learned a great deal from him, as he was one of my early mentors.

Fond memories, Dean Dorn.

My 1962 Ph.D was preceded by an M.A.from the University of Chicago, and prior to that a B.A. in Communication and Public Policy at Berkeley. My first teaching position was at the University of Hawaii, for ten years, and then Northern Illinois University, in DeKalb, for the next 16, including a stint as department chair. I retired in 1985, and live in Alpine County, on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada mountains, about 40 miles southeast of Lake Tahoe. The county has the smallest population in the state, about 1,000; our local community, Woodfords, has some 150 residents.

My perspective was shaped by my experiences as a child in the Great Depression, which included observing a broker negotiating with people who would return to sell their gold fillings and crowns, after removing them from their mouth; working the swing shift as a turret lathe operator in the industrial part of Chicago while attending classes during the day, and participating in the labor movement in the places where I lived. Berkeley's radical groups and activities influenced a socialist orientation. Classes with Herbert Blumer and Tamotsu Shibutani, especially Blumer's social movements work, suggested ways of achieving change to improve people's lives.

Because of a talent in art I began at Berkeley as an art major. my early career goal was a political cartoonist, and while an undergraduate I was Art Editor of the Daily Californian. However, the realization that few newspapers would appreciate work highly critical of capitalism led me to abandon that goal. The Berkeley milieu encouraged a reorientation, and a key influence which eventually led to graduate work in sociology was one of Marty Lipset's classes. While a Ph.D candidate at Berkeley I was president of the sociology graduate students association and one of the founders and first editor of the Berkeley Journal of Sociology.

My main interest continues to be stratification and class, and was reflected in my teaching and research, with special concern for the underprivileged. As a faculty member and citizen I have tried to apply sociological knowledge to improve conditions in academe and the community. In Hawaii I was head of the campus chapter of the ACLU and a board member of the congressional campaigns of Representative Patsy Mink, co-author of Title 9 of the Voting Rights Act. I was politically active in DeKalb as well as in Alpine County upon retirement. In Alpine, as an elected member of the county school board, I was responsible for establishing a voting district containing most of the county's Native Americans. For years none was on the school board, even though a quarter of the population was Native American as were half the students. For many years I was a board member of the county arts commission, and presently am on the boards of the historical society and the Alpine County Democratic Central Committee. Thus, in a sense, my interest in art, sociology, and politics has come full circle.



Arlene Kaplan Daniels, whose colorful, witty, and generous presence enlivened the field of sociology, died in her sleep on January 29, 2012 at the age of 81.  She was active in the SSSP, first as Editor of Social Problems (1975-1978) and later (1986-87) as President.  She also served as Secretary of the ASA and as President of Sociologists for Women in Society.  A well-published sociologist of occupations and women’s work, Arlene had a keen sense of social justice and mentored a wide circle of younger colleagues and students.

As a young girl, Arlene Kaplan moved with her family from New York City to Los Angeles, where her parents owned a small natural foods store.  In 1948 she enrolled as an undergraduate at UC Berkeley; she was poor, but it cost only $25 a semester.  She majored in English but turned toward sociology after taking a course with Tamotsu Shibutani.  With his encouragement, she entered the Berkeley sociology graduate program in 1952 and completed her Ph.D. in 1960.

In a memorable 1994 essay, “When We Were All Boys Together: Graduate School in the Fifties and Beyond,” Arlene Daniels describes an encounter she had before one of Shibutani’s classes that crystallized her sense of a calling to the profession of sociology:  “I bustled up to a little knot of chattering young women who were talking about the class.  ‘That Shibutani is so cute,’ said one, ‘Do you think he’s married? ‘I’d like to marry him,’ volunteered another.  Pushing my way into the circle, I announced: ‘Not me—I want to be Shibutani when I grow up. Eliminate the middleman!’”

At that time, Arlene observes, the male model appeared to be the only pathway available; in fact, she was the only woman in her cohort to complete the Ph.D. program.  During her graduate school years Arlene met her future husband, Richard Daniels, in a carpool to the opera; they married and settled on the Peninsula, where he worked in hospital administration.  The Berkeley faculty helped male students find jobs, but as a woman, Arlene was on her own, in part because some of the faculty began to see her as a housewife.  She kept her connection to sociology alive by doing research supported by grants and contracts.  In 1966 Arlene was hired as an Assistant Professor at San Francisco State.  She joined other faculty who supported the 1969 student strike over demands for Black studies and ethnic studies programs and, as a result, she was denied tenure.  (She and others wrote a book, Academics on the Line, about this experience).  Devastated by losing her academic job, Arlene returned to the world of grant hustling.

During the 1969 ASA in San Francisco she attended a gathering called by Alice Rossi to discuss the formation of a women’s caucus in sociology.  Thus began what Arlene later described as her second professional and career conversion.  She began to recognize (in her words in the 1994 essay) a “larger pattern in all the slights, snubs, omissions, and patronizing acts that I had shrugged off as my paranoia or my just desserts.  I felt rage at what I had endured and terrible sorrow for all that had hampered me.  I resolved to help younger women, to protect them against the systematic frustration and neglect that I had experienced.”

Arlene Daniels poured energy and organizing skills into the women’s caucus, which evolved into the ASA Section on Sex and Gender and Sociologists for Women in Society.  Arlene also became a consummate mentor, reaching out to women sociologists everywhere.  She offered advice, wrote references, edited papers, stayed in touch, and connected people to one another.  The broad-brimmed hats Arlene wore, with flair, to professional meetings became a signature of her presence, taking up space like umbrellas that invited us to come in out of the rains of competition and hostility that too often dampen academic lives.

Arlene Daniels studied women’s work lives, including career contingencies, women in unions, feminist networking within the professions, and the organization and significance of women’s voluntary work, culminating in her 1988 book, Invisible Careers and her 1987 SSSP Presidential Address, “Invisible Work” (published in Social Problems, Dec. 1987).  In 1995 Arlene Daniels received the ASA Jessie Bernard Award for her influential efforts to expand women’s presence in the content and practices of sociology.

In 1975 Arlene Daniels became a full professor at Northwestern University with a joint position in the Sociology Department and in the newly formed Program on Women, which, under her leadership, evolved into the Women’s Studies Program and the Women’s Center.  She flourished there, teaching, mentoring Ph.D. students, and pushing for institutional change.  Colleagues there and elsewhere comment on her talent not only for getting things done, but also for making meetings fun.  She also used humor to demystify the powerful.  Once, according to her colleague, Rae Moses, the Organization of Women Faculty met in an imposing hall with oil portraits of the former Presidents of Northwestern.  Arlene entered the room and threw her coat over one of the portraits.  The other women did the same, and the meeting began with laughter.

Arlene Daniels relished friendship and food; she and her beloved Richard regularly went to the opera and made the most of travel in Europe.  After she retired from Northwestern in 1995, she moved back to California and taught part-time at her alma mater.  Richard Daniels died last April.  Arlene Daniels enriched the lives of those who knew her, across generations; she fought for social justice and opened many doors for others; and she built organizations that continue to do good work. Gifts in her memory can be sent to the Arlene Kaplan Daniels Fund, an award for graduate students doing research on gender.  Checks should be made out to “Northwestern University,” with “Arlene Kaplan Daniels Fund” in the memo line; send to Northwestern University Development Office, 2020 Ridge Ave., Evanston IL 60208.  Or donate online at Be sure to note “Arlene Kaplan Daniels Fund” as the designation.

Thanks to Barrie Thorne (University of California, Berkeley), Marjorie DeVault (Syracuse University), and Judith Wittner (Loyola University, Chicago) for writing Dr. Daniels obituary.


Arlene Kaplan Daniel's Bio

UC Berkeley was a terrific opportunity in the late 40's. I came to Berkeley, to get away from home. I was poor, but it only cost twenty - five dollars a semester. As an undergraduate English major, I stumbled into graduate school through my admiration for Tamotsu Shibutani. Fortunately, a characteristic of the department at that time was benign neglect. You prepared to take the exams anyway you wished, with the list of great books of sociology as your guide.

When I received my PhD in 1960 I was thrown on my own, searching for grants, interrupted by a brief stay at SF State College. But I made a happy landing at Northwestern University in l975 as a full Professor where I spent the next twenty years. I found I could use what I had learned, primarily from Shibutani and Blumer, especially abut the Chicago School, but also from Selvin, Bock and Nisbet, in my research and teaching.

I made my way in professional circles as editor and President of Social Problems, as council member and secretary of the American Sociological Association and as a founder and then president of Sociologists for Women in Society.

I valued my colleague and the opportunity to work with graduate students and produce PhDs at Northwestern. I produced a modest canon, using the qualitative and analytic methods learned in graduate school, to study the field of occupations and professions, and, the place of women in work.

I came to Berkeley first as an undergraduate in 1950, after doing three years in Forestry at Oregon State College (now University) in Corvallis. In those first three years, I found myself becoming more interested in people than in trees. As a Berkeley undergraduate I gravitated to Sociology through the influence of Wolfram Eberhard, Robert Nisbet and Kenneth Bock. On graduation, I was drafted into the US army in February 1953, destined to serve in the Korean War. But apparently the powers that were wanted to win that war, so they sent me to France. I served out my term, met a fine French woman who became my wife, and then on discharge, won a Fullbright Fellowship to study in Copenhagen. There I continued work I had done for my BA honors essay on the US and Scandinavian cooperative movements. Organizational sociology had got into my blood. In 1956, with French wife, a new baby and University of Copenhagen degree, we returned to Berkeley to resume graduate studies.

Those were heady times. All of us had been out between undergraduate and graduate studies, and some before, mostly in some kind of protest movement. Friedland, Stinchcombe, Alford, Blauner, Daniels and many others were part of that cohort. Someone mentioned benign neglect. That was certainly the faculty orientation toward us at those times. If there were brown bags, we students organized them. If there was something for those fine visiting professors like Rene Koenig, we students organized it. Faculty had offices without names on their doors. We could see them 2 hours a week in the 'bull pen' where open desks found them at obligatory 'office hours.'

Four of us accidentally formed a 'sub-seminar' at the beginning of one of Shibutani's classes. Bill Friedland, Dorothy Anderson (now Mariner), Ernest Landauer and I fell in together and met regularly every Wednesday evening for the rest of our studies. We taught each other a great deal; I wonder if it was more or less than we learned from our professors. Our professors were superb scholars: Bendix, Eberhard, Lipset, Selznick, Smelser, and I learned economic development from Chou Ming Li, later Vice Chancellor of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. They did inspire and they imparted knowledge, but it was our peers who provided a far more fundamental kind of intellectual sustenance.

On graduation I was fortunate to receive a four-year post-doctoral grant with the Institute of Current World Affairs. This was primarily the work of Wolfram Eberhard, who seems now in retrospect to have been the only professor even thinking about students' next steps. By this time my wife and I had a second child and we spent the next four years steeping ourselves in Southeast Asia and having a third son.

From Malaysia we came to Ann Arbor, to the University of Michigan. I was hired sight unseen and became one of Michigan's 13 new assistant professors in 1964. Michigan proved to be something of an antithesis to Berkeley. There, we were roughly 200 graduate students left to fend for ourselves. There were three teaching Assistantships and one department fellowship. At Michigan I found 200 graduate students all supported by department grants. Faculty at Michigan entrepreneured for their students, finding foundation and government grants to support graduate students. I'm not sure which was best. At Berkeley we were all old organizers, so the lack of faculty leadership was no problem. We organized and learned. At Michigan students were drawn in and shepherded through their studies. I see advantages and disadvantages at both ends, and have no idea how to produce a net effect.

At Michigan I found a fine Sociology department, with great resources, superb colleagues, and support for whatever I wanted to do. I also found the single best university in the world to study Asia, and have been involved there ever since. I have maintained work in Southeast Asia. This would have been impossible had I returned to Berkeley when I had an offer in 1965. Remember that then even Bendix had to leave the department due to the intense and acrimonious disputes, where, as he put it, 'there was no milk of human kindness.' Michigan was less radical and less destructive. The Vietnam War tore Berkeley apart. At Michigan it produced a highly creative form of protest, 'the Teach-Ins.' This provides a good question for organizational analysts: why destructive protest in one university and constructive protest in another. (Michigan is older, of course, and with Harvard in the 1890's was at the forefront of another national protest in the Anti-Imperialist League.)

And so I stayed, teaching courses in the sociology of economic development; taking organizational analysis into national and international development organizations, into international population planning, policies and organizations, and finally into the intricate realms of population-development environment analyses. I have continued to work in Asia, even in retirement.

Berkeley gave me the joy of the sociological imagination, as we called it then; it gave be Wolfram Eberhard who led me into the rich life of Asian societies; it gave me fellow students who taught me much and have remained life long friends. That it a heady mixture indeed.

At Berkeley, my basic approach to sociology, social psychology, and social science grew out of my contact with T. Shibutani. My contact with Goffman and his work was also influential, even though it was many years before I felt its full effect. From Shibutani I learned the importance of integrating theory and empirical work, and of attempting to develop an integrated social science, especially combining the social and the psychological. Later in my career, I began to understand Goffman's work in this way also, even though he himself took care not to develop these themes explicitly.

The two major areas in my sociology have been the societal reaction to deviance, on the one hand, and shame and the social bond, on the other. My theoretical and empirical work on labeling has been influential in many fields and has had considerable impact on the actual treatment of the mentally ill. In particular, my Being Mentally Ill (1966; 1999) was one ofthe key sources of the reform of the mental health laws of California in 1970, and subsequently in all the other states.

My work on shame and the social bond, begun in the mid-1980's, has also been influential, particularly in two areas, protracted conflict in families and between large groups. This influence is still a work in progress, however, since it requires integration of many different approaches and perspectives. In particular, it formulates links between individual psychology, interpersonal relations, and social institutions.


I left China, my native country, when I was a child to join my father in the Philippines. As a resident alien who had been through the difficult World-War II years and other hardships in the Philippines, I developed a deep interest in race and ethnic relations. This central interest led me in 1954 to the graduate program in sociology at Berkeley. Professor Tamotsu Shibutani, my dissertation adviser, invited me to work with him on a special project after I received my Ph.D. in 1958. Ethnic Stratification: A Comparative Approach, published by Macmillan in 1965, was the product of that collaboration.

I began my teaching career at Ohio University. My second academic appointment, at California State University, Northridge, lasted from 1965 until June 2000 (except for a visiting engagement in 1972-73 at the University of Hawaii).

Individuality and Social Control: Essays in Honor of Tamotsu Shibutani (JAI Press, 1996) - a collection of mostly original papers by nineteen contributors -- was some form of personal repayment to my longtime associate and benefactor. I wrote a 23-page "Foreword" to the Festschrift -- offering selective interpretations on (1) Darwin's Evolution Theory, (2) Peirce's Scientific Logic, (3) Founding of Chicago Pragmatism, and (4) Rise of Chicago Sociology. The preface concluded: "These two distinguished Chicago alumni [Tamotsu Shibutani and Anselm Strauss] and many of their associates and students have faith that generations of young men and women will discover anew the verities of their intellectual heritage, build on what they have done, and make further advances." Guided by these great traditions -- Darwinian natural selection, American pragmatism, and a renewed Chicago Sociology --  I hope to make additional contributions in the future.

After a quarter at the U. of Washington, two years at Black Mountain College in N.C., a year bumming about in NYC, and a brief stay at Reed College, I entered Berkeley as an undergraduate, reclaiming one year's worth of credit, and plowed through to the PhD. My personal turmoils matched that of the department, which was gutted by the loyalty oath issue but resurrected by Blumer. An undergraduate course with Bock on the Idea of Progress stabilized my direction; I was not going to write the great American novel, sociology was easier. Then came Selznick , Lipset, Goffman, Kornhauser, Shibutani and so on. With an equally stunning group of fellow graduate students to learn from, and Bendix (MA thesis) and Selznick (PhD thesis) as mentors, I drifted into organizational analysis because there was almost no literature to read (I still am a slow reader). Berkeley student unrest broke out just as I left for my first job at Michigan; we had been the silent generation, but the leftist urges were all about me. Graduate student life at Berkeley, of course, was idyllic, compared to that of an assistant professor in the Michigan department, which encouraged me to leave after five years. Since then I have had to leave Pittsburgh, Wisconsin, and Stony Brook, finally serving out my sentence at Yale. My cohort was good, but the market was even better as universities, sociology, organizations, and organizational theory grew; it was easy to be tenured, easy to move on.

Berkeley encouraged my critical stance toward my field and toward society; Michigan didn't, but when I was tenured at Wisconsin I could say what I pleased and had the freedom to leave that university in protest over its repression of anti-Vietnam war activities. Happenstance, almost a normal accident" immersed me in the Three Mile Island story and vectored my career for over a decade. But last year I finally published a cherished project on the origins of U.S. capitalism and its corrosive power."

I entered graduate school in Berkeley in 1953 and received my MA in Sociology from UCLA in 1952 working with Ralph Turner.  In Berkeley, I studied with Reinhard Bendix, William Petersen, and Herbert Blumer.  I was greatly influenced by the global outlook of Reinhard Bendix who wrote the forward to the publication of my thesis by UC Press.

I taught at UCLA from 1961 to 1989 and was also a visiting Professor at the University of Rochester.  I have been a guest lecturer at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, a symposium on modern Italy at Columbia University, and keynote speaker at a conference at Alma College.  Swiss National Radio interviewed me on social change in America. I have taught courses in formal organizations, sociology of deviant behavior, social change, social theory, social structure and economic change, and political theory. 

My research positions have included research assistant to Clark Kerr, one of principal investigators on the Mexican American project of patterns of work and settlement, and principal investigator of internal migration in Italy. I was a fellow at the Rockefeller Center in Bellagio Italy, received two Ford Foundation fellowships, and research grants from the American Philosophical Society and the UCLA Committee on Research. 

My publications include several studies on Mexican Americans, and work and modernization in Italy published in different Italian and American journals.  I have been a manuscript consultant for several presses and journals. 

I don't know if or how I have shaped the world, but I have participated in several important activities such as faculty consultant to the Scope Project of the Southern Christian Conference, statewide consultant for California Rural Poverty Projects, consultant for Dimension Films on social change, and co-founder of a UCLA faculty group to identify, encourage, and counsel high potential high school students in Watts, California which became an Academic Senate committee feeding Upward Bound programs. 

Today, I spend much time renewing my guitar repertory from my former jazz musician days and writing new songs in my own special style. 


I have one thing left to do-----. Up to now, in a career that went back and forth between academia and executive experience I have written articles or chapters based on my research or experience in such divergent organizations as Ford Aircraft, IBM, Kaiser Cement, HSA, New York City Health and Hospitals Corp., the priests of the New York Archdiocese, Sanus (an entrepreneurial start-up of an HMO, and NYLCare, its large corporate successor). In each I attempted to do what I was challenged to do: from Blumer -- to thoroughly understand the continual emergent nature of their world as perceived by organizational participants;  from Bendix -- to understand the structural, historical  and ideological  processes involved in these organizations; from Selznick -- the role of power, politics, and the "imbuement" of values involved in organizational units.  Out of this came materials on pronoia, demotion, boundary roles, delegitimation of the non-profit sector, professionalization as a control device, the growth or cynical knowledge in the priesthood,  rhetorical reticence in politics, the role of beliefs about market processes and organization structure, and power and conflict as inherent organizational processes.  And then there was my plea in 1975 at an ASA session to stop ignoring the flow of money as a key to understanding organizational behavior. And now -- I will attempt to do just that in a comparative study of those above organizations in order to explicate relations between personal experiences and organizational processes in such issues as money flow, blame, centralization/decentralization, etc. Wish me luck.


Obituary for Ida R. Hoos

By KATIE HAFNER, New York Times, May 5, 2007

Ida R. Hoos, a prominent critic of assessing technology solely on the basis of mathematical models that failed to take account of societal factors, died on April 24 in Boston. She was 94 and lived in Brookline, Mass.

The cause was complications of a lingering case of pneumonia, said Judith Hoos Fox, her daughter.

Dr. Hoos, a sociologist, was widely recognized as an outspoken critic of systems analysis, which came to prominence after World War II. The approach used mathematical models to perform cost-benefit analyses and risk assessments on complex technologies like radar systems and military aircraft.

With the concept strengthening in the 1950s and ’60s, when the use of computers to assess technology grew more popular, she wrote widely on a need to balance it with other considerations like effects on the work force.

“A kind of quantomania prevails in the assessment of technologies,” Dr. Hoos wrote in 1979 in the journal Technological Forecasting and Social Change. “What cannot be counted simply doesn’t count, and so we systematically ignore large and important areas of concern.”

Dr. Hoos urged national decision makers to take such assessments “with a large measure of skepticism lest they lead us to regrettable, if not disastrous, conclusions.”

Harold A. Linstone, emeritus professor of systems science at Portland State University and longtime editor in chief of Technological Forecasting and Social Change, said Dr. Hoos was in many ways the intellectual conscience in the field of technology assessment.

“She basically pointed out that in a lot of complex social and technical systems, a reliance on these systems analysis approaches couldn’t always do the job,” Dr. Linstone said. “She would not accept the superficial answers or phony arguments.”

Dr. Hoos also questioned the usefulness of systems analysis when evaluating public policy. Her 1972 book, “Systems Analysis in Public Policy: A Critique,” cast a critical eye on the prevailing methods for evaluating education, waste management and health care.

“These technical-think-tank types were riding high,” and Dr. Hoos “wasn’t averse to pointing out that the king was naked,” said Louis Feldner, an engineer who worked with her on several technical committees over the years. “And she was respected for it.”

Ida Simone Russakoff was born on Oct. 9, 1912, in Skowhegan, Me., the middle of seven children. Her parents were immigrants from Russia, her father a jeweler.

She graduated from Radcliffe in 1933. While studying for her master’s degree, which she received from Harvard in 1942, she founded Jewish Vocational Services in Boston, to help Jewish women who were working in the city’s garment district find better jobs.

In 1942, she married Sidney S. Hoos, an economist. The couple later moved to Berkeley, where Mr. Hoos taught in the agricultural economics department at the University of California.

Ida Hoos began to pursue her Ph.D. there and became interested in the effects of automation and technology on workers. She received her doctorate in 1959, and her dissertation was published in 1961 as “Automation in the Office.” Another book, “Retraining the Work Force,” was published in 1967.

Dr. Hoos remained at the University of California as a research sociologist, first at its Institute of Industrial Relations, then at the Space Sciences Laboratory. At the laboratory, where she was the lone social scientist, she expressed concern over the effect of satellite surveillance on individual privacy.

She retired from the university in 1982. Over the years, she also served on committees at the National Science Foundation, the National Academy of Sciences, NASA and the Department of Energy.

In addition to her daughter Judith, of Boston, she is survived by another daughter, Phyllis Daniels of Goldendale, Wash.; a brother, Philip Russakoff of Skowhegan; three granddaughters; and three great-grandchildren.

Dr. Hoos was largely unfazed by being a woman in what was seen as a man’s field. In an unpublished memoir, she wrote of serving in the 1980s on a high-level committee at the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment. The committee had a preponderance of aerospace industrialists.

“I was the only woman,” she wrote, “and thoroughly used to the Happy Hour salutation of ‘Hey fellas — oh, excuse me, Ida!’ ”

On Jan. 1, 1984, Dr. Hoos was called by National Public Radio and asked for her thoughts on George Orwell’s predictions of universal surveillance, now that the year had actually arrived.

“On that subject,” she later recalled, “I could only say that thanks to the dramatic developments in information technology, we had already been here a long time.”



UC Berkeley was an important step in the way sociology influenced my career. My undergraduate years at Radcliffe, under the wonderful inspiration of Gordon Allport, had already provided the template to guide me. thus, 5 years out of Radcliffe, I founded and ws director of a then-unique social service organization, Jewish Vocational Service, which is still flourishing and is still a major force in occupational guidance, training, and placement in the Boston area. With many branches and myriad activities, it is recognized for its service to the entire community.

Marriage to Sidney S. Hoos, on leave from UC Berkeley to the War Department OQMG in Washington, put a temporary end to my work in Boston along with my part-time graduate program at Harvard. My main focus was Fannie Farmer and Dr. Spock, with Kuchen and Kinder all-important, while our two daughters grew up and Sid kept the armed forces in the far-flung theatres of war supplied. After the war, we returned to Berkeley, Sid much honored for his service and greatly advanced on the academic ladder.

A sabbatical at Harvard for Sid meant a refresher at the Pierian Spring for me. A return to ivy-clad Emerson Hall inspired me to desert Girl Scout cookie sales. Gordon Allport exhorted me: You just mustn't stay graduated. Herb Blumer smoothed all the administrative hurdles. My thesis, 'Implications of Electronic Data-Processing for the Clerical labor Force', became a book, Automation in the Office, published by Public Affairs Press and was translated into German. I wrote and delivered the series 'Office Automation in America' for the Voice of America. My sister commented that if only I had titled my work 'Sex and Automation', it would have attracted more attention!

With our two daughters now 12 and 16, we took our first sabbatical abroad, this time a year (for Sid) under the joint sponsorship of the Ford Foundation, the Italian government, and UC. Our year in Naples was a high point. When we returned to Berkeley in September 1961 I was considering another PhD in Romance Languages, just for the fun of it but but the Institute of Industrial Relations, under Art Ross and Peg Gordon, invited me to join their research program, 'Unemployment and the American Economy' and, always interested in adjustment to technological change, I designed a study of retraining programs. My book, Retraining the Work Force was published by the UC Press and ran through two editions.

Technological advance was evident on every front. Not only the more mechanical aspects of handling data but the very process of managerial thinking were becoming subject to new concepts and theories. The 'dominant paradigm' embraced only the quantitative. What you could not count did not count. The social and human aspects were systematically avoided in the rush to be 'scientific.'

I can claim few, if any significant contributions to academic sociology. After my dissertation on 'Employee Rights and the Employment Relationship' was published by the U.C. Institute of Industrial Relations and a subsequent book on the sociological process of Professionalization was published by Prentice-Hall, and after some futher graduate level course work in management, my career turned toward applied research and development and then into administration. Initially I served for 13 years at Stanford Research Institute (Now SRI International) in charge of management development and organization development projects. Our clients for such work included federal government agencies such as the U.S. Air Force (projects on the organization of research laboratories and the management of scientific personnel): state agencies (design of the new Department of Ecology for the State of Washington); Indian reservations such as economic and social development programs on the Colville, Crow, and Navajo reservations and many other applied projects. For a two-year period thereafter I served as Chairman of the Department of Sociology at the American University, Washington, D.C..during which time I also participated in the design of a new College of Public Affairs at that university.

After returning to California (San Francisco), I became corporate manager of management development programs at Bechtel Corporation, an international construction firm. Then after several years of independent consulting work on organizational design, I became Director of Extended (Continuing) Education at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo California for 11 years. More recently, I've served on several boards of directors of non-profit corporations. At times during the above years, I taught sociology courses part-time to adults at Pennsylvania State University, University of Alberta-Calgary, University of California Extension, Stanford University, University of San Francisco, and Antioch University-West.

For me, the U.C. Berkeley graduate program in sociology provided a strong foundation for my lifelong work, especially in classical sociological theory (e.g., Weber, Durkheim. and other authors of the '75 great books'). The fact that sociology (along with inputs from other disciplines) can provide a significant foundation for practical applications in 'the world' I believe is illustrated by the variety of involvements I have had in my own life.



OBITUARY (San Francisco Chronicle)

Laile E. Bartlett July 23, 1915 - May 11, 2006 Laile E. Bartlett, Ph.D., writer, sociologist, researcher, lecturer, and wife of Rev. Josiah R. Bartlett for 57 years, passed away peacefully early in the morning of May 11th in Ft. Bragg, CA. Dr. Bartlett received her B.A. at the Univ. of Cincinnati, Phi Beta Kappa; her M.A. at American University, W.D.C.; and her sociology Ph.D. at UC Berkeley. Three early appointments presaged an eventful career: a social settlement post in the east end of London, an internship with Nat. Inst. of Public Affairs in W.D.C, and a lectureship with the League of Nations in Geneva. The first half of her sociology career was devoted to teaching on college campuses (Hiram and Marietta Colleges in Ohio; and UW, Seattle) and the second half to research and writing. Her published books include: Bright Galaxy (Beacon Press), The Vanishing Parson (Beacon Press), New Work/New Life (Harper and Row) and Psi Trek (McGraw-Hill). The most distinctive aspect of her work was her long and extensive collaboration with her husband, the late Rev. Josiah Reed Bartlett, a Unitarian minister who served as president of the Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley for nearly 20 years. They wrote books and gave speeches together on topics of mutual interest, e.g. Moment of Truth and A Religion for the Non-Religious. They were founding members of the Bay Area Funeral Society and of the CO-OP member-owned food store chain. In 1968, when Josiah stepped down from the presidency, he and Laile created an interim ministry program for their denomination. Over the next two decades they served as interim ministers in over 25 US churches. They were regarded as models of matrimonial and professional teamwork to all who came in contact with them. Laile was a member of the Mt. Diablo Unitarian Church in Walnut Creek. Laile is survived by her four children: Joel Emerson Bartlett of Phonenixville, PA; Joselyn Kingsley Bartlett Miksak of Caspar; Loel Starr Bartlett Miller of Walnut Creek; and Noel Channing Bartlett, of Lafayette; and three grandchildren: Serena Reed Bartlett, Raleigh Hart Miller and Colby Reed Miller. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Student Conservation Assn., (SCA), PO Box 550, Charlestown, NH 03603-0550


My biography is in some ways the reverse of the usual assumptions. In short, my Sociology Ph.D. works as much or more as a legitimation of past activities rather than a preparation for future ones. More specifically, I was the Sociology instructor at two Ohio colleges (three years in all) and general utility instructor for three years at the University of Washington in Seattle - teaching a broad cross section of courses from Criminology to Race Relations.

My main emphasis both at UC Berkeley and afterwards, however, was the Sociology of Religion. I taught a summer course in this at Berkeley after getting my degree.

My post Ph.D. activity, however, has been research and writing: four books by major publishers, two published by organizations, and four books that are still in manuscript form. Much of my writing has a Sociology of Religion orientation. My most recent manuscript, Making Sin Legal, is an overview of gambling in America.



Dr. Hubert Wilhelm Oppe passed away on October 18, 2017.  He was born on November 1, 1924 in Bremen, West Germany to August and Emilie Haehnlein Oppe.  He was the seventh of nine children.  At age 17, he was conscripted into the German army during World War II.  From 1943 to 1947 he was a prisoner of war in Egypt after being captured in Italy.  He lost three brothers during the war:  Hans, Conrad and Werner.  After the war ended, he returned to Germany.  In 1950, he came to America as a youth representative under Harry Truman’s Conference on Youth.   He moved to California later that year to attend San Diego State University.   He taught himself English with a textbook in one hand and a dictionary in the other.   He met and later married Dorothy Fawkes on October 21, 1950. They had four children, all born in California.  He received both a bachelor’s degree from San Diego State and a master’s degree and Ph.D. from Berkeley.  In 1963, Hubert moved his family to Canyon, TX to accept a teaching position with West Texas State University (now WTAMU).  He became head of the sociology/social work department in 1970.  He started the social work degree program while at WTSU. 

He always showed a strong sense of purpose and commitment to whatever project he started.  His students respected his enthusiasm and his ability to teach.  He retired from WTSU in 1988 and was awarded the Professor Emeritus in 1992.  Following retirement, he spent a great deal of time with his five grand-children whom he treasured.  He was a very loving husband, father and grand-father.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Dorothy, on September 16, 2006. 

Survivors are Michael Oppe from Canyon, Thomas Oppe from Vicksburg, Mississippi, Janet Schulte and husband James from Amarillo, and Debby Arrant and husband Eddie from Plano.  Grand-children include Christopher Schulte, Nicholas Schulte, Katie Schulte from Amarillo and Michael Arrant and Daniel Arrant from Plano.  He was very supportive and proud of his entire family.



Guenther Roth, a retired professor of sociology at Columbia University, died at the age of 88 on May 18 of complications from advanced prostate cancer, according to his wife Caroline W. Bynum. 

He was a historical sociologist and social historian, specializing in 19th century Germany and particularly the works and lives of Max and Marianne Weber.   He became first known with his study “The Social Democrats in Imperial Germany” (1963), which advanced his influential theory of the “negative integration” of a radical labor movement into a dominant regime. In a review Ralf Dahrendorf called it “a brilliant and impressive picture…a combination of original historical interest and a trained sociological perspective.” In 1968 Roth (and Claus Wittich) published the first complete English edition of Max Weber’s magnum opus “Economy and Society” (1968), which has become a standard reference. This was followed by the essay volumes “Scholarship and Partisanship” (1971, with Reinhard Bendix) and “Max Weber’s Vision of History” (1979, with Wolfgang Schluchter). In 1991 he edited (with Hartmut Lehmann) a volume on “Max’s Weber’s Protestant Ethic” for the German Historical Institute in Washington. His major work of the 1990s was “Max Weber’s Anglo-German Family History 1800-1950” (2001, in German), a study of the cosmopolitan bourgeoisie, which created the first globalization in the 19th century.  In a review, the German historian Wolfgang Mommsen write that “a wholly new foundation has been laid for research of Max Weber’s life and work.  Besides…giving us a fascinating group portrait of a successful German bourgeois merchant family.”  In 2016, he published (with John Röhl) an edition of the letters of diplomat Kurt Riezler to his fiancée Käthe Liebermann, which he discovered in an attic in Baltimore and which shed light on the coming of World War I.

Born in Germany in 1931, Roth came to the United States in 1953 from the Frankfurt Institute of Social Research to finish a project on the American denazification of Germany. He subsequently worked with Reinhard Bendix in the Institute of Industrial Relations at the University of California in Berkeley where he received his Ph.D. in 1960.  He taught at the U. of Illinois in Urbana, the State U. of New York in Stony Brook, and the U. of Washington in Seattle before coming to Columbia U. in 1988. He also held visiting professorships in Berlin, Heidelberg, and Mannheim.

He is survived by his wife Caroline W. Bynum, professor emerita Columbia University, a daughter Alice Roth (Santa Rosa, Calif.), a son Christian Roth (Seattle), and a step-daughter Antonia Walker (New York City).


I came to the United States in 1953 from the Frankfurt Institute for Social Research to finish a denazification study with Kurt Wolff at OSU. From 1955 until 1958 I was a full-time research assistant under Reinhard Bendix for the Ford Project on Labor in Economic Development housed in the Institute of Industrial Relations. A part-time graduate student in the Soc. Dept., I picked up my Ph.D. in 1960 with one of the first dissertations in historical sociology. For many of us assistants in the interdisciplinary Institute the apprenticeship nature of research was more important than disciplinary study, since we could look over the shoulders of our masters. For some of us our first teaching experience was in the Social Science Integrated Course. What all of this meant to me I have tried to recollect in Bennett Berger's "Authors of Their Own Lives" (UC Press 1990), where I also recount my growing up in Nazi Germany and surviving the war.

I retired from Columbia in 1997 to finish my last book, a historical lesson for German readers, "Max Weber's Anglo-German Family History 1800-1950" (in German, 2001). I document Weber's descent from one of the wealthiest Anglo-German families in the 19th century and suggest counterfactually that a stronger cosmopolitan bourgeoisie might have helped prevent the catastrophes of the 20th century. 

I will publish a book on the Leo Baeck Institute website in early 2011: Edgar Jaffe, Else von Richthofen and their children: From German-Jewish assimilation through antisemitic persecution to American integration. This concerns the circle around Max and Alfred Weber and their exiled colleagues. My manuscript is based on my discovery of 1,500 letters in the possession of an American grandson; I have annotated these letters and arranged for their donation to the Leo Baeck Institute in New York.

My years at Berkeley were in many ways the unhappiest of my life, but I learned a lot inside and outside the formalities of academic instruction: I learned a kind of sociology (including survey methods and mathematical sociology) that I was fundamentally at odds with though I didn't realize this until later; I learned George Herbet Mead from Tamotsu Shibutani's brilliant course; I learned a lot I could have done without about North American sexism (I've always been grateful to John Clausen who did not share the pervasive sexism of other departmental faculty of the time); I learned a great deal from the Free Speech and Anti-Vietnam War movements on campus though I did not participate very actively because I was not an American citizen and didn't want to be deported as an English friend of mine had been; I learned a radically different conception of poetry from once hearing Alan Ginsberg recite at Sather Gate; I discovered by accident in the university bookstore a copy of Maurice Merleau-Ponty's The phenomenology of perception that furthered the intellectual transformation that originated with Shibutani's course. I resolved when I taught my first undergraduate course in sociology that I had to find a different way of doing sociology. These experiences at Berkeley were foundational to the step I took as I became active in the women's movement (three or four years after I left) to start writing a sociology that would know how to begin in the actualities of people's lives.



Arthur Stinchcombe, or simply Art as everyone knew him, passed away on July 3rd. He was 85 years old, having had a brilliant, luminescent career. He received his PhD from Berkeley in 1960. He was a distinguished member of the famous First Berkeley School of Sociology who went on to shape the discipline. There was nothing Art couldn’t do. He began as a mathematician, turning his mind to sociology where he made major contributions to organization theory, sociology of law, sociology of education, and economic sociology. His books dealt with the logic of inquiry, statistical methods, social history, comparative sociology, high school rebellion, and much more. They won him countless awards. Art taught at Johns Hopkins, Chicago, Arizona and Northwestern as well as at Berkeley (1967-75), chairing the department in those hot years, 1971-73. He will be missed by sociologists in many a place; he will be remembered for his gangly, retiring disposition, but always ready to engage with anyone on any topic; he leaves us with original contributions, impelled by his idiosyncratic, quirky, refreshing imagination.

From Margherita Larson: Art Stinchcombe was my teacher, my thesis adviser and my very dear friend for almost half a century. It is difficult for me to write something that tells both what this friendship represented –the constant surprises of his conversation and his company-- and the depth of my intellectual indebtedness. He taught me to think as a sociologist. In part it worked because of what he has called the solidarity born of citing “the same dead Germans:” Max Weber, first of all, without forgetting Marx (I liked that he never forgot to include Trotsky among the non-Germans of his pantheon)

I met Art in 1967: he had just returned to Berkeley after Johns Hopkins; I was working on David Apter’s research project on the politics of modernization. I do not remember what we said exactly, but the sense of relief from the abstract systems of political science, as we discussed how his 1961 article, “Agricultural enterprise and rural class relations,” applied to the Spanish colonial system on which I was working. He was inquisitive and generous with his time since he enjoyed the discussion --empirical “twigs” rather than theoretical trunks, he was to write later when he explained the “mind-complexifying” function of the classics in “Should sociologists forget their mothers and fathers?” Most of Art Stinchcombe’s writings, as any serious conversation with him, aimed at replacing clichés with “complex and flexible patterns of thought.”

I saw him again in October 1970, when I entered Berkeley after solving my visa problems. I wrote a paper to be exempted from the introductory theory-methods class, which Art and Neil Smelser taught, but I still followed the lectures. Art and Neil were faced with a typical but not too clever insurrection, from students who did not want to read Union Democracy or the other classics assigned but Andrè Gunder Frank, Mirra Komarovsky and others I wish I could recall. Art’s response was to write for each “insurrectionary” text an analysis so intelligent, so biting, unconventional and erudite that everyone in the department read them and the students of the insurrection felt humiliated, especially when he brought up Doris Lessing as his own example of feminist thinking. Few students understood then how much of Art’s approach to our field was based on aesthetic judgment and the aesthetics of intellectual work.

We went every other week to his house for conversation. The “habitués” (among whom were Erik Wright and Faruk Birtek) mingled with Art’s children crossing back and forth as did a huge brown rabbit pursued by a cat. It was fun. We shared many stories and one is indelible: there were unsolved machete attacks in Berkeley that winter but Art, who had insomnia, continued walking the streets at 3 am. One night the police stopped him. After having declared that he worked at Berkeley “in maintenance” (ashamed to say he was the department’s chair), he had to stand in the car’s searchlights to be identified by the rescued victim. Only when he turned to his guard to ask how long the ordeal was going to be did the woman see his profile and make a negative ID!

Going back to our work and his teaching, Art was in Holland the whole year when I wrote my dissertation but he was the only mentor I could imagine. I had to send a chapter every month and, in 1973-74, that meant packages and snail mail back and forth. In one of his letters, answering to something terrible that had happened, he wrote about the perpetrators:” Why can’t people understand that when they kill, the others are dead. For ever.”

Much of what I did followed “Social Structure and Organizations,” and then his command to show why anyone would follow the professionalization project that I was trying to articulate in two different historical contexts. Finally, he responded to the last chapter: “It is a real book, why don’t you call it ‘Crime and Punishment’?” I replied that the title seemed to be taken, and what about ‘Pride and Prejudice’ … I imagine he laughed. I had not only taken from him the fundamental question of how to build trust among strangers, but also learned that sociology needs to move from micro-foundations in tangible or possible behavior to the support and reproduction of broader structures. In reading and teaching Constructing Social Theories I found that same injunction in the memorable discussion of the unexplained feedback loop of functionalism: we don’t give countenance to black-boxing.

After Art remarried and moved to Chicago with Carol, I saw them as often as I could get to the happy house on Asbury Street. The radiating happiness of that marriage had made him serene and perhaps less judgmental. I remember fewer instances of his favorite sorting out of social scientists into “first rate,” “second rate” or “not first rate,” seasoned by his taste for twigs over trunks—a taste that once had him tell me he had chosen Hopkins over Harvard because he preferred to be denied tenure by Jim Coleman than Talcott Parsons.

One of the last times I went he was working on When Formality Works: Authority and Abstraction in Law and Organizations. A difficult endeavor, where he rescues formal plans for as long and insofar as their abstract principles are built to be corrected by and adjusted to the “twigs” of reality, it moves from architectural blueprints to law, liquidity in markets and organizations and scientific paradigms with a mastery that I am obviously unable to judge. Six years. That was the time it took him to get to the study of formality from the amazing political economy of slavery in the Caribbean, in which he ultimately clarified the social and political foundations of freedom. Five years before that it was the milestone of Information and Organizations, where I recall that he used Chandler to “modernize” Schumpeter, both authors that he had taught us to appreciate.  Art’s mind worked in this way, seizing a fundamental question that did not necessarily connect to the one before it (although I am sure he could explain the passage), breaking it down, clarifying it, not solving the puzzle but posing more questions.

Art Stinchcombe was original and profound, or profoundly original. He wrote about the classics “The only reason we tend to use older works as touchstones of excellence is that our geniuses are rare and have to be made to last at least until we get the next one.” Art’s work is now the touchstone.

From Seán O'Riain: I was very fortunate to get to know Art a little during my sabbatical at Northwestern in 2008-9. This started since we both had a habit of sitting at the back of seminars – which was worth it just to hear Art’s pithy and insightful summaries as he headed out the door at the end. I still think often of those comments – “well I always behaved as if ideas were real” particularly sticks in my head. Meeting Art inspired me to search out his many works, with important ideas typically lurking behind modest titles. I had no idea that “Organization Theory and Project Management: Administering Uncertainty in Norwegian Offshore Oil” would contain so many remarkable insights in to markets, liberalism and software teams, among other topics. But most of all, it was a pleasure to get to know Art himself. He was mildly cranky in a way that was passionate and generous about ideas and very funny. He was profoundly egalitarian in his respect for and engagement with all, and in his many jokes at his own expense. I feel very grateful for the opportunity to have known him, even for a short while.

From Faruk Birtek:  Art was one of the brightest persons I have ever met.  He had such a breadth of knowledge. I learned so much from him.  The beer parties at his home were all learning expeditions. He was a great conversationalist. He was most logical. He made sociology a science. I learned organizational sociology from him which shaped my dissertation. I am forever grateful. He was cynical and iconoclastic when need be and most serious and impatient with sloppy thinking – a great loss. I have lost three of my Berkeley beacons this year, Smelser,  Matza and now Stinchcombe. I feel naked yet so lucky that I knew them as their devoted student; Art Stinchcombe was a most exceptional person - we were a lucky generation to have known him!

From William C. Cockerham: This is getting freaky. Last night and this morning I was rereading Art Stinchcombe's book, Constructing Social Theories (1968), as background and a reference for a new book I'm writing on sociological theories of health and illness and only hours later, this afternoon, I just received the notice on his passing. I consulted Art's book often over the years, and learned much from it. I really didn't know him enough to write a tribute, but his passing is obviously a great loss to sociology. I know rereading a book published in 1968 or even citing it would be questionable by some, but there is still a lot of contemporary relevance in what Art had to say about theory construction.

From Art Stinchcombe (2002): Dear Michael, putting your re-request for a bio together with an In Memoriam for Phil Selznick, my dissertation supervisor, has jacked up my guilt mechanism to a level that overcomes my embarrassment at tooting my own horn in as bio. The thing I have to guard against is that I think very well of myself, and when I talk about myself that comes through. But I had a lot of experience early in my career with people like Phil (whom I could never call "Phil") that I knew would apply higher standards on my work than I would. Fortunately some of it passed Phil's standards for coherence and sociological depth, and other people like James S. Coleman sometimes thought my treatment of the facts was at least workmanlike. The dissertation was a quantitative one, and I have tried to develop strategies to make quantitative research fit to deal with the sort of complexity of the facts that Coleman was nearly as good at as Clifford Geertz and Erving Goffman, my superiors in my own cohort. My attempt to formulate this task and some ways to approach the problem Coleman used to call "choosing the right oversimplification" is my last book, The Logic of Social Research--Charles Tilly criticized me for the singular "The." Even using them (or Tilly) as a yardstick shows the kind and degree of vanity that I have to guard myself against. Fortunately I have supervised enough dissertations that I never could have managed myself, sometimes by showing that I was dead wrong (as John Markoff  did on the rural revolution on France, by showing I had chosen the wrong dependent variable(s) to explain).

The big problem that I picked up from Phil's work was that of the tendency of formal law and formal organization to oversimplify, or otherwise distort, the complexity of the values that they were supposed to serve. One of the early attempts to study this problem by a strategic combination of ethnographic methods and qualitative components in interviews to guide the formulation of the problems that I could study quantitatively was "Creating Efficient Industrial Organizations". It had essentially no impact on sociology, except that I had the advantage of knowing all the things I found out, and the people that didn't read it didn't. My self-serving interpretation was that South American government-owned steel plant managers that I studied didn't what  a sociologist (rather than a successful steel plant manager)  to tell them how to make steel plant go, and American socialists weren't much interested in the problem of efficient socialist steel plants. In some ways, my most successful book in influencing sociology of organizations was the theory developed in that book, with the steel plants left out, "Information and Organizations".

Sometime during the early period I wrote a theory textbook from some of my lectures, in which setting the problem of building social theories within a positivist view of what "science" was about in a few pages generated almost all of the citations to my work, which people still quote me. In some sense, my sociological biography stopped 40 years ago with "Constructing Social Theories". But I have tried to expand on,those few pages, and the illustrations that accompanied them, in "Theoretical Methods in Social History", and returning to Phil's influence on the substance of formal organizations and laws, "When Formality Works".

I am now Emeritus at sociology at Northwestern, mainly involved in historical and comparative work, advising people around here, and sometimes elsewhere, if I can get them to give me copies of their papers or books to comment on. My own comparative research is on why provinces vary so much in their ability to govern and tax their localities while getting along with their empire or federal center, and arguing that the main variables explaining variations in strength and ability to cooperate with the central government are those describing the commercial flow out of the locality. I expect the market for this book will be more or less the same as the efficiency book and another book that essentially no one has read, on comparative slavery and emancipation in the Caribbean during the 18th and 19th centuries. My excuse for the commercial failure of this last book is that no one really wants to know how some kinds slavery were not as bad as some other kinds, and some kinds of  emancipations are almost as bad, at least for a while, as slavery was.

So in some sense my summary of my biography as a sociologist is suggested by the name of some British degrees, "upper second." I have however loved doing sociological research, seeing many of my students having learned from me  how to find out things I couldn't have found out. I should also mention that my wife, Carol A. Heimer, has made my work and my effects on others better than it was before. And admiring her and my children, as well as loving them, has been a main joy of my life. And may I be forgiven for liking some of my work better than others do.




I have received sad news: the passing of Robert Blauner at the age of 87.    Bob – as he always insisted on being called – was a Berkeley graduate student in the 1950s, receiving his PhD in 1962.  He became a faculty member in our department in 1964.He had a distinguished career.   

He was the author of such classic studies as Alienation and Freedom (1964), partly informed by his own experiences as a worker for 5 years at International Harvester in Emeryville – a book that prefigured the subsequent rise of Marxist studies of the labor process; Racial Oppression in America (1972) that deepened and popularized the idea of internal colonialism – a critical contribution to the transformation of race studies in the 1970s – that was updated and expanded in 2001anticipating the discussion that has erupted nationally today; Black Lives, White Lives (1989) which portrayed race relations through and after the civil rights era based on extended interviews with blacks and whites between 1968 and 1986;  Our Mothers’ Spirits (1997), a compassionate collection of men’s writings grieving the loss of their mothers; Resisting McCarthyism (2009) which focused on the brave Berkeley faculty who refused to sign the Loyalty Oath, and on the politics that set the stage for the Free Speech Movement.  

Bob was a man of integrity and principle in practice as well as in theory.  His promotion to Full Professor was long delayed because of his outspoken criticism of the McCone Commission that investigated the Watts rebellion of 1965. Bob had been a member of the Commission’s research team, but then resigned in opposition to its law and order approach, prompting him to write his (in)famous article, “Whitewash over Watts”. In 1978 he incurred the wrath of his colleagues when he accused one of them of sexual harassment – a term that barely existed at the time. The case became one of the early milestones in the movement against sexual violence.  He was ahead of his times in other ways too. With Troy Duster he began Affirmative Action in the Department, actively recruiting students from the South.  And for 20 years, starting in 1975, he taught a course on men’s lives, trying to grasp the other side of the gender revolution. 

Bob retired in 1993 to spend the next 23 years doing what he always enjoyed, following baseball, playing chess and poker, above all writing his memoirs, and living a life devoted to his wife, the filmmaker, Karina Epperlein. He died of a kidney disease which had afflicted him for several years.

Michael Burawoy.

From Yiannis Gabriel. Bob was a man of great integrity, compassion and intelligence. I attended two of his graduate classes and he was one of the members of my dissertation committee. More importantly, he sponsored several courses organized and taught at Berkeley by graduate students like myself, putting his signature on various documents to satisfy University of California bureaucracy. Bob also put his signature on numerous 'nearly' truthful statements that kept me out of the Greek army at the time.

Bob's academic work concentrated on the sociology of work, race relations and what was at the time an embryonic field of death studies. His Alienation and Freedom (1960) tried to initiate a new life for the concept of alienation, a hugely popular and much abused term in the sixties. His attempt to link alienation to different levels of automation was generally criticized by Marxists for psychologizing alienation and by industrial sociologists for being technologically determinist. Yet, when Braverman did something similar ten years later using the concept of deskilling, it proved to be a major breakthrough in neo-Marxist studies of the labour process.

In race relations, Bob theorized the concept of internal colonialism, long before postcolonial studies had emerged as a discipline. Again he antagonised Marxists who had, until the 1970s, tended to see racism through the prism of 'dividing the working class'. Yet, I can think of no greater advocate of race equality and equal opportunities in the US than Blauner, as evidenced by his stinging critique of official report on the 1965 Los Angeles riots in "Whitewash over Watts".

I last saw Bob in the summer of 2009. As ever, he was full of life and ideas. What I will always remember about Bob is that he embodied the ideal of a scholar who scorned to differentiate between the personal and political long before it became a cliche. He not only brought his politics into every aspect of his life but he refused to shelter his personal life from the wider political arenas, making himself vulnerable and being unwilling to cover up contradictions and dilemmas. In particular, he refused to shelter himself from Berkeley graduate students who, at least in the 70s, did not have a great deal of respect for the intellectual and political qualities of the faculty.

From Larry Rosenthal. I came late to knowing Bob. There were some meals together. With Karina. Always lovely. Bob, his characteristic—or so it seemed to me—fluctuation between taciturn and suddenly funny. He sent me some autobiographical writings. They were profound and moving. I answered him at some length. There was now a bond between us. We saw something of ourselves in one another.

I got invited to his poker game. It was a table full of basically sweet and aging men. But, as poker will have it, an individual trait became exaggerated. Became one’s poker persona. Bob’s persona? While the poker players have long been on to this, it might come as a surprise those who were not at the table. Bob was the banker. Always the banker. He insisted on it. He brought the chips. He counted them out. Collected our greenbacks. An accountant’s seriousness about it--even though we were still playing in 2015 for stakes that were low, low end already in 1975. You get cleaned out? Bob will sell you more chips. At the end, cashing in the chips, meticulous, almost fussy, about the final quarters coming true. Was this a pole away from the labor organizer and the theorist of alienation? Somehow it never seemed that way.

From Leon Wofsy. I had great respect for Bob. We became close during the time of the Free Speech Movement, the movements against the Vietnam War and, later, against South African Apartheid. Actually, when I came to Berkeley in 1964 and met Bob, he reminded me that we had come together in the Labor Youth League in the 1950s. Bob was so different from most academics, so rich in insights and human connection with the “common folk.” He was so genuine, so original and unpretentious. However his views developed and changed over the years, he was always unwavering in integrity and principles.

From Colin Samson. Bob was one of my teachers. He made a deep impression on how I think about the world and about myself. He taught me about oral history; its techniques and its importance as a vehicle for affirmation of people who are so often ignored and dismissed. His classes were open, convivial and he was always generous to everyone. Bob built a community out of our class, enabling us to learn from each other, from him and from the many sources he opened up to us. The lives of people were always personal and political, and as students he helped us see that scholarship was political. How could it be anything else? I will always remember Bob as a person who made me think "I want to be like you". If I have inside me only a small amount of what he showed, I will have succeeded at something. Rest in Peace.

From Richard Apostle. My sincere condolences. Bob could spot a plebe in need at great distance, and very kindly invited me over for occasional chess games during bad patches. Along with another faculty member, he was very much responsible for my navigating a system which remained a puzzle to me for decades. Also, I very much appreciate the opportunity to come and visit you both a few years back. It meant a lot to be in your graceful presence.

From Robert Kapsis.  It was  the early 1970s during a session of his graduate seminar on race when Bob eloquently defended me against the wrath of Black Nationalist graduate students who were horrified that a white liberal graduate student (born and raised on Chicago’s North Side) would have the audacity to  pitch the idea of doing a dissertation about the black community of Richmond California. Thanks in no small measure to Bob’s encouragement, I wrote the dissertation and published a series of scholarly articles based on the research.  My interest and curiosity about the black experience continues to this day.  In 2011 I published a book length study on legendary African-American film director Charles Burnett (1944- ) to coincide with the opening at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) of the first complete retrospective of Burnett’s work, which I conceived and co-organized.  Thanks Bob.

From Michael Lerner. Bob Blauner was an amazingly wonderful human being, as you know Karina. He wrote for Tikkun and my friendship with him goes back to the 60s when he was one of the most reliable faculty people we students could count on when the administration would attempt to squelch our activism. I felt he never got the recognition he deserved, particularly for his work against racism

From Rivka Polatnick. As a sociology graduate student in the '70s and early '80's, I had the pleasure to take courses with Bob and was delighted by his combination of scholarly excellence, political and moral commitments, engaging teaching style, and humanism and kindness. When it came time to choose a dissertation chair for my study of late '60s Black and White Women's Liberation pioneers, my mentor Arlie Hochschild was on leave and not taking on any new dissertations. I was very happy to have the fine alternative of asking Bob to be my chair, and he responded with enthusiasm. He guided me through the process with skill and warmth, and I am indebted to him. He was very helpful in writing me letters of recommendation, and my own teaching incorporated his scholarly work and pedagogical style. I will remember him with great respect and fondness.

From Nicole Biggert.  I was a graduate student who knew Bob in the late 1970’s and until I graduated in 1981. Bob did not like the formality of a classroom but when it came time to talk about ideas that he cared about the passion came through and there was no better teacher.  One issue that really hurt him deeply was the criticism he faced as a white man who had dared to write about race in America.  He was caught in a political conundrum and allowed us to talk about this personally painful issue as a way to help us to learn and to sharpen our understanding as sociologists.  I always appreciated his generosity of spirit.

From Charles Garvin. Bob and I first became friends when I moved into his apartment building when we were ten years old. I was one month younger than him. I remember many things -enough to write a book.  Bob was on the Quiz kid program on radio once and I remember him saying in response to a discussion of money that it can't buy love. He was an avid sports fan and played tennis I think. He was editor of our high school paper and also class validictorian. He immediately went to University of Chicago after high school where I joined him two years later.  We became roommates a year later along with others who each became famous in their own ways; Aaron Asher on book editing, Leo treitler in music and Dan Joseph in engineering and physics, and I may add myself in social work. Bob and Dan married early and the two couples went to France to live for awhile to escape the McCarthy period. When they returned and as part of their political commitmernt they went to work in factories for awhile which fed into Bob's studies of worker alienation when he left factory work and reentered academe. We have been in touch ever after: first, when he was a sociology student at Chicago and later, when he went to Berkeley although others can say more about those years. 

From Susan Takata. I was so saddened by the passing of Bob Blauner. I was at Cal between 1975 and finally obtaining my PhD in sociology in 1983. I took several of his grad courses including the early beginnings of a gender course that you mentioned below. To date, when I teach “Race, Crime, Law,” I mention Bob’s book, Racial Oppression in America. When I first met Bob, he had this gruff exterior but as I got to know him, he was actually a very nice guy, and a very caring teacher. After receiving my Ph.D., I got hired here at UW Parkside in sociology in 1984, and in 1997, I became the founding mother of the Department of Criminal Justice, one of the largest majors on campus. I kept in touch with Bob. We exchanged Christmas cards each year.  I will miss Bob. He truly cared about his students.

From Lois Benjamin.  For forty-nine years, I have known Bob as my professor, advisor, colleague, and friend.  In September 1967, I first met Bob when I enrolled in his Race Relations class.  As one of the first two African American women to be admitted to the graduate program in the Department of Sociology (1967), I was immediately drawn to his integrity and sensitivity to others, his openness to myriads of ways of knowing and understanding, and to his critical, pedagogic approach on racial/cultural politics and power.  His lectures and the attendant discourses were animated and civil.  A brilliant scholar, Bob was at the leading edge of academics who challenged the conventional analysis and wisdom of race relations in United States in the late sixties.  His fresh, penetrating writings and lectures were influential in shifting the focus in race relations from prejudice and discrimination to institutional racism.  Additionally, he was instrumental in deepening the analysis of the construct of internal colonialism.  In his Race Relations class, I wrote a research paper on the impact of racism on black male/female relations.  Bob encouraged me to use the work as a basis for my dissertation.  At that point, he became my academic advisor and mentor.  Later, he chaired my dissertation committee.  Bob always wrote in a clear, elegant style and he encouraged his students to write likewise and to shun turgid academic prose.  He would say, “My goal is not to turn out another Talcott Parsons.”  

After receiving my doctorate, Bob and I remained in contact throughout the years.  As colleagues and friends, we shared, critiqued and supported one another’s articles and works in progress, as well as championed each other during promises and perils of our professional and personal lives.  I have been fortunate to have many magnificent educators who have impacted my life; however, as I stated upon Bob’s retirement in 1993, he, along with my third-grade teacher, had the most profound influence in my educational journey and life path.

From Michael Kimmel. When I arrived at Berkeley in 1974, Bob Blauner had already influenced me twice.  I'd read Alienation and Freedom (a book title that I'm sure most of us wish we'd thought of!) as an undergrad and was moved by the way Bob described these workers' lives with such empathy.  But the article, "Internal Colonialism and Ghetto Revolt" blew my mind when I read it in my first year at another grad school.  Here was the analysis that I thought I was looking for - that applied the analysis of our imperialist adventures in Vietnam to the maintenance of an internal colony here at home.  When I finally met him, I was struck by the combination of his humility and his enthusiasm. He listened to people, cared about them, and was astonishingly self-effacing about his own stature in the field.  My research took me towards others in the department (and in the history department), and my dissertation about 17th century French tax policy had less than nothing to do with Bob's move towards gender and masculinity studies.  His interest was only secondarily academic, spurred by years of analysis and serious soul searching.  And the way that Bob fused the personal and the analytic in both his teaching and his research was the third, and most significant way, he influenced me.  He became a friend and a mentor, especially after I had begun my career.  Who else would call himself a proud Mama's Boy?  Mike Messner and I dedicated the most recent edition of Men's Lives to Bob. I'll miss him. 

From Paul Joseph. Bob played a major part of my graduate studies at Berkeley. This was in the early 1970s, his book Racial Oppression in America had just come out, and the department was continually caught up in many of the national and Bay Area developments occurring at the time. Bob’s work, particularly his discussion of internal colonialism, played a central role in these discussions. I know that many of my peers were influenced by his views, and inspired by his presentation of what sociology could be.

We became and remained friends. He played softball in the Friday afternoon game behind Barrow Hall. We played tennis together and I joined him and other faculty in a monthly poker game. Bob was very personable and approachable; he served as a most valuable mentor to a young person navigating the entry points of the sociological profession. We had a meal together whenever I visited and I followed the progression of his interests through his other books on race, masculinity, and eventually the loyalty oath. I especially remember his voice: strong, resonant, and populist. When Bob spoke, democracy seemed to carry in its timbre.

From Mike Messner. It saddens me to hear of Bob’s death, and I want to share a couple of thoughts. Though I'd already known him by reputation for several years, I first met Bob at the department orientation for new grad students in the Fall of 1979.  Several professors and continuing grad students addressed our incoming cohort.  Most speakers spun self-congratulatory platitudes about the greatness of the Berkeley sociology department, so it really impressed me that when Bob spoke, he encouraged us to try to construct balanced lives while in grad school by exploring the beautiful Bay Area and spending time in the lovely parks in the area.  I realized immediately that this was my kind of person:  I wanted to work with Bob Blauner.  And I wasn't disappointed.  Bob was a helpful mentor with my work, and I learned a lot by working as his assistant for three years in his large undergraduate course on men’s lives.  Some say that this was the first such course taught in the nation.  Whether it was or not, it was hugely successful.  Quite simply, Bob was the best large-group discussion facilitator I have ever seen.  The discussions in his class were remarkable because Bob set the tone and created a safe space for expressions of painful personal experiences such as rape, or coming out; or he created an illuminating framework for discussions of seemingly mundane topics like men’s friendships.  As a facilitator, Bob had the ability to interweave various strands of a group discussion and then present it back to the group in the form of an analytical question.  After working to emulate this style of teaching, with some limited success, I now conclude that Bob had a true gift for this sort of teaching.  His many students and TAs were blessed by his sharing of this gift. 

I was happy to re-connect with Bob a few years ago.  We were both writing memoirs and it was a joy to share our works in progress with each other.  When Bob’s Resisting McCarthyism was published in 2009, I was organizing the Pacific Sociological Association meetings in Oakland, and I was very proud to organize an author-meets-critics session that drew a nice group of admirers.

From Juan Oliverez. I was one of those minorities to benefit from Affirmative Action. I was admitted in 1971 and earned my PhD in 1991. From 1988 to 1991 he formed a group of students to assist them with the completion of their PhD. I was one of them. I am very sad to learn of his passing. He was a great friend to Chicanos and all students. I was honored to know him personally and professionally. He cared about me as a person and as a student. I have to say that he was my favorite professor. May he Rest in Peace. He will surely missed and appreciated by his students.

From Magali Sarfatti Larson. I am deeply saddened by these news. I can see Bob Blauner’s face in front of my eyes, hear his comments about jury selection, remember the conversations in his office, the discussions about Alienation and Freedom and especially about the United States and the Sixties. Bob was in so many ways the symbol of what we believed. I could not take a course with him during my time at Berkeley, because he did not give graduate seminars during that time, but I asked him to be on my dissertation committee, even though I was not doing research on something of direct interest to him. But then, everything was of interest to him and, for me, having a reason to talk with him was a privilege. He dignified our discipline and our calling. His life was a paragon of intellectual and political integrity. We will not forget him.

From Douglas Davidson.  I have fond memories of Bob.  He along with Troy Duster, and a collective of fellow Third World Liberation Front supporters in the graduate student population were vital to my ability to navigate the often tumultuous waters of doctoral studies at Berkeley.  He influenced my life and work in more ways than I can illuminate in this message.  His contributions were immense and he will be sorely missed.  Please pass my condolences to his family and close departmental associates and colleagues.  peace--douglas Davidson: former student and mentee

From Teresa Arendell. Thank you for the notification of Bob's death.  I entered the UCB graduate program in 1979.  Bob seemed to recognize that I had a passion for learning but no cultural capital, coming from an impoverished level of the working class (and being a mother of a young child).  I finished the PhD program in large measure because of the support, intellectual challenges, and kindnesses of Herb Blumer, Arlie Hochschild, and Bob Blauner.  Bob's analyses of class and racial, and later of gender, stratification and oppression were formative in my becoming a sociologist.

From Eloise Dunlap. I am very saddened to hear of the passing of Dr. Robert Blauner.  He was my life vest while studying at Berkeley.  I do not have the words to express what he meant to me. It is due to him that I am able to enjoy a 30 year career as a research scientist writing NIH grants and acquiring funding.  Dr Blauner truly cared for his students and spent time helping us to understand concepts. There was no limit to his efforts to be of help to his students.  I will always remember him with love and fond memories. 

From Faruk Birtek. It is very sad to hear of the passing of Bob Blauner. More than fifty years ago he was gracious to let me - as an undergraduate - into his graduate seminar. He was a most enthusiastic, bright lecturer, and at the end of the term he spent much time discussing my  paper.  We later became friends, although only running into each other infrequently due to geographical distances. His book, Alienation and Freedom, was a break-through at the time, in the midst of a lot of talk about alienation with no substance other than Marx's. He was a person with great politics, very big heart and brilliant head. I am sad, Berkeley will miss him. I especially miss him as I write from the other side of the globe with a lot of hell around.

From David Nasatir.  Bob was a good friend for a long time. One bit of of arcana that may have been overlooked is Bob's identity as a "Quiz Kid".  You may not recall this radio program from the 1940's, but Bob was a "contestant" on the show of October 8, 1941 along with Gerard Darrow, Ruth FIsher, Emily Israel and Van Dyke Tiers. Always a smart guy!

From Jeffrey Prager.  I'm sad to hear the news about Bob.  I was his student between 1969-1977 when he was deeply involved with research that culminated in Racial Oppression in America.  I was in sporadic contact with him after that, usually when, early on, he came to visit his mother in Los Angeles and, later, at UCLA when he was speaking on various of his new projects. I remember his taking great interest in my psychoanalytic training while he was working on his book of essays on mothers. He had a very close relationship to his mother. He would come often to visit Los Angeles, where she lived, and grieved greatly when she died. The last time I spent extended time with him was when he visited archives held at the UCLA library. He was in the midst of his research on McCarthyism in the University of California.
Early on in my graduate career I became one of his research assistants, "coding" the in-depth interviews he had collected on racial attitudes and experiences by both white and black respondents.  I was the junior member of the team, joining the project after all of the interviews were completed.  But I was quickly introduced to a research team that straddled the academic and political world, and that brought into Berkeley sociology many people at least as strongly committed to political activism and social change as they were to academic sociology .  Hardy Frye and David Wellman were the seasoned veterans on the project, having already developed close relationships with Bob. I felt extremely fortunate to be able to become a part of this team.
Bob was a very funny guy though not usually a happy one. He always straddled at least two worlds at once, always with a pretty light touch. He ever remained the working class labor organizer who, a bit uncomfortably one imagines, found himself in the academic setting. His early interest in alienation, I think, was no accident. Whatever world he was in, he never felt entirely a part of it and estrangement from the norm was his way of being in the world. This may have improved after his retirement but I do remember his infatuation for a time with primal scream therapy. He always needed to be elsewhere at the same time. When he arrived for my oral exams in 1974, he walked in with a radio with its electric cord wrapped around it. He asked if it would be possible for us to listen to the Watergate hearings during the exam. The more staid members of the committee prevailed!
Throughout his career at Berkeley,Bob prided himself on being down-to-earth. He exemplified the politically engaged sociologist whose audience extended beyond the academy. This was a point of pride for him. Racial Oppression in America was masterful for its clear, direct writing and its bold explication of a controversial thesis. Both his writings and his being were incitements to make personal and political contact with others--inside and outside the academy--and to never allow academic scholarship to lose its fundamentally moral bearing. He has remained an inspiration for me. My first publication appeared in The Berkeley Journal of Sociology in 1973 on "White Skin Privilege". Now, some 43 years later, I just completed an article for publication entitled "Do Black Lives Matter? American Resistance to Reparative Justice and its Fateful Consequences".
Bob of course will be missed but, for me and scores of others, he made a lasting impression.

From Marcel Paret: I met Bob Blauner in 2006 during the planning for the annual BJS conference. It was the 50th anniversary of BJS, and the theme for the conference was Power. Alongside Troy Duster and David Wellman, Bob was part of a panel on the topic of "Power and Insurgency: Communist and Anti-Racist Struggles in the University of California." He presented on the work that would eventually become Resisting McCarthyism. In one of our email exchanges devoted to planning the panel, he promised to "tell amusing stories" about David Barrows, of Barrows Hall, among others. I think he did, in the end. But I was a bit star struck. I had come across Bob's work on internal colonialism in my reading around issues of race and class, and thought that he was onto something important. In my letter inviting Bob to present, I expressed appreciation for his involvement in social justice movements, his critical research on race and work, and how he had shaped Berkeley sociology. Bob reminded me that his first article was published in BJS, in 1958, and noted his surprise that I was familiar with his work. He thought that Berkeley sociology had moved on to a different kind of sociology. I don't know if he was right about that or not (in my case he was certainly wrong). But it reflected a deeper humbleness that was evident to me when we finally met in person. Bob was kind and generous, and I feel lucky to have met him.

From Guether Roth: Thanks for your moving obituary of Bob Blauner. In the fifties we were good friends in Graduate School. As he has written in his autobiography, we were part of a close group, having fierce chess battles at the old Institute of Industrial Relations—he mentions Amitai Etzioni, Pat McGillivray, Fred Goldner, myself--, where we worked under Bendix, Lipset and others. We often played chess on the lawn around the Institute, and I remember his resolute moves on the board. But Bob also mentions the “unbelievable comradeship and solidarity” of our group. We prepared together for the five days of written qualifying exams. The faculty did not like this, but could not do anything about it. Working together through the 75 required books, assembled unsystematically by the faculty, broadened our knowledge beyond our own burgeoning interests. Even more importantly, we learned how to do research from looking over the shoulders of our mentors in the Institute. It was a lucky constellation for becoming a sociologist in an era of great expectations.          

From Mary Anna C. Colwell. Thanks for sending the news about Bob. I was an average, underprepared grad student in the very divided department in the late 1970s and was truly an outsider among the very bright graduates from Harvard, Yale, etc. who took Marxist analysis as gospel. I struggled through, put together a dissertation committee (Private Foundations and Public Policy) because of personal connections, and Bob was chair of my orals committee. Afterwards he hosted a small party to celebrate and that may have been the first time I felt like I belonged. He was genuinely kind and I greatly appreciated that. 

From Peter Evans. Bob Blauner’s publications and political commitment made him a titan of progressive sociology, but he should also be remembered as one of the most endearing sociologists to inhabit Barrows Hall.   He would not, of course, have liked the term “endearing” — too sentimental.  Nonetheless, he was thoroughly likable despite being unwilling to back down from what he believed in and quite an unusual person in a business where big egos so often get in the way of thinking and institution building.  He knew the value of his work and enjoyed doing it, but self-aggrandizement was never his game.  

I didn’t know Bob well but he was still an important part of sociology at Berkeley for me.  His retirement party — complete with a string quartet — was one of the most memorable occasions of my early years at Berkeley — an affair full of good feeling but also laced by some speakers with hard edged reminiscences of the political conflicts of earlier decades.   I also remember his 70th birthday, held in Tilden Park, where Bob and his friends got sore muscles and various aches and pains by playing baseball, while I, having never had any aptitude, was safe on the sidelines.    But, most of all, I will remember his sharp and impish sense of humor often poised to strike as you passed him in the hall of the 4th floor of Barrows.  It is always reassuring to see sociology married to sympathetic human sensibility and, in the time we shared in Barrows Hall, Bob exemplified that for me.  

From Dana Takagi. Michael, as you no doubt know, Bob was one of the reasons I decided on graduate studies.  I strayed from my math major to take a class from him, American Society.  Herb Holman, then graduate student but since passed away, was my TA.  Bob, always a little quirky spent the first lecture teaching us different ways of reading the NYT.  In that big Dwinelle lecture hall, he held forth. He'd brought the paper to class, started on the front page, and discussed the pros and cons of reading all of the front page, explaining the difference between stories above and below the fold, versus reading one story, say the lead on the front page and turning directly to page 14-16 to finish that story.  I immediately decided Bob was a nut, enrolled in the class, and vowed to read the NYT every day (which I still do). 
When I went to visit him as a senior (still a math major), I was nervous about asking him to write a letter of rec on my behalf for the Berkeley grad program.  He scowled.  And, he grimaced.  In his inimitable way, for a grouch, he said, "no no no, you don't want to do this. Look at me, I'm not so happy about it all.....".  He went on for some time during which I redoubled my resolve about graduate work.  While I did not work with him during graduate school (he was on to other pursuits even though he was still a professor), I have very fond memories of him.  I always thought of him and Matza as two unique intellects, of a certain generation of left thinkers.  
I was very pleased to read that he called out the title ix complaint. He was fearless in that way.   I recall that period clearly.... I took a class from the harasser in question and recalled much talk about it among my peers.   As you probably know, among those peers - who formed WOASH (Women Organized Against Sexual Harassment) - are women now at the top of the field,  and they still sometimes gather at the ASA to discuss not the old case but the more general problem of discrimination against women, in all forms, in the discipline. 
From Deborah Gerson. Bob Blauner was my committee chair when I filed my dissertation in 1996.  As a graduate student and a single mother, I was frantic to finish, which Bob enabled me to do with little drama. It's post Berkeley that I got to truly value his work. As a part-time faculty member at SF State I read and taught Black Lives, White Lives and was moved by the depth and humanism in his interviews.  Bob understood, and wrote and theorized intersectionality, before it was a code word. He had a sweetness and kindness that is rare in academia. May his work and his memory serve as models for future sociologists. 
From Raka Ray. I met Bob right after he retired.  He lived and worked in difficult times for the department, and was pretty alienated when I met him. Yet I hope we never forget what he stood for:  That he stood up and called out sexual harassment when few did (in 1978) and that he thought about US race relations in terms of internal colonialism shows the extent to which Bob stood for integrity, imagination and intellect. I am proud to be in a department that he worked in and shaped so many generations of students. 
From Paul Rabinow. In a low stakes monetary game of poker among aging lefties of various stripes, the highlight was always the epic confrontations between Bob and his old and dear friend, Hardy Frye! Like a veteran pitcher, Hardy would take his time, delay, feint and fake, re-look at his cards--while Bob fumed. The friendship was palpable.       



I returned to graduate sociology at Berkeley after five years working in factories where I had been a total failure at revolutionizing the working class. I say return because I spent one semester in 1951 in the department. Then I had absolutely no interest in sociology, because as a communist (Stalinist variety) I had all the answers already and I was in school only for a deferment to keep me out of the Korean War. Reinhard Bendix was not at all impressed with my term paper arguing that Soviet workers were not alienated because they owned the means of production. So that in early 1956 I was afraid that C grade would prevent my getting back into the department. I asked my friend Tom Shibutani if he could help, and maybe he did. 

Shibutani had been my main M.A. advisor at Chicago for a 1950 thesis on the social psychology of personal names. But because of my years as a worker and a communist I was now more interested in industrial and social psychology. It was almost as if the new chair, Herbert Blumer, had built a department tailor-made to my needs, which was to make sense of my experiences, and to answer questions about the politics of the working class (Selig Perlman), the similarities and differences between socialism, communism, and capitalism (Schumpeter), why revolutionary parties and movements ossify (Michels), and the appeal, for someone like myself, of ideologies and utopias (Mannheim). Not only did I have great teachers like Kornhauser, Lipset, Selmick, and Bendix (whom I never dared ask if he remembered me), but we had a fantastic cohort, as other bio writers have attested to. My best pal was the late Bob Alford, who had worked at International Harvester with me: other recent local proletarians included machinist Lloyd Street and railroad switchman John Spier, and from Detroit's auto plants, Bill Friedland. At the Institute for Industrial Relations, where I TA?d for Marty Lipset, we had a chess rivalry that included fellow grad students Amitai Etzioni, Guenther Roth, Pat McGillivray.--perhaps the most erudite and knowledgeable of all of us -- and Fred Goldner; a few years later my friends in grad school became Bill and Dorothy Smith. (Dorothy's bio is available, but not Bill's, who after a series of teaching jobs, including one at the University of Pittsburgh, gave it all up to become a plumber before dying from cancer in 1986.) 

The comradeship and solidarity in graduate school was unbelievable---I've not yet mentioned Harry Nishio, Ernest Landauer, Art Stinchcombe, Gayle Ness, Walt Phillips, my good friend Ken Walker, and dozens of others I learned from-- in fact it was so good that I wasn't prepared for what I would meet when I began teaching. First at S. F. State, then at Chicago, finally at UCB, my fellow assistant professors were almost the opposite of my grad school peers: closed off, ultra-competitive, or perhaps just afraid that you'd steal their ideas. 

My dissertation on factory workers was informed by my industrial experiences, but didn't draw directly on them. But Alienation and Freedom made my career. It got me a job at Chicago which permitted me to be hired back at UCB---the first Ph.D. to return since Ken Bock. It also got me tenure at Berkeley. I am indebted to Selznick, who made me rewrite a draft on the sociology of industries into a more theoretical version.

During the year that I did my M.A. at Chicago Blumer had been like a father figure for me. Though mostly from a distance as I sat in his seminars and marveled at everything about the man. That 15 years later the secretaries at Berkeley would be mixing up our mail is something I never would have dreamed of. It was great to see the Blumer renaissance in the 1960s, for after a period when he had been marginalized, the New Left grad students took to his theories and he gained a new following. But it was too late for Shibutani, who like Blumer himself, was not really respected by the very political and industrial sociologists who were my mentors, and who had been -- most unfairly in my view -- denied tenure. 

Sometimes I've regretted that I only stayed one year at S.F. State, because I loved San Francisco, and also, in large part because of pressure from my second wife who hated Chicago, I left my alma mater after only one year. Another regret is that I flitted around in terms of research and writing, from workers to the sociology of death to Black-white relations. Each time I changed fields I had to learn a whole new literature. I would have had a less "disorderly career" (Wilensky) had I just stayed in the area of work, and then as I got inspired by the civil rights movement, studied race relations in the context of the factory. 

Had I stayed in Chicago, where the department and the city was much more conservative than Berkeley, it's quite likely that neither my sociological writing nor my personal politics, would have become as radical as they did in the late 60s. I would probably have stayed in Freudian psychoanalysis rather than going through those four years of primal therapy in the '70s, an experience that was life transforming. It led to four years of no writing or research, followed by the decision to work on experiential projects (like Black Lives, White Lives) rather than theoretical ones. And it was the motivation for a change in my teaching style from the lecture format to discussion and an emphasis on personal experience. I am proud of the fact that I was one of the first to offer a course on men's lives, which I taught from 1975 through 1995. 

Retiring in 1993 was my best career move ever. Even though teaching got easier over the years, it was never natural for me in the way writing is. As a retiree at UCB you get a cheap parking permit and all the time you want to write. Like Bennett Berger, my writing is 90% non-sociological these days and 90% unpublished. Exceptions are a collection of essays on race (Still the Big News, Temple 2002) and an anthology of men 's writing on the death and lives of mother (Our Mothers' Spirits, Harper Perennial, 1995). I'm quite excited about my current project, a memoir of growing up in Chicago in the 1930s and 40s that is part social history, part family history and coming of age story, with a lot of baseball (the Chicago Cubs) thrown in.

Three factors shaped my history: family, 14 years of political and union activism, and Berkeley: family provided fundamental direction; activism provided an understanding and grounding in organization, politics, people, stratification, social analysis, especially Marxism; Berkeley gave me social science discipline.

Initially I followed a standard academic trajectory -- African studies and appointment at Cornell -- until the upsurge of the mid-1960s reactivated me. This led to a search for ways to survive within the university while engaging in social change teaching and research. I began at Cornell but found less academic bureaucracy and a willingness to experiment at UC Santa Cruz where I became the founding chair of Community Studies, an undergraduate department training students for activism by preparing them for six months fulltime field study followed by a senior thesis. Since 1969, teaching in Community Studies provided fine usage of my sociological and anthropological training geared at social change.

Activist research was more problematic. Agricultural interests brought me to research the UC's role in agricultural mechanization. This culminated in a decades long suit against the UC (we won, but lost on appeal). Bumping into rural sociologists in the late 1970s after finding zero interest in agriculture in the ASA, I found a supportive milieu. Mostly what I've tried with my rural sociology colleagues is convince them that gemeinschaft and rurality no longer exist in agriculture; modern agriculture consists of many discrete industrial systems. While it has been somewhat of an uphill struggle, it has had its rewards and satisfactions.


I entered the University of California at Berkeley in 1951, three months after graduating from George Washington High School in San Francisco.  I remained in Berkeley until 1960, obtaining a BA (sociology and social institutions, 1955);  MA (political science, 1957); Ph.D. (sociology and social institutions, 1961), and serving as lecturer in the Department of Speech from 1955-1960.  During my undergraduate years I switched to sociology as my major after doing a year as an economics major and finding that subject boring.  My courses with Blumer, Bendix, Selznick, Kornhauser, Lipset, Shibutani, Grana, and Bock provided me with a broad and deep knowledge of the discipline and its several contending schools of thought.  I was especially attracted to the historical sociology that was being espoused by Kenneth Bock.  He would serve as my graduate adviser, outside man on my MA thesis, and chairman of the oral examinations committee for my Ph.D. Thinking of my self as a "political sociologist", I decided to take my MA in political science. With the blessings of the sociology department, and with the assurance that I would return to sociology for my doctoral studies, I went across the hall of "Old South" and studied with Ernst B. Haas, Paul Seabury, Sheldon Wolin, and other political scientists.  My MA thesis, "The Impact of Germany on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization" was chaired by Professors Haas, Seabury, and Bock.  (Thirty-eight years later, It was published as Germany And Nato: A Study In The Sociology Of Supranational Relations, [Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 1995] and awarded "honorable mention" in the "distinguished book award" competition conducted annually by the Mid-South Sociological Association).  I returned to the sociology department and, with the supervision of Kingsley Davis, Franz Schurmann, and Edward A.N. Barnhart, completed my doctoral dissertation, The Structure Of Chinese Society In Nineteenth-Century America, in 1961. (Twenty-five years later, it was published as Chinatown And Little Tokyo: Power, Conflict, And Community Among Chinese And Japanese Immigrants In America, [Millwood, NY.: Associated Faculty Press, Inc., 1986).
Since the completion of my doctoral studies my career has been peripatetic.  I taught in the department of anthropology and sociology of the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, from 1960-63; directed the Liberal Arts Extension Division of The University of California, Berkeley, 1963-4; founded and chaired the sociology department of Sonoma State College [now University], 1964-68; served as vice-chairman of the department of sociology, University of Nevada, Reno, 1968-70; joined and taught in the sociology department, University of California, San Diego, 1970-2; accepted the invitation to become Professor of sociology and, later, of Asian Studies, and department chair, Graduate Faculty of Social Science, New School for Social Research, New York City, 1972-85; and was named Robert J. Morrow Eminent Scholar and Professor of Social Science, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, 1985-present.  I have also served as Senior Member, Linacre College, Oxford University, 1976; Fulbright Lecturer, Ryukoku Daigakuen and  Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan, 1981; Visiting Foreign Expert, Beijing Foreign Studies University, Peoples Republic of China, 1986; Co-director International Colloquium on Social Structure and Social Stratification, Dubrovnik, Croatia,  1986-present.  Under the auspices of the United States Information Agency, I have lectured in Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, India, Kenya, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, South Africa. I presented papers at two of the World Congresses  of Sociology in Mexico City and Montreal.
My published researches include 25 books and about 100 articles in refereed journals, educational reports, essays and book chapters.  I have received four Distinguished Book Awards and two Honorable Mentions from the Mid-South Sociological Association, the George Herbert Mead Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction, and recognition awards from the Chinese Historical Society of the United States,  The Chinese Historical Society of Southern California, The Japanese American Citizens League, and the American Association for Ethnic Studies. I am one of the founders of the Section on Asian/Asian American sociology of the American Sociological Association.  I have served as President of the Mid-South Sociological Association.
I believe the comprehensive education that I received at Berkeley provided the groundings and the bases for the development of my career in the discipline.  For this I shall be always grateful.
Stanford Lyman died of pancreatic and liver cancer on March 10, 2003.

From Armand Mauss: An Anecdote of Inspiration
I will always remember Stan with gratitude for serving as the catalyst for my very first publication. At the annual meetings of the Pacific Sociological Association in 1965, I presented a paper in a session where Stan was present. Afterward, he undertook to offer me some criticisms. As a complete rookie, I immediately became defensive in the belief that he was trying to shoot me down. However, in response to my defensive reaction, he softly replied, "Hey - I think it's a publishable paper already - I'm just suggesting some improvements!" Stunned, I recovered long enough to ask how one would go about getting a paper published. He pointed to the then-editor of the Pacific Sociological Review across the room (now Sociological Perspectives) and said, "There's the editor of the PSR over there. Go and ask him". I did so, and "the rest is history." I went on to publish four score papers or more, plus three books. Stan started it all off for me. Without him, I might have stayed with my junior college job indefinitely and never published anything. I had no idea that publication was possible for ordinary mortals like me! Thank you Stan, wherever you are : "May flights of angels bear thee to thy rest!".     

From Ivan Light: Nomination Letter for the Distinguished Career Award in International Migration
Roger Waldinger,
Department of Sociology,
University of California,
Los Angeles.
Dear Roger,
This letter nominates Stanford Morris Lyman for the IM Distinguished Career Award. Technically, it is not needed because Lyman was nominated last year. Therefore, he is automatically renominated in a successive year. In fact, Lyman was our number two candidate last year whom we passed over in part because, at 67, he is younger than Milton Gordon, last year's award winner.  Nonetheless, aware that documents are often lost from one year to the next, I have taken the liberty of recompiling Lyman's record for nomination.
My compilation focuses only upon publications that deal with Asians in America. These publications constitute the core of Lyman's contribution to the sociology of international migration. The attachment  ("Lyman.S") lists Lyman's publications on the topic of Asian Americans. The earliest is dated 1961; the most recent 1997. The list contains his seminal doctoral dissertation, nine books, and one article. I have listed the chapters in four books separately as articles in order to display their Asian American content. These chapters were originally published as articles in refereed journals; but they were subsequently combined in edited books to facilitate access. There is really only one article that was never published in book form.  
The chronology shows that Lyman's interest in Asian Americans has been continuous throughout his professional life. True, in the last 20 years, many others have shared this interest. Prior to that, however, Lyman was the first sociologist who undertook serious historical and theoretical  scholarship on this topic. Of course, he had able forebears. Frank Miyamoto's Social Solidarity among the Japanese in Seattle (1939) was a great community study that made sociological sense of the Japanese community, probably for the first time. The accomplishment was the more memorable in view of the war clouds that were then gathering.   Rose Hum Lee deserves credit for providing a historical account of Chinese in America. But Lee's main publication, The Chinese in the United States of America, was principally interested in bringing Chinese American contributions to American history to the attention of Americans of Chinese descent. Paul Siu's superb 1953  dissertation on the Chinese laundryman brought this then common American icon under the theoretical umbrella of Chicago School sociology. That was a splendid contribution, but Siu's ambitions were limited.  In contrast.  Lyman's massive 1961 dissertation,  much later published in book form as Chinatown and Little Tokyo: Power, Conflict, and Community among Chinese and Japanese Immigrants to America (1986) analyzed the social organization of nineteenth century Chinese and Japanese communities in the USA in a work of prodigious, comparative scholarship.  Drawing on Park, Weber, and Simmel, this scholarship put the comparative historical experience of Chinese and Japanese Americans on the serious research agenda of American sociology in a way that previous efforts, very meritorious in themselves, had not accomplished. It is no exaggeration to observe that Stanford Lyman was the father of Asian American studies, but that statement does not do justice to his contribution to the field of international migration. It is not simply that Lyman's work opened up the unexplored history of Chinese and Japanese in the United States for research and scholarly analysis; Lyman framed this historical experience in terms that improved the general level of scholarship on immigration. His interest in structures of community opened the way for subsequent inquiries into non-Asian immigrant communities. The strategic role of what current Mexican American research now calls "home town associations" was first fully explicated in Lyman's 1961 dissertation on Chinese and Japanese.
Because he was such an early pioneer of Asian American research, Lyman confronted a professional sociology that did not then understand the importance of his historical and theoretical contribution.  Now we do; then we did not.  It is easy now to study and research that subject; then it was not easy. Moreover, that we now understand the importance of Asian American immigration owes much to the shoulders of Stanford Lyman onto which later sociologists climbed for a better view.   It is, of course, true that the immigration of Asians to the USA since 1970 has increased the visibility and salience of Asians in American society, thus increasing the significance of their history. Without that real and current immigration of Asians, Lyman's comparative studies of nineteenth century Chinese and Japanese communities would have less practical significance now than in fact they do. On the other hand, thanks to Lyman, when Asian immigration resumed after 1970, and sociological interest accelerated, sociology had a superb understanding of the early history of the Chinese and Japanese in America. This strong base permitted research to proceed apace in response to renewed interest. For many years Lyman's work was the arcane source, known to the cognoscenti,  from which departed what we now identify as classic research into Asian American society.
One should recall that in 1961 when Lyman's career began, there were few persons of Chinese or Japanese descent who were professional sociologists. Now there are many; then there were few.  Lyman was, however, neither a tourist nor a curiosity seeker. Although a non-Asian, Lyman actually began his research into Asian American history and sociology as a student in San Francisco's Galileo High School, which is still Chinatown's public secondary school. Hanging around with Chinese and Japanese friends after school, Lyman acquired a knowledge of, interest in, and love for them and their communities. This basis sustained and animated his subsequent professional rendez-vous with their history. This  human interest story offers a little vignette of American history that I happen to know as a result of conversations with Stanford Lyman, and I am glad that it can now be recorded in the official record as a small counter-weight to the otherwise lamentably common American practice of marginalizing Asian Americans.
When IM makes a distinguished career award, we evaluate the scholarly impact of the nominee's scholarly work. This is a job only scholars can do as they alone understand where the ideas came from that now bedeck and adorn the mentality of journalists and media pundits. John Maynard Keynes once remarked that crackpot ideas spouted by "madmen in authority" were originally deposited on the page by unknown scribblers.  As scholars, it behooves us to note that scribblers sometimes have good ideas too.   If we ask, where would the sociology of immigration be today without Asian American studies, we conclude appropriately that it would be depleted and inferior. In that sense, Lyman's seminal contribution to Asian American sociology has earned our gratitude as well as this official IM recognition, the distinguished career award.
Yours truly,
Ivan Light
Professor of Sociology

I was born in Italy, in 1934, and educated there. In 1956, shortly after graduating in law at Padua, I became a graduate student in sociology at UCB. In 1957-58 I worked in Rome as an assistant on an American political science research project, returning to Berkeley the following year, and leaving after two years to work on my doctoral dissertation on Italian Catholic Action. I studied chiefly under Lipset, Bendix, Kornhauser, Lowenthal. I returned to Italy in 1961, and received my Berkeley PhD in 1963. In 1964 I joined the sociology dept. newly founded by Tom Burns at Edinburgh, and remained there 24 years (though during this time I also taught in the US, Canada, and Australia). In 1988 I joined the sociology faculty at the University of Virginia, which I left in 1965, returning to Italy in order to teach at the European University Institute (Florence). My current (and last!) post is at the University of Trento. My two main research and teaching fields are modern political institutions (I have published two books and several essays on the state and related subjects) and the 'classics' (I have published on Tocqueville, Marx, Durkheim, Weber, and Simmel).


John Finley Scott '55, June 2006, in Davis, California, a victim of murder; John's body was discovered in April. John received a BA from Reed in philosophy. From Stanford, he received an MA in 1956, and from University of California, Berkeley, a PhD in 1966, in sociology. He married Lois Heyman in 1965; they divorced in 1987. John taught at University of California, Davis, retiring in 1994 as emeritus professor of sociology. He published Internalization of Norms: A Sociological Theory of Moral Commitment (Prentice Hall) in 1971. John was inspired by the photography of Ansel Adams to become an outdoorsman. A mountain-climbing accident at 23, which left permanent injuries, led him to seek alternative ways of ascending the California mountains. He was known in Davis as a “bicycle pioneer,” and described himself as a “bicycle guru.” He was instrumental not only in helping to establish bicyclists' rights in the State of California, but he also built the first prototype of the mountain bike in 1953. In 1960, he developed a “Woodsie,” a lighter-weight, off-road bike, which was a precursor to the modern mountain bike. His personalized license plate, “Homeric,” was attached to a double-decker London bus he created for mountain-bike touring. In 1980, he purchased the Cupertino Bike Shop, which he sold in 1989. His love of the outdoors endured, and he spent later years camping and developing his skills in photography. Survivors include his sister, Jane Scott Chamberlain. His father, Frank C. Scott ’15, also attended Reed.

Here is an excellent obituary of John Finley Scott from the cycling world:


After receiving his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley in 1958, Dr. Amitai Etzioni served as a Professor of Sociology at Columbia University for 20 years; part of that time as the Chairman of the department. He was a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution in 1978 before serving as a Senior Advisor to the White House from 1979-1980. In 1980, Dr. Etzioni was named the first University Professor at The George Washington University, where he is the Director of the Institute for Communitarian Policy Studies. From 1987-1989, he served as the Thomas Henry Carroll Ford Foundation Professor at the Harvard Business School.

Dr. Etzioni served as the president of the American Sociological Association in 1994-95, and in 1989-90 was the founding president of the international Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics. In 1990, he founded the Communitarian Network, a not-for-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to shoring up the moral, social and political foundations of society. He was the editor of The Responsive Community: Rights and Responsibilities, the organization's quarterly journal, from 1991-2004. In 1991, the press began referring to Dr. Etzioni as the "guru" of the communitarian movement.

Dr. Etzioni is the author of over thirty books, including The Monochrome Society (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001), The Limits of Privacy (New York: Basic Books, 1999), The New Golden Rule (New York: Basic Books, 1996), which received the Simon Wiesenthal Center's 1997 Tolerance Book Award, The Spirit of Community (New York: Crown Books, 1993), and The Moral Dimension: Toward a New Economics (New York: Free Press, 1988). His most recent books include My Brother's Keeper: A Memoir and a Message (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003), From Empire to Community: A New Approach to International Relations (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), How Patriotic is the Patriot Act?: Freedom Versus Security in the Age of Terrorism (Routledge, 2004), Security First: For A Muscular, Moral Foreign Policy (Yale University Press, 2007), and New Common Ground (Potomac Books Inc, 2009).

Outside of academia, Dr. Etzioni's voice is frequently heard in the media. He appears often on radio and television programs, and is regularly consulted by print media as well.

In 2001, he was named by Richard Posner as being among the top 100 American intellectuals as measured by academic citations.

Also in 2001, Dr. Etzioni was awarded the John P. McGovern Award in Behavioral Sciences as well as the Officer's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. He was also the recipient of the Seventh James Wilbur Award for Extraordinary Contributions to the Appreciation and Advancement of Human Values by the Conference on Value Inquiry, as well as the Sociological Practice Association's Outstanding Contribution Award. 

Extracted from "My Brothers Keeper: A Memoir and Message" published by Rowman & Littlefield



Nathan Glazer, who taught in the Berkelery Sociology Department, 1957-58 and 1964-69, passed away on January 19 (2019) at the age of 95. 

From Ivan Light: In 1967, while still a graduate student at UCB, I was asked to review Beyond the Melting Pot by Daniel P. Moynihan and Nathan Glazer. for the Berkeley Journal of Sociology.  The result was"Ghetto Violence and the Growth of Negro Business" in which I proposed that these authors had been right to notice the surprising and unwholesome shortfall of "Negro-owned" business firms.  The world of social science rejected their observation. Indeed, just calling attention to it made Glazer and Moynihan exceedingly unpopular and, although, later in his career, Glazer endorsed affirmative action, he was always perceived as conservative in his views on race. Now, many years later, reflecting on his career, and regretting his demise, I must in truth affirm that Glazer and Moynihan  were correct in noticing and commenting upon the unusual and unwholesome ownership of retail stores in the black communities by non-black outsiders. Doing so, they continued the tradition of class analysis of African American communities that had been begun by St Clair Drake and Horace R. Cayton in Black Metropolis, and continued by Franklin Frazier in Black Bourgeoisie. The topic had become too hot to handle in the 1960s and the world of social science veered into decades of in which class stratification in ethno-racial communities was a  tabu topic.  Some day Nathan Glazer will receive recognition as a brave scholar who spoke an unpopular truth.

From Peter Miller: Mensch, sage, and sociologist, Nathan Glazer wrote about social issues with humor and good sense rather than despair.

His contributions to 'the public interest', the title of a magazine he edited,are immeasurably great. From 'The Lonely Crowd' (co-authored with David Reisman and Rueul Denney), to 'Beyond the Melting Pot' (co-authored with Daniel Patrick Moynihan) and beyond, Glazer never gave up trying to make things work better.

Born in poverty, his affection for the poor of all races and ethnicities never deserted him, even as the practical policies he proposed discomforted ideologues. Nat Glazer had the courage to identify -- based on solid data -- culture and family as the keys to social advancement. He took on fashionable criminality like graffiti from the common-sense perspective of the New York subway rider who 'is assaulted continuously, not only by the evidence that every subway car has been vandalized, but by the inescapable knowledge that the environment he must endure for an hour or more a day is uncontrolled and uncontrollable, and that anyone can invade it to do whatever damage and mischief the mind suggests'. 

He dared to suggest that some monstrous Serra sculptures were 'attacking the awful [urban office buildings] by increasing the awfulness'. He loved New York, slums and all, especially Central Park, even going so far as to quote Khrushchev on Manhattan: "There is no greenery; it is enough to make a stone sad." Such a poetic thought from a Soviet Premier would amuse Glazer's Old-Left colleagues from City College if any remained. Nat Glazer's wit and wisdom, so rare today, will be sorely missed.

Many of his articles are archived here:  They are still relevant and worth reading today.

Peter Miller
Berkeley Sociology, PhD 1974.



Dr. Arthur Lipow, 81, of Alameda, CA passed away peacefully on Jan. 6, 2016, with his wife Gretchen by his side. Dr. Lipow grew up in Southern California and attended high school in Pasadena. He received his B.A. in sociology from UCLA in 1955. He then studied under Professor Seymour Martin Lipset at UC Berkeley, where he received a Ph.D. in political sociology in 1969.

Art Lipow.

Dr. Lipow was a rigorous intellectual historian and academic. He was highly influenced by his friend Hal Draper, who wrote a classic pamphlet of democratic socialism, The Two Souls of Socialism, which inspired Arthur to write his Ph.D dissertation, later published by the University of California Press, as Authoritarian Socialism In America: Edward Bellamy and the Nationalist Movement. Bernard Crick, biographer of George Orwell, praised it as a guide to the real meaning of democratic socialism: “the kind of socialism one wants.” While writing his thesis, he also served as a primary caregiver for his three young children, who frequently cajoled him to stop typing and take them to the merry-go-round and pony rides in Berkeley’s Tilden Park.

In the 1970s, Dr. Lipow moved to England, where he was a member of the Labour Party and an active participant in European Nuclear Disarmament (END). He was a founder of “Charter 88,” the British constitutional reform movement which proposes a democratic Bill of Rights for Britain. He was formerly director of the Michael Harrington Center at Birkbeck College and then co-founding executive director of Labour and Society International in London.

The Harrington Centre was funded by City University of New York, and chaired by the late President of CUNY and former Peace Corps Director in Ethiopia, Professor Joseph Murphy. Among its other projects, the Centre initiated a program to assist the development of higher education in Africa, sponsored by UNESCO and the United Nations Development Project (UNDP).

Dr. Lipow organized and participated in an international conference in Ethiopia in 1992, sponsored by UNESCO and UNDP, to further cooperation between institutions of higher learning North and South. He published five books, including Authoritarian Socialism in America: Edward Bellamy and the Nationalist Movement; Political Parties and Democracy; Neither Capitalism nor Socialism: Theories of Bureaucratic Collectivism (co-edited with Ernest Haberkern); The Other City (co-edited with Susanne MacGregor); and Transatlantic Crossings: A Voyage of Discovery.

A life-long rebel and champion of social justice, a crusader for civil rights in the United States and abroad, he was an active supporter of Martin Luther King and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and Cesar Chavez and Larry Itliong of the United Farm Workers. He was arrested protesting the final House Un-American Activities subcommittee in San Francisco May 1960 and when working with trade unionists in Czechoslovakia, where he shared a cell with Christopher Hitchens. Dr. Lipow amassed an extensive home library of more than 10,000 books on a spectrum of subjects, including politics, history, and sociology.

Upon his retirement in 1998, Dr. Lipow returned to California. Together with his wife, Gretchen Lipow, he co-founded the Alameda Public Affairs Forum in 2004 and the Center for Global Peace and Democracy in 2007. He continued to pursue many of his life-long passions, including scholarship, activism, eating ice cream, hanging out in coffee shops, and spending time with family and friends.

He is survived by his wife, Gretchen Mackler Lipow. He is also survived by his children Jenny, Stephanie, and Nicholas, grandchildren Toby Walecka and Sydney Lipow, and by his stepchildren Jennifer Roloff, Phil Mackler, and Aaron Mackler and their children Peyton and Taylor Roloff and Hazel Anne Mackler. He was preceded in death by his former wife Anne Grodzins Lipow, and his brother Myron Lipow.

A celebration of Arthur’s life will be held on Saturday, March 19th, noon at the Wedgend Club in Oakland. Memorial donations may be made to the Alameda Public Affairs Forum or the Alameda Free Library Foundation.

This obituary was written by Gretchen Lipow, Art's wife, and a member of Solidarity.

With hubris nourished by degrees from MIT, Stanford and a fellowship at the Merrill Palmer Institute for Human Development, I arrived in Berkeley in the fall of 1957 with wife, child and not a clue about how we would support ourselves.

It took almost a decade for me to finish my Ph.D. I was having such a wonderful time as a graduate student. I taught in the department, was deeply immersed in research at the Survey Research Center (under the direction of Charlie Glock) and eventually became director of the International Data Library and Reference Service.

My involvement in the social science data archive movement and early consulting jobs eventually led to work with organizations as diverse as the Berkeley Board of Education, the United States Postal Service the Ford Foundation and the Government of Chile. My 1973 monograph for UNESCO, Data Archives for the Social Sciences helped establish the first international standards for this activity.

Applying perspectives and techniques learned from Herb Blumer, Marty Lipset, Hanan Selvin and Marty Trow involved me in efforts to assess the effects of such diverse policies and activities as school integration, the creation of a regional transportation system, college drinking policies, and the feasibility of transforming rice farmers to fish farmers. Trying to develop the resources, and demonstrate the potential of 'social impact analysis' using survey data has taken me to West Africa, Latin America, Southeast Asia, India, Europe and back to Berkeley.

Valerie Oppenheimer, a UCLA sociologist known for pioneering research on the effects of employment trends on marriage and the American family, died Nov. 2, 2009 of a stroke and heart attack at her home in the Holmby Hills area of Los Angeles, said her son Chris Oppenheimer. She was 77.
The author of more than 25 studies on gender, employment, marriage and the family, Oppenheimer taught for 25 years at UCLA, rising from a lecturer to a full professor. But even after retiring in 1994, she remained active in her field, publishing an influential study in 2003 about the role economic instability plays in men's tendency to delay marriage to increasingly older ages. 
Oppenheimer was the recipient of two of her field's most prominent prizes. In 1979, the American Sociological Association honored her with the Jessie Bernard Award, which recognizes achievement in "scholarly work that has enlarged the horizons of sociology to encompass fully the role of women in society." 
This year, she became the inaugural recipient of the Harriet B. Presser Award from the Population Association of America, a biennial award honoring a record of sustained contribution in gender and demography.
"Valerie was the first demographer to document and explain the great increase in married women working outside the home, which has been one of the most important demographic trends of the last half-century," said Andrew Cherlin, a former student and the Benjamin H. Griswold III Professor of Public Policy at Johns Hopkins University.
Having conducted postdoctoral research at the London School of Economics after earning a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley, Oppenheimer first nabbed attention for her research on women surging into the workplace in the 1960s.
In a pathbreaking article published in 1967, Oppenheimer analyzed the interaction of labor supply and demand to explain the rapidly increasing employment rates of women in the post-World War II years, wrote University of North Carolina sociologist Philip Cohen in the blog "Family Inequality."
In a 1968 article, Oppenheimer provided documentation for high levels of gender segregation in the workplace at the time, finding that 67 percent of clerical workers were women and that women made up 88 percent of the workforce in the communications industry.
"Her dispassionate and methodical, scientific tone in these articles masks the cutting-edgeness of a woman independently doing theoretically ambitious, quantitative, demographic work in the U.S. at that time," wrote Cohen, an associate professor and director of graduate studies at UNC–Chapel Hill.
Oppenheimer's 1970 book "The Female Labor Force in the United States" was the first extended treatment of the rise of married women in the U.S. workforce, said Cherlin, the author of the new book "The Marriage-Go-Round: The State of Marriage and the Family in America Today" (Random House).
Oppenheimer also is credited with debunking the "specialization and trading model," a theory that held that marriages are most stable and that couples best maximize their fortunes when they combine wives' unpaid work with husbands' paid employment. 
"She did not predict or advocate for the end of marriage, but rather for its reconfiguration as a two-earner partnership, albeit one that would probably be less common and less stable than the trading-based marriages were before," Cohen wrote.
Oppenheimer's most famous piece was published in 1988 and dealt with an emerging demographic trend: couples who postponed marriage, said Megan Sweeney, a UCLA associate professor of sociology who specializes in family research. At a time when prevailing wisdom held that women were putting off marriage because new opportunities in the workplace made the institution less attractive to them, Oppenheimer argued that the situation was more complex. By applying job-search theory from economics to the process of looking for a spouse, she introduced important new ideas about marriage timing.
"Part of the process of evaluating potential mates is figuring out how compatible partners will be in the future, which Oppenheimer argued was at least in part related to the kind of work people do," Sweeney said. "If a woman anticipates staying at home throughout much of her marriage, the nature of her future work is fairly straightforward to anticipate, although the nature of men's future work in the labor market may be less certain.
"Oppenheimer was interested in how this process of finding a spouse changed as women increasingly expected to remain employed throughout their adult lives and as young men's future position in the labor force became less predictable," she said. "She argued that uncertainty about the future characteristics of potential mates complicates the process of finding an appropriate spouse and leads to a delay in marriage."
Oppenheimer's studies have been cited in more than 1,000 other publications, Sweeney said. Nearly a quarter of those citations have occurred in the past five years, meaning that fellow sociologists are finding the work increasingly relevant as time goes on.
"We look at marriage completely differently, thanks to Valerie Oppenheimer," Sweeney said.
Born in London and raised in New York City, Oppenheimer rarely spoke of her upbringing, said her son Chris, 39.
Oppenheimer's husband, the pulmonologist Edward Anthony Oppenheimer, died in 2005. 
"They were married for 40 years," said Chris, a construction supervisor in Indio, Calif. "I never heard them yell at each other. If they disagreed, they'd exchange three or four words about it and then go into separate rooms. Then five minutes later, they'd come back together and everything was fine."
In addition to her son Chris and his wife, Jackie, Oppenheimer is survived by four grandchildren, Brandon, 20, Marley, 15, Tiara, 9, and Teagan, 6, as well as a great-grandchild, Carlitos, 6.


I never intended to be an academic, but I always saw my Ph.D. training as a way to inform committed activism with the broad range of social insights that a Berkeley training was especially useful in instilling.  My research, since turned into a book called Net Loss: Internet Prophets, Private Profits And The Costs To Community (published by Penn State Press in 2002), was a way to analyze how changes in technology had shaped and been shaped by broader policies effecting economic inequality in society. I went to law school after Berkeley and, after a short stint in a law firm representing workers and unions, I now am employed as a policy analyst and counsel for the Brennan Center for Justice, which is affiliated with NYU Law School. My work focuses on supporting community groups and unions that are fighting for more work rights and smarter economic development for low-wage workers.  It combines a nice combination of legal work, research, policy advocacy and community organizing. 



Professor Charles Glock passed away on October 19, 2018 at the age of 99. He was affectionately known as Charlie Glock. He was part of the exodus of distinguisherd sociologists from the East who built Berkeley’s sociology department in the 1950s and 60s. Professor Glock arrived in 1958 from Columbia University and in 1979 retired to Idaho.  For 20 years he was a fixture at Berkeley: in the department of sociology, which he chaired twice; as head of the Survey Research Center; and at the Graduate Theological Union. He collaborated with colleagues, such as Robert Bellah, as well as graduate students such as Robert Wuthnow and Rodney Stark. He was the author of many well-known books on religion. The students who passed through his classes will fondly remember Professor Glock for his generosity and kindness as well as his unusually effective courses on statistical methods.  Please send any tributes to Charlie Glock to me at and I will post them on this alumni page.  

From Armand L. Mauss: Several of the Berkeley sociology faculty were helpful to me as I transitioned from the history department to sociology in the early 1960s. No one, however, was as helpful as Charlie. There was no special reason for him to have extended himself as much as he did: I was not one of his stars; I was never a collaborator on any of his projects or even a research assistant. I was rather an unconventional graduate student, having already acquired a wife and several children before returning to graduate school later in life than most. Nevertheless, Charlie reached out to encourage me at times of special stress, and when I finally finished the Ph.D., he continued to help my career in various ways – always with no expectation that I would ever be able to do anything in particular to help him.

As it happened, most of my career took place on the faculty at Washington State University in eastern Washington, which was a drive of an hour or so away from the Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, home where Charlie and Margaret (Mickey) spent their summers, and to which they eventually moved when he retired from Berkeley in 1979. It was at this point that Charlie became a lifelong friend, as well as a mentor; for he and Mickey regularly invited and entertained me (usually with my wife Ruth) every summer, and on other random occasions as well, at their rustic Idaho home, a relationship that continued even after he and Mickey moved farther north to their eventual summer home in Sandpoint, Idaho. Our last visit with the Glocks as a couple occurred in Sandpoint during the late summer of 2013, though Charlie and I kept in regular contact, by e-mail and/or by phone, until the very week of his passing.
Charlie took people as he found them, and he befriended a great many who, like me, could do nothing for his career but whom he just found interesting for one reason or another. He was always gracious and non-judgmental about political, religious, or ethical differences, and generous to a fault with his time and resources. Academia was his career, but it was not his life. He retired in 1979, barely 60 years old and at the peak of his career, because he had promised Mickey that he would do so – that he would thereafter live in places and circumstances of her choosing, so that she could have the kind of life she wanted after having devoted herself to his career. Charlie was not merely the proverbial gentleman and scholar, but also a true and loving friend.

I taught in the public schools and junior colleges of the California Bay Area 1957-67 while working toward Ph.D. Moved to Utah State University, Logan, UT, as Associate Professor of Sociology, 1967-69. Then I went to Washington State University 1969-99 and retired there as Professor of Sociology and Religious Studies. I had eight children with wife of 50+ years, Ruth, plus 21 grandchildren, and so far 3 great-grands. I am currently living in Irvine, CA, among some of these descendants.

My areas of specialization for research and teaching are deviant behavior, social problems, social movements, and the sociology of religion. I have been active and periodically an officer in several professional societies related to those special fields, but mainly the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, the Association for the Sociology of Religion, and the Religious Research Association. I was editor, 1989 through 1992, of the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion and associate editor of several other journals. I was founding officer of the Mormon Social Science Association, 1976 and officer and president of the Mormon History Association (1,000 members), 1995-2000. I was also author or co-author of around 100 articles and reviews in various refereed journals, especially in JSSR; Sociological Analysis; Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought; Social Problems; Journal of Alcohol Studies; ASR, and AJS. Author of four books : Social Problems as Social Movements (Lippincott, 1975); Neither White nor Black: Mormon Scholars Confront the Race Issue in a Universal Church (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1984, with Lester E. Bush); The Angel and the Beehive: The Mormon Struggle with Assimilation (University of Illinois Press, 1994); and All Abraham's Children: Changing Mormon Conceptions of Race and Lineage (University of Illinois Press, 2003).

My interests in graduate school focused mainly on the sociology of religion, survey research, and social movements, so naturally my chief mentors were Charles Glock and Neil Smelser. I redirected what I learned from Smelser more toward social constructionism and somewhat away from the functionalist tradition, and thus my 1975 book was a social constructionist "merger" of social problem theory with social movement theory. Underlying all of this was an abiding interest in the sociology of religion, with particular reference to the rise and evolution of new religious movements. Focusing particularly (though by no means entirely) on the Mormons was a natural product of my own background. Inspired by Charlie's work on religion and prejudice, I have tried, with some success, to use sociology as a vehicle for constructive change within the Mormon tradition.


The late Ingeborg Powell, who became Inge Bell, was a graduate student in the department between 1958 and 1965, during which time she was active in CORE (Congress of Racial Equality). We do not know when or how she died. She wrote her dissertation on CORE and then published it as a book, CORE and the Strategy of Non-Violence (1968).  She later published This Book is Not Required (1983) which pursued her vision of Buddhist Sociology, taking a critical look at undergraduate education. The following extract is taken from the preface, but you might want to turn straight to the last paragraph:


This is a book that invites you to look at your college education: what it could be, and what, alas, it often is. It is a book which suggests to you what you can make of this opportunity, given the resources at your disposal. If you want to become truly educated, you will have to educate yourself, and at times you will have to do it in spite of the academy. Perhaps this is good, because knowledge which comes too easily doesn't train one to be an independent thinker, and only an independent thinker is ever truly intelligent. 

We will not look at these four years merely in terms of the formal world of classes and professors. We want to look at the larger experience: at your whole environment and your whole life during these four years, because some of the most important learning is always done outside the classroom. 

I have tried to make this a survival manual for undergraduates: emotional survival and intellectual survival. I will even say that it speaks to the issues of spiritual survival, if by "spiritual" we mean the capacity to live in harmony with oneself and with the universe. 

You will undoubtedly disagree with parts of this book. It is only one person's view. But if it connects with your life at any important point, I shall feel that it has served its purpose for you. I have tried to give you the broadest possible picture of your position as a student in the academic world and in the larger society of which you are a part. To do this, I have had to use a large brush, and I have undoubtedly made mistakes. But I have always considered this broad perspective more important than the fine attention to detail given by the academic specialists. 

This is not an academic or scholarly work. It is a very critical look at academia by one who has been through it from freshman to full professor. Occasionally, I will suggest a book which I think you might like. But you will not find an ibid. or an op.cit. littering these pages. 

In my years as a college teacher, I succeeded in what was ever the chief ambition of my career: to keep my students awake. Of course, there were always a comatose few who hadn't gotten to bed until four in the morning, or had mononucleosis, or where merely in love. But on the whole, I succeeded because I discovered that students always came awake when I laid aside academic sociology and talked to them about their lives as students -- about the academic institutions in which they labored, and the how and why of how those institutions functioned; about the competition and anxiety created by grades; about their ambitions and difficult choices of major and career; about the travail of those who came from minority or working-class families; yes, even about their love affairs and loneliness. We talked about how you find out what you want to do in life and about how you can keep your integrity and your sanity in this very difficult society. 

Eventually, drawing on sociology and Eastern philosophy, I developed a course devoted solely to these questions. I shall describe that to you in the chapter "Adventures in Desocializatioin" and give you some of the exercises and "walking meditations" which I used to help students gain insight into their own functioning. 

As I discussed life in the academy with my students, I also listened, and learned a lot. It is therefore to all my former students that I dedicate this little book, because much of what I have written here I learned from them.

It is, perhaps, ironic that after writing a chapter called "Everyone Hates to Write," I found myself hugely enjoying the process of writing this book. After the writing I had done in the usual, stilted language of social science, it was a huge relief to talk good English. I always love to write, and I think I did pretty well at it until I got to graduate school and had all the style knocked out of me by the demands of acedemic sociologese. I always resisted a little. I remember my dissertation chairman asking me sadly whether I had "turned against sociology" because I used too much plain English. In writing this book, I felt that I had regained my writing voice after 30 years.


Philip D. Roos, Ph.D., on Aug. 6, in Jefferson City, MS.  Philip was born in 1936 in Holland and immigrated to northern California at the age of 3. He received a doctorate in sociology from Cal and served eight years in the Navy. Philip founded the Berkeley Free Press in the 1960s and helped found the Missouri Mycological Society. He is survived by his wife, Erika, one child, eight stepchildren and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.


This is Dr Roos's own biography written in May 2003:

I taught sociology for about six years; three at the Denver campus of the University of Colorado; 2+ at Stockton State College in Pomona NJ, some off and on as part of the University Year for ACTION program at Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. My work at Pine Ridge convinced me that I was a lot better program evaluator than sociologist -- just a change from "pure" to "applied." I worked as a research associate for the Nurse Practitioner Program at Northeastern University for almost 4 years.  An interesting job with some evaluation included.

I was jobless many times and for many years. I was fired three times. My Ph.D. in sociology was at least a minor hindrance to finding employment.

The last 14 years and 3 months of my work life, ending with my retirement on 1 Dec 98, was with the Missouri Department of Mental Health where civil service protection, an angel in Personnel, and perhaps my veteran's status prevented some of the managers who hated me from firing me again. I did a little evaluation at the beginning, but worked mostly as a SAS programmer, analyzing patient/client data.

My approach to solving intellectual problems became much more systematic as a result of my Berkeley training. Goffman's Hobbesianism shaped my thinking in general. The Berkeley sociology department's lack of statistics, mathematics, and computer programming as part of the Ph.D. had to be made up by post Ph.D. formal courses, self-instruction, and assistance from others.

As to how my sociology has shaped the world -- not even the teeniest, tinyest bit.



Neil Smelser passed away on Monday, October 2, at the age of 87. He was one of the most distinguished sociologists to have walked the earth. Educated at Harvard and Oxford, he came to Berkeley in 1958 and retired in 1994. During that time he occupied that very rare and prestigious position of University Professor. He was the author of many classic treatments in comparative history, collective behavior, economic sociology, higher education and psychoanalysis. Legions of students will remember his wise teaching and solicitous mentoring and will mourn his passing.

Contributions to the Neil J. Smelser Graduate Student Support Fund can be sent to Michael Schneider, Department of Sociology, 410 Barrows Hall, UC Berkeley, CA 94720. Or you can contribute online via this link:



From Suava Zbierski-Salameh. I have been reading all these poignant tributes to Neil Smelser, thinking that as much as I wanted to pay my own respects, doubting I had anything new to add to the reflections on his exceptional qualities as a scholar, a mentor, and most of all, as a human being. These were also my memories of him as my mentor and the chair of my Qualifying Exam.

Yet, I finally decided to add here a few comments, because all the attributes others wrote about, affected me in a different way.  I was accepted to the Graduate Program in 1979, as the only foreign student in my cohort, who happened to come from behind the Iron Curtain, from the University of Poznan, in Western Poland. I came to the US not fully a year prior to the acceptance to the Berkeley Program, shortly before the dawn of the Solidarity movement in Poland. Quite a novice in the US., the welcoming sessions at the Berkeley department for the upcoming class, inadvertently, were revealing another layer of my “uniqueness“ — in contrast to my peers coming from the Ivy League Universities, I had to introduce myself as a graduate of the University of Poznan!

My first interaction with Neil Smelser compounded my axiety. The very first course I signed out for was with him. I arrived far earlier for the first class to familiarize myself with the building. While nervously waiting for my first real encounter with the famed  Berkeley Sociology—I was dreaming about during my undergraduate years in Poland—I spotted a man, casually dressed in a T-shirt, wearing a helmet, with a bike, walking towards the room where I stood. I assumed he was a maintainance person, checking the classroom before the lecture, so I asked, if I was at a correct room for a course with Prof Neil Smelser.  Wiping his sweaty forehead, he politely confirmed, asked me if I was planning to take the course, and then, with a big smile, he introduced himself:” I am Neil- welcome!”

During this seemingly simple and cordial exchange, I realized I was not just a student from another country, but a system divide was between us.  This divide can be summarized by the content of the word “to educate” in Polish (nauczać) = “to bestow knowledge”. Conversely, to acquire education in Poland  then, was to become an effective receptor of this knowledge, verified by definitive measures— passing mostly oral exams. In the country that was a  part of the socialist block, with its proclaimed egalitarianism, relations between faculty and students could not be more stratified. To address a professor, (who would dress formally), by his appropriate and full title, at every exchange, was to reinforce daily, the hierarchical structure within the academic world. This instantly was putting a student in a docile position of a follower, discouraging debate or discussion. Such educational world was an extension of a broader political system. Ironically, Neil Smelser’s great informality in dress and demeanor, as much as made me feel welcomed, confused me, running counter to my understanding of what distinguished professor should look like, and how the interaction between professor and student should be.

The content and the dynamics of my first course further challenged my assumptions.  (As I learned later, I was privileged to participate in what was even for the Berkeley Sociology department rather a unique course). The course was co-taught by Neil Smelser and Michael Burawoy and  focused on the significance of the Industrial Revolution for sociology. It was also a forum for heated debates between the department’s senior and junior Faculty members, and my future chairs of the Qualifying Exam and my dissertation, respectively; The Professors did alternate in the roles of a presenter and a discussant; their fierce debates, often also prompted long commentaries by my fellow students in the course. The course dynamics could not be further from the dynamics I was accustomed to in Poznan. It  was an exquisite presentation of distinct theoretical perspectives and an equality between debating participants. I was mesmerized and terrified by these amazing exchanges, but one particular course requirement was striking biggest terror in my heart— writing my own arguments on the successive  weeks’ extensive readings and on the classroom debates.  Beyond the difficulty of articulating a nuanced argument in not-my-native language, I struggled with a more fundamental, internalized obstacle - my believe that I am not in a position, as a beginning student, to challenge the published authors, or the  course’s Professors.

Neil Smelser always wrote elaborate comments on my assignments, not only giving me a detailed input on the structure of my answers, but with his constructive and encouraging engagements with the content of my essays, he was slowly erasing my apprehension, validating in small, yet definitive steps my intellectual voice. He could not have been more generous as the Chair in his assessment of my performance at the Qualifying Exam. I cherish it to this day. His mentorship was a powerful motivator for me to re-entered the department a few years later, having two children. He was supportive of me as a student and a mother, which, -particularly a couple of decades ago-presented a challenging combination for both faculty and for me.  He wrote very strong recommendation letters in my job search. I saw him a few years ago at a conference, decades after completing my PhD, and I was touched that he recognized me and greeted me warmly. Prof. Neil Smelser played an extraordinary role in my life —as a great human being and a brilliant scholar who patiently help me bridge the vast divide between Poznan and Berkeley —an ultimate educator to me - who inspired his students to seek new approaches instead of preserving the established ones.

From Jualynne (Norris) Dodson. I hesitated to send my comments about Neil Smelser because I felt others had captured my thoughts.  However, I’m not sure of the anyone has expressed specifics of my experiences at Berkeley. When I entered graduate school in sociology, the department had a 100% attrition rate for African American women.  I’m not sure the faculty had seen as many Black graduate students as were there when I arrived.  Neil Smelser was my “theory” professor for the first year and, though I only think our presence was new to him, my experience was with a gentle, quiet-spoken, well organized, and superiorly competent professor. I learned/acquired more ‘sociology’ with Smelser than I had ever appreciated, and much of that knowledge was not consciously acquired.  When I took an ‘oral comprehensive exam’ with Smelser, held by the way at his home, the question that continues to stand-out was: “Discuss the latent and manifest function of earrings.” I will always remember Neil Smelser though I did not work closely with him and think I wish I had.

From Michelle Williams. It was with deep sadness I learned of Neil’s passing.  But I’ve loved reading all the tributes to Neil as it’s made me realize that the special relationship I had with Neil was shared among many people across generations and around the world.  I think I was his last student, well not really his student, but the last student he mentored. He had already retired when I entered graduate school at Berkeley, but I had met him in my last year as an undergraduate.  Despite not ever having taken a class with him or having him as a supervisor, his influence on me was deep and varied.  He hired me as his research assistant throughout graduate school, which meant that I had the good fortune of seeing him (and very often Sharin) at least once a month for almost ten years.  Over this time, he became an incredibly important sounding board, sympathetic and generous ear, and most of all a friend.  He always engaged with such generosity and wisdom (which many people have mentioned), having a way to put things into perspective without making one feel belittled.  He would ask probing questions that made me think differently and often deepen my analysis, and he always gave such good advice!  On one occasion, when we were working on a project and Neil was having to deal with an especially difficult (and nasty) author, I asked him if his psychoanalytic training helped understand people better. He said ‘No, it has made me understand myself better’, which allowed him to not react emotionally to others.  I was always struck by his interpersonal skills and genuine interest in people’s well-being. He enjoyed the small things in life and always loved hearing from and learning about former students, which he would share proudly.  Since graduating in 2005, Neil and I kept in touch periodically. He never lost his kind and generous interest in developments in my life and engagements in the world. I will miss him deeply and his passing is a loss to many of us, but his legacy clearly lives on!  Hambe Kahle Neil! Go well Neil!

From Yiannis Gabriel.  With deep sadness, I learnt of the death of sociologist Neil Smelser. Neil was the chair of my doctoral committee and a good friend. He was a true scholar, a brilliant teacher and great colleague. His death leaves all of us who knew him and worked with him much poorer.

I first met Neil in October 1974 on my very first day at Berkeley. Freshly arrived from London and temporarily staying at the Berkeley YMCA, I was pleased to find an invitation for a reception at Neil's house. At the time, Neil was the Head of the Sociology Department and his hospitality was as boundless as his humility, informality and his interest in the ideas that prospective students were bringing to Berkeley. I was pleased to meet an animated group of doctoral students, some of whom were seasoned veterans keen to meet the new talent on arrival, others, like me, had just arrived and were trying to find their feet on the ground. By the end of the evening I had made several acquaintances and friendships; I had had several offers of accommodation which meant that I only stayed at the Y for a couple of nights. 

I subsequently got to know Neil very well, first as his teaching assistant and later as his doctoral student. In spite of being Head of the Department, Neil did not scorn teaching first year undergraduates and I supported him in a couple of the courses he taught. One has stayed firmly in my mind - having the rather dry title "Evaluation of evidence", it involved a close reading of half a dozen key sociological texts, each demonstrating the uses of a different type of empirical material. Neil used Durkheim's Suicide to show how even the driest statistical material can inspire dazzling social theory; he used George Rude to demonstrate how police records from a couple of centuries earlier could be used to develop a new theory of crowd behaviour; he used Schachter and Zimbardo to show that even psychological experiments could be used in imaginative ways to develop new theories. 

I gradually became aware of Neil phenomenal breadth and depth of scholarship. His knowledge of social theory was dazzling - he knew and understood even theories that he did not particularly embrace or like. For example, I think that he knew Marxism better than many of the seasoned Marxists I befriended in Berkeley. His understanding of psychoanalysis was supreme and was the product of both theoretical and practical engagement. I believe that Neil was the first non-medically trained psychoanalyst to be certified in the state of California, something that he once mentioned casually as he was never one to blow his trumpet. 

Neil was not by temperament a critic and was open about his dislike of 'shrill' voices. He was, however, able to listen and he used his sociological insights to understand arguments and views with which he disagreed. He was by nature a peace-maker and a bridge-builder. If I had to single out two of Neil's exceptional qualities as an academic they would have to be his teaching brilliance and his ability to synthesize large volumes of literature, distilling the essence and identifying connections across different traditions. Smelser was also capable of dazzlingly original insights. If I had to point out one, I would forfeit many of his well-known and highly cited works for a hidden gem in which he anticipates so much of the work of Ritzer and Sennett in his analysis of the 'myth of the good life in California'. This deserves to be a classic, even though, like so many of his best works, it is not so easy to find (Smelser, N. J. (1984). "Collective myths and fantasies: The myth of the good life in California." In J. Rabow, G. M. Platt, & M. S. Goldman (Eds.), Advances in Psychoanalytic Sociology. Malabar, Florida: Krieger).

Neil had a remarkable number of doctoral students, many of whom went on to have very successful academic careers themselves. What is more remarkable is how diverse the interests of those who earned their doctorates under his supervision. Looking at the list of contributors to the Festschrift published in Neil's honour Self, social structure and beliefs (University of California Press 2004) and edited by his students Jeff Alexander, Gary T. Marx and Christine L. Williams, I see the names  of Piotr Stompka, Arlie Hochschild, Nancy Chodorow, Robert Wuthrow, Burton R. Clark and several others including mine whose interests range far and wide and none of whom would be pigeon-holed as a 'Smelser-clone'. This could hardly be said of many scholars today.

I met Neil regularly, earlier during his visits to England which he really loved (his own PhD had been on the dramatic social changes in the cotton industry during the English industrial revolution), and later during my own bi-annual visits to Berkeley. I last saw him in the summer of 2015. I will conclude this posting with an account of my meeting Neil, as I recorded it in a message to a close friend:

"My day yesterday started with a wonderful conversation with old Smelser, who at 85 is aging gracefully both physically and mentally. We had a 90 minute chat with no reference to health issues and touching on many of the interests that have brought us together in the past – the state of sociology today, the changes in the Berkeley sociology department, some nostalgic memories of the past, the importance of the teacher (he was a great teacher and continues to teach a course at 85!) It is always a pleasure to meet him, although now accompanied with a little anxiety lest he has reached the point physically or mentally when he may be too far gone. He is still interested in ideas and was keen to know my views on Greece ... It is curious that when he was my supervisor, I didn’t see him that often, maybe half a dozen times in all, since much of my thesis was written while living in England. But we have had a very warm relation over the years which has endured ..."

Earlier this year, I emailed Neil hoping to meet him during a visit to Berkeley. Unusually for him, there was no answer. I knew ... Neil will be greatly missed.

From Federico D'Agostino. I like to join the family of the students of Neil Smelser who was my teacher in Berkeley.He will be always in my memory up to the last days of my life with feelings of love, gratitude and recognition of  his great generosity, his support, his friendship during my work for Ph.D . Smelser has been a giant in many areas of sociological research,but at the same time he has been a humble scholar to the point of perceiving him like a companion  of our  sociological adventure.Once I invited him to the Univ. of Naples where I was teaching, but he prefered to come to my home town in the South of Italy where the Major gave to him the honorary citizenship  that he liked to show on his desk in Berkeley.I like to think that he will be part of my family and our common friends in the next life to whom I will be in communion with my prayers. All my sympathy to his wife.

From Steven Millner. Neil Smelser's essence has been captured very accurately by many...He was both a scholar and a teacher's teacher...I too marveled at his devotion to classroom duties and his deep knowledge of this society's operations...but his willingness to extend those qualities to all...including those of us...from America's underside...students of color coming in via affirmative action, in the early 1970s were treated in Smelser's world with the same graciousness as well as prodding scrutiny as all his students. Given the sometimes harsh climate of those times I found this attribute of his...simply wonderful. He was willing to listen to our sometimes angry or infantile rants...before providing thoughtful reminders of points of view or readings we hadn't...bothered to consider...that took a certain courage of spirit by him...that too should also remain appreciated. It is by me,

From Stephen Warner. I was greatly saddened to learn of Neil Smelser’s death. He had a huge impact on my career and on my life, from 1962 on. As I’m sure was true for countless students, he instilled confidence in me, opened doors for me, went to bat for me, counseled me in times of distress, and above all, inspired me as a model of what a professor should be. He was always well-prepared for class, spoke with open-minded conviction, illuminated kernels of truth in flawed theories, challenged students to stretch themselves, gave timely and thoughtful feedback, conveyed respect and sensitivity in one-on-one consultations, and seemed unflappable in public. Although other contributors to this book of remembrances knew him better than I did (I was not comfortable calling him by his first name until he retired from Berkeley), he continued to inspire me well after his retirement (in his writings on the odyssey experience, for example). I will always be in his debt, conscious of the obligation to pay it forward.

From Jay Demerath. Sorry to be so tardy in responding to Neil's passing. The two of us arrived in Berkeley from Harvard in the same year in 1958..He came as  star professor and I was just a first year graduate student. Of course, he remained a star and I struggled to the degree in part with his help. I still remember his first question in my doctoral oral exam  "Define a tautology and illustrate its use among sociological theorists?" Somehow I recovered and we remained friends ever since. He will be greatly missed even by those who never knew him personally.

From Debra David. I echo others’ words of deep appreciation for Neil Smelser. As chair of my dissertation committee, he supported my forays into fields beyond traditional sociology – psychology, psychoanalysis, anthropology, and philosophy. My career took me even further along interdisciplinary pathways, influenced in part by his openness and imagination. His thoughtfulness and kindness continued beyond my years at Berkeley, as he wrote several excellent letters of recommendation. It was privilege to have worked with him.

From Colin Samson.  Like the others who have contributed here, I had very positive experiences with Neil. He  was my main dissertation supervisor, and in that role he was always encouraging. He seemed to intuitively understand the substance and contexts of my intellectual concerns, and gave both creative and practical advice throughout the PhD process. At each meeting, I would receive a sheet of clearly articulated observations on my work, and these were invaluable as I exchanged ideas with him and then went on to edit and refine my dissertation. 

Neil had a worldliness about him that allowed me, like Debra, to cross into other disciplines to bring different kinds of insights to my work. This was refreshing, as at the time some other faculty were resolutely mono-disciplinary and seemed to want to confine sociology to as narrow a remit as possible. 

Above all, Neil was charitable and generous. He wrote me the recommendation letter that got me my job now of 27 years. My only regret is that I did not have continuous contact with Neil after my graduation...but I am eternally grateful to him.

From Susan Bettelheim Garfin. Where would I have been without Neil Smelser as my PhD advisor and mentor?  His ideas shaped my view of the world. His courses prepared me for those I taught in my academic career. His ease with all of us who were his students was remarkable.  I remember Neil’s UC retirement party when so many of us came to honor him and so many wrote testimonials to his powerful, positive influence on our careers.  I remember Neil’s willingness to serve as outside evaluator for my department’s WASC accreditation review and his receptiveness to hearing students express their views, positive and negative of our major and our courses.  After Neil left our campus (Sonoma State), students couldn’t stop talking about the wonderful experience they’d had with one of their academic heroes.  Thank you, Neil, for all you gave to our discipline and for all you gave to us, your students.  You are remembered and you are missed.

From Armand Mauss. Let me add a word of appreciation for Neil to all the others that have been offered here (and no doubt will continue to come in). I started my doctoral work in 1958 while already supporting a family with my employment as a public school teacher. Accordingly, I had to drop in and out of the program as my time and other circumstances might permit. I finally finished all my course work and exams in 1967 but didn't finish the dissertation and degree until 1970. I worked mainly with Charlie Glock, but Neil Smelser was only slightly less crucial to my success, both as a professor and as Dean of the Graduate School. In both of those roles, Neil did whatever he could to facilitate my progress, despite the unusual configuration of my career track. His course and his publications in collective behavior/ social movements provided the basis for one of the main preoccupations of my career as a professor at Washington State. Although I gradually abandoned the traditional functionalist theoretical framework in favor of a social constructionist one, Neil never held that against me. In fact, he put several copies of my work on library reserve for a later cohort of his students in CB/SM. That was only one of the ways that he continued to support my career even after I finished up at Berkeley. He was the epitome of the proverbial "gentleman and scholar," and I have never stopped being grateful to him.

From Faruk Birtek. Neil was St Paul to American Sociology. If our department was one of the best in the country, if not the best, it was also  in part due to Neil Smelser's presence. After Blumer, Neil smelser was one of its intellectual architects. As a person he was always most gracious, thoughtful and polite. as a teacher always most attentive to his students, no paper would come back without a well studied comment. He and Art Stinchcombe in their very different ways brought rigour to the study of sociological theory and made it into a discipline. ı personally owe them fifty years of my career,"selling my wares" in different parts of the world with success. Happy are we who experienced those glorious years of the department.

From Tom Piazza. I was in the Department the same time as Faruk — late 1960’s and 1970’s.  I also recall Neil as a pillar of the Department, a calm voice of reason in turbulent times.  Those of us who entered the Department in those years had varied expectations about what sociology could teach us about the world. Neil had something to offer all of us, and I only have fond memories of him. Even later, over the years, we would occasionally cross paths, and he was always a gracious friend and former professor.  I will truly miss him.

From Anita Weiss. Neil had a great impact on my professional career in demonstrating how important it is to truly care about students. He was not on my dissertation committee, and I only took one course with him at Berkeley. However, while I was a graduate student and in the many years following, whenever we met at professional meetings and conferences, he would always check in with me, inquire how things were going, asking specific questions about past and present research. The feeling of empowerment I took away from these interactions has influenced me greatly, and I try to have the same kind of impact on my students. HIs influence lives on!

From Ann Neel. My first encounter with Neil J. Smelser was in 1960. I had entered UC Berkeley in the fall of 1959 as a graduate student in the School of Social Welfare but at the time found their program too little sociological and too Freudian.  Checking out the Sociology department as an alternative, I visited one of their classes and was bowled over by what I experienced as the intense, “rapid-fire” delivery of a brilliant 30 year old professor Neil Smelser.   Here was intellectual engagement; here was substance; here was the analysis I craved.   So I dropped out of Social Welfare without regret. 

In order to be accepted in the graduate program in Sociology I needed to compete a full major which included Smelser’s famous undergraduate theory course.  I still have its notes, well over 50 years later.   But l wanted the full dose.  So I took Smelser’s graduate courses on Social Theory, Social Change, and Collective Behavior; he was the principal advisor of my Master’s thesis, and on my Orals committee for the Ph.D., (though my dissertation regarding internal colonialism was under Robert Blauner).

I can give no higher praise than to say that Smelser taught me how to think – systematically and creatively.  He was a consummate scholar and professor, besides being a mensch.  Gary T. Marx put it in his introduction to Mastering Ambivalence…on Smelser, "Those of us privileged to have been Neil's students and colleagues have been doubly blessed… We have benefited from his knowledge and intellect as expressed in his writings and lectures, from his incisive, but diplomatic and supportive, criticism of our work, and from his mentoring and guidance in how to be in the academic world."

From Nancy Chodorow. First of all, I am so sad.  Neil Smelser was a mentor, a friend, a constant and committed supporter.  He was unproblematically kind.  He also represented for me a sustained professional ethic, one to which I aspired but did not attain.  I draw on our professional commonality beyond sociology -- psychoanalysis -- to hypothesize that Neil was both born with and formed, through his early years in his family, generosity and integrity, and that he had a "good analysis," so he didn't impose his conflicts and ambivalence (however much he wrote professionally about these topics) on his students and younger colleagues.

I heard from Neil long before I met him.  A second year graduate student at Brandeis, I wrote a paper on Parsons' theory of internalization (the psychoanalysis-sociology bridge).  When asked by his graduate student Jeff Alexander whether Neil would read my paper, he readily agreed, and he gave me extensive written comments.  Here was a leading Parsonsian sociologist interested in the psyche, not to mention a world famous sociologist in one of the leading departments in the country, willing to read a paper by an unknown student from a non-mainstream department!  And who continued to foster me and to model our mutual psychoanalytic sociology commitments. 

I do not know when I met Neil after I moved to California in 1974, but I certainly knew him by the late 1970s, well before I moved to the Berkeley Sociology Department in 1986 (I am sure that my appointment was also largely facilitated by Neil, who would never reveal such specifics).  What I do know is that although I knew him only slightly, his support was unproblematic and unstinting.  When I submitted The Reproduction of Mothering to UC Press, Neil's enthusiasm carried the day, and, ever-interested in colleagueship and mentoring, this was not an anonymous review: Neil wanted me to know that he was there, and available for conversation and support.  Neil's ethics pervaded his professional work.

So, there's the commonality of interest.  Neil was the first sociologist to undertake full psychoanalytic training, to do clinical work, and he was entirely and enthusiastically supportive when I decided to follow that route.  Why, he asked, do our work if we do not follow our passions?  Later, I could watch and read as Neil published an entire book on The Social Edges of Psychoanalysis and gave an ASA plenary entitled "Depth Psychology and the Social Order," as he collaborated and taught with renowned psychoanalyst Bob Wallerstein.

Freud wrote many works that expressed his interest in the social and his sense that psychoanalysis could give us sociological understanding and vice versa.  Yet, for those of us who cut our teeth in the Harvard Soc Rel Department, in Neil's case as a Parsons student, it is certainly the concept of internalization, as much as the great Freudian sociological works, that makes the most everyday link to psychoanalysis.  Here, Freud's 1917 paper, "Mourning and Melancholia," is key.  Freud says that when we lose someone, we call up, one by one, memories of that person, we attend to them more intensively, and then we relinquish the person, while making the memories our own, perhaps helping to form and reshape us.  As I have been thinking of Neil, I picture his kindness, his smile, his unproblematic support, his deep integrity as a scholar, a mentor, an administrator, an ethical human being -- and I picture our now long ago yearly lunches at the Faculty Club, where we ate BLTs, or hamburgers, or tuna sandwiches, and drank (as I remember) iced tea, or lemonade, or coke.  And we talked.  And talked.

From Alessandro Ferrara. Deeply saddened by the news of Neil Smelser's passing, memories of my hours spent in conversation with him in Barrows Hall come to my mind. The enfant-prodige who already in his twenties co-authored a classic with Parsons and later left a mark on so many fields of sociology, the prominent academic, the explorer of cross-disciplinary boundaries deep down was a marvelous, warm and supportive mentor. I was a teaching assistant for his “methods” class in the early 1980's and later had him as chair of my dissertation committee in 1984. My topic – Rousseau as the inventor of the idea that self-identity can be a source of moral and political normativity and that an identity's potential for playing such a role rests on its capacity for being authentic – was not exactly his cup of tea. Yet he perfectly grasped what I was trying to do, in response to a wave of then dominant neoconservative cultural criticism. Neil promptly read and generously commented on the chapters that I would submit to him,  always offered encouragement, recognition of my efforts, constructive criticism, animated by an exemplary “generativity” – the disinterested interest for the unfolding of the creative effort of someone else. Neil's genuine supportiveness, broadness of interests and unpretentious style of supervision struck a deep chord in me. Over the years, my career developed in Europe and, after a while, in political philosophy. Our contacts became more sporadic, but the legacy of his way of inhabiting the intellectual and academic world remained an unequalled  role-model for me. I'm forever grateful to him and trust he will be missed by everyone as one of the greatest sociologists of his generation.

From Gary T. Marx. When learning of the unexpected death of a mentor, words of sorrow can never adequately communicate the sense of loss. But written memories can offer trace elements of the specialness and love the person inspired. These remarks are offered in that spirit and in the good fortune to have had Neil as a teacher and friend for 57 years.

If we are among the very fortunate, sometime in life we are inspired and gently guided by a person of extraordinary insight, character, competence and kindness. Neil Smelser was such a person for legions of students and colleagues in higher education. His unselfish dedication to individuals and hallowed institutions set the bar as high, and at times it seemed even higher, than was humanely possible.

Such persons by their deeds and the simple act of being, help others find their own path, uplift the human spirit and create and sustain our highest civilizational ideals. While I profited intellectually from other mentors, their lessons were largely practical, professional and impersonal. Not so with Neil, who was a role model both personally and professionally.

Neil was the engineer on a very long train whose antecedents are deep in Greek history. The train continually evolves with each new crop of engineers. Georg Simmel has written of the "irredeemable gratitude" felt toward the gift giver. This applies to what one feels toward the mentor who offers his or her intellectually and morally powerful sensibilities and insights to guide a career and a life.

Awareness that such gifts cannot be directly reciprocated, deepens the indebtedness. Yet reciprocation is possible by doing for our students (whether those in the class room or those reached through writing) what Neil did with such skill and grace --passing on the values, sentiments, style, method, substance and even love of what he was given, enhanced by his own experiences and creativity. The giver is paid back in knowing that what he or she offers is a gift that keeps on giving, as links are added to the chain.

Wordsworth tells us that we should not grieve for the splendor in the grass, nor for the glory of the flower, but rather seek strength in what remains behind. Yet we can also gain strength in what lies ahead that we will never know.

We pay back those who have given us so much by passing it on. As teachers we are rewarded in knowing that through our students and their students ad infinitum some of what we give seeps into the culture and geometrically trickles across generations --whether in direct interaction or to those we don’t know who encounter our work.

From J. Herman Blake. Although he was my professor and also chaired my dissertation committee, my most compelling memories of Neil Smelser are as a friend and unequivocal supporter of my administrative career.  My first encounter with him was in a graduate course in contemporary sociological theory in 1961. To increase my understanding I visited with him during office hours to discuss every aspect of the course—his lectures, the readings and the small group discussions he led. The academic and intellectual perspectives opened me to a world beyond my imagination.  They continue to guide me—more than 5 decades later.

In 1966 I was appointed to the faculty of the new University of California campus in Santa Cruz.  As a friend and mentor Neil helped me critically analyze the multiple opportunities that quickly opened. The University presented me with a unique opportunity—create a new academic institution with the monumental challenge of infusing new content and a broader range of students into the traditional academic values and goals of liberal education.

Neil’s piercing questions and astute observations were clarifying because of their intuitive insights.  His comments led me to accept the offer to lead Oakes College at the Santa Cruz campus of the University. 

Neil was the first social scientist appointed University Professor.  This extraordinary position meant he could teach on any of the nine campuses of the University of California with full support from the Office of the President.  In one of our conversations he made an amazing offer. He proposed to spend a term at Oakes College with a dual responsibility.  Primarily he would counsel and advise individual faculty of the College—regardless of their discipline—critiquing their scholarship and research.  Secondly he would join me in co-teaching an undergraduate course on social change and collective behavior.  We would combine social theories with my research in grassroots communities and inner cities in California.  It was an exceptional statement of confidence and respect for the new college.

Faculty were inspired by his individual consultations with them—his advice on their research and scholarship, as well as recommendations about publishing.  Students became engaged in our course realizing the approach placed significant emphasis on their active involvement in the learning process.  Neil Smelser exemplified how a great university can substantively change without compromising its intellectual and academic values.

In my current research in isolated and rural communities of Gullah and Geechee people in the islands along the coast of South Carolina and Georgia I still sense the presence of Neil Smelser. In a recent conference presentation on social organization and sustainability of Gullah Geechee communities in post-Reconstruction years, I found my observations guided by intuitive understandings of the “pattern variables.” 

“Neil was one of the most distinguished sociologists to have walked the earth” (Michael Burawoy).  It cannot be said any better.

From Jeffrey Alexander. My respect for Neil as a thinker was enormous, my gratitude to him as a teacher and mentor great, and my personal affection real and strong. He was a model for me throughout my career -- how an academic should comport himself, and, at some distance, a father figure and friend. As I watched him grow older, I got a lot of satisfaction from knowing that he had lived a wonderful life, the one he wanted, filled with personal achievements and untold contributions to people he nurtured and institutions he loved.
From Tina Smelser (originally written for Neil's retirement from Berkeley in 1994)
As we honor the distinguished career of my dad,                                                                              
I feel very proud, but I also feel sad
In my mind, he and Berkeley have been one and the same;
University of California was like his middle name!
His career here and my life cover the same exact span-
Nine months after he started was when my life began!
Indeed an era is approaching a close,
so I pay this brief tribute to him as he goes
His success in the world of his work is quite clear,
I’d rather speak of some things that to me are more dear
As I started composing the memories came flowing,
of different stages of life from when up I was growing
Like Sundays in Golden Gate Park when we rented old bikes,
or summers in the Grand Canyon taking long, dusty hikes
Night games at Candlestick could get mighty cold,
and I didn’t much appreciate them when I wasn’t that old
He’d laugh when I’d say, “Dad, I hope they don’t tie”,
but I’m a Giants fan now ‘til the day that I die!
I remember sitting in the living room, following the librettos,
Of Gilbert and Sullivan operettas
He liked the word games-French and English- that I liked to play
On Wednesdays and Sundays as we drove ‘cross the bay
He once gave me a T-shirt which made me feel I was bright,
it said on it, “Punsters of the World Unite!”
Country music wasn’t “cool” among peers that I had,
but I loved it, and still do, ‘cause it’s part of my dad
His culinary talents are not to be missed,
with mashed potatoes at Christmas on top of the list
He gave me roots in America, and at the same time the chance,
to spend some vacations in England and France
Vicarious fame I sometimes can feel,      
when someone says, “Smelser? Are you related to Neil”?
Of course it’s not always easy having a father so great
That sense of “having to live up to” can be a burdensome weight
Still, with him and Sharin in Berkeley, it’s like everything’s OK,
And like something is missing when they go away…
Life just isn’t the same with Dad being gone
But through his family and students, his spirit lives on


From Claude Fischer. I will add another angle to Neil Smelser, the scholar, teacher, and leader of the discipline. He was a consummate political actor--in the best sense of the term. In the midst of conflict and tension, Neil would sense the common ground and direct the the deliberations, gently, calmly, and thoughtfully, to that common ground. He was a masterful diplomat and negotiator who used his skills for the common good. Would that the world had more such like him.

From Mark Peterson. Neil was indeed a great friend of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholars in Health Policy Research Program, a scholarly superstar who simply reveled in spending time and working with Scholars from all three disciplines.  And he just kept on working, writing, and publishing with a sense of intellectual passion that rivaled anyone in the academy.  Neil was also a close personal friend of my in-laws (my late father-in-law, Julius Margolis, had been a colleague at Berkeley many years ago)--I am thankful to the Scholars program for giving me the opportunity to get to know him as well, and the opportunity to rekindle stories from those times.

From Ben Handel. I interacted with Neil as an RWJF Scholar at Berkeley during my two years in the program. Neil was always so much fun to interact with, and really gave the seminar series we had together a lot of enthusiasm. Neil had an amazingly broad perspective on issues related to health care, and helped me understand many important concepts, which was not simple, since he was a sociologist and I am an economist. He was such an incredible scholar and person, and really lit up any room he was in. It was a great privilege to get to know Neil and spend so much time with him.

From William Dow. I had the privilege of co-teaching with Neil the Health and Social Science Research seminar for the last several years of the RWJF postdoc program.  I learned more and more every year that we taught it together.  He turned it into that unicorn seminar that many of us thought we would have in graduate school but rarely happens -- deep, interdisciplinary discussions about research, policy, and life.  What a contribution to so many cohorts of scholars.

From Mary Waters: I have known Neil for 38 years and he was a wonderful teacher, advisor and friend.  I took a class from him, worked as his RA, and he was a terrific advisor on my dissertation committee.  I think he was most pleased with me in grad school when he found out that one of my summer jobs was teaching computer programming to little kids at the Lawrence Hall of Science, and his daughter Sarah was in my class.  He always went back to that experience as a special bond between us. It was in the years after Berkeley that I got to know Neil as a good friend.  We overlapped on many committees at various institutions, especially at Russell Sage and Guggenheim.  I watched him lead scholars across many disciplines with his characteristic low key, kind, yet firm style. I learned so much from him.  Neil was a true intellectual, with a quick and wide ranging mind.  I enjoyed spending time with him and Sharin over the years and enjoyed his sense of humor and warm good cheer.  I will miss him very much.

From Alberto Martinelli. I was deeply moved by the news of Neil Smelser’s death. I knew him well. He was the chair of my Ph.D. Committee in 1975 and later on a wise colleague and a gentle friend. We collaborated on various grounds, the Economy and Society reader, the International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, the Handbook of Economic Sociology and in the activities of the International Sociological Association.

Neil has been a great intellectual figure, with a broad spectrum of research interests, truly innovative ideas, keen sociological imagination. He was also a special educator and as mentor for many, an active institution builder and defender of sociology as a science and of the sociological community of scholars, a sincere liberal in his staunch defense of the freedom of thought and speech. His contribution to sociology, social science and contemporary culture in general will last for long time.

From Lyn Spillman. From our first casual conversation about my dissertation, in the Stephens Hall courtyard, to our last face-to-face meeting in the lobby of a San Francisco ASA, with professional chat and news of his travels and grandchildren,  Neil’s stalwart and kind presence in my life over thirty years was a happy gift.  He was a lovely man, and I’ll miss him.

Thirty years of support and friendship leaves a lot of memories. Amazingly, there’s not one upsetting memory among them. As a dissertation advisor, Neil may not have realized how much it meant to find his long letters of careful reflections in my mail so promptly after I’d given him something to read.  He was balanced, undogmatic, open, interested, and supportive. Never unduly directive, he didn’t create “Smelser students,” but rather helped us become scholars in ourselves. Yet years later I would be surprised to realize– sometimes embarrassingly late–  that Neil had pioneered the scholarship generating some new idea of mine.

But that was the least of it. I also remember the years of advice and reassurance about early-career insecurities, when I could always turn to him with my latest worry about navigating the system, or my latest request for letters. (Now, it looks to me like a lot of hand-holding; but back then, it was sustaining, and I know it might well have made the difference between swimming and sinking).  And later, as he plunged into his active retirement, I always enjoyed hearing the latest enthusiastic accounts of his next book, his keen travels, and the grandchildren who delighted him.

To me, Neil seemed amazingly unpretentious. If it had been left to him, I would never have known what a significant figure he is in twentieth century sociology.  Yet, looking back at all he did, he must have been a professional virtuoso. Occasionally, he might mention some obligation to travel– on the program committee for ISA, or to Berlin to give the Georg Simmel Lectures,  or to a National Academy of Sciences meeting. Or he might mention an acquaintance from his long tenure in the rarefied circles of Guggenheim or SSRI, or directorship of CASBS. Or he might mention a project he was particularly engaged in– like a national report on terrorism, or a plan for the UC system in the coming century. The Toronto meeting concluding his presidency of the ASA was a high point for both of us. Yet all this was a tiny fraction of all he contributed to the academy, mostly behind the scenes.

He was similarly unpretentious about his scholarship. But ultimately, it is his scholarship we should remember most;  the fact that he treated his retirement as a happy opportunity to write more books reminds us how important it was to him.  His contributions covered a vast terrain, because he was always pleased to puzzle over a new problem, or rethink an earlier position. We could talk about favorites for a long time, and we all have our particular interests. But Neil wrote a lot that any sociologist can profit from, whatever their interests. I remember his particular delight in The Odyssey Experience, about transformation in daily life. I think every sociologist should read “The Rational and the Ambivalent in the Social Sciences” (ASR 1998). I think every student should read Problematics of Sociology, for a lucid and balanced map of our field. Neil’s wise reflections on the scope and inherent tensions of the discipline, and the forces that shape it, are explored in more depth in  Getting Sociology Right: A Half-Century of Reflections, which includes the classic “Sociology as Science, Humanism and Art”– another required reading. I’m grateful, not only for his support and friendship through the years, but also for the distinctive voice he offers sociology.

From Lois West. Thank you, Dr. Smelser.  I never called him by his first name nor would I have.  He was the quintessential mentor and professional who genuinely liked and encouraged women students (too rare a quality in academia I found).  For my Reagan-era cohort he was our first research methods professor.  I have always been grateful to him for having us read and critique a breadth of classical sociologists, Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, Sigmund Freud, as well as sharing his struggles and blocks with his own higher education work.  His comments on our analyses were trenchant, thorough and always typewritten which I appreciated over others frequent brevity of handwritten marginalia.  After my orals exam, he awarded me a white Styrofoam cup that he had decorated with ink drawings he created while we all spoke.  I wish I had kept it.  He gave me more typewritten pages for my dissertation and advised me on navigating university politics—“Raise your voice. Yell and slam your fist to get their attention.”  That surprised me but I got the message.  He wrote me positive, supportive and much needed letters of recommendation for a sociology professor job and for tenure, and I followed his work as ASA president and always appreciated it.  He was irreplaceable and I will miss him.  Thank you, Dr. Smelser.

From Jeffrey Prager. I am saddened to learn of the death of Neil Smelser, an important mentor and significant influence on my life and career.  Learning this news has prompted many memories of my time with Neil that I would like to share.

Neil was my first instructor, offering the Introductory Sociological Theory to in-coming graduate students.  This was in 1969.  Many of us were drawn to Sociology largely because of its close intellectual connections with the contemporary politics of the time.  Few, I believe, entered graduate school to become professional Sociologists; in fact, as hard as the idea may now sound, most of us had not even considered the professional consequences of graduate training.  It was not surprising, then, when Neil introduced us to sociological theory, he being a student of Talcott Parsons and his action theory, not only were Neil’s presentations nearly impossible to understand but most of us were convinced of their irrelevance.  I think I really understood almost nothing of the class because I was so preoccupied with the political struggles at the time. [I date my arrival at Berkeley as post-People's Park and pre-Cambodia]  One distinct memory was when one of my classmates prefaced his question to Neil with “As a Marxist revolutionary.....,” and many of us took great pleasure in our comrade’s audacity.  That year, Neil decided to require oral examinations with each of us rather than to have a written assessment.  Not only was I at a loss at how to study for such an exam but, though I passed the class respectably, I think my oral performance left much to be desired.  Neil asked me about my understanding of the dialectic.  Even on my own terms, I probably should have understood it better but he was searching for the idea of an ever-changing dynamic in which as one side of the dialectic becomes stronger, the other becomes weaker.  Almost 50 years after being confronted with his question, I still find myself often pondering it.  It is certainly ironic or, in psychoanalytic terms, perhaps over-determined that, as an instructor myself, sociological theory has been my deepest professional commitment for the past thirty years or so.  I routinely teach Sociological Theory and Contemporary Theory to both undergraduates and graduate students.

Partly because of that confidence-shattering experience of the first year, I kept my distance from Neil as a graduate student. Some years later, I finally screwed up my courage to invite him to be a member of my dissertation committee to which he readily agreed.  William Kornhauser was my Chair because the dissertation fell squarely under the purview of political sociology, though Neil’s work on historical sociology also made him an appropriate choice.  My progress on the thesis was slow, as I think nearly everybody else’s was as well, but during the course of that time, I met with Neil only a few times.  His obligations were intensifying both in terms of his professional visibility and also because of his administrative acumen.  He was the only person I have met who used his time as Chair of the Department to collect data on the Departmental search for an Assistant Professor and use it to publish a book on Affirmative Action at the University.  Instead of regular meetings with him, I would submit to him a completed chapter.  He told me he preferred not to meet to discuss the chapter but he would provide me with written comments.  Before too much time passed, I would receive back from him a paragraph or two of comments on his thoughts on the chapter.  Though more impersonal than I would have liked, it was a model both of impressive efficiency on his part and also an extremely useful teaching technique.  I was able to read over and over his comments and, in time, absorb their import.  They were always extremely useful.

The most memorable moment, however, was when, after several years of my teaching at UCLA, I returned to the Department to meet with him.  I told him then that I had decided to enter into a full psychoanalytic training program in Los Angeles to better learn the field for my academic research.  In a genuinely spontaneous outburst of support, Neil said “Finally!, I am a role model for someone.”  He was genuinely pleased by my decision and extremely supportive. From then on, when talking to me, or talking of me to others, he would say he was the Chair of my dissertation committee.  I never had the courage to correct him on his misimpression.  He read my Ph.D. Thesis from the Southern California Psychoanalytic Institute with great enthusiasm.  When I published a version of that as my second book, Presenting the Past, Psychoanalysis and the Sociology of Misremembering, he provided a blurb for its publication which was wonderful if not excessive in its praise.  I felt I was rewarded both by letters he would write on my behalf and also his invitation to contribute to his Handbook of the Social and Behavioral Sciences an entry on The Psychology of Collective Memory.  I think I rightly concluded that the category itself was created with me in mind as its author.

Still, Neil forever remains my teacher.  One article in particular, written with his own San Francisco analyst Robert Wallerstein, a leading intellectual light in the field of psychoanalysis and an important figure in the psychoanalytic movement, has continued to haunt me.  It is a brilliant article—whose title right now escapes me but for which I am committed now to re-read—written as a cautionary theoretical tale of the dangers of using psychoanalytic theory and ideas for sociological analysis.  They carefully dissect the basic epistemological presumptions of each to show only the narrowest of possibilities for integration between the two fields.  The essay illustrated, first, how different Neil’s way of thinking was from mine—he was far more dispassionate and analytical than me in a philosophy of social science kind of way—and how muchit constrained me from trying to achieve the kind of integration I aspired to.  There came a point, many years after reading it, that I almost consciously decided to defy the article's warnings and to begin to develop a kind of psychoanalytic sociology that, to this day, I’m not sure he would approve of.  My article “Healing from History,” I think marks my rebellion, however limited it was, against my teacher.  But I continue often to be reminded of his importance in shaping my thought and career when, with nearly every new publication of mine and with every comment of praise for my work, Neil and this article comes to mind.  He now has been firmly lodged within me in the form of my own self-criticism, a super-egoist warning not to be too pleased because the flaws in my own research are known to me and could easily be discovered by others. 

So, with his death, the question I now ask is whether I will be personally emancipated from his constant authoritative presence.  Will I experience his death as a kind of an Oedipal victory? Will my inchoate albeit unfounded concerns about retaliation lessen?  Of course, I would like to think so.  But, in fact, I think he will always remain firmly lodged within me as an example of an extraordinarily powerful intellect who sets a standard for my own scholarship that I will never achieve.  I will miss knowing of Neil’s presence on this earth.  However, I don’t worry about the memory of his example disappearing because, since I began teaching, I have passed that on to my students.  It is impossible to imagine that changing now.  

From Gail Kligman. Neil chaired my dissertation committee. As a graduate student, his support was steadfast, even when he pushed me in unanticipated directions. I am indebted to him for his consistent encouragement to be receptive to new ideas as well as interdisciplinary perspectives, and to embrace the challenges that so often accompany them. He urged me to approach research with an open mind, but with an equally open critical eye. His influence on my own approach to pedagogy in general,  to mentoring undergraduate and graduate students, has been unparalleled. Neil has left a towering legacy not only to the department to which he dedicated most of his academic career, but to the University of California more broadly, to sociology across the globe, and to the promotion of scholarship as well as the practice of psychoanalysis.

From Victoria Bonnell. Neil Smelser was a much admired colleague and friend. He had a brilliant mind and a big heart. Watch Harry Kreisler's interview with Neil in 2005 to grasp his intellectual range and depth as well as his humanity (

Neil’s modesty and unpretentiousness belied his prodigious accomplishments.  A Harvard undergraduate and Rhodes scholar (1952-1954), he returned to Harvard for graduate school and by 1956 had coauthored Economy and Society with Talcott Parsons.  He came to the Berkeley sociology department in 1958 where he remained for thirty-six years until he left to direct the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, a position he held until 2001.

The author of a vast number of books and articles, Neil had at his command multiple fields of inquiry.  His erudition brought him preeminence in many different subfields of sociology, and he made original contributions to a great many subjects, ranging from economic sociology to social theory and a lot in between.  It would be fair to say that most trained sociologists over the past sixty years have at some point encountered and engaged with his ideas.  And to add to the miracle of it all, Neil had a dual career as both a sociologist and a psychoanalyst.

Neil formed deep and lasting personal relationships with colleagues, students, and staff.  I know because he took me under his wing when I came to Berkeley.  He was chairing the department when I was hired, and after I joined the faculty, he brought me into his inner circle.  We were not an obvious match. In the politically charged atmosphere of the Berkeley sociology department in the mid and late 1970s, Neil and I had found ourselves at odds over a number of scholarly and other issues. Yet he invited me to be part of his intellectual world and he opened doors for me that changed my life.

Not long after my arrival at Berkeley in 1976, he invited me to join an inter-departmental faculty group designed to explore new theoretical perspectives.  The group, which assembled monthly for dinner at the Faculty Club, was established by Neil in the 1960s under the auspices of the Institute of International Studies.  When I first joined, all the participants were tenured and the anthropologist Elizabeth Colson was the sole female member of the group.  The composition grew more diverse in the years to come but the departments of history and anthropology continued to supply most of the participants.  Discussions were exuberant, sometimes passionate but always cordial and without rancor. (I recall a thrilling and contentious conversation about Pierre Bourdieu’s Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste.)  This was academia as I had never experienced it before and haven’t since.  Neil was the catalyst for the group and its inspiration—he selected the participants, the menus, and the topics, and he presided over the meetings.  At some point in the late 1980s, he invited me to co-chair and when he retired, I took over.  But the seminar survived only for a few more years.  Neil’s departure and changing academic agendas dispersed the group.

Neil believed in the mission of the university and its inclusiveness. In the Berkeley sociology department, Arlie Hochschild, Nancy Chodorow, Ann Swidler, and I—among others—were beneficiaries of his tremendous support for women scholars at a time when there were relatively few of us on the faculty.  Many honors and distinctions flowed to Neil over his long career. He richly deserved the recognition and carried it with grace.  He will be remembered as much for his kindness and generosity of spirit as for his stunning intellect and devotion to the academy.  A great man has passed away.

From Arlie Hochschild. Neil Smelser died October 2, 2017, at 87, leaving behind an extraordinary legacy.  He created an astonishing career in sociology, became a major pillar of sociology, and great contributor to sociology, and a truly great mentor, as I came to know.  A Harvard and Oxford-trained wunderkind, Neil was ultimately the author of twenty books and  thirty edited volumes.   At his death, he was about to be awarded the 38th Constantine Panunzio Distinguished Emeriti Award, offered by the U.C. system.  Neil left “active UC employment in 1994, ” Marjorie Caserio writes: "But after he retired, he  went on to write seven more books, all on vastly different topics—the odyssey, terrorism, the use of sociology to private enterprise, for example -- and twenty major research articles.  Throughout his life, Neil also held many administrative  roles—including Chair of the Sociology Department, Assistant to the President of UC, and Director of the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford.

Until a person like Neil Smelser has passed from life, it is hard to appreciate the enormity of the intellectual and emotional space a person inhabits in a discipline, an institution, and  the lives of many students. For all these other great accomplishments, I know I am one of many graduate students whom he took time to mentor.  This he did through his even-tempered positive attitude, his ecumenicalism and his reassuring sense of forward motion.   “Helped” is too weak a word for what Neil did for me as a mentor. Without his support, I would have dropped out of sociology.   What  I felt was “rescued.”   Neil read my feeble papers with lightning speed and  helpful, encouraging comments.  I would disappear, not see him for months and reappear with another paper.  Again, he responded within the week and with many comments. Had he actually read so quickly something I’d struggled months to write? I wondered. Yes. He’d written two single-spaced pages of comments adding an encouraging final remark.    I remember bringing in yet another research paper on a rather minor topic — the invisible work done by the wives of foreign service officers, who represented their husbands and country in whom they saw, what they could say, how they should seem to feel and nearly everything they did.  I had shown the paper to another male professor, now deceased, who had written me “Fine, if you want to write for the Ladies Home Journal…”    Neil, on the other hand, suggested I revise the paper and send it to the Journal of Marriage and the Family which he said “had improved in recent years.”  He made this latter remark in such an off-hand way, as if he were on the journal’s side as it was improving, and as if I, like the journal, might  also be  improving, might one day have an opinion, and join the tribe.  At least I took the remark that way.  My topic didn’t fall within Neil’s areas of interest. It didn’t reflect  his conceptual approach. But Neil was far bigger than that; he never asked similarity of his students; he cared about helping us grow in the ways we seemed to need to grow.  That paper became the first I ever published. I think of it as my Neil Smelser paper, the one that got me going.  Neil had legions of students and mentees whom I’m sure have the same kind of story to tell.   So I know I speak for many former students and colleagues, when I say, “Thank you so much, Neil.  We will miss you very much and remember you always."  

From Ann Swidler. From my first days in graduate school, where Neil taught the introductory theory course, to long after I had left Berkeley and then returned, Neil was a generous, inspiring, steadying presence. I still remember much of what he taught us about theory--the difference between a strong theory that took the risk of being wrong and a weak theory that aspired to account for everything, for example. His great intellectual contributions as well as his many kindnesses have stayed with me. I remain grateful for all he gave to the discipline, the Department, and the University he loved.

From Earl Babbie.  I was saddened to learn of Neil’s passing. I had him as a professor during my graduate schooling at Berkeley. Then, I was on ASA’s EOB during Neil’s term as president. I held him in the very highest regard in both situations. He was a great sociologist and a great human being.

Here’s something I bet few people knew. Sitting around with coffee in stereofoam cups, Neil would decorate his cup with a ballpoint, turning it into a true work of art.  At one EOB (Executive Office and Budget) meeting, we auctioned off his cup with the winning bid going to ASA. Anyone who crossed paths with Neil was blessed by that and will miss him deeply now.

From Magali Sarfatti-Larson. So many will praise Neil Smelser for his work as a sociologist, unparalleled in its diversity and its breadth that I don’t know what I could write. From the first masterpiece, Social Change in the Industrial Revolution to the classic works on the sociology of economic life and the sociology of culture, to the Simmel lectures and The Faces of Terrorism and Getting Sociology Right and the amazing Odyssey Experience, I can repeat, as others undoubtedly will say, that everything Neil wrote was fundamental in any of the various fields he approached –incontournable, as the French say, which means unavoidable and indispensable.  His works were like his teaching: clear, lucid, critical, removing and resetting boundaries, daring us to go where we thought we needed to go, but with rigor, with discipline, with reason and humility, guided by painstaking research.

In times of turmoil, Neil was always the voice of reason, and he was listened to and heard. He was a great teacher and a necessary mentor, one who asked the right questions and helped us see where we were wrong, or just superficial, which is something he was not. I think of him, above all, as one of the kindest, gentlest and calmest men I have ever met. His integrity and depth as a human being and as an intellectual always reminded us of what universities are or should be, starting with Berkeley which we all loved and to which he gave so much. We all owe him so much that there is no goodbye to say, only living love and gratitude.

From Richard Weisman. Neil was Professor Smelser to me when I was a graduate student in the 1960’s. It wasn’t until some forty years later when I wrote him a note acknowledging his impact on me in my own career as an academic that he became Neil to me. I was not surprised when he wrote back that he was “still at it” seven years after his retirement.  What I said then I still believe even now that I too am retired. As a teaching assistant in his introductory course in sociology, I learned what it meant to prepare lectures that were rigorous, challenging, and yet totally captivating for their engagement with core sociological issues.  As a student in his seminar on Talcott Parsons, I learned what it was to be a committed scholar who was nevertheless open to perspectives that might challenge those commitments. Neil was someone who had much to give to his students but was never too proud to learn from them as well. When I look back at the intellectual ferment of the 1960’s, I think of Neil as one of the few scholars during that period whose vision of scholarship and embrace of teaching as a vocation never faltered.  Neil inspired me as I know he inspired others to try to live up to his high ideals in their own careers.

From Simon Frith.  When I joined the graduate school in the Sociology Department at Berkeley in 1967, fresh from doing PPE at Oxford, I knew little about sociology and nothing about the US university system.  Neil Smelser became my mentor by default.  One of the requirements of my scholarship was to be someone’s research assistant, and because of my interest in historical sociology, I chose to be Neil’s.  Not knowing any better I began by thinking I was doing him a favour and ended up, under his guidance (and inspired by Social Change in the Industrial Revolution), choosing as my PhD topic the history of working class education in 19th century Leeds.

Neil was my supervisor, initially in regular meetings, later, when I was doing the archive research, by letter (this was long before the digital age).  It’s only in retrospect that I realise his exceptional patience, grace and generosity in dealing with a student who took for granted so much of what actually made him an exceptional teacher.  My thesis was written from a Marxist perspective, and although I was influenced by Neil’s work I also wanted to challenge it.  He never showed anything but enthusiasm for this project and, indeed, always seemed to enjoy being challenged.  In teaching terms, what I learnt from him, what I have tried to apply in my own career, is the pedagogical importance of tolerance, argument and the ability to change one’s mind. 

Neil was never what is labelled a ‘charismatic’ teacher but he was an exceptionally good one.  For me he was always both genial and demanding, calm and passionate.  I was extremely lucky that he was my teacher when I was deciding what sociological scholarship could and should be.  

From Michael Kimmel. Neil chaired my dissertation committee.  (My dissertation was on tax policies in 17th century France and England.)  He actually read it and found ways to support my archival research in Paris and London.  Over beers in London, he told me that he now understood what etatisme meant in practice.  But I was never able to convince him that popular uprisings and revolutions were more rational than spasmodic emotional collective outbursts.  

From Christine Williams. I was a socialist feminist interested in psychoanalytic theory when I asked Neil to be my advisor.  People are often surprised by this.  But more than any other person, Neil taught me how to be a sociologist.  He was open-minded and fair and never dogmatic.  He encouraged me to be adventurous in my thinking.  Knowing he had my back, I developed confidence in my abilities.  My career owes everything to him.  I miss him very much.

From Miki Kashtan. I was perhaps the last student that Neil accepted as a dissertation chair, after he already retired, and I experience my years of working with him until I produced the final version of my thesis an extraordinary privilege I will never forget.

In my work, I ventured into the holy of holies: social theory. I pursued a path of critique and challenge of the foundations of sociological theory. Neil demonstrated his big spirit every step of the way. He never once asked me to say anything different from what I was trying to say, nor did he have any agenda for me about my ideas. His entire focus was on supporting me to say what I wanted to say in the best possible way. His reading of my work was generous, thorough, and affirming. His suggestions for further reading and his questions for deeper reflection exactly on target to get the most out of me that anyone could. We had extensive conversations about our similarities and differences in terms of social theory. He always engaged with care and grace, challenging me and supporting me without ever making it too clear what his own political and existential commitments were. And he also made himself open to learning from my explorations such that I was surprised one day to see one of the core ideas I engaged with and about which we had many discussions informing his annual address of the American Sociological Association, as he so openly acknowledged.

A few years ago, quite some time after I graduated, Neil and I had one final meeting in a coffee shop in Berkeley, where we shared with each other as two caring, aware, committed individuals. I sensed then that this was my last time with him, and I took in deeply his lingering sense of humor and exquisite capacity to focus on being with another person. I feel blessed with every moment of knowing him, from my first social theory class in 1990 to that very last smile and hug we shared as we parted.

From Nicolas Vaca. In 1963 I took Sociology 101, Introduction to Sociology, a class then taught by Neil Smelser.  During the final class  of the semester, two days before our final examination, Neil told the following story:  A student was preparing for a final examination and as he reviewed his extensive notes he concluded that if he worked hard enough he could reduce the voluminous notes to ten pages.  After more thought he concluded that even harder work would allow him to reduce his notes to five pages.  After more arduous work he was convinced that he could reduce them to one page.  And even more dedicated work he thought he could reduce them further to one paragraph.  The night before the final examination, he was knew he could reduce it to one word.  The following morning he walked into class, opened his blue book and began to write; but he forgot the word. For all the wonderful and positive things that Neil did for sociology, for the Department itself, for his colleagues and for his innumerable students, including me, it is not that I cannot remember the word to express it all, it is that I cannot find it.

From Howard Greenwald. Smelser's great contribution to my thinking was a sophisticated understanding of "functionalism."  The understanding I attribute to him is that in a collectivity a practice may be functional for some people (such as managers) and dysfunctional for others (such as workers).  Moreover, even for an individual, a practice may be functional on one level and not another.  For example, for a workoholic, the practice may be functional financially or creatively, but dysfunctional for her/his personal relationships.  Thanks, Neil!

From Robert Kaffer. One of the most intellectually stimulating evenings of my life was Neil Smelser's clear, uncluttered explanation of structural functionalism in Herbert Blumer's theory class and then the dialogue between the two about functionalism and symbolic interaction.  Two brilliant, gracious and down-to-earth people whose explanations were so eminently cogent and understandable. Never have three hours gone by so fast.

I was appointed an instructor in sociology and anthropology at Princeton University on July 1, 1961, whereupon I went to Cuba for the summer to begin research for my dissertation on the revolution and workers consciousness; I returned to Cuba the next summer to complete my research, and got back to the US just in time for the "missile crisis." Princeton terminated my employment soon after, effective at the end of the academic year of1963.  If the interpretations of my being "let go" vary, the facts are not in dispute: the president of the university had called the department's chairman, as he later told me, to evince "concern" about my frequent public criticism of American foreign policy toward Cuba (my first book, with Bob Scheer, Cuba: Tragedy in our Hemisphere, came out late in the summer of 1963); and the Daily Princetonian and some alumni letters had publlicly urged that Princeton fire me. I'd have been out of a job and out of a career if not for the fact that among the burgeoning faculty of sociology at UW-MSN were three UCB alumni who managed to convince a skeptical Ed Borgatta, then chairman, to hire me as an assistant professor in the fall of 1964. So I say two cheers for the Old Boy network. I got promoted to assoc prof in 1968 and to full professor in 1970.  But I often wonder how, since those were years, in Madison, of my deep involvement in the intensifying anti-Vietnam war movement, in rallies, protests, and demonstrations on campus, which were met at their high point by massed helmeted police with billy clubs and shields and national guard troops armed with live ammunition and bayonets, buttressed by a tank that sat high on a hill overlooking the campus. All too many of my fellow faculty were denied tenure as the result of their own involvement in these activities. Soon after things quieted down there, I opted for the Southland, and UCLA, where, since the fall of1977, I've been hiking, horseback riding, sailing, sunning, and biking, except for enforced interruptions to teach, research, and write. 

I was influenced by Berkeley in two ways: as much if not more by the time I spent outside of class involved in campus activiites against capital punishment; in rallies against violations of civil liberties by HUAC's notorious Hearings in San Francisco in 1960; picketing in support of the early civil rights movement (e.g., at the Woolworth's in Berkeley, which had segregated facilities in the South), and especially in writing, mimeographing, and distributing leaflets and making one long speech after another at Sather Gate (along with Bob Scheer) in the defense of the Cuban revolution against US covert action and intervention. I had entered Sociology after a year in Anthropology at UCB studying both ethnography and paleontology with some of the world's leaders in their field. In Sociology, my historical sensibility was deepened by the tutelage of my research and writing on Japanese feudalism by Reinhard Bendix, my M.A. Thesis committee chair, and Wolfgang Eberhard; intellectual (and political) jousts with them and then with S. M. Lipset, who chaired my doctoral dissertation committee, and Martin Trow, another committee member, as well as with Leo Lowenthal, Hanan Selvin, and William Kornhauser (for whom I TA'd), not only taught me an immense amount but also strengthened my commitment to carrying out socially relevant research and writing.  

Having admitted to that aspiration, to shaping the world that is, I am tempted to say "bah, humbug" in answer to this question. Although I know (and am grateful) that my work is taken seriously and respected if not admired by other scholars, and my teaching too is appreciated by and has enriched many students over the years, none of my scholarly research and writing -- as far as I can tell, alas -- has even rippled the surface waters of "the world" outside academe, let alone  in any way actually having "shaped the world." 


My 36 years in higher education have been an extraordinary personal experience. I have had the opportunity to build a strong relationship between my commitment to teaching undergraduates and my research, scholarship and community service. While much of my time has been spent in higher education administration, the teaching and research have always been extremely important.

The pattern of my academic career was established early in its first decade. Between 1966 and 1973 I started teaching at the University of California at Santa Cruz; completed a doctoral dissertation on social change in Mexico; published a book on the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense; and founded an undergraduate college at Santa Cruz.

The process of working with outstanding undergraduate students at Santa Cruz while simultaneously working closely with extraordinarily angry Panthers in Oakland who were the same age as many of my students had a great impact on my intellectual development. In both venues the youth were intelligent and talented and had an infectious joie de vivre. However in Santa Cruz they were building for the future through learning. In Oakland the youth picked up the gun because they did not believe they had a future.

Ultimately for me my mission in higher education became how to use my skills in undergraduate teaching and learning to provide a hopeful future for all youth, regardless of background or social circumstance. I always maintained a regular program of teaching regardless of my administrative appointment. The teaching focussed exclusively on lower-division students because of my belief it was important to give new students a strong beginning.

I developed a philosophy of teaching/learning that has guided all my work: There is no known limit to the capacity of the human mind to learn, grow, develop and change. As a result my courses emphasize active student involvement in the learning process and high expectations of students, all within a context of respect for their intellect and support for their academic goals.

My website can be found at:



Heirich, Max Arthur 5/13/1931 - 4/27/2017 Ann Arbor, Michigan Max Arthur Heirich, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Michigan, left us April 27th, 2017 at the age of 85 after a long illness that included cancer and heart disease. He was known to many in the Ann Arbor community for his teaching, social activism, and work in alternative medicine. His academic work encompassed the sociology of religion, social movements, and healthcare. He was a longtime member of the Ann Arbor Friends Meeting. Max will be remembered as an inspired spiritual seeker by those who knew him and by the many people whom he helped. Born the son of Charles and Virginia Heirich in Aurora IL on May 13, 1931, Max grew up in Muskogee, OK. His early life was strongly influenced by a passionate in-depth study of the Bible. He trained as a youth minister and after high school he entered the College of Emporia (Kansas) with the intention of becoming a minister. He transferred to Earlham College, a Quaker school in Richmond IN, graduating in 1953. During these Korean War years Max became the first conscientious objector in the history of his hometown, Muskogee, and served his Alternative Service teaching at Warren Wilson College in Asheville North Carolina. As a staff member of the American Friends Service Committee for 6 years (College Secretary) Max visited campuses--primarily in the south-eastern states--raising questions with students about war, peace, and race relations. In this role he was present at the founding of the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in 1960 and worked with prominent activists in the civil rights movement including Ella Baker and Martin Luther King Jr. These years contributed to his life-long passionate involvement in defense of social justice and a deep personal identification with the African-American community. In 1960 Max entered graduate school in Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. While he was planning to focus on social change the 1964 Free Speech Movement erupted and this became his dissertation topic. This work became a book, "The Spiral of Conflict: Berkeley 1964", that remains the most authoritative documentary account of those events. In 1967 he joined the University of Michigan Sociology department. Until his retirement from the University of Michigan in 1999 Max was a respected and popular teacher in the Residential College as well as in the Sociology Department. Max co-founded the interdisciplinary UM Health Policy Forum and for twenty years held adjunct appointments with the University of Michigan Medical School where he taught courses in patient-doctor relations and comparative medicine. He worked with the Worker Health Program at the University's Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations where he designed, implemented, and evaluated the effectiveness of programs for disease prevention and health promotion in the workplace. He served as consultant to NIH's Complementary and Alternative Medicine Advisory Board and to the Obama administration White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy. He co-authored congressional testimony given by the American Friends Service Committee in support of the Affordable Care Act. In 1971 Max developed a disabling health condition. As part of his recovery he began to practice Hatha Yoga through the YMCA, a practice that he continued for the rest of his life. These yoga contacts led to learning Polarity Therapy, an energy healing method based on the Eastern concept of Chi. Max introduced this therapy to Ann Arbor where it continues to be well represented in the alternative medicine community. He spent many years working with recovering addicts in inner city Detroit where Polarity Therapy provided a low cost treatment for their symptoms. In the 1980s he founded the Positive Living Network in Detroit which provided alternative healthcare treatments to individuals with HIV and AIDS. As a result of his Hatha yoga practice Max began to have powerful meditation experiences. In order to understand these experiences he began to meet eastern spiritual teachers. He spent a year's sabbatical apprenticing to non-Western healers and in 1985 one of those teachers took him to her native India on a tour of the Himalayas. These experiences led him to refocus his academic life with an intention to bring Western and non-Western understandings of reality into a more dynamic interchange. In retirement Max refused to give up his calling to make the world a better place. After many years of trying to influence health-care decision makers he turned to seeking better living alternatives and health care for the elderly. His last years were spent mobilizing groups to promote renewable energy at a local and statewide level. Max will be remembered for his unfailing ability to make friends everywhere he went, his passion for music, and his love of terrible puns. He lived his life from the heart. He is survived by his children and their spouses: Douglas Heirich of Palo Alto, California and his daughters Kyra and Marissa; Alan Heirich of Half Moon Bay, California and his children Laura, Nicole and John; Julia Heirich of St. Oyens, Switzerland and her daughters Helena and Camille; Deborah Maddox of Chicago IL and her daughters Charlotte and Clara; by his former wife Jane Ruby Heirich, his cat Zima, as well as many, many, dear friends. A memorial will take place on Saturday May 27 at 10 am at the Unitarian Universalist Church at 4001 Ann Arbor-Saline Road in Ann Arbor.

Published in Ann Arbor News on May 4, 2017

My sociology graduate school was Berkeley in 'the '60's' - entered 1960, Ph.D. 1969. I entered grad school at age 25, but I'd been thinking 'sociologically' since age 5. I was an idiot savant with numbers, statistics, and methodology, but the advent of the computer at UC (about 1963) transformed me from near genius to near dummy.

Sociology, as I experienced it was exciting largely because of its political relevance, even though much of the classwork and most of my professors were neither particularly exciting nor politically relevant. There were, then, a slew of 'new' social causes in which to become involved, and even influential'at just about the time Marx and Marxism were being interred. (Talcott Parsons, by contrast, never seemed alive enough to warrant a big funeral or much mourning).

Early in the '60's I participated in local political issues, I was hosed down SF City Hall's steps in the HUAC demonstrations; was a campus stump speaker for CORE (re supermarket hiring); headed the Berkeley campus' Student Civil Liberties Union; and did several housing studies for groups in communities threatened by urban renewal.

The most important , and exciting, study was presented at the first major anti-urban renewal demonstration in San Francisco to preserve the Fillmore district. A few months previously I helped direct a volunteer study in Hunters Point to protest proposed urban renewal clearance, which succeeded in putting a damper on Redevelopment Agency plans for that area. In April 1964, three classmates : Carl Werthman, Mike Miller (a sociology Grad student for only one year) and Herman Blake asked me to do research for the United Freedom Movement, an off-shoot of the NAACP in San Francisco, to be presented at an imminent San Francisco Board of Supervisor hearing. In just under a week I conceived of a report, got the data, wrote, typed and corrected the ditto-masters (the slow and messy means of reproduction at the time), found a machine, ran off about 15 copies, and sped to the hearings arriving 4 ½ hours after its scheduled beginning. 1,000 residents turned up (thanks to community organizers, like Mike); hearings were moved to a larger hall; a supper break was necessary; and so I arrived 10 minutes before our side began its testimony. Right off, I was introduced as the key researcher for UFM. My argument: by combining blocks on the area's borders (well maintained buildings lived in by rich whites), with the entire Fillmore district (old housing lived in overwhelmingly by poor blacks), the agency claimed Western Addition II was mixed, in housing, incomes, races, and improvement vs.-- relocation. In fact, the wealthy fringe areas would all be improved and the Fillmore totally demolished. As I began to lay out the finding I heard stamping and felt the floor trembling. Urban renewal planning in San Francisco changed that very moment. I didn't 'cause' the change; the research was not original (similar scenes happened in cities across the country); urban renewal in San Francisco did not end; and the great old Fillmore was slowly but surely replaced by a new but incoherent and bland neighborhood but, for better or worse, plans for Western Addition II were derailed; massive, instant demolition in San Francisco was a thing of the past. Racism in housing policy would thereafter be more subtle, even kinder and gentler.

Other sociologists later tried to influence local urban renewal. At follow-up hearings on Western Addition II, Nathan Glazer (whose first urban Sociology class at Berkeley [1963] was attended by Carl, Mike and myself) gave a quintessentially sociological defense of Fillmore on the basis of its being a superb Black community which the Redevelopment Agency did not begin to fathom and should not touch. A few years later, another sociology graduate student, class of 1960 Harry Brill was an activist researcher opposing the insatiable Redevelopment Agency when it set its sights on the housing units of poor persons living South of Market in San Francisco.

Carl, Mike and myself would leave academia. Mike's career has been as a community organizer. After the Fillmore demonstrations, he helped create and headed the Mission Coalition which wrung concessions from BART, guaranteeing that local businesses and residences would not be torn down or boarded up during BART construction, and that there be two Mission stations which would have charm and local character. This preserved and enhanced a wonderful Latino community. Carl went directly from grad school to UC faculty, yet was so popular and busy outside academia, and so inattentive to administrative details, that UC let him go. He soon was Jerry Brown's friend, confidants, and pollster when Brown first decided to run for governor, and won. Carl was given an office in the Governor's Mansion and was a key back-stage figure (and right-hand man) during Brown's first 2 years as governor Brown's most radical, independent, and successful years. Carl also wrote 2 major housing studies one in 1966 on New Towns, and a massive study of the major new federal housing program of the early 1980's 'Section 8 housing' completed in 1984 (a few months before he died). On the first study, Carl and I were co-authors; on the latter study I was recruited and worked full-time the last 6 weeks (of a multi-year project) as editor, sounding board, outliner, typist, and calming influence.

Except for the anti-renewal and the new town studies, and teaching Urban Sociology at Sonoma State College (1969-1972), housing was not my focus. Early in the 1960's I became interested in marijuana, especially the history and implications of prohibition. Banning marijuana always seemed to me idiocy and extraordinarily (and increasingly) harmful. The Sociology of Drugs course I taught at Sonoma State College drew a small crowd. After my third year there (when I was Department Chair), I got a fellowship to go to Washington D.C.; in 1974 I was doing research on drug problems of US youth in Europe, which based in Paris and St. Tropez. (Conclusion: 8 different European societies had saner drug policies than the US; the US policies caused the problems. The report was re-written by my 'liberal' sponsoring agency.) Life was so exciting and intellectually stimulating that I let Sonoma go and never again got back to academia. (Being white, male, and not having published a book didn't help.) From 1972-1981 I was primarily in Washington DC, and hated it. With nary an exception, the government employees in Washington running the drug agencies enforcement and treatment were the most naive people I ever met on the drug issue. US drug policies are deliberately ignorant, mean-spirited and socially destructive, yet unstoppable. My views and government policy were so at odds that my best year from 1974-1981 was spent on a farm. My longest job ran from 1989-1994, when I 'cloned' a San Francisco project providing AIDS outreach services to drug injectors for Bronx Community College, and directed the project (La Familia Unida) in Mott Haven its first five years. The job was exciting and rewarding, but New York City on the drug issue is ultra-conservative light years behind the Bay Area. The thought of recuperating from major heart surgery in a small New York City apartment pushed me back home, to Berkeley in 1994.

The past 8 years I resumed drug research, at my 'leisure' (i.e., with a vengeance). My earliest research always seemed to me to be lacking a 'prime mover'; the issues, the raison d'etre to prohibition, had been decided at some distant time and place. At last, I took a close look at Britain in Asia (India and China) where a debate raged for the better part of a century between, on the one hand, the British colonial class (my heroes) and the masses (Indian opium growers and processors, and Chinese opium smokers) who were their allies, and, on the prohibitionist side, a narrow strata of top Imperial Chinese along with 3,000 extraordinarily dedicated, influential, ignorant and quite possibly mad Protestant (English and American) missionaries in China. I've also stayed active in the medical marijuana movement. For years I've been inundated with data the history of drug prohibition is weirder, yet more relevant, than I could ever have imagined when I was a graduate student. (The first major 'modern' war between Anglo-European culture and 'the East' was the Opium War circa 1840; the earliest tales about marijuana which were used to justify it prohibition in the US, in 1937, involved young men in the Middle East who, in the late 11th century, individually, and often suicidally, attacked Christian crusaders. The Old Man of the Mountain, Hassan ben Sabbah [the man behind those assassins], meet Osama bin Laden.)

In retrospect I've been blessed by the intelligent, original, funny, and interesting life-long friends from my graduate days in Berkeley, and downright lucky to have settled in Berkeley where it took me 35 years to discover that UC's Doe Library was superb for the very drug issues which most interest me now. Among my regrets are that I so badly misjudged my ability to make a living wage outside of academia, and that in these late years, when I have amassed a truly world class library of 18th & early 20th century writings on the history of drug prohibition, I have neither the skills nor resources to convert them to a computerized library; and that I see not the slightest sign that the sociology department in Berkeley the past 20 years seems as interested in drugs and drug policy as were the graduate student classmates and our faculty in the '60's, or as I and my surviving graduate students are today.

After graduating from UCLA and the obligatory summer trip to Europe for the privileged, I headed up Highway 99 (there was no highway 5) for Cal -- lucid about what I didn't want, rather than what I did. With mentors such as Erving Goffman, Charles Glock, Marty Lipset and Neil Smelser the latter quickly changed. After the orals exam, spent a year traveling around the world, including going by land from Iran to Calcutta. I received the Ph.D. in 1966 and taught at Berkeley in 1966-67; before moving to the Harvard Department of Social Relations with appointments at the Joint Center for Urban Studies and later the Law School's Criminal Justice Center, moved to MIT in Urban Studies and Planning 1973-1994. I have been privileged to have had a variety of shorter teaching and fellowship sojourns in France, England, Santa Barbara, La Jolla, Italy, Stanford, Belgium, Spain, Boulder, Vienna, Nankai (PRC), Washington D.C., and most recently at UCI, Northwestern, UCB Law School and the University of Washington.

Books on the civil rights movement, undercover police, and new surveillance technologies kept notoriety and resources coming in. I moved, in a trajectory I could not have predicted, from initial work in race relations and stratification, to social movements and collective behavior, social control, and technology and society and from quantitative to qualitative methods. I have worked with a variety of commissions, Congressional committees, government agencies and non-profit groups on issues of inter-group relations, civil liberties, social control and technology and society.

Change the world? Nowadays I am happy if I can get through the day with my dignity in tact having done no harm. Yet I have tried as the poet said, 'to patch the world as best I can.' Among contributions to social change :keeping large sums flowing into the civil rights movement as a result of the findings from Protest and Prejudice; contributing to the report of the National Advisory (Kerner) Commission on Civil Disorders and the Senate Select Committee On Undercover Activities; helping provide the intellectual rationale that led the phone companies to eventually reign in Caller-Id; increasing national and international awareness of the social issues raised by new information technologies through popular and academic writing and training students.

Articles on my web page dealing with success and failure and the search for meaning in academic life, 37 moral mandates for aspiring sociologists, Erving Goffman, Neil Smelser, travel, muckraking sociology, dirty data and whites in the civil rights movement reflect the anvil of Berkeley.


David Matza died in Berkeley on March 14. He was a brilliant sociologist who taught in the Berkeley department from 1960 until he retired in 1992. He is best known for his books on deviance and delinquency, Delinquency and Drift (1964) and Becoming Deviant (1969). He will be remembered by his students and colleagues as a deeply engaged sociologist.   

From Clarence Y. Lo. David’s passing is a great loss for me and other sociologists who are trying to meld committed scholarship with qualitative methods and historical, structural, and institutional analysis.  David supervised my dissertation on the social sources of the Truman administration’s military budgets during the Korean War.  His open mindedness was a high principle, and insisted that no sectarian, ideological, or theoretical line would be imposed on his students’ work, and that they could follow the trail of documents, the negotiated process, or their quirky hunches to whatever conclusions were warranted.   He challenged conventional academic wisdoms by taking as problematic  the reproduction of the entire global institutional order of Post World War II capitalism.  He helped us by practically demonstrating to us the relevance of the qualitative sociology of the time to such tasks as interpreting historical documents and thinking about presentation in bureaucratic politics and the micro processes in elite circles.  Matza insisted that for works such as Schumpeter’s Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy, that we not only read them seriously and critique them, but also see them as integral to social construction of the institutional logic of the Postwar world.  I remember fondly his keying gesture, a wry smile, which was a welcome respite from the gravity of our intense labors.

From John Frey, M.D.  In the 80’s I took classes as a sociology major and found Prof Matza’s to be one of the best. A true social scientist, he transcended simple left/right world views. He saw that the political pendulum swings every 20 years or so. As an emergency room physician today, his focus on reality, apart from common and accepted filters, still informs and deepens my daily experience of people. Professor Matza - a great lecturer, a great thinker, and a great intellectual role model.

From Federico D'Agostino Ph.D (1987). I considered David Matza not only a brilliant and creative teacher but a close friend I used to visit any time I would come to Berkeley,I will miss him deeply and I will remember him with my students at University of Rome III were I teach sociology of deviance by using his perspective on Becoming Deviant. Any time I used to visit him at his home he would love to talk to me about political and existential issues with great passion. I share with our common friends like Troy Duster my sympathy for this painfull loss.

From Faruk Birtek. David Matza was an enormously intelligent person, generous, kind, and authentic. A most lovable person. Always brilliant in class. Best seminar I had in all my life was his which ı took with Carole Joffe in 1969 (?). It must have been preliminary to his outstanding last book. I adored him. I am very sorry. 

From Richard Weisman.  It’s taken a few days for this to sink in - that David Matza who was the professor I felt closest to as a graduate student in the 1960’s - is now deceased. David was the chair for my dissertation committee and I have no doubt that were it not for his complete faith in me that I would not have taken the risk I did with what was then an unconventional topic- witchcraft in Seventeenth Century Massachusetts. David was brilliant, approachable, humble, slightly tormented in the way that creative people usually are, and incapable of writing a sentence or putting forward an idea that was not utterly true to what he believed. I had the good fortune to audit his course while he was still in the process of formulating his master work - Becoming Deviant - and I was enthralled by lectures that articulated the shifts in perception that were taking place not just in sociology but in the society as a whole. For me and perhaps others, David would remain a model of academic integrity that I aspired to in my own work. This is a time of big losses from those glorious years in sociology at Berkeley. May the passion that David communicated in his work and the kindness that he demonstrated in his person live on in future generations of sociologists.

From Fred Block. In the early 1970’s, David Matza supervised my dissertation on the rise and fall of the Bretton Woods international monetary order. He wasn’t the obvious choice for this role since his own work had been in the area of deviance. But since I had burned bridges with some of the other potential mentors, David took me on as an act of solidarity. It was, however, not just kindness since David had begun doing research on the post-World War II strike wave and the politics of the Truman Administration. I don’t think he ever published that work, but we learned from each other in the process.

He was a terrific mentor. Most critically, he encouraged me to embark on a study that would only become a “legitimate” topic of sociological inquiry with the rebirth of economic sociology in the 1980’s. He read my drafts with great care and he offered feedback and invaluable support. I remain deeply grateful.

David was a serious intellectual always working to make sense of what was going on around him. His writings, even those just circulated to a few friends and colleagues, invariably contained flashes of his intellectual brilliance. He was always committed to a sociology that was not narrowly academic and along with his allies, he fought to assure that Berkeley Sociology would continue as a place where graduate students were able to do creative and original projects that defy the convention of “value free” social science.

From Magali Larson. I remember David Matza as a teacher, in the wild and brilliant seminar on sociology and activism –I do not remember the official name—that he taught and let us teach in 1971. David’s mind was acute and rapid, and so were his comments, always seasoned by such a keen sense of humor that he could seem cynical, at times. A colleague graduate student and I had to fight him, however, because we wanted to write our “Marxist-revisionist” paper together and he rightly insisted that he had to judge each of us alone.

I apologize for making this a much too personal note but, in truth, I remember David most vividly and with the deepest emotion as a close friend who talked about sociology and justice, about politics and art, about literature and life, and the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.” No one told me funnier anecdotes about parenting than he did (and they were useful!) and I remember right the names he gave his daughters: Karen and Ina, saying that he could thus always think of Anna Karenina and his favorite novel. I could add many of his stories about what to do and not to do with babies, including how he came to meet my newborn bearing a gift for him and for the cat, because “sibling jealousy” is so pernicious. But these stories make me very sad because he is gone, and because I found it difficult to keep in touch after leaving Berkeley, beyond a few years.

I was able to check out what he had told me about Philadelphia and about Temple, where David had started teaching, and where I had decided to move after barely two years at Penn. I did talk to him about decisions and difficulties and he always helped to reduce unnecessary drama. I saw him four or five years ago for the last time.

David will be remembered for work that changed the ways in which we conceived of deviance and transgression. Others will talk about the field that he illuminated, so much better than I could. I would also like to remember that he looked like Marc Chagall and like Chagall created magic where it seemed most difficult to do so.

From Susan Takata (1983). I was so deeply saddened to hear of David Matza's passing.  David was on my orals exam committee and my dissertation committee.  As a graduate student, his brilliance always impressed me, and yet, he was the most approachable and down-to-earth professor in the Sociology Department (back in the late 70s/early 80s). When I first met David, I thought he was spacey. But, then I realized that he was in such deep thought. His office door was always open for his students. We would play with different theories and concepts. We just lost a major pillar in the field of deviant behavior as well as in juvenile delinquency. He was certainly one of a kind.

From Michael Kimmel. I was saddened to hear of David Matza's passing, especially so soon after that of Bob Blauner, his long time comrade.  David was an integral part of what became known as the "Gang of Four" in the department, the four professors who were most supportive and sympathetic to progressive student issues, especially during the last years of the war in Vietnam.  David was brilliant -- quirky and eccentric, always seeing things from multiple angles at once.  In conversations, he'd start to think, his eyes would gaze into the distance, and he'd twirl one of his curls as he mused.  Then a torrent of ideas, rapid fire, overflowing, would start pouring out.  As a first year student, I found it dazzling. 

From Teresa Arendell, '84. David Matza was one of my favorite professors during my time in the graduate program in the early and mid '80s.  I took graduate seminars and TA'd for him several times; I found him to be brilliant, quirky, and warm and supportive. His love of sociology was contagious. One of my favorite Matza stories was when a fairly strong earthquake hit while we were in a seminar classroom on the 4th floor of Barrows.  We all filed out of the building and waited on the lawn for awhile. When we returned to the room David was not there nor did he show up. The next week when we met he said, "Some think the captain should go down with the ship, but I don't. You're on your own.  Who wants to be in Barrows if disaster strikes?"  I hope David felt the good times outweighed the difficult ones during his last years.

From Jualynne Dodson. I was a student of David Mataza when the department began admitting more than token numbers of African American graduate students. I may have been the first female after Berkeley had a 100% attrition rate for Black women graduate students. Mataza was distinctively open and much less arrogant in his personal and professional posture. It was most appreciated and my research project on African American children's early education via "Pan African" ideas was give honorable respect and succeeded. It was a welcome difference from other faculty experiences that were so dismissive as to be offensive.  I credit David Mataza with helping me to maintain my sanity and complete the degree. Thank you David!!!

From Andrea Mallis. I remember sociology professor David Matza on so many different levels. I was a student of his in sociology in 1983 and have since become an astrologer. Looking at his chart, I see what made him so unique….an earthy Taurus who once held class outside Barrows Hall by the trees, complete with taking his Birkenstock sandals off. I knew I was not in NY anymore. But the life of the mind is what I’ll treasure and remember the most, blessed with 4 planets in intellectual Gemini, the life of the mind, and what a mind it was. Equally comfortable in the ivory tower, albeit an activist one, and the green grass of Cal campus, a fellow quirky New Yorker, he reminded me of home. His office hours were inspiring; being in the company of a brilliant mad (social) scientist was exhilarating, I sensed a kindred spirit. Timing is everything, being idealistic and wanting to change the world, Cal seemed a perfect fit for me, and the Institute for the Study of Social Change resonated even more. Berkeley on so many levels was a perfect fit and David embodied that energy. As above, so below, as David Matza transitioned during his 3rd Saturn Return, a cycle of endings and new beginnings….29, 58, 87. May the Goddess Bless, Blessed Be.

My academic career ended a few years ago. It began at Berkeley in 1961, and finished at San Jose State University thirty two years later. My career was good, and my life has been excellent. As Max Weber wrote some values conflict, so I struck a balance between the values of life and work, family and career, location and ambition, fun and duty. In grade school, I knew they were lying when they said you can be anything you want to be. It would have been pleasant to win an endowed chair at Harvard, the Nobel Prize or just an award for the best sociology book of the year, and have a full life and great family. But as Weber pointed out, some values contradict others.

I grew up in a rural, Midwestern area, majored in history at a liberal arts college and became involved in a radical Catholic organization. No, Catholic radical is not necessarily an oxymoron. In the early 50s, we tried to organize college students around anti-nuclear, social justice issues. Then I worked for the Chicago civil service commission and was conscripted into the army for two years. Almost by accident, I landed in Berkeley when the requirements for graduate school were lower than now. Erving Goffman once said he wouldn't have gotten in either so I am in good company.

In the 1960s, Berkeley was the center of a global revolution of social, intellectual, political and cultural change. It was a wonderful learning environment where classroom analysis was directly applied to real life situations. My former military training with tear gas, along with Marxist theory, was directly applied to everyday, real life. A day might go like this: Class with Herbert Blumer in the morning, then a noon rally featuring Malcom X, followed by an evening concert with a weird group called Jefferson Airplane and their light show of colored oil spilled on an overhead projector. Intellectual excitement, political activity and cultural rebellion formed a magic mix. I was young enough to be involved and old enough to know where to stop.

I spent much of my time at the Law and Society center founded by Philip Selznick. The center became an intellectual vortex for the issues of the day, and, with great advice from from Phillip Selznick and Shelly Messinger, I wrote a thesis about the changing authority patterns at the University of California. To my enormous delight, University of California Press published my thesis as major book in their stable. The book greased an easy slide into tenure.

Through major miss timing I got married, started teaching and went out on strike --all within a two month period in 1968. I came to San Jose through a chance meeting with an old friend, and planned to leave within a year or so.  California was distasteful to me. But personal circumstances and a changing job market prompted me to remain in California where the idyllic environment gradually seduced me away from my Midwestern roots.

After coming to San Jose State, I continued doing research on organizational authority and published articles here and there. Following my mentor, Phillip Selznick, I wrote a conflict oriented text.  But unlike Phil's, mine floundered. It was partially a victim of a capitalist buy out to kill off competitors. But I had the pleasure of writing what and how I wanted in the non sociological language.

In the early 80s, my wife and two children spent a semester in Oslo Norway where I was attached to the Work Research Institute. Norway combined the environmental and workers movement with organizational democracy and passed a law outlawing unhealthy work.  Nothing unusual about that, but they defined boredom and lack of personal control as unhealthy. Towards the end of my career, I became chair. Like crime, I thought that studying organizations is better than doing it. To my surprise it turned out to be both satisfying and fun. I was paid and rewarded to talk, socialize, gossip and plan. Planning is more gratifying than doing. The President of the University once said that she hoped the last professor in sociology would turn out the light and lock the door, but for the first time in 19 years, we were able to hire new people who energized us tired, mainly white, old men. Taking advantage of my one and only administrative experience, I ran for dean of the School of Social Science and lost.

I owe a lot to the University of California and the sociology department. It gave me an enormous amount of intellectual capital, political insight and cultural richness.  When my daughter graduated from Cal, it was one of the great moments of my life. To my slight embarrassment, I bought a Cal hat and, for the first time in my life, attended Cal football games.

Like many people from the 60s era, I feel that academia has declined from the golden era of fat budgets, dedicated students, subsidized research and more jobs than professors. Yet graduate training at Berkeley and being a sociology professor was the basis for a good life, satisfying work and useful career. I have gone full circle and now spend time in classes learning to be a painter, not houses, but landscapes.


Obituary taken from Demography India:

On Tuesday, the 13th of November 1990, Professor J. R. Rele, former Director of International Institute for Population Sciences, Bombay and former Vice President of Indian Association for the Study of Population passed away. Every one who knew him and came in contact with him is saddened over the sudden passing away of an eminent demographer and a thorough gentleman. 

Born in 1931, Professor Rele, after a brilliant academic record, joined the International Institute for Population Sciences, Bombay (erstwhile Demographic Training and Research Centre, Chembur). Rele had also been an alumnus of this Institute as he was trained at the DTRC in its very first batch (1957-59). Within four years of his rejoining the Institute he was elevated to the post of a Professor. As an acting Director he steered the Institute through the turbulent period of 1973 to 1976. He became the full-fledged Director of the Institute in 1977. After leaving IIPS, Professor Rele joined the Division of Population and Social Affairs. United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. Bangkok as Technical Adviser. Just before his death he was Adjunct Professor of Public Health and Affiliate Graduate Faculty in Population Studies. at the East-West Population Institute. Honolulu, Hawaii.

Professor Rele held a Master's degree in Statistics, Diploma in Demography and Ph.D. in Sociology from University of California, under the guidance of Professor Kingsley Davis. Thus a beautiful blend of a statistician. demographer and sociologist could be seen in his research work. His work on estimation of fertility and mortality through an application of the concept of stable population has contributed a great deal towards the development of the discipline of population sciences. His method known as Rele's method of estimating fertility and mortality using age-sex distribution obtained from various censuses is useful for countries with incomplete or unreliable data like India. The method has the advantage that it can be applied to any type of population-unstable and affected by migration-in his words. "to any eccentric population". 

Those who had been fortunate to be his students can never forget his efficient style of unfolding even very difficult topics. It was a pleasure to hear JRR explaining GRR and NRR. 

Professor Rele was a soft-spoken. mild-mannered and a modest person. He possessed a strong inner character and did not falter to stick to his convictions though it was at times disadvantageous to him. During Emergency, Professor Rele had reservations about the introduction of compulsory sterilization bill in Maharashtra. After Emergency, Professor Rele was proved to be right and his stand was vindicated. It was a great pleasure to be with Professor Rele as his colleague. The sudden demise of Professor Rele is a tremendous loss to the community of Indian demographers. We at lIPS will miss him.

I left Berkeley in 1971 to become Professor of Sociology at the University of Washington. In 2004 I accepted an appointment as Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences at Baylor University where I also serve as Co-Director of the Institute for Studies of Religion. I am well along on my 32nd book. For details:



Published in The Augusta Chronicle:

AUGUSTA, Ga. - Sondra J. Betsch, Ph.D., died on December 5, 2004 after an extended illness. Dr. Betsch had earned her undergraduate degree at Ohio University and her Doctorate in Education at the University of California, Berkley. She had taught Sociology at Augusta State University for 9 years and was forced to take a medical retirement in 1998. Dr. Betsch is preceded in death by her parents, the late Harold and Leora Betsch and her brother, the late Larry Betsch. Survivors include her nephew, Jeffrey (Dr. Linda Roberts-Betsch) Betsch of Columbus, Ohio; nieces, Jamie (Gary) McGaughey of Louisville, Kentucky and Jodi (Timothy) Smith of Indianapolis, Indiana. There will be no memorial service. Memorials may be made in lieu of flowers to St. Joseph Hospice., 2260 Wrightsboro Rd., Augusta, Ga. 30904.

I knew so little about Sociology when I arrived in the Bay Area, that I wasn't accepted into the graduate program until I had taken a full semester of undergraduate courses. I was an ordained minister and wanted to work in the Sociology of Religion. Charlie Glock, who was the expert on that topic at the time, hired me for a research project on new congregations and encouraged me to take a qualitative approach. The report developed into my Master's Thesis and was published (and reviewed in the ASR) before I took my comps. The experience pumped up my confidence so much that I failed the exam and had to retake it. I was also influenced by Blumer, Smelser, Wilensky, and Selznick.

The best thing Berkeley did for me was to introduce me to my wife, Mary Haywood, by putting us together as TAs for the undergraduate methods course. We both got Kent Fellowships in 1965 which made it possible for us to get married. Our first choice of available jobs was a liberal arts college (Earlham) in Indiana, where we were nearly the whole department. We learned about teaching and became competent in a wide range of substantive areas. Student interest in religion was declining so I decided to prepare myself in medical sociology which promised unending growth. To get into the backstage of health care I trained (while still a faculty member) as an Emergency Medical Technician. This nurturing of talents didn't impress the administration, and after six years our contracts weren't renewed.

I was hired at Marquette University (and Mary later at the U. of Wisconsin), where I spent a mostly pleasant twenty-six years, several as department Chair. I got certification as an EMT, worked for a private ambulance company, and wrote a book about ambulance work. My primary interest is in exposing the intriguing complexities of social life to non-specialists, so my greatest pleasure as a sociologist has been in teaching (except for the grading). When I retired in 2001, I was happily involved in an introductory course, substantive courses in health care systems, and a capstone course for majors. Looking back, I can see that I have made little mark as a sociologist, but I am able to feel I have contributed something useful to a lot of people. I am more convinced than ever that sociology is important; I am grateful for the life it has enabled me to lead; and I delight every day in being able to exercise the sociological perspective Berkeley gave me.


From David Nasatir, July 20, 2006:

David Sudnow died early this morning following surgery for cancer at Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley.

His dissertation: "Passing On: The Social Organization of Dying in the County Hospital" did not  forecast his future success.

His  book: "Ways of the Hand: The Organization of Improvised Conduct" brought him considerable fame both within and outside the world of academe. In a very special way, he put reflexive sociology to work and by this effort brought a great deal of happiness to many.


In my senior year at UC Santa Barbara, recent Berkeley émigré Tamotsu Shibutani introduced me to social psychology and the sociology of knowledge, and therein began the influence of Berkeley sociology on my academic career. When I first arrived I found the bigness, competitiveness, and cosmopolitan impersonality of the Berkeley campus difficult to negotiate. Despite these challenges the combined mentorings of faculty as diverse as Robert Blauner, Ernest Becker, Reinhard Bendix, Herbert Blumer, Troy Duster, Gertrude Jaeger, Leo Lowenthal, Philip Selznick, and Neil Smelser turned me into an enthusiastic PhD. From them I got a strong sense of the foundational importance of sociology and social theory for understanding the contemporary world and its politics. Most of all, these mentors taught me lots of theory, supplying often seemingly disjunctive pieces of what was to become my 'sociological imagination'. The originality, creativity, dedication, rigor, and intellectual weight of these faculty gave me both a sense of being distinct from graduates at other institutions and the confidence to enter university teaching.

The contrasting claims of symbolic interactionism, functionalism, and Marxism created an exciting environment of competing intellectual forces that seemed to drive the debates and politics of the department. A collision and uneasy fusing of these forces in my own work constituted the center of my overall experience and development as a student of social theory and set me on an early path of struggling with the 'agency/structure problem.' Overall, the highly charged theoretical atmosphere of the department afforded me a perspective that transcended the familiar and routine practices of what I thought of as conventional sociology. More than any specific skills or knowledges (though there was that), Berkeley provided me an intellectual method, a way of comprehending the world, and a disciplined style that were unique and productive.

Determined to stay in the Bay Area I took a position in the Department of Sociology and Social Services at CSU Hayward, where I taught for 32 years. I specialized in theory, cultural sociology, social inequality, and, lately, the sociology of identity. Most of my research has been in the areas of mass culture, critical theory, and postmodernity. My book, Identity Crises: A Social Critique of Postmodernity, was published by University of Minnesota Press in 1998.

Much of my education at Berkeley in the 1960's careened on outside the classroom. I remember Herb Blumer bending over the drinking fountain on the fourth floor of Barrows Hall showing a bunch of us how to wet our handkerchiefs and cover our eyes against the tear gas coming from canisters dropped by helicopter during the massive campus protests against the war in Vietnam. I remember members of the Berkeley Women's Caucus sitting cross-legged on the floor of my apartment on Virginia Street, debating what sociology might look like if women helped produce it: (there were no ladder rank female faculty when I arrived in l962.) Berkeley in the 1960's was an education in itself.

But inside the classroom were true masters of the trade : Neil Smelser, Erving Goffman, Reinhard Bendix, Robert Blauner, Charlie Glock, Robert Bellah : and it was a privilege to work with them. Privately those first two years, I felt lost and lonely, and I deeply appreciate those who helped me find my way - especially Neil Smelser, my fellow graduate student Janice Stroud and my orals study group. I graduated from Berkeley in 1969, returned to teach here in 1971 and have ever since. My books -- The Unexpected Community, The Managed Heart, The Second Shift, The Time Bind, Global Woman (co-edited with Barbara Ehrenreich), and The Commercialization of Intimate Life span many issues. But some of them are long answers to points raised in those Virginia Street debates, and all of them focus on that echo chamber between social structure and individual human emotion. Ask radical questions, do serious scholarship, make a difference --that was the message I drew from Berkeley.



Fr. Jim Meehan, SJ, died May 29, 2016 at the Sacred Heart Jesuit Center In- firmary in Los Gatos, CA. A gifted educator, compassionate counselor and priest, voracious reader and cultural trend spotter: these descriptors barely scratch the surface of this man of God who shared his life with many.

One of two brothers, James Nealen Meehan, was born on March 3, 1929, in Seattle to Stanley J. and Harriet L. (Dreaney) Meehan. Tragically, Fr. Meehan's mother died shortly after his birth; he nonetheless experienced a devout and loving home with his dad and stepmother Irene. He attended St. George's Grade School and graduated from Seattle Preparatory in 1946; inspired by the example of the Jesuits who taught him he entered the Novitiate at Sheridan, OR on July 30, 1946.

Following the regular course of Jesuit formation studies and teaching experiences, Fr. Meehan was ordained a priest on June 13, 1959, in Spokane.Having completed his priestly formation Fr. Meehan moved into the rapidly changing world of the 1960's to pursue studies in Sociology. He completed a M.A. degree at Fordham University in 1962 and a doctorate in 1971 from U.C. Berkeley. While working on his doctorate Fr. Meehan also taught courses in Sociology at Gonzaga University. In 1973 he was awarded the "Outstanding Teacher Award" by the alumni of Gonzaga; that same year he took a leave from G.U. to be the Assistant for Education to the Jesuit Provincial of the Oregon Province. He became President of Jesuit High School in Portland from 1977-1980 and returned again to Gonzaga in 1981 to continue teaching in the Sociology Department and provide support for University Ministry. From 1991-2001, Fr. Meehan served as Pastor at various churches in Washington and Montana until his return to Gonzaga as Chaplain and Search Coordinator in University Ministry from 2001 to 2006. Not content to retire quietly, Fr. Meehan served as chaplain to the Spokane Catholic Urban Native American Community from 2008 to 2014.

Fr. Meehan is survived by his sister-in-law Rhonda Meehan, his niece Meagan Meehan, and numerous cousins. He was preceded in death by his brother Tim Meehan. He will be deeply missed by his many friends, former students, colleagues, and brother Jesuits of the Oregon Province.

A vigil service will be held Tuesday, June 7, at 7:00pm in the Jesuit House Chapel, Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA. The funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:00am, Wednesday, June 8, also at the Jesuit House Chapel. The interment will be at 1:30pm, Wednesday, June 8, at Mt. St. Michaels Cemetery. Memorials in honor of Fr. Meehan may be sent to the Senior Jesuit Fund, Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus, P.O. Box 86010, Portland, Ore., 97286, or the charity of the donor's choice.

My years in Berkeley (1962-65, 1967-69), were among the most formative of my life, largely because of the social movements of that era and the vision of community I caught and never lost. I specialized in the sociology of religion, and have long felt grateful to Robert Bellah, Hanan Selvin, Gertrude Selznick, Philip Selznick and Neal Smelser for their mentoring (and to Albert Rasmussen and Charles S. McCoy, both deceased, who were on the faculty at Pacific School of Religion). The influence of sociology in my life and work is largely caught up in C. Wright Mills' notion of the sociological imagination, which I value deeply and try to keep alive. When I left Berkeley in 1969, I left formal academic life as well. I moved to Washington, D.C., where I was a community organizer working a racial issues for five years, and then to Philadelphia, where I worked for a decade as dean of studies at Pendle Hill, the Quaker living-learning community. During that time, I started trying to learn how to write, and am now working on my seventh book; the last two were "The Courage to Teach" and "Let Your Life Speak". For the past fifteen years, I've worked independently as a writer and traveling teacher, focused on the same themes that preoccupied me in Berkeley: education, community, spirituality and social change. During this time I have lived in Madison, Wisconsin, a city that reminds me of Berkeley, thus making me feel much younger than the sixty-four that I am. For that reason, I have no intention of moving, ever! I am taking 2004 as a work-free, sixty-fifth year sabbatical to try to figure out what I want to do when I grow up.

After years of combining anti-Vietnam war activities and graduate school, I was finally able to bring academics and politics together enough to finish my dissertation on the personal and professional crises of scientists and engineers in the military industries in the Stanford area. In the process, I helped make two documentary films to aid their efforts to organize fellow scientists and engineers. I left Berkeley in September 1969, dissertation unfinished, to join Dave Colfax and George Rawick as new members of the Washington University "radical" sociology department. Unfortunately, Al Gouldner and the others who recruited us thought we were just radical scholars. But our scholarship served to point our way politically. With my students, I helped produce "The McDonnell Film" which did not endear me to Sanford McDonnell, a member  of the Board of Trustees. In the course of making the film, the McDonnell workers in the film were threatened by Naval Intelligence. Dave Colfax and I had the same friendly undercover agent of the St. Louis police watching us. We frequently chatted with him, standing bored by one of our houses. With a professor of Asian history, I started "War and Peace Report" on a local radio station. After unrelenting support for Dave Colfax in his tenure battle, I was denied a contract renewal. Although I had not completed my dissertation, I was told I would receive a renewal if I would stop publicly speaking on Colfax's behalf. I did not and soon I was on my way to Cortland State College in the SUNY system, a big intellectual drop, I must say. But as soon as my dissertation was accepted (on the condition that the political history creating the huge pool of science warriors in the labs be cut, including my political economic analysis) I applied to the State College of Buffalo, because it was in an industrial city. I tried to teach at night there as much as possible to reach working people.  

While at Buffalo, I received a notice (over the radical sociology group) of an opening for an assistant professor at the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies at the Free University of Berlin. I applied and received the position. I started teaching in West Berlin in April 1976. It took several months before I went over to East Berlin to talk with Americans and non-Germans living there. From watching GDR television, I had been very impressed with the achievements of the GDR in the area of full employment, institutional equality for women (and thus, for men), child care, and (high) culture, also for factory workers, who could not only attend opera and theater for almost nothing, but who went as collectives, if they wished. There was universal health insurance, almost free child care by trained personnel, from six weeks onward, union or company-owned vacation facilities that cost very little. The GDR was supporting Cuba and Vietnam with tools and training. Just as important, I was enthused by the fact that the leading members of the GDR government, army, courts, and cultural life, had been anti-fascists, many having spent years in the concentration camps. On the other hand, West Germany's leaders were credited with their earlier loyalty to their fatherland. Older judges and law school teachers served the Nazi regime and were allowed to train the next generation of judges and diplomats.  

Until this time, I had been an anti-communist, self-labeled American "socialist revolutionary" with neither academic nor direct experience with a functioning advanced socialist society. I was taken aback by my first media impressions of the GDR; they did not jibe with my prejudices. To try to understand this seemingly impressive society, my wife and I visited a famous novelist, Walter Kaufmann, now an Australian, but a Jew born into a "bourgeois" Düsseldorf family. We visited an American Communist journalist and TV personality Victor Grossmann, who told me he was in the same CP cell at Harvard with Robert Bellah. We talked with a female American playwright, Edith Anderson. And we became friends with an Irish English lit professor who translated Brecht and organized the annual  political song festival.  I attended the world-famous Leipzig Documentary Film Festival, where I wept when I embraced the Vietnam delegation and when I saw a Cuban documentary in which workers were marching, holding up as though they were weapons the drills provided by the GDR ? weapons of peaceful construction. None of those living in the GDR spared us their criticisms but all were united in saying that there was no other place to live if one wanted to live in Germany.  

As a result of all of this, I thought I would like to live in the GDR and experience so-called "real socialism" first hand. Well, it came differently. As a result of my Princeton background, I was an ideal candidate to be more helpful to the protection and improvement of the existing form of socialism, if I stayed in the West, gave up my Berkeley-acquired ways and appearance to return to my earlier potential - a Princeton graduate headed into the policy arena.  

I became a specialist in nuclear non-proliferation policy, spending a year at the research institute of the German Society for Foreign Affairs in Bonn. In my next position at a West German National nuclear lab, I was asked to became advisor to West German conservative politicians, a liaison between the German government and various U.S. Congressional and executive government agencies, and a Senior Associate Consultant for a Watergate-based energy policy consultant firm that did a great deal of work for government agencies, including intelligence agencies. I was, I have to admit, delighted to have myself on a list of consultants with retired generals and admirals.  

With Berkeley in my head and Princeton on my face and suits (Richard Burt, U.S. Ambassador to Germany and a Cornell graduate, accused me of having the Princeton seal of my buttocks) after a number of years, I came to the point that I knew a lot about of what went on in the German Chancellor's office and why, not to speak of other German ministries and large German firms producing energy or energy-generating equipment, including nuclear reprocessing facilities.  

I am proud to have been part of a group of "Agents for Peace" as we call ourselves, still meeting annually with Markus Wolff and others in Berlin to discuss the politcal situation and to raise money for those who have spent much more time in jail than I have, and to work on our second book. We gave the GDR breathing space and we helped to prevent NATO military aggression against the socialist countries. With my comrades at the top of the NATO policy planning staff, in high positions in the German foreign service and defense ministries, and as head engineer of the advanced German fighter, Tornado, we learned first-hand of the first-strike plans of NATO's 150 nuclear missiles onto the Soviet Union, two onto the GDR. Knowing exactly what was planned enabled actions, both political and military, to counter them.  

I am proud that the education and convictions I acquired in Berkeley were put to the service of preserving the peace in Europe, which, according to U.S. plans, would have been sacrificed in balls of fire in a limited nuclear war.  

I am still active in anti-war politics, in the Munich-American Peace Committee, speaking in front of the famous Munich City Hall, where I first stood over 40 years ago as a Princeton senior.

And I am putting my sociology education to good use as a systemic family therapist - the only kind that a sociologist could become, I believe.

Since I "retired" in the late 1990's, I've spent full time volunteering for Democratic candidates at local state, and Federal levels. I spent 12 years on the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee, 6 years as Director of Region 6 of the California Democratic Party (Alameda and Contra Costa Counties). I've served as a delegate to the California Democratic Party since 1994. I've spent the past six years as the "Community Member" of the Board of Directors of the Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine College, Berkeley. I've spent the last four years on the Board of Directors of the ACLU-Berkeley, North East Bay Chapter, working on issues like immigration reform, abolition of the death penalty, police practices, need for reform of the "War on Drugs", and its adverse impact on racial minorities.

I am going to resist the temptation to recite my professional achievements, culminating with a humble encomium to my professors for making me the great sociologist that I am. Instead, in the Berkeley tradition, I am going to inject a dissident voice. I'm skeptical about the logic behind this Berkeley Alumni Project. Not that I am immune to the innocent pleasure of peering into lives attached to names from the distant past. But I have a gnawing sense that the real purpose of the Alumni Project is to develop a cult around UC, Berkeley. Either this is elitist at its core, or it is a fundraising gimmick, or it is just plain silly: an evocation of 'old school' spirit, even though we passed through Berkeley at different times, did not know each other, and have nothing in common except for a nominal institutional affiliation. Don't get me wrong: I have nothing but positive memories of my years at Berkeley, both the university and the charms of Northern California. But when I returned last summer after living in New York City for three decades, I felt like Woody Allen's character in Sleeper, awakening in a strange place, save for some enduring physical markers and a few senescent professors (joke!). For me, 'Berkeley' is not a place that invites nostalgia or self-congratulation, but rather an injunction to go forth and change the world. With this caveat, however. As Godfrey Hodgson wrote in America in Our Time with reference to SNCC in the 1960s: 'Success is not the only test. Since, in the end, failure is the fate of most human endeavors, what matters is with what enterprise and in what spirit one fails.'

None stated

I write this upon my retirement after 36 years as a professor of sociology at San Jose State University. I was a graduate student at Berkeley from 1962-67, went to teach at SJSU in 67 and finished my dissertation in 1970. Professors who influenced my professional development included Herbert Blumer, John Clausen, Erving Goffman, Kenneth Bock, Neil Smelser, and Charles Glock. I was part of John Clausen's NIMH training program to study Social Structure & Personality. Henry Lennard came to Berkeley and taught a graduate seminar on "Social Interaction" that had the class going one week to observe family therapy sessions at Langley Porter Neuropsychiatric Institute (part of the UC Med Center in San Francisco) and the alternate week observing family therapy sessions at the Mental Research Institute in Palo Alto which had what came to be some of the leading family therapists in the United States. We were put in interdisciplinary teams to observe communication patterns in families that featured a schizophrenia child on the premise that pathological communication in families drove children crazy. As a sociologist I was teamed with anthropologists, teachers, psychologists, nurses, social workers and we all observed from our disciplinary perspective and discussed what we saw with the therapist and helped the therapist strategize the next session. This experience launched me into a second career as a state licensed Marriage, Family & Child Therapist.  

While teaching sociology (classes in family, socialization, theory) and training family therapists in a Clinical Psychology graduate program at SJSU, I had a private practice as a family therapist. I have spent many years as an advisor to judges, for two years as an adult probation officer where I recommended sentences to judges in municipal and superior courts in San Mateo County and also as a child custody evaluator for the Santa Clara County Superior Court. I recommended custody and visitation schedules to judges when parents could not agree among themselves on custody issues. I have conducted over 250 child custody evaluations over an eighteen year period; some of these required giving testimony in court as an expert witness. I also do divorce mediation in my private practice, assisting couples write a marital settlement agreement relative to custody and visitation issues involving their children.

I believe that the probation work, custody work, mediation work, and therapy work all arose as a function of learning interviewing skills in the graduate program at Berkeley. My doctoral dissertation had me interviewing eighty legally blind young adults in the San Francisco Bay Area assessing the effects of employment conditions (did they get jobs themselves or through a social worker, did they work in a sheltered workshop for blind people or were they integrated with normally sighted people) on self esteem. Results of the dissertation were published in a monograph published by the American Foundation for the Blind, an organization that invited me to an international invitational conference in New York in 1970 for people they considered the fifty top researchers on blindness in the world. One of the issues I considered in the dissertation is how a person who is congenitally blind comes to cognitively grasp what blindness and sight are, what seeing involves.

Although I taught at SJSU for much of my career, I spent a year as a Visiting Scholar teaching at the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 1973-74 and was one of few Americans to get into Mainland China during the height of the Cultural Revolution in 1974. I was recruited as a researcher by the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations and the Tavistock Clinic in London in 1978 to research what in a family therapy session makes a difference in affecting change, versus all that happens that makes no change whatever. Can one tell any therapist what they did that affected change and what they did that had no impact? In1985 I was a Visiting Scholar at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem where I helped to train family therapists who were going to work on kibbutzim. In 1997 I was part of the first ever United States Delegation of Marriage & Family Therapists to the People's Republic of China where I conferred with divorce mediators in China to compare the the mediation process in China and the United States (resulted in an article for the sociological journal Social Insight) and consulted with judges and attorneys in Shanghai who were trying to get a divorce court off the ground.

I have written four books: Theory & Methods in Sociology (Schenkman/Wiley, 1974), Family Therapy: Etiology & Treatment of Illness (Applied Medical Training, 1981), Frameworks for Studying Families (Dushkin, 1995) and Children As Caregivers: Parental & Parentified Children (Allyn & Bacon).


I left Berkeley in 1968 for the University of Hawaii. I stayed 12 years, became a father, grew concerned about overpopulation, the environment, and hunger, crafted my ability to teach, and began writing textbooks.

In 1979, my wife, Sheila, whom I had first met at the Survey Research Center at UCB, got a job offer in the Bay Area. Taking a deep breath, I resigned as a tenured professor and department chair, and we moved. For the next seven years, I was a writer only. As the years went by, however, I found I missed the classroom, partly because the ham in me missed performing.

At about the time I was strongly thinking I wanted to get back into the classroom, I learned Chapman College (now University) was beginning to search for a new chair. So I applied and moved to Orange in 1987. I've been here ever since, partly to watch the political transformation of Orange County, beginning with Loretta Sanchez's booting out B-1 Bob Dornan.

It would be hard to exaggerate the importance of my Berkeley education. When I was assigned Charlie Glock as my advisor and sent off to the Survey Research Center, I wasn't sure what survey research was. (Charlie remedied that.) Even more important, I met and became friends with such a variety of people, with varied sociological and social views that I think their impact still pushes my unfolding evolution.

How has my sociology shaped my world? Totally, I suppose.

I married Dave Hartley two days after graduating from Berkeley the first time in Business Administration. I worked as a full charge accountant for several years and knew that wasn't what I wanted to do indefinitely. So, after two children and intense volunteer work, I went back to grad school in sociology. It changed my life completely.

I felt fortunate (as an early woman Ph. D.) to be hired at CSUHayward. We had a heavy teaching load, and I taught 25 different courses, introducing many of them to our campus. I managed lots of eclectic research, three books and about 20 articles. I was elected to the Board of the Population Association of America and served on an NIH Research Panel.

Sociology is endlessly exciting, and Berkeley, especially, opened my eyes to learning and the world we live in. Fortunately my husband is also very open and loves to travel. We've visited about 120 countries and also scuba dive world wide. Now, in retirement, we are volunteer mediators in a very active program on Maui, and I am active in the art community, painting Plein-aire in oils and have been featured artist in several shows.

We currently live on Maui most of the time, travel about three months a year and return to the S. F. Bay Area two to five times a year for short reunions with family and friends. We started a travel website, but were travelling too much to keep it updated.



John Irwin, Professor Emeritus at San Francisco State University (SFSU), passed away January 3, 2010. After a conviction for armed robbery and serving a five year sentence in California's prison system, he received his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley in 1968.

Irwin taught Sociology and Criminology at SFSU for 27 years. In prison he discovered that deviants and convicts were mostly ordinary human beings. This insight, not entirely appreciated by many academics who study crime and criminals, guided all of his academic and political activities. His considerable research on prisons included six books. 

While Irwin has contributed to many community programs over the years, he is best known for creating Project Rebound at SFSU in 1967. Project Rebound is a program that provides comprehensive support for ex-convicts to enter and complete degrees at SFSU. Over the last 40 years, many Project Rebound students have obtained BA, MA, and PhD degrees in various disciplines. As an organizer and leader of the Prisoners' Union in California, he worked closely with the California legislature on the Uniform Sentencing Act passed in 1976. He received the August Vollmer award from the American Society of Criminology (ASC) for outstanding contributions to criminal justice. John also served on the Board of Directors for the JFA Institute and the Sentencing Project.

John was one of the founding members of the Convict Criminology Theoretical Perspective. John has been a friend, mentor, and inspiration to many people in the Convict Criminology Group. He has been instrumental in helping many ex-convicts and non-convicts in their careers.

I earned my Ph.D. in 1973, having left in 1971 to teach at UC San Diego. In 1982, I left UCSD, having been denied tenure. In 1985, I graduated from Yale Law School. I now am a litigation attorney at the Office of Consumer Counsel, a State of Connecticut agency. We advocate for the ratepayers of regulated utilities. The simplest way give you a flavor of my legal/policy practice is to refer you to our agency website,, from which [at the “What’s New” link] you can download a long piece titled “ELECTRIC RESTRUCTURING TODAY: The OCC White Paper.” While that document does not have my name on it, I wrote it.

You ask how Berkeley influenced my use of sociology. At Berkeley, I learned social science from three marvelous sources. First, key faculty (e.g., Reinhard Bendix and Bob Blauner in Sociology; Henry May/History; Sheldon Wolin/Political Science). Second, numerous fellow students (e.g., Nigel Young, Sam Kaplan, Volker Eisele). Third, the very times (e.g., the Free Speech Movement, La Huelga and Country Joe’s I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixing-to-Die Rag).

I took a Berkeley ethos (critical, historical approach to sociological issues, etc.) with me to UCSD and that is part of why retrograde senior faculty there voted against my tenure. That event (which of course angered and frustrated me at the time) turned out okay, partly because I had come to believe that college teaching has no helpful effects on students. By then, I had been an expert witness in some legal cases, which helped me decide what to do next. My social science experience undoubtedly has made me a better lawyer, so that is a continuing benefit.

You also ask how my sociology has shaped the world. What a hubris-laden question! The obvious answer, of course, is not at all. I doubt whether anyone with a Berkeley Sociology Ph.D. can claim much influence in the world beyond academic sociology as such. In the 1960’s, after his fatal heart attack, we said “C. Wright Mills lives” --- but of course this did not turn out to be true as meant (because no critical mass of public intellectuals emerged in sociology thereafter). By now I have spent more time working as a lawyer than as a sociologist. I like this second career just fine, and believe that in it I have “shaped the world” more effectively than I could have done as a sociologist. Also, I find it a lot more challenging to convince a judge to decide a dispute my way than to explain ideas to undergraduates.

I have been Professor of Sociology at UCLA since 1969. It was my first job.Berkeley offered poor training in quantitative methods in those days, and the graduate student culture was hostile to them to boot. Unfortunately, those proved subsequently to be the dominant methods in professional sociology so, in this respect, I was poorly prepared at Berkeley. It would be very presumptuous to suppose that my sociology has shaped the world; to the extent that my research and writing have influenced the world in some minimal manner I hope and believe they have strengthened agency in a field top heavy with structure.


I got the doctorate in Sociology at Berkeley in 1970. From 1968-72 I taught in the Social Sciences Integrated Course and Field Major at UCB, and directed that program for its last year. Later I was Academic Director of UCB's Field Studies Program, worked as an Evaluation Research professional in the campus's Health and Medical Sciences Program, and was a research staff member at the Institute for the Study of Social Change, studying the social and legal impacts of genetic research. I also helped to create an Oakland campus of New York's College for Human Services, and for 28 years I have been a Board of Directors member and adjunct faculty member of the Western Institute for Social Research, a State-approved Berkeley institution that provides degree study for community-involved adults. Since 1984 I have been a professional Trial Consultant, using social research to advise litigating attorneys about the discovery of bias in potential jurors, and the clear presentation of complex case materials. From 1984-1996, I worked at the National Jury Project/West, in Oakland, and am now a semi-retired, independent practitioner.
My time in Sociology at Berkeley was one of great turmoil on campus, and I learned as much from that as from my course work. But study with Philip Selznick, Reinhard Bendix, and others opened new windows for my mind, and I value it greatly. Through various projects of UCB's then Center for the Study of Law and Society and Center for Research and Development in Higher Education, I wrote a monograph on the Free Speech Movement and the issues that it raised for social and legal research, as well as other papers on campus protests and the structures of U.S. higher education.
The social theory and methods training that I received in the Department helped me a great deal, of course, in the research and teaching work that I have done. And, less directly, it helped me to understand the structures and processes of American universities, while I worked in several different experimental programs designed to change them. Also, for someone who grew up in this intensely psychologistic culture, studying sociology very usefully, if belatedly, broadened my liberal education. So I've always been glad for it, and for some of the friends whom I met there. I continue to live in Berkeley, ten blocks from the campus.

After four whirlwind years as a Berkeley graduate student, I took a soft-money position at Langley Porter/UC San Francisco conducting further research on my dissertation topic: social and psychological effects of deafness on children and families. The result was Sound and Sign: Childhood Deafness and Mental Health (1972) co-authored with psychiatrist Hilde Schlesinger. Together with articles from my dissertation, this helped change the education of deaf children. Formerly, all schools barred sign language for those younger than 13. Today, sign language combined with speech is standard practice from preschool onward.

By 1976 soft money was scarce, college tuition for two children expensive, and divorce had changed my financial outlook. I moved to a hard money research post at Gallaudet, the world's only liberal arts college for deaf students. There I set up a research program, wrote Deafness and Child Development (1980), and worked happily until retiring in 1998, the gratified recipient of a festschrift.

Graduate school gave me some life-long friends: many contributed to Gender and the Academic Experience, Berkeley Women Sociologists (1994), edited with Ruth Wallace. It also gave me a measure of confidence and the research skills to produce a satisfying body of work. John Clausen's mental health training program, life-span approach, and acceptance of an 'odd-ball' dissertation topic were especially valuable. In 'retirement,' I weave, am an active grandmother, a cookbook memoirist, and continue to work with Gallaudet colleagues: Parents and Their Deaf Children will appear in 2003, and Oxford will publish The World of Deaf Infants in 2004.

My thesis researched Chinese family formation, supervised by Kingsley Davis. From my perch in Hong Kong, I tried to do a minisurvey people using topical questions, on people that no longer lived in China. I discovered that asking people their views of what would have happened if they had remained in China [what would have happened in their lives if they had not done what they did do] was troubling to me and them. I really had to do participant observation. So I retooled myself in interpretive sociology with a structural bais. I have studied Chinese family formation with interviews and participant observation ever since.

My best known book is WORKING DAUGHTERS OF HONG KONG, which pioneered the life study method on a previously overlooked population of factory girls. I have also done research on the Chinese diaspora elsewhere (Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Inner Mongolia). I am currently writing a book on PRC immigrants to Toronto, looking at labor market adaptation, entrepreneurial activities, family economies and child care opportunities and responsibilities of this newest outreach of the Chinese diaspora. With my new husband Arent Greve (Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration), I am applying concepts of social networks and social capital to understand why skilled immigrants have trouble getting jobs in Toronto. I learned in Berkeley not to "blame the victim," and I am trying to give a voice to well trained Chinese in Toronto that are diminished by their efforts to develop their capacities in North America.

I graduated with the Ph.D. in 1969 and went off for a first teaching job at the University of Santa Clara. I had been radicalized by the student movements of the sixties and while I was initially headed for a job at a so called big ten school, I ended up at much smaller venue due in part to my anger at my professors for being on the wrong side during those tumultuous days. Neil Smelser, Erving Goffman and Marty Trow were my mentors. Trow was marvelous in his supervisionof my dissertation.

Having received absolutely no training on how to teach, I was totally unprepared for the boredom and indifference of students in my sociology classes at Santa Clara. So I developed a style of teaching that I came to call 'experiential sociology'. It consisted of designed experiences that I and students developed and then implemented and then documented using multi media formats. I carried on this approach at my next teaching job at Stockton State College in New Jersey after getting the boot at Santa Clara for participating in a disuption of a ROTC ceremony after Nixon went into Cambodia.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, I never could decide, I never was able to convince the administrators at Stockton State of the value of experiential sociology and thus I was denied tenure at that institution. Fortunately, my father, Nevitt Sanford, the founder of the Wright Institute in Berkeley, found a spot for me at the institute where I took up residence for three years in the late 1970s. Next it was out into the world of business and the discovery of my calling.

I fell into a real estate office in Montclair in the early 80's when interest rates were 19 percent and the market was flat. My sales manager told me to go out and make cold calls so that if and when the market turned I would have some customers. Nobody else in the office was making those calls; I went out and tried and found it very difficult, embarrassing and humiliating. And hence the question that all my years at Berkeley taught me how to ask: What is there in us that resists reaching out to strangers with our proposition? That is, why is it so hard for most people to make cold calls to strangers, to bridge the social gulf between themselves and strangers when there is no third party introduction. This is in business to business calls, where the phone is used to set up appointments.

I became of a student of the problem. I researched the literature, overcame the reluctance myself and ended up teaching public seminars on how to overcome call avoidance. Now I have a web site, where I market training materials on business development and coach people on how to reach out to strangers with their business proposition. I have written a book on the topic, Fearless Cold Calling. And my next book will be on reluctance in other arenas: stage fright, writer's block, fear of public speaking and self promotion. I plan a second web site:

UC Berkeley sociology gave me the willingness to write and do research and as a result I have been able to leverage those strengths in ways that have greatly aided the growth of my business.

Marty Lipset was my most influential mentor, since I was his research assistant five years at Berkeley and Harvard. I became a peacenik in Berkeley, though my status as a single mom then inhibited my activism. After I came to Toronto in 1971 my career was divided between two concerns revising my successful introductory textbook, Foundations of Modern Sociology (of which I produced ten different editions over the years) and my commitment to peace studies as professor, researcher, journalist, and activist.

I have edited Peace Magazine since 1985 and write for it; I created a peace and conflict studies program at my college and administered it for 14 years until I retired five years ago; and I have produced books on such peace-related topics as women in post-Communism; separatism; and the lessons of Yugoslavia.

At conferences in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union I discovered that the international peace movement had extraordinary influence on Soviet military policy, especially under Gorbachev, and began documenting these effects. My interviewing of officials was interrupted for several years after I was deported for associating with dissident peace activists. Fortunately, I was able to help them more from Canada, for the prime minister sent observers to a trial with favorable effects.

Since retiring I am writing a book on the serious uses of entertainment. Part I is theoretical and Part II empirically explores the moral, emotional, and physiological effects of episodic television dramas.

I arrived at Berkeley in the fall of 1963, after completing my B.A. at Immaculate Heart College (1961), and M.A. in Sociology at the University of Notre Dame (1963). My key interests - theory, religion, and education - were sharpened in courses taught by Neil Smelser, Leo Lowenthal, Herbert Blumer, Reinhard Bendix, Nathan Glazer, and by my many discussions with Erving Goffman.

After graduation from Berkeley in 1968, I taught at Immaculate Heart College, Los Angeles, run by members of my religious community. In 1970 I accepted a position at George Washington University in Washington, DC.

My first book on gender issues was an edited book, Feminism and Sociological Theory (1989). Over the years, two Berkeley colleagues were my coauthors: Shirley Hartley (1988) and Kathryn Meadow Orlans (1994). Kay and I were pleased to discover that our book, Gender and the Academic Experience: Berkeley Women Sociologists, was the inspiration for Michael Burawoy's project.

Among my other publications were a theory text, Contemporary Sociological Theory, coauthored with Alison Wolf, and two books from my research on leadership changes in Catholic parishes: They Call Her Pastor: A New Role for Catholic Women (1992) and They Call Him Pastor: Married Men in Charge of Catholic Parishes (2003). I am convinced that George Washington University was a good "home" for my teaching and research over thirty-two years, and I am indebted to the Berkeley professors and graduate students who were a major influence on the shaping of my career.

Having earned all my degrees at Cal (BA, MA, PhD), I am quite thoroughly stamped with the Berkeley experience, not only in sociology (Neil Smelser, Reinhard Bendix, Guenther Roth, Leo Lowenthal, Kenneth Bock, William Kornhauser, Erving Goffman, Aaron Cicourel, the Berkeley Journal, and my Fellow graduate students) and other disciplines such as history (Carl Schorske),political science (Sheldon Wolin) and english (Gardner Stout), but also with the movements (anti-HUAC, Civil Rights, FSM, AFT, anti-war and TWLF) and above all the exuberant, questing spirit of the place in the '60s. My training in what we grandly called 'theory' not only got me every teaching job I have ever held (Sonoma State, UC Berkeley, Yale, UIC). It also prepared me later to master the field of research (sociology of religion) in which I now work but was not trained. The theory taught, debated, and modeled at Berkeley instilled in me the convictions that theories were plural, that every theory had to be interrogated for its meaning as well as its truth, that theorists were answerable to empirical reality, that empirical reality was always changing, and that 'empirical' did not only mean 'quantitative.' If my work has shaped the world, it is through my mentoring of succeeding generations of students and bringing to light neglected corners of the social world (most recently, the religious institutions of post-1965 immigrants).

I came to Berkeley in 1963 with the naive faith that lived experience and social perceptions could be recorded on punch cards with nothing lost in the translation. Four years later, when I left to work in New Jersey, my assumptions about the availability of the external world had been badly shaken on moral and methodological grounds. If the pursuit of sociology was inextricably value-laden, was our privilege to speak as scientists a sham? And, if we relied in an unexamined way on common sense to ground our insights and test our theories, were we the emperors without clothes? What happened in between was immersion in the legendary Berkeley of the mid-sixties - the rise of ethnomethodology and my succumbing to its subversive charms, countless discussions with fellow grad students about the early R.D. Laing, and the intellectual ferment of a major theoretical reorientation in deviance- as well as exposure to social movements that were upending familiar categories of race, gender, and sexuality. It was a blessing and a curse but ultimately more of a blessing. In Berkeley, I saw the future before it arrived elsewhere - but the intensity and instability drove me to seek sanctuary in the East and ultimately in Canada. My career has been interdisciplinary to say the least- my dissertation was intended to apply sociology to history but overshot the mark and when it was published(in revised form) got lots of attention among historians but was ignored in sociology. I went back to school in 1982 and got a law degree in 1985. My research and teaching has since been focussed on analyzing legal discourse- as the great normalizing language- and placing it in historical and sociological context.


I arrived at Berkeley midyear in 1964, after graduating from San Francisco State College. Being a Mexican-American born in Berkeley and raised in Oakland, going to graduate school at Berkeley was an intimidating experience in terms of the repute of the faculty and the backgrounds of fellow students, who were from all over the country, as well as being bright, articulate and especially well read. The intellectual environment of Berkeley provided an exceptional opportunity to be a symbolic interactionist, a structuralist or a Marxist and to move fluidly among these ideologies. Blumer, Bendix, Glock, Goffman, Matza, Clausen, Lowenthal, Smelser and Selznick created an intellectual environment rich in ideas and embracing of theoretical exploration.

In the midst of this intellectual feast, however, two events proved exciting, yet disruptive. The first was the Free Speech Movement, and the second was the Vietnam War and its protests. For those of us who experienced the former, I think we were different students than the cohorts before us, for no matter what we focused on in our individual studies, we were all students of social movements, institutions and politics. Unfortunately, some of the cohort did not survive -- finding the Era of the 60's too disruptive and chaotic. As a first year student it was difficult knowing whether to cross the picket lines or not, and if you did, not knowing whether the faculty would be in class.

The second event was the Vietnam War. My time at Berkeley was cut short because I selected an alternative service rather than be drafted. In one respect it was beneficial because I was assigned to NIH and was able to collect dissertation data. Yet, I missed not being at Berkeley with my cohort, fellow students and the faculty. John Clausen, however, was the most reliable distant dissertation advisor anyone could have. He was so quick in reading chapters I called him 'The Flash.'

I completed my dissertation while at De Pauw University and when finished I came to Ohio State University where I have enjoyed a quiet career of health research and teaching greatly informed by my work with Blumer and Goffman and my all too brief years at Berkeley.

I came to Berkeley in summer 1964. The previous year I'd been a grad student in psychology at Stanford; I was interested in personality and cognition but they assigned me to work in a rat lab, so I decided to switch to sociology across the Bay. Spring and summer 1964 were the time the civil rights movement hit the North. There had been big sit-in demonstrations and mass arrests in San Francisco to integrate hiring at auto row and the downtown hotels. At Berkeley I joined campus CORE, and through it met some Trotskyite "cadres" with whom I took part in various clandestine plottings. CORE, along with SNCC and a red-diaper-baby outfit called SLATE, were developing a plan to picket UCB in the fall to integrate their hiring.

UC beat us to the punch. We had the custom of setting up tables on the sidewalk at the Telegraph Ave. entrance to campus to drum up support for our sit-ins; the university (apparently under local pressure) tried to force us off the sidewalk. In response we took the offensive and set up our tables in front of Sproul Hall, and waited to get arrested.  I was in the group of 20 or so at the tables when the campus police brought in a patrol car to arrest one of us, who was not registered as a student that term. It was a big tactical error, because we'd been doing non-violent sit-ins all summer, and we spontaneously sat down to block the wheels and trapped the car.  The rest is history -- big crowds gathered, various people started getting up on top of the car to make speeches (thereby making a reputation with the media as if they were the 'leaders' of the movement), the fraternity boys came down in the middle of the night to try to break up our demo; next day the Oakland police showed up in  menacing formation, revving their motorcycle engines like a bunch of Hell's Angels, whereupon a last minute agreement was reached. And so on. I was on the coordinating council of the FSM, the coalition of campus organizations that came out of that confrontation; went to innumerable rallys; got arrested inthe Sproul Hall sit-in; in the next few years, got heavily involved in the anti-war movement. Then when the non-violent movement got hijacked by the more violent and doctrinaire wing, I gravitated, like many others, into the psychedelic wing of the counterculture, got interested in Asian religions and psychotherapy groups. Good choice, I think; some of those who stuck with the political trajectory disappeared into Weatherman and a whiff of dynamite.

Through all this, somehow I managed to go to classes, soaking in the influence of a very inspiring group of sociologists:  among the most impressive to me personally were Blumer, Goffman, Philip Selznick, and Leo Lowenthal.  I worked as an R.A. for Joseph Ben-David, then visiting from the Hebrew University, and got launched on a series of publications in the sociology of science; this early work, decades later, culminated in my 1998 historical-comparative book  The Sociology of Philosophies.   I was in a group of graduate students putting together a reader in comparative political sociology, franchised out by Reinhard Bendix as editor; writing up the theoretical  chapter for the volume launched me on a path of developing a left-wing version of Weber as a multi-dimensional theory of social conflict. Putting together Weberian conflict theory with the radical micro-sociology inspired by Goffman, led to my 1975 book  Conflict Sociology;  systematizing the micro-macro connection led to subsequent work including my 2004 book Interaction Ritual Chains. I did my dissertation under Harold Wilensky, analyzing comparative organizational data to show that rising educational requirements for employment were not due to technologically-driven demand for skills, but to changing standards of cultural respectability; this later became my 1979 book The Credential Society.

I left Berkeley in 1968 and received my PhD the following year. My career has taken me to Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison, UCSD, Univ. of Virginia, UCR, and Univ. of Pennsylvania, with visiting stints at Chicago, Harvard, and Cambridge, and at various universities and institutes in Europe, China, and Japan. Taking my own argument against educational credentialism seriously, I dropped out of the academic world for a while in the late 70s and early 80s, published a novel,  The Case of the Philosophers' Ring, and did a lot of free-lance writing. My intellectual trajectory was laid down by the time I left Berkeley; the rest has been largely extensions.  I'm still working on it; my next book is a radically micro-sociological theory of Violent Conflict.

I was born in Minneapolis, went to Carleton College, and came out to Berkeley only after my first year in India, in 1963-64, returning to India in 1970-71 to do my Ph. D. dissertation and then to finally 'settle' there in 1978. So I have taken something of the 'great years' of the 60s from Berkeley to India ­ and vice versa! When trying to combine living in India and teaching at San Diego didn't work, I quit and went to India. I had married into a middle caste ('Bahujan') 'rich peasant' farming family in western India and have 'settled' in the large 'village' of Kasegaon (my daughter calls it a 'town' in her poems but by Indian definition it's a village) in southern Maharashtra, with Bharat and other members of an Indian joint family. I've been an Indian citizen since 1983.

The social movements I've been involved with included the Dalit and anti-caste movements, environmental movements, farmers? and women?s movements, but at present I'm most active in the anti-caste movement. To tell the truth, I am a kind of 'mother figure' (along with one other American, Eleanor Zelliot) to many Dalits. One way of putting the problems people of my category has been expressed by one Indian friend ­ "I don't have an address." I've had a variety of occupations, which might be described as 'upscale unorganized sector' jobs. Most recent is a three-year position as Senior Fellow at Teen Murti in Delhi (a prestigious place and it has the advantage that I don't have to be there very much of the time but with no computer facilities).

My most important books include, most recently a forthcoming really wild book that falls in between 'activist journalism' and 'expert scholarship', Buddhism in India; Challenge to Brahmanism and Caste; I'm also getting into translation from Marathi ­ Growing Up Untouchable: A Dalit Autobiography, you can use it for all kinds of introductory courses!

I had a great time as an undergraduate in English at San Francisco State taking courses in comparative literature, poetry, language arts, modern drama, and psychological and social approaches to literature. Some of my English professors assigned sociological texts by C. Wright Mills, David Riesman and others. To my surprise, my major advisor recommended that I go across the Bay and study sociology at Berkeley as a graduate student.

I went to Berkeley and had some great classes, seminars and small reading discussion groups with Reinhard Bendix, Leo Lowenthal, David Matza, Erving Goffman, Aaron Cicourel, Robert Blauner, Philip Selznick and Neil Smelser. Selznick as the departmental chair admitted me to the graduate program and Smelser eventually served as my dissertation supervisor. I was at Berkeley during the Free Speech Movement in the fall of 1964 and in 1965 and later years during the protests against the Vietnam War.

My first jobs were temporary ones (in Political Studies at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, and in Sociology at Colorado College in Colorado Springs). After my new spouse could not get a job in Berkeley and thus support the continuation of my graduate study there, I was able to obtain an appointment as an Assistant Professor at California State University, Long Beach. Just after I received tenure, I managed to get a five-year leave of absence to work in epidemiology programs at the National Institutes of Health. During that time I was the Principal Investigator for a study of 1,367 employed men and women in Detroit. It was at NIH that I learned how to do quantitative data analysis. After I returned to Long Beach, I was promoted to Full Professor.

My experiences in and out of classes at Berkeley gave me a lot of self-confidence to move into other areas. Besides social epidemiology, I have gotten involved in critical and post-colonial theory, popular culture, and human rights. Although I found my political voice during the Vietnam War, it got stronger after I met Judith Blau at a Southern Sociological Society meeting and I joined Sociologists without Borders.

I've hesitated to write this because I have conflicting feelings about my years at Berkeley. On the one hand, they were very exciting and yet ,very traumatic times. While some professors were outstanding as lecturers (Blumer, Goffman, Smelser) others (unnamed) were arrogant, if not abusive towards students. The challenges of the  various social movements meant we were sociology students in action not just students in the classroom. 

I was originally not admitted to UCB and I went to see Blumer who was chair to see what I could do. He called every member of the graduate committee in front of me and asked "WHY?" Finally, he slammed the phone down and said, "That's no reason!" He said that some members didn't want to admit me because I was married! (This was 1964). Blumer not only admitted me but arranged for a reduced out-of-state tuition fee for my excellent academic record as an undergraduate and  M.A. from Kansas. Isn't that a great story about the giant! 

Sociology like other academic disciplines maintained a very traditional outlook which meant studying society from a masculine perspective. I never had a female professor of Sociology! There were no tenured women faculty at UCB.  In 1968  I audited the first sociology undergraduate course dealing with women's issues taught by an adjunct faculty Pauline Bart. Nevertheless, I now recognize that my challenging experiences as a graduate student and as a mother of a young child,during those Berkeley years led to my career focusing on women's issues. 

I am a professor (and former department chair) at California State University, Northridge, where I  designed the courses in Sociology of Gender, Gender and Work and team taught the first women studies course "Sex Role Stereotypes" in 1971. My research and by political life have focused on women's issues, especially dedicated to assisting women in the professions. Hopefully, I have helped succeeding generations of  women sociologists. 


Obituary of Eliezer Rosenstein taken from Publication of Technion University

Eliezer Rosenstein was born in Israel (Palestine), was married to Yehudit and had one son. As a young man he participated in youth movement activities and in the Hagana, and fought during the War of Independence in the Gallil. After completing his B.A. studies he served as personal secretary to the Minister of Education, and with the completion of his M.A., he became Personnel Director of an industrial enterprise. This professional experience served him well when he joined the staff of the Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management at the Technion as a Research Associate in 1961. He advanced through the academic ranks, and was promoted to Full Professor in 1986.

Eliezer Rosenstein was intensively involved in establishing the Area of Behavioral Sciences and Management at the Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management, and especially in the field of Labor Relations and Human Resource Management. In these fields, he guided about twenty graduate students in their M.Sc. and Ph.D. theses. Eliezer Rosenstein published extensively in the professional literature, focusing primarily on issues of participation, manpower management, industrial democracy, quality of work life, and labor relations. In these fields he was recognized internationally. He had particular interests in the maritime industry, and was involved in the benchmarking study of Israeli maritime manpower.

His professional expertise also came to expression in numerous consulting activities in the Israeli industry and in membership in various public committees.

Eliezer Rosenstein filled most of the administrative positions at the faculty, such as Head of the Graduate Committee, Associate Dean of Research, Head of the Behavioral Sciences and Management Area, and of the Industrial Management Area. He also served on major Technion-wide committees. Professionally he was highly active in the Industrial Relations Research Association of Israel, where he served as President during 1984-1986. He was a member of the Management Board of the Israeli Management Center and the Israeli Sociological Association.

Beyond his academic activities, Eliezer had wide cultural interests, loved art and literature. These contributed to his well-rounded, knowledgeable personality.

At the faculty, his integrity, human understanding, and commitment, made him a highly valued colleague, whose advice, support and negotiating skills were invaluable.

His premature death due to a long-lasting disease is deeply mourned by all who knew him.

I arrived in Berkeley in 1973 after living most of my life in the Illinois and Tennessee, having previously studied at Swarthmore, North Carolina, and the London School of Economics. I had never seen anything like the fog, the bay, the Free Speech Movement, and the arrests. Within the Department, Nat Glazer proved a careful adviser and I passed three of five required courses by exemption exam before classes began. Later that year, Leo Lowenthal let my skimpy German by for the second language.

I wanted to reform the theory of pluralism, and hung onto as many words as I could in a joint course offered by Kornhauser and Selznick. But as the year wore on, several of my mentors left for other positions, having taken the "wrong" side in the FSM conflict. And several others went  through  massive changes of political and personal life, rendering them of little use as doctoral advisers. I remember one grim summer in Berkeley when I worked on a dissertation proposal to absolutely no avail, finding solace in radio broadcasts of the games of my beloved baseball Giants. Like so many other students, my doctoral work was ultimately redeemed by the ever-solid support and counsel of Bob Blauner.  In 1970, after a year of teaching at Purdue and five years at Swarthmore, I was awarded my Berkeley doctorate.

I went on to build a career in an urban studies department at the Camden campus of Rutgers University, to write or edit nine books (mostly in voluntary action research, which I helped develop as an interdisciplinary field), to edit the major journal in that field for 12 years, and to win a career award from ARNOVA. I use my sociology now in action research on youth as resources, both in the U.S. and in Northern Ireland.


James L. Wood A beloved husband, father, friend and mentor for many, died April 18, 2007 at the age of 65 with family at his side. Jim grew up in a vibrant, diverse North Oakland neighborhood where he attended Santa Fe Grammar School, Woodrow Wilson Junior High and Oakland Tech High. He had many fond memories of participating in Oakland police athletic leagues, swimming at Forest Pool, attending 49er and Cal football games with his father and brother, and spending summers at his family's cabin in Boulder Creek. He received his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley, with a major in sociology. He attended Berkeley throughout the '60s which influenced his decision to specialize in issues related to social movements and political sociology. He formed many lifelong friendships during his time on campus. Upon completion of his doctoral studies he taught two years at UC Riverside before moving to San Diego State University, where he remained for 30 years. He was regarded as a very supportive teacher and mentor by his students, and encouraged many to pursue further graduate or professional education. He was the author of several influential books in his field including "Sources of American Student Activism," "Social Movements: Development, Participation and Dynamics," and "Sociology: Traditional and Radical Perspectives." In addition to teaching, he served as chair of the Sociology Department from 1991-2000, served on the legislative committee for the California Faculty Association, and was a cofounder of the Faculty Coalition for Public Higher Education, a group dedicated to achieving funding stabilization for the state's public colleges and universities. Following retirement, Jim resettled in Berkeley with his wife Patsy. Jim was a wonderful father and husband who greatly enjoyed family life and always welcomed friends of his children into his home. Friends fondly recall his warm smile, terrific sense of humor, loyalty, tolerance, and how he cared so deeply about sociology, higher education, and social and political justice. He is survived by his loving wife; daughter, Ann of Berkeley; and son, Jeff of Los Angeles. 

San Fransisco Chronicle, April 25, 2007



I have taught in the Department of Sociology at San Diego State University since 1975 and was Chair from 1991-2000. Until 1991 I taught and researched in the areas of social movements and political sociology, as well as taught statistics and methodology. I have written several books and articles, including The Sources of American Student Activism, and Social Movements: Development, Participation, and Dynamics (with Maurice Jackson), as well as articles on collective behavior for the Annual Review of Sociology (with Gary T. Marx), and the International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences. 

This focus changed significantly in 1991, lasting to the present in 2002, when I became involved in the struggles of higher education.  Whereas I still teach and do research in social movements and political sociology, my interests have become increasingly centered on problems of higher education, where I have focused on academic and applied - including legislative - solutions to such problems as budget cuts, reduction of tenure-track faculty, distance learning, copyright ownership of courses, and the increasing corporate influence over the university.

All of this has Berkeley origins. I was an undergraduate and graduate student in Sociology at Berkeley, taking courses with most of the well-known professors then, including Neil Smelser, Bob Blauner, Bob Somers, Herbert Blumer, Erving Goffman, David Matza, Reinhard Bendix, and William Kornhauser. I was also exposed to the early-1960s protests over civil rights, the death penalty, and nuclear weapons, which gave me a political as well as academic education.

My first day of graduate school in Sociology, October 1, 1964, was the beginning of the Free Speech Movement. The lessons from the FSM - and later Vietnam protests - were invaluable in 1992 when I helped restore 9 academic departments which were targeted for elimination at SDSU in the budget crisis of the early-1990s, assisted by much appreciated support from Neil Smelser and several other members of the Berkeley faculty.


Berkeley in the sixties. What an amazing time that was for a politically naïve girl from Willowdale Ontario. I did my undergraduate work at Berkeley with some of the best: Smelser, Lipsett, Glazer, Matza, Kornhauser, Skolnick, and an honor seminar with Ken Bock. On to graduate school to study population and urbanization with Petersen, Davis, Blake, Goldscheider and others. Tempted by an international career in the population field, I chose marriage and teaching instead and spent the next 18 years at UC Davis. Then, in the midst of grading midterms one weekend, I realized I wanted to get another life. I resigned from Davis in 1988 and in 1992 moved to Costa Rica with Norma Wikler (Berkeley 1973) to grow coffee and organic pineapples for export.

My sociological obra (aka oeuvre) involves writing and consulting in the area of women's rights and marriage/fertility/family planning; women's employment; and sexual and reproductive health, with a special interest in South and Southeast Asia. A few books along the way, including Rural Women at Work: Strategies for Development in South Asia (1978); Women's Work in Third World Agriculture (1985); and Population Policy and Women's Rights (1993). I still consult with organizations such as the International Women's Health Coalition in New York and, most recently, WHO, and have just finished a new book on Abortion and Common Sense. Toucans croak in the trees and an iguana waddles past the open door as I write. Costa Rica is pura vida.

I entered the Ph.D. program in sociology at Berkeley in September 1965, spent four exhilarating years there, left for Montreal in 1969, and finally got my Ph.D in 1975. My thesis was published in 1981 by U.C. Press under the title Papal Power. Vatican Control Over Lay Catholic Elites and received over 25 quite good reviews. Since 1979, I have been assistant (1969-1976), associate (1976-1983) and full professor (1983- ) in the sociology department at the University of Montreal, which I chaired from 1984 to 1987. I was a visiting professor in four other Quebec Universities over the years, and also at the University of Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte, Brazil (1997) and at the Architectural University in Hanoi, Vietnam (2000 and 2001).

From 1976 to 1980, I was city councillor in the town of Dunham, Qué, where I had built my own house in the early seventies. I have a daughter, Véronique, who is now a practicing social worker and psychotherapist in Houston, Texas. My favorites activities consist of taking care of my tree farm in Dunham, writing in the areas of sociology of the environment and of religion, mentoring students and/or activists and travelling abroard to visit family and friends, to give papers at conferences and lectures at various universities.

My major fields of interest are political sociology, sociological theory, sociology of religion and especially sociology of the environment which I call ecosociology. Over the years, I have authored, edited or co-edited 25 books or special issues of journals, nearly all in French, mostly in the field of ecosociology. Although my original training was in organizational and political sociology, and sociology of religion, my more recent books have been on social movements (peace and especially green movements), and in ecosociology (sustainable development, human dimensions of climate change,energy, acid rain, water). I have remained quite involved in peace, environmental and international solidarity groups over the years, and I have labored to promote interdisciplinary and socially-relevant approaches in the social sciences. I have started thinking about retirement, but I am not quite ready for that yet, because I love my work and feel I have a few more productive years ahead of me.

My four years at Berkeley were among the best years of my life, and I remain deeply grateful to my professors (Glock, Schurmann, Selznick, Bendix, Vallier, Smelser, Somers, Lowenthal, Blumer and others) for their dedication, and to many students in my cohort who have also helped and inspired me, and whose friendship remains precious to me to this day. The Sociology Department at Berkeley was the place to be for a young sociologist in the late sixties, and by what I can now see and hear, I still think it remains to this day one of the best places in the world to get a graduate education in sociology.



Ted Bradshaw, a UC Davis professor of community development who helped California communities grapple with base closures, energy issues and creating healthy social systems, died Aug. 5 (2006) while jogging near his home in Oakland. He was 63.

Trained as a rural sociologist, Bradshaw came to the Department of Human and Community Development as an assistant professor in 1995 after a nearly 20-year career as a researcher andlecturer at UC Berkeley. He made full professor in June.

Bradshaw was a leader in the areas of rural development, community development and energypolicy. Most recently, he chaired the effort to establish the new Center for the Study of Regional Change and was appointed last year as director of the Gifford Center for Population Studies, which focuses on population issues in California's Central Valley.

Written by Susanne Rockwell for UC Davis, News and Information

I entered the sociology graduate program in 1966 in my mid-30s. I had a law degree and had been working in law-related jobs for ten years. From law school on, I had been fascinated by the curious nature of law, and I was looking for an appropriate academic discipline from which to study it from the outside. Berkeley in the late 1960s was an exhilarating place for me, although I found myself a full half generation out of synch with the passionate young Marxists who seemed to make up most of my classmates.

My most interesting academic experiences were courses with Erving Goffman; two historical studies I did (law of early Puritan Massachusetts; law in the French Revolution); my struggle to put together coherently the wildly different perspectives in social theory; and the field work for my thesis. I owe a debt of gratitude to Philip Selznick, Philippe Nonet and Sheldon Messinger for guiding my work.

It took me an unconscionably long time to get my Ph.D.; I did not finish until 1981. By that time much of my interest in both law and sociology had drained away and I was moving my life in very different directions. I moved from Berkeley to Ashland, Oregon in 1976. I met my present wife here. We started a business together, doing editing, research and contract writing. One client has been the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, for which we have written articles for one of its publications for many years. I am currently at work coediting a long and absorbing novel.

We have two children, a boy and a girl, 19 and 15, both great kids.

In many ways, life began for me at age 50 and has continued to be happy and surprising for the 23 years since. I am proud of my Berkeley degree and feel remiss that I have made no professional use of my sociology training, but that is the way my life has gone

I would be delighted to hear from any graduate school contemporaries.


On July 22, 1975, Maurice Manel died in Montreal at the age of 35. A fertile, scholarly, and ironical mind, he is greatly missed by his friends at the University of California, Berkeley where he had just received his Ph.D.; his colleagues at Atkinson College of York University in Toronto; and those who knew him at Johns Hopkins and McGill, where he also did graduate work in sociology.

Maurice's sociological interests were diverse. During the last few years of his life he was beginning a series of papers on what might be called the sociology of the extreme emotions. He was interested in the structural underpinnings of ecstasy, depression, feelings of vulnerability and intimidation, shyness, loneliness, etc. In contrast, his dissertation, which reflected an earlier concern with politics and survey methods, dealt with the conditions that would promote loyalty to the moral order of laissez-faire capitalism on the one hand and welfare-oriented capitalism on the other.

For all the complexities of his mind, Maurice remained loyal to certain passions of his Montreal boyhood ; Grade B movies, Borscht Belt comedians, hockey, football, chess, and the like. Similarly, although he never married, Maurice liked children and they responded to his warmth.

Maurice's wit and humor enlivened many social gatherings. He was able to see absurdities and foibles in both himself and others truly a rare quality. It is thus with sadness that we make these remarks about this open, ardent, restless spirit who was our friend. Certainly our lives were enriched by having known him.

From: Footnotes (November, 1976) of the American Sociological Association, written by Ayad Al-Qazzaz, S.A. Longstaff, Samuel P. Oliner, and James L. Wood

In 1966, with a Masters in Economics from the Bocconi University of Milan, I won a two-year Harkness fellowship that had several appealing features (it was prestigious and hard to get, it required foreign students to make a three months trip all around the U.S., and let winners choose where to study). I chose Berkeley because it had an impressive sociological faculty, an active student movement, and I wished to discuss with Smelser my translation and my introduction to the Italian edition of Parsons'-Smelser's Economy and Society. I had planned to spend the second year at Harvard, but I was so happy in Berkeley that I spent all the time there.

I finished my introduction to Economy and Society, I took a Masters Degree in Sociology and the Ph.D.orals and started working for my Ph.D. dissertation on Structural Contradictions and Organizational Response in American Higher Education. I did many other things, such as getting to know the complexities of American society, participating in antiwar marches, making several good friends among Berkeley students and professors, writing the first essay on Gramsci's thought ever to appear in a U.S. sociological journal -- the Berkeley Journal of Sociology, etc.

I came back to Berkeley, San Francisco and the Bay Area with my wife and son in 1972, 1973, 1974, 1981,1990 for a few months each year -- as visiting scholar at the Institute of International studies -- and a few other times on shorter trips. Berkeley's intellectual style left an imprint on my way of teaching and the way I conduct research and on my continuous effort to combine scholarly rigor and social responsibility.

My committment to international scientific cooperation in the International Sociological Association, my research interests, the academic path I took (Professor of Sociology and Political Science, and Dean of the School of Political and Social Sciences at the University of Milan), have all been in various degrees influenced by my experience at Berkeley.

Plotting to avoid Vietnam, I went to U. Michigan where recent Berkeley graduate John Lofland convinced me to switch to Berkeley. I spent most of 1966-1968 on a spiritual/psychedelic journey, and was an indifferent student at best. After a year of world travel I returned briefly, but since I didn't 'love' America I left it. Four years in South America, farming, and abusing my body, propelled me to a missionary hospital where, rather than dying, I was reborn. So I returned to Berkeley in 1974 and finished up with a study of ways Americans adapted to life in Ecuador under the amazing guidance of Arlie Hochschild. Still skeptical of the value of intellectual pursuits, I worked in K-12 education for 12 years in California, Oregon and Peru.

Returning from Peru, I spent three years researching and writing several books on Christian missions. My sociology (of religion and knowledge) was beginning to pay off! Then a four year stint as an intercultural communication trainer (experiential sociology!) led me back to academia.

I have invented my own sociology, (major influences: Dooyeweerd, Goudswaard, Girard, Ritzer, Baudrillard, Lyotard, Derrida, Ellul, Taoism, and of course Goffman, Durkheim and Weber ; not to forget the Bible and Alcoholics Anonymous) written an intro textbook (none of my books are published), and labor at prying students away from the postmodern condition (nothing) so they can be useful to their fellow humans. They have been! It has been rewarding! I'll probably do this until I die.

Reading the other bios, I?m not that different. I teach with slides, music and video clips (documentaries, feature films, Simpsons) to avoid lectures. That way they pay attention. I never test; rather students have to perform 'experiments' using their sociological knowledge.

Being present at the birth of the culture war was the most profound way Berkeley affected me. The up-close observation of the quintessential Leftists has been invaluable for my teaching and writing. (I realize that their descendents deny that there is a culture war.)

The 'sociology' I have invented seems to click with my students, who come to Asbury College seeking a way to make the world a better place but, before they can become co-opted by conventional 'solutions' to human problems, form a new identity and commitment to being real and living real. But let me ask you, whom do you serve? Bob Dylan sang, 'you're gonna have to serve somebody.' And we all do.


Obituary taken from The Arizona Engineer (University of Arizona)

John Sevier, former University of Arizona associate dean for external affairs at the College of Engineering and Mines, died Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2002. He was 67.

A celebration of John's life was held on March 4, in the Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Building Auditorium. Sevier's wife, children, and many of his friends from the college and industry attended.

Sevier served as associate dean at UA for 10 years. In that role he worked closely with industry and helped coordinate numerous university/research partnerships involving faculty in the college.

The Industrial Advisory Council of the college expanded significantly in scope and size during his tenure. He was instrumental, with Charles Elliott at ASU, in developing the JACMET program, which provides continuing education opportunities for working engineers.

Sevier earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in petroleum engineering from Stanford University, received his masters in business administration from Harvard in 1961 and a doctorate in sociology from the University of California at Berkeley in 1974.

He retired from the UA in June 2000, and lived in Tucson with his wife, Peggy.


Norma arrived in Berkeley in the mid-sixties with an undergraduate degree from University of Michigan in nursing, which she hated. Having never taken a sociology course, she plunged into graduate school to study social movements and social change, inspired especially by Herbert Blumer. Active in the anti-war movement, Norma wrote her dissertation on 'Vietnam and the Veterans' Consciousness' with William Kornhauser and Arlie Hochschild as committee members.

Norma taught at UC Santa Cruz from 1971 to 1990. Her co-authored book Up Against the Clock: Career Women Speak on the Choice to Have Children (1979) and her articles on reproductive technology are still timely. Combining her sociological skills and activist concerns, she became founding director from 1980-82 of the National Judicial Education Program on Gender Bias in the Courts, a project of NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund and wrote extensively on women in the courts. She continued speaking, organizing conferences, and consulting with state task forces after moving to Costa Rica in 1992 to grow organic pineapples.

Norma was an intense, vital, funny person and a brilliant organizer. She never flagged in her commitment to the 'class struggle.' In 2001 she moved to New York to search for a place for herself in the cause, but it wasn't there. Refusing to compromise, she took her own life on May 27, 2002. A bench in Central Park is dedicated to her memory. The plaque reads Norma Juliet Wikler. Outraged and Outrageous.


I arrived in Berkeley in 1967. I felt I had little in common with theother graduate students: I had just turned 21, while they seemed much older; I had spent my life in the Midwest, but they all seemed to comefrom one coast or the other; and they dismissed my liberal politics as wrongheaded. I had a fellowship in John Clausen's NIMH training program, which became my home within the department. Changes in the draft law had made my situation precarious; I rushed to complete my course work and my oral exams. In 1969, I resigned my fellowship and started teaching full-time.

The Berkeley department had been admitting dozens of graduate students each year, but graduating only a handful of Ph.D.s. It allowed great freedom--if you loved sociology and had a sense of direction, there were tremendous opportunities. The disadvantage, of course, was that you were on your own; most of us did not get much mentoring.

I have followed a fairly standard academic career. While at Berkeley, I became interested in deviance, and most of my research has centered around deviance and social problems. Currently, I am working on what I expect will be my 14th book. In working with my graduate students, I try to give them the sort of freedom I was granted, yet provide considerably more coaching than I received.

Like many of us, my time at Berkeley was a watershed experience. My life course at this time took a direction into academia which has proven very satisfying, although I was uncertain in the beginning if this was what I really wanted. I arrived in Berkeley after four years as an Army officer and started off doing course work at Stanford as an exchange student. Given my military background and the political posture of the campus in the late 1960s and early 70s, I kept a relatively low profile as a student. I essentially just did my work mostly in sociology, but also jointly in a program with education and psychology with a specialization in social psychology. This was a time when structural-functionalism was slipping into decline and I became a strong symbolic interactionist believing this perspective contained the "truth" about social behavior. I took everything Herbert Blumer and Norman Denzin taught and Denzin chaired my dissertation committee. Anselm Strauss at UC San Francisco also helped considerably with my dissertation. I enjoyed courses with Phil Selznick and Neil Smelser has been an important influence as well. My time at Berkeley was well spent.

While in school, the sociology department at the University of Wyoming offered me a job and I took it because I wanted to live in the Mountain West. I volunteered to teach a course in medical sociology and having put a course together, found I had the basis for a book. I went on to publish a medical sociology textbook with Prentice-Hall in 1978. Fortunately, this book became the most widely-adopted text in the world on the subject, has been translated into Chinese and Spanish, and the ninth edition will be published in the summer of 2003. In the meantime, I joined the sociology department and medical school at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1975. In 1991, the University of Alabama at Birmingham offered me a great salary and the resources to pursue my research interests in return for helping build a Ph.D. program in medical sociology. We have over a dozen graduates and they all have good jobs.

My intellectual orientation has changed dramatically to embrace more of a macro view and apply it to structural influences on health lifestyles. Most of my research has been in Europe and more recently in the former socialist states of the old Soviet bloc. I have found the downturn in life expectancy under state socialism to be an important question and due more to social causes (unhealthy lifestyles of middle-age, working-class men) than medical factors. I have a book (Health and Social Change in Russia and Eastern Europe, Routledge, 1999) and several articles on the topic, and am now working with new data from several former Soviet republics from the Living Conditions, Lifestyles, and Health project funded by the European Union.

My first academic job was in the new and rapidly expanding Department of Sociology at Warwick University--I was appointed specifically to develop a joint history and sociology degree. After 15 years at Warwick I moved to Glasgow, at first to co-direct the John Logie Baird Centre for the Study of Film, Television and Music, and then to chair the Department of English Studies. After 12 years there, in 1999, I moved to Stirling University as Professor of Film and Media, which is where I am now. I still regard myself as a sociologist, though I haven't been in a sociology department--or journal--for 15 years now. Berkeley did two things for me: it gave me a proper grounding in European social thought (not something I'd got from Oxford); and it meant I was in the right place at the right time to become a rock critic. Much of my academic career (at least the most enjoyable part) has been devoted to the development of popular music studies.

As a college freshman I made three vows: never to earn a Ph.D., never to study Sociology, and never to teach. With the help of UC, Berkeley, I violated all three. After completing my AB from Stanford in History in 1964 and my MA in International Relations from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in 1965, I returned to my hometown, Berkeley, searching for a career. I took a job as a research assistant at the Institute of International Studies, working for the late Ivan Vallier and becoming close friends with sociology graduate students, Jim Wood and Norma Wikler, before I even considered earning a Ph.D. myself. In this environment I learned that Sociology was the field that would allow me to synthesize my love for history, my fascination with religion, and my interest in comparative societies and world politics. In 1967 I entered the Berkeley Ph.D. program which I completed in 1973. I owe much to the many faculty members who gave me time and inspiration John Clausen, who lent me his office to write in, Robert Bellah, Leo Lowenthal, Ivan Vallier, and Neil Smelser who helped me through all stages of my Ph.D. (I must mention, too, David Mandelbaum from Anthropology and Joseph Levenson from History who also guided my comparative studies.) Herbert Blumer sent me to Sonoma State to apply for a teaching position in early 1970. Miraculously, Sonoma State hired me, and I have been teaching (in all of my beloved areas) there ever since.

After finishing my Ph.D., I became Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, then Research Scientist at the Battelle Memorial Institute, and finally Professor of Management and Policy at the University of Southern California School of Policy, Planning, and Development. I'm also Clinical Professor at the University of Washington School of Public Health. I have a nation-wide consulting practice in health care, policing policy, and minority issues. I commute between USC campuses in Los Angeles and Sacramento, and live in Seattle.

I've published two books on cancer treatment and survival. My most recent book, Health For All: Making Community Collaboration Work, is based on my experience as a practitioner and evaluator of community organization. I'm now completing a textbook on organization theory.

Berkeley provided me with the tools of the trade: Hal Wilensky, how to write scholarly narrative and grant proposals; Charles Glock, how to do surveys; Art Stinchcombe (by providing opportunity for practice), how to withstand criticism. For life-long perspective, I owe my fellow students: Ann Swidler for the dialectic; Richard Apostle for cool commentary on America; Russ Neuman for appreciation of empirical research; Steve Hart for general genius. The atmosphere of Berkeley in the 60s impressed me with the power of collective behavior over the individual. The outlook through which I see the world today, one of social, economic, and cultural competition, matured at Berkeley.

I believe I have helped bring the sociological perspective to unaccustomed precincts: hospital board and operating rooms; police headquarters; the city council; the business pages of the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

Sociology affects my family life. It informs (inflames?) discussions I have with my wife, a psychoanalyst, about the sources of human consciousness. It impacts my children, to whom I am teaching survey research techniques by assigning them jobs in my various projects. It provides my kids with a term they believe expresses the character of this work: "exploitation."


Since completing of my Ph.D. in 1970, I have been affiliated with the Department of Sociology and Anthropology of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.

The main impact of Berkeley on me has been in both its radical, liberal mood and its academic discipline.

My main fields of research are: social change and modernization (particularly India), universities in non-western countries and youth cultures.


Robert William Miller arrived in Berkeley in 1967; he held a fellowship in John Clausen's NIMH Training Program in Social Structure and Personality.  Bob's fellow students appreciated his insights and his wry sense of humor.  He completed his dissertation - an ethnography of elementary school classrooms - in 1975.  He taught at Coe College, and later at Penn State's Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.   Being located close to Three Mile Island made him interested in what he liked to call "man-made disasters."  He joined Missouri's State Department of Health, and studied social responses to and medical effects of the dioxin poisoning of the town of Times Beach.  Bob had struggled with health problems throughout his life, but died suddenly and unexpectedly in 1984.  He was survived by his wife, Jackie, and two sons, Adrian and Aaron.

After graduating from Columbia College (studying with Daniel Bell there) in 1967, I entered the Berkeley Sociology Department under a Ford Foundation Fellowship. At Berkeley, I found a sort of continuity with Nathan Glazer, another member of the 'New York school' whose style of discourse and research was well-presented in the documentary film 'Arguing the World'. These public-policy intellectuals sought to cast societal decisions in a non-ideological framework, as the title of one of Bell's books 'The End of Ideology', indicated. Their approach was ideologically engaged -- but not warped -- and informed by scholarship and science -- but not to the exclusion of common sense and empirical observation. They never let ideological or academic positions get in the way of lived experience. And for that style of learning I am profoundly grateful.

Erving Goffman's classic, 'The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life', made major contributions to our understanding of 'the things we take for granted' --the normal, everyday activities and modes of relating to one another that sustain our identities and group-memberships. As I listened to him 'think out loud' during his lectures, I was amazed at his ability to make new sense of the contingent reality we are all immersed in, as if he were a four- dimensional creature observing the three-dimensional world. He made it all crystal-clear, by questioning the obvious and, like an anthropologist among primitives, bringing out the underlying logic and structure of the goings-on. Each lecture was an extraordinary performance.

I also found a congenial atmosphere at the Center for the Study of Law and Society, where Philip Selznick and Sheldon Messinger assembled a fine inter-disciplinary group of scholars from law, political science, sociology, criminal justice, and other fields.

Berkeley during the late 1960s and early 1970s when I was there was a lively place. I joined a Food Conspiracy, which was a buyers' cooperative disguised as a plot to overthrow the State; participated in the takeover of People's Park; as a teaching assistant held classes off campus when the tear gas on campus was too thick; lived across the street from Patty Hearst; hung out at Moe's Books on Telegraph Avenue and made 'Moe-money' (store scrip) my currency of choice; listened to string quartets and piano recitals at 1532 Arch, a North Berkeley classical music venue; and to KPFA, the classical-music and earnest-commentary Pacifica Foundation radio station; and to KSAN, which gave a thoroughly iconoclastic version of the news; bicycled in the Berkeley hills, one of my favorites being San Pablo Road to an abandoned Nike site (missile base, not tennis shoes), where one could watch the fog rolling in across San Francisco Bay; dined at Pot Luck, the restaurant of wine connoisseur and Spanish Civil War veteran Hank Rubin, which was the origin of a restaurant genealogy leading to the present-day Chez Panisse. Berkeley also provided access to the incredibly rich scenic resources of the Bay Area and beyond, from Inverness and Point Reyes and Mt Tamalpais up to Mendocino and down to Big Sur; and inland to the Delta and Lake Tahoe.

By the time I received the PhD in 1974, academia was a less attractive place than when I had entered Berekely in 1967. Learning was being displaced by political-correctness, and speech codes, thought-police, and quotas and preferences were assembling the elements of the stifling bureaucracy they have since become. As I did not fit any of the categories preferred by academic quota-counters, and saw the handwriting on the wall, I was fortunate to find alternative employment across the Bay at Stanford Research Institute. My employment there coincided with the first of many 'Energy Independence' initiatives, which led me through the coal fields of West Virginia and Wyoming, the sociology of coal-slurry pipelines, the virtues of renewable energy sources(solar, wind), electricity pricing structures, the unstable politics of the Mideast, and many other topics that have taken on ever-greater urgency in the intervening years.

A chance assignment for Honda Motor Company in 1977 led to my first encounter with Japan. I helped Honda with their first American venture, an auto assembly plant in Ohio, and introduced other Japanese companies to American customs and folkways (for which, of course, my education in Sociology was excellent preparation, though I could not have foreseen that while at Berkeley).

My enchantment with Japan continued, and I moved there (here) in 1981, where I live now. I continued with the consulting business until 1991, when I started The Kamakura Print Collection (, a printmaking workshop specializing in photogravure etching. This transition was less abrupt than it may seem, since I had become familiar with ultraviolet light sources through a client, and had seen some examples of 19th-century photogravures a couple of years earlier. It gradually dawned on me that I could bring more happiness to people through artwork than by writing reports. To simplify: Art touches the depths of the human psyche in ways that ratiocination and exposition can never do.

These days I do three things: <1> travel, <2> exhibits, <3> copperplate etching and printing in my workshop. I've been trekking in Mongolia and Nepal, in virtually every prefecture of Japan, in Norway, Portugal, and other parts of Europe. There are many other places on my 'to-do' list. This year includes exhibits in France, Italy, the United States, Japan, and Russia. Photogravure etching is a technically very demanding process, unforgiving of the slightest error. Over the past 20 years, I have made 269 editions, not a very large number, but perhaps more memorable than the cheaper/faster images that can be produced in larger quantity. Visitors to exhibits sometimes ask why I go to all this trouble. My answer is: Look closely at the prints, their tactile three-dimensional quality, the subtle gradation of tones, the way the ink mixes with the fibers of the hand-made paper or washi, the unique ink-on-paper look combined with the spontaneity of the impression. Not everyone 'gets it', of course, but enough people do to keep the workshop going.

The website can only hint at the look of the original prints, but those viewers who would like to browse may do so freely at (there are links for purchasing as well). A new related site which allows searching by mood, ink quality, Series, and other characteristics is at , and a blog is at

Comments are welcome!

Let's see, I arrived at Berkeley in 1967, which is just after the Free Speech Movement and just before the People's Park era and the peak of the Vietnam protests. A good time to study sociology. I studied with Charlie Glock, Jeff Paige, Bill Kornhauser and Arthur Stinchcombe, and with a number of the faculty in political science at Berkeley and in communication at Stanford. I worked at the Survey Research Center on the NSF sponsored political alienation project which managed unknowingly to hire Emily Harris as a staff assistant for her secretarial skills. As I understand it Emily and her SLA associates actually kidnapped Patty Hearst (two blocks from the Center on Benvenue Ave) while Emily was still on the Center payroll. I don't believe she managed to return to pick up her last paycheck. Interesting times.

I am currently the John D. Evans Professor of Media Technology at the University of Michigan on leave and serving as a senior advisor at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy working on broadband policy and digital rights management issues.

My first job out of graduate school was in sociology at Yale. I left New Haven for MIT where I taught public policy and media technology in the Media Lab and department of political science for many years and then moved to Penn where I taught in the Annenberg School for Communication and Annenberg Public Policy Center in media policy.

My research and writing focuses on the twin areas of public opinion and communication policy. While I was at Berkeley I got interested in the dynamics of how the public manages to pay attention (or not) to fundamental political and policy issues. I guess I'm still at it. If I ever get this figured out, I'll let you guys know.



by Elaine Woo, Los Angeles Times, July 10, 2014

Lillian B. Rubin, who at midlife became a sociologist, psychotherapist and best-selling author of books that examined race, class and the sexual revolution from the viewpoint of those caught in society's shifts, died June 17 at her San Francisco home. She was 90.

A prolific writer well into her 80s, Rubin wrote a dozen books, including "Worlds of Pain: Life in the Working-class Family" (1976), a classic sociological study exploring the strains and struggles in blue-collar life; "Intimate Strangers: Men and Women Together" (1983), about how differences between the sexes affect matters such as sexuality, work and parenting; and "Quiet Rage: Bernie Goetz in a Time of Madness" (1986), about racism's "new respectability" in the wake of the sensational "subway vigilante" case of the early 1980s.

Raised in poverty by an abusive mother, Rubin had a deep personal connection to some of her subjects, particularly "The Transcendent Child: Tales of Triumph Over the Past" (1996) and "Tangled Lives: Daughters, Mothers and the Crucible of Aging" (2000).

"What strikes you is the variety of her work, but I think her driving interest was social class, and then race," said longtime friend Arlie Hochschild, a retired UC Berkeley sociologist known for her scholarship on women, gender and work. "She had an eye for those who got stuck, lost and left behind."

Rubin could have been one of the lost. Born Jan. 13, 1924, in Philadelphia, she was one of two children of Ukrainian Jewish immigrants. Her father, a furrier, died when she was 5. Her illiterate mother moved the family to New York where she did piece work in the garment industry.

In "The Transcendent Child," Rubin described her mother force-feeding her vegetables until she choked, swallowed or vomited. Her mother favored her brother, Leonard, and frequently told her "Girls shouldn't be born."

"I was seven years old when, bewildered by her rage and hurt by her rejection, I began consciously to remove myself psychologically from the family scene," Rubin wrote. "It was then that I first said to myself clearly, I won't be like her."

She could not brook people who tried to talk about the glories of aging. Her last year was really bad. - Marci Rubin, Lillian Rubin's daughter

She graduated from high school at 15,married at 19 and had a baby soon after. In 1952 she moved with her family to Los Angeles, where she managed congressional campaigns for progressive candidates. In 1959 her marriage ended in divorce.

Through her political work she met Hank Rubin and married him in 1962. They moved to the Bay Area, where he wrote a wine column for the San Francisco Chronicle and ran restaurants that helped spur the Berkeley food movement.

In 1963, Lillian Rubin launched the next stage of her life: At 39 she entered UC Berkeley as an undergraduate. She earned a bachelor's degree in 1967, followed by a master's in 1968 and a doctorate in sociology in 1971. She worked for many years as a research sociologist at the university's Institute for the Study of Social Change.

She and her daughter were students at the university at the same time. In 1967, as anti-Vietnam War protests were heating up, they joined a peaceful demonstration at the Oakland induction center and wound up in jail along with 70 other women, including folk singer Joan Baez and her mother. The Chronicle's Herb Caen noted the arrests of "Hank Rubin's wife and daughter" in his column.

Rubin began to think of herself as a writer while in graduate school. Her dissertation on the era's battles over busing turned into her first book, "Busing and Backlash: White Against White in a California School District" (1972), which focused on Northern California's Richmond Unified School District. "I'm probably one of the few people in the world who thought that the year spent writing her dissertation was one of life's greatest moments," she once wrote, "because, in that private process of thinking and writing, I found a calling."

She was a formidable person. "She was someone who had very strong opinions and no difficulty in expressing herself," said Troy Duster, who directed the Institute for the Study of Social Change at UC Berkeley when Rubin was a research associate there. "Some people found that difficult and shied away from her. Some people found it refreshing."

Her forthright style was on display in one of her last books, "60 on Up: The Truth About Aging in America," published in 2007 when she was 83. Clearly not a subscriber to the idea that 60 is the new 40, she wrote unsentimentally about the physical and emotional trials of old age. "Getting old sucks! It always has, it always will," she wrote in the opening lines.

In her last years Rubin wrote about death, including a 2012 piece for Salon in which she disclosed her plan to end her life if illness or frailty made it unbearable. Blind in one eye and in pain from a number of ailments, she did not want to wind up like her husband, who died in 2011 after a decade-long decline into dementia.

"She could not brook people who tried to talk about the glories of aging. Her last year was really bad," said Marci Rubin, who survives her along with a grandson and a great-grandson.

Her suicide plan was, in the end, unnecessary. On the day before she died, she had taken a bus and a cab to the doctor's office by herself, then spent the afternoon in long conversation with an old friend, Anita Hill, before having dinner with her daughter. She died in her own bed of natural causes.



My entry into Berkeley's graduate program in sociology when I was already a well-formed forty-two-year old adult proved to be a transforming event in unexpected ways. Until then I had lived the public life of a political activist and organizer, managing political campaigns in Southern California. And although the tumultuous political climate of my graduate student years (1968-72) gave me plenty of opportunity for political action, all of which I took, the years of study opened up the more private, scholarly part of myself that I hadn't known very well before.

Seeing the world through the sociological lens came naturally to me, since, as a child of poverty, I understood very early how powerfully the social context determines life's chances. But it was only in graduate school that I came to understand fully how closely the development of the self is tied to the institutional structures that frame our lives. That knowledge, however, left me with a series of questions: If that's true, how does social change come about? Why and how do some people manage to break free of those structural forces? And how free are they? Questions that led me to enter a course of study and training in clinical psychology.

I'm probably one of the few people in the world who thought that the year spent writing her dissertation was one of life's great moments because, in that private process of thinking and writing, I found a calling. In the ensuing years, I've taught from time to time, lectured all over the world, spent 12-15 hours a week doing psychotherapy, but my heart work has been in writing. I've produced twelve books, each in its own way an attempt to bridge the gap between sociology and psychology, to fill in the blanks that each discipline leaves to the other.

Berkeley shaped me even more after I left than while I was there as a graduate student. Robert Bellah, Reinhard Bendix, Arlie Hochschild, Neil Smelser, along with Leo Lowenthal's informal seminar on culture and an inspired group of fellow graduate students, taught me that culture and ideas can reshape history. I arrived at Harvard to find that the 'sociology of culture' was just coming into being. I moved to Stanford only to be told that it didn't exist. This confrontation with the world-outside-Berkeley led me to think about culture more clearly, leading to 'Culture in Action' (ASR 1986), and, after I returned to Berkeley, my second book, Talk of Love: How Culture Matters (2001). My other good fortune was collaboration and sustaining friendship with what became the Habits-of-the-Heart group (Robert Bellah, Richard Madsen, Bill Sullivan, Steven Tipton, and myself). Berkeley style, we allowed ourselves to think as deeply as we could about failures of American culture and institutions and about rebuilding the basis for a more just and inclusive society. An all-Berkeley group of colleagues wrote Inequality by Design (1996), examining how America's policy choices amplify inequality. Now, pursuing similar interrelations of culture, institutions, and collective capacities, I am investigating variations in response to the AIDS epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa.

My graduate years in residence at Berkeley (1967-72) were an exciting time, and I've always felt lucky to have been part of a generation that experienced both the thrill and efficacy of collection action. As part of a quite outstanding graduate student cohort, I was probably more shaped by my fellow graduate students--and by the study groups and debates we had--than by the faculty. In retrospect, I feel that I failed to take full advantage of the strengths of the Berkeley faculty. Wisdom, as they say, comes too late in life.

Nonetheless, my Berkeley experience set me on an intellectual and professional trajectory that I've found very satisfying. My interests in the political economy of development led to From Marshall Plan to Debt Crisis: Foreign Aid and Development Choices in the World Economy, and from there onto the study of globalization. Always an inveterate traveler--I left Berkeley in 1972 to travel around the world (including Afghanistan just before the monarchy was overthrown)--I developed along the way an interest in the complex changes being wrought by international tourism. Subsequently, the French anthropologist Michel Picard and I edited Tourism and Ethnicity in Asian and Pacific Societies, and I've explored these and other connections in a range of articles.

A less predictable thing that happened is my fascination in the past decade with the pedagogical possibilities of the internet and instructional technologies. Teaching has always been my first love as a sociologist, and somehow I morphed into something of a instructional technology guru. It's been a lot of fun, and has brought a kind of recognition that has meant a lot to me.



Berkeley, for me, was the late 1960s and early 1970s. My earlier undergraduate experience in Canada was an inspiring trip through the classics, and the movements, guided by a unique constellation of European and American scholars, temporarily gathered in British Columbia. Berkeley was a continuation, but with a tough political and academic edge. At one level, Berkeley was People's Park across the street, and Vietnam etched in veteran eyes. At another, grand theory was in decline, and big narratives were beginning to surface. Bob Blauner and Leo Lowenthal demonstrated the value of critical perspectives, and the courage to be as unconventional as necessary. Charles Glock taught me a wary respect for things empirical. He also showed me how to organize complex projects and, equally importantly, how to finish them. Michael Rogin gave me excellent advice on the independent character of American progressives. And, most of all, Berkeley was an incredibly rich set of graduate student affiliations, ranging from Leo's informal seminar on culture, to a very important dissertation drafting and support group.

I've had the good fortune to work in a joint department (with anthropologists), and a setting which is conducive to following autonomous intellectual agendas. I've been encouraged to work on interdisciplinary initiatives throughout, and have enjoyed a relatively easy transition, both geographically and intellectually, to Europe. My major projects, primarily in the area of economic sociology, have been Berkeley-inspired explorations of marginal labour markets, the persistence of small-scale primary production, and post-industrial professions. Lately, I've been making tentative forays into the cultural domain, investigating the social networks of some influential Canadian painters. I've also had the opportunity to work on a Royal Commission called to consider flaws in a provincial justice system, following on the wrongful murder conviction of an aboriginal youth, Donald Marshall, Jr. I hope my mentors would find their influence throughout my endeavours.

At an institutional level, I've been involved in some modest disciplinary advances. These include creating a doctoral program in a part of Canada which is not terribly hospitable to the newer social sciences, and helping to increase social science research capacity in the Faroes. The latter venture has been associated with some interesting academic projects, and the expansion of a circle of friends in the north Atlantic.

Both what I received and what I failed to receive from my six years in the Sociology program at Berkeley have had lasting consequences. I learned a tremendous amount from faculty and peers, but probably because of the political struggles of that period, I was spared the 'disciplining' that is often thought to be indispensable for graduate 'training'. Nobody taught me that I could only address certain questions and must ignore others. This was an extraordinary gift'the freedom to explore those issues at the intersection of sociology and economics that have always excited my imagination.

My undisciplined direction did have its risks. When I first went on the job market and explained that my dissertation was about the rise and fall of Bretton Woods, interviewers looked at me as though I was from another planet. When I did get a job, I had a hard time keeping it. I had a long, difficult battle for tenure at the University of Pennsylvania.

But I have also been lucky because in the 1980's, economic sociology suddenly emerged as a legitimate and trendy new subfield within sociology. I found myself no longer at the margins but part of an effort to reclaim the core of the sociological tradition. Yet old habits die hard; I get nervous amidst too much agreement. So I continue to work at developing a heterodox and critical economic sociology -- one that I still dream could have real and progressive political consequences.

Robert Boggs joined the Near East South Asia Center for StrategicStudies at National Defense University in August 2008, after serving 32years in the State Department as political officer and intelligenceanalyst. During his career he become one the State Department's mostexperienced specialists in South Asia, having served in India (nineyears), Sri Lanka and Nepal. In New Delhi he headed the embassy'sPolitical Section and in Calcutta the U.S. Consulate General. InWashington he served as Pakistan desk officer and as director of theOffice of South Asian Regional Affairs. His last overseas assignmentwas as Deputy Chief of Mission in Kathmandu, where he managed adiplomatic mission comprising 114 Americans from six U.S. agencies, over500 foreign employees, and 103 Peace Corps volunteers. During almostfour years in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, he was State'spolitical analyst for Pakistan and Bangladesh. He also has workedoverseas or in Washington on Egypt, Central Africa and Haiti.

Dr. Boggs has long pursued interests in the political economy ofnational development, especially in emerging states; political-militaryaffairs; U.S. foreign policy; and South Asian politics, foreign policyand security issues. As a Foreign Service officer he has writtenextensively about the politics and foreign relations of South Asia, andhas received multiple awards for his analytic skills and contributionsto bilateral diplomatic relations.

In addition to receiving his doctorate from the University of Californiaat Berkeley, Dr. Boggs is a graduate of the Air War College and theUniversity of Michigan (magna cum laude). Growing up as the son of aUSAID officer, he lived in Indonesia, the Philippines, Iraq and Lebanon.Since then he has traveled to some seventy countries around the world.

My first degree before I went to Berkeley, was in economics at Oxford. When I returned to  Cambridge, UK, I worked as a research associate in the Labour Studies Group of the Department of Applied Economics. My doctorate on occupational structure in the Soviet Union had showed that the Soviet economy was incapable of making the transition from industrial to post-industrial economy and was on the way to internal collapse. Comparative work  on occupational structure led me  to take an interest in employment structure  (at a time when unemployment was very high in Britain) and in women's employment.  I worked on projects for the UK government and on European Union on "non-standard employment." The work of our team was used to draw up the  Social Chapter of the Maastricht Treaty.

By the late 80s I wanted to move beyond remedial policy to seeing how new employment could be created and became increasingly interested in the rise of new industries, first from a job generation perspective and to see how new technologies were creating opportunities for enterprise and propelling new industries. In Cambridge UK, as in the Bay Area, new high tech companies were springing up in the 1980s,  as yet largely unnoticed. This seemed to be the way of the future,  in the face of the disintegration of the old systems of capitalism and communism. In the Soviet Union there were no mechanisms to encourage innovation. I began to research into innovation in high tech Cambridge and on clusters of new activity. As a result of my work on new technologies I was appointed to a teaching post in a division of the Faculty of Engineering. At Cambridge UK,  the Institute for Manufacturing resembles Stanford¹s Department of Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management. We put on  courses on industry for engineers and placements for engineering students in companies - a great base for research. I have been here since 1984. I am now what is called a Reader (in Innovation Studies), a joint appointment in the Business School at Cambridge (Judge Institute) and the Engineering Department.

If I have to define my discipline, I view myself as an economist rather than a sociologist. I wanted to learn some sociology to counter the narrowness of the economics paradigm and my experience at Berkeley moved me out of orthodox economics into 'alternative' political economy. I have published more in economics and business journals than in sociology journals.

The impact of my work? My research has influenced policy measures in Brussels and in London. In Cambridge I have been active in promoting links between industry and the university  through technology transfer. I have helped young companies to start up and grow, working at the local Innovation Centre. I place students with them on projects to help solve business development  and technical problems. I have taught and advised Russians and Armenians among others on innovation - on the basis of my experience of scientists using their knowledge to address industrial problems.

In the engineering school where I teach, the few of us who are not engineers are all viewed  together as in the soft sciences. From this perspective, all the disciplines dealing with people have much in common. My current work on the resource based theory of the firm and on evolutionary economics covers ground that is of interest to both sociologists and economists, while work on clustering of high tech activities encompasses business studies, economics and geography. In applied work of the kind I do, the relevance of continuing divisions between the social sciences is in question. Rigorous concepts and evidence are needed but these can cross disciplinary boundaries, as applications of evolutionary theory show.

Like many others who came to graduate school in the 1960s, my sociological education was inextricably bound up with the turbulence and excitement of those times. Inevitably, the intellectual questions I engaged with as a grad student reflected the political issues of the period. My thesis work (mentored by Arlie Hochschild and Sheldon Messinger) was on childcare programs­something I, as a young childless woman, would not have been interested in had not the women's liberation movement introduced the idea of the political aspects of "private life," and raised the question of the state?s responsibility for such services.

My first job after graduate school was at Bryn Mawr College, in the Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research. In 1990, I joined the sociology department at UC Davis. I also have developed a very productive relationship with the Center for Reproductive Health Policy and Research at UCSF, where I am an adjunct professor.

While in Philadelphia, I continued my interest in the state, family and social services­this time in the field of reproductive health. I studied a Planned Parenthood clinic in the late 1970s, and have remained engaged in studying reproductive health services and reproductive politics ever since. My most recent book, Doctors of Conscience: The Struggle to Provide Abortion before and after Roe v Wade, was very deliberately written as a "cross over" book, intended to be read by an audience beyond academia. I also frequently write op-eds and do interviews with journalists about various aspects of reproductive health. I attribute this commitment to "public sociology" as a natural outgrowth of the "engagee sociology" that captured the imagination of many of us in the 1960s.

I entered the PhD program in the spring of 1968, graduating a little early with a BA from Berkeley and taking advantage of Dave Nasatir's offer to work as his assistant at the Survey Research Center. I ran through all his computing money very quickly, but he had the good grace not to take it out of my salary. I accepted a fellowship at Columbia, but after completing my MA working with Paul Lazarsfeld and Immanuel Wallerstein (not a typcial combination) I was brought back to the Bay Area with a community organizing job that fulfilled my conscientious objector alternate service. Art Stinchcombe gave me free rein to do my dissertation on the Spanish working class in the last years of the Franco regime (finally finished in 1974). But my grassroots work on urban development and housing questions eventually pulled me more toward urban sociology.

My professorial career has been entirely in the SUNY system, first at Stony Brook (1972-1980), then Albany. One turning point was collaborating with Harvey Molotch on our book Urban Fortunes (1987), which brought together my interests in urban inequality and politics. In the early 1990s I had a chance to do research in China, which continues today. And while spending a year at the Russell Sage Foundation (1996-97), I was seduced by walking through a built environment that housed successive waves of newcomers fromthe 19th Century to the present, and much of my recent research deals with urban history.

Of all the kinds of work I have done, the most satisfying is the public-oriented research that I have been doing in the last three years as Director of the Lewis Mumford Center in Albany -- analyzing data from Census 2000 as it came out, preparing reports on the social issues that I am most concerned about, getting the word out through the media, and providing data resources to other scholars and community groups. I do have a sense of coming back around to the activities that brought me into sociology in the first place.

I met Professor Wolfram Eberhard in Taiwan in 1967who offered me a research assistantship to study with him. For the next 6 years, I focused my study mainly on comparative sociology under Professors Eberhard, Smelser, and Swanson. It was not an easy time during the late 60s and early 70s for a student like me coming from a different country; Berkeley was a normless community.

When I got my Ph.D. in 1974, the economy was in terrible shape and there were very few job openings. Fortunately, I was able to land a teaching position at Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne, Indiana (also known as IPFW). I remember I asked Professor Swanson what kind of reputation IPFW had before I went for interview. Prof. Swanson told me that if I published anything while at IPFW, I would not be accused of stealing research work from someone else. Well, I have been here for 27 years and I have published 20 some books and 60+ journal articles on comparative and cross-cultural studies. I have also been elected as President of American Association of Chinese Studies and President of Association of Chinese Social Scientists in North America.

I valued my years at Berkeley and have talked about what I had experienced as a graduate students to students in my classes. Most of all, it is the drive to carry out research and find publications which was the core of the spirit of Berkeley graduate program that has made my career a successful one. In 2 years, I will retire. But I am confident that I will continue to do research and write after my retirement.


Published in the Chicago Sun-Times:

Walton, Ortiz Montaigne age 76, passed away peacefully after a long illness at his Berkeley, CA home on July 29, 2010. Walton, born in Chicago, IL, was trailblazing, widely recognized contrabassist, distinguished sociologist and author. His music career included appointment, as first African American, to the Boston Symphony Orchestra (1957-1962); membership in the Hartford, CT, Buffalo, NY (Assistant Principal) and the Cairo, UAR (Principal) Symphony Orchestras. He performed in a number of critically acclaimed solo recitals, including New York City's Merkin and Carnegie Halls; in addition, to performances in Chicago and San Francisco. He also recorded classical works for the bass violin with the National Philharmonic Orchestra of London and in Paris. Walton studied music at Tanglewood, Hartt and New York's Mannes Schools of Music. He earned B.S. in psychology at Roosevelt University, Chicago, IL; and Masters and Ph.D in sociology from University of California at Berkeley, where he taught, in addition to campus at Santa Cruz, CA. During his life, he authored two books on music, Coronation of the King: Contributions by Duke Ellington to Black Culture, and a sociological survey of American music, Music: Black, White and Blue as well as numerous articles on music and sociology. Walton is survived by his loving wife, Carol Kara and his brother, Peter (Helen) Walton, his son, Omar (Judy) Walton, his grandchildren, Harmony, Elon and Jahlil, and many cousins, friends and music associates. Private services have been held. A memorial service in California will be announced at a later date.



A Belated Memoir from the Berkeley of the 1960s and 70s and a Homage to Berkeley and its People

My Berkeley experience was most formative and most gratefully acknowledged. I feel loyal to the institution and most grateful to the then faculty and to fellow students. I experienced great days on the editorial board of Berkeley Journal of Sociology and learned so much as a teaching assistant. Berkeley is my second home, and I am most attached to the memory of the town but now avoid visiting as I feel aliens have taken over my habitus. Berkeley changed hence the world has changed. I have published very little yet am still full of "almost finished" writing projects on theory and history. Approaching sixty but still feeling very youthful thanks to the "non-conservative mindset" acquired at Berkeley. We are the Dorian Gray’s and the aging population only succeeded us!

Below is the story of a very lucky man (referencing Lindsay Anderson’s film, A Lucky Man).  That luck was mostly possible because it reflected its age, the modern at its height and, unbeknownst to itself, in its dying decades. At the time my story begins, there was a unified intellectual language and an abundance of student grants, and no visa was required to cross borders other than for the U.S. and the Communists. A phone call was a dime. There was no Internet and no ban on smoking. The written word was carried from place to place by humble postmen and women. People around me spent all their time either discussing with each other in bars, restaurants and coffee shops in clouds of heavy cigarette smoke, or in the library reading their nights out. I was twice locked up on the ninth floor of the UC Berkeley Library, where the bound volumes of Past&Present were housed, only to be saved by the night watchman. Most of my contemporaries at Berkeley worked part-time in the library for their subsistence. It was a wonderful time to be a foreign student in America.

All acknowledgments are written retrospectively. My ideas did not come from Heaven. I was a late bloomer. My ideas come from having been whirled in the blender of a very lucky life; my ideas come from the brilliant people I have met, from students, friends and teachers, and from all the wonderful places I have lived. Among those places, one stands out as the most crucial for my story. For places, I owe the most to Berkeley, where I came of age intellectually. Before that I was at best an infant.

My acknowledgments can thus only begin with my contemporaries, the wonderful people, the last of the moderns, the Berkeleyites of the sixties, and the place where I met them. I suppose the story of that Mohican-land must be written from afar and through the gaze of a young foreigner. The other wonderful people I have met since have had an impact on me expressly because I had my autobiography set in Berkeley in 1964 For all my encounters to be lucky breaks, my life had to have begun in Berkeley in the sixties and seventies, and I had to have had Berkeley to shape my mind and spirit to hear them. To Berkeley I owe myself and whatever I have had of curiosity, passion, a little disorganization, and a great love not for, but of, learning.

In acknowledging the people and the places, the events and the particular times I have lived through but of which I was no author, this autobiographical sketch might, indirectly, also serve an unintended end. It might, in very different categories, in very different language, convey a representation, a reflection, an incoherent summary, of the abstract and “grand narrative” of the modern. My personal experiences took place in the last decades of the Paradigm of the Modern, with which I have fully self-identified. In their final decades, paradigms often come to their full realizationin Hegel’s sense, as well as experiencing the beginnings of their inner fracturing.

The Place and the People

I transferred to Berkeley in December 1963 as a junior from Amherst College after half a year of wandering in Europe, as was then the custom. My going to Berkeley was out of no foreknowledge but due entirely to chance.My luck was due to two disconnected events. First, my deep discontent with New England “churchiness”, which made me drop out of Amherst at the end of my freshman year; and second, when, by pure chance, I came across a Berkeley Course Catalogue among the new arrivals in the tiny library in the basement of Cambridge (UK) City’s town hall.  The catalogue impressed me. It had all the things I wanted to read, from existentialism to Dostoevsky, from Jung to Nietzsche, nineteenth century intellectual history and Sociological Theory. I sent my transcript by Western Union to beat the deadline.

In those days you could get an air ticket from London to Berkeley that included a helicopter ride from San Francisco Airport to Berkeley Marina. The flight at night over the Bay was like flying over a jewel garden. In retrospect I think my adult life started that evening when I flew to Berkeley. Me as I know it began then, in December 1963.                                

Berkeley in the 1960s stood on the western precipice of the modern. The hills behind set Berkeley apart, as if it were an island. The Pacific in front looked endless, as if Berkeley would melt away into the ocean were it not for the Golden Gate Bridge forming a barrier. In that little patch of land between San Francisco Bay and the hills that separate Berkeley from Nevada and Arizona, a culture had been developing for some time that encapsulated all that the Modern meant, with its promises and its agonies, the certitudes and the void, the individualism and the collectivist politics, with its analytical rigor and poetry, Nagel and Rilke all in one, just as Paris had been in its fin de siècle, in 1900.

For all that, Berkeley was a pressure cooker. If Parisians had escaped to fin de siècle Normandy or Biarritz, where did Berkeley people go in the sixties?  One way was to go south as far as the Big Sur. At the time, Highway One was a one-lane country road, Monterey had not yet been hit by tourism and Clint Eastwood, and the canneries were still in operation. In Cannery Row one could smell the ocean in the sardines being canned. One could sleep on the beach if one did not mind the cold, the seaweed and the back pain. On the way, one could stop over in Santa Cruz. Where the University campus is today there was the woods. It must have been a state park. There one could spend the night under the pine trees if one did not mind the curious raccoons chewing on one’s sleeping bag. This was the long haul. One did not always have the time between course work and a charter flight to Europe to venture south often. For a short trip, Palo Alto was near, but it was a different continent. Stanford had a wonderful faculty but sat at the end of a very long, interminable bridge. From Berkeley we thought the Hoover Institution ruled the place. Its politics offended us as much as its coincidental name at the time.  Just on the other side of the Berkeley hills, almost as if in Arizona, stood the sleepy towns of Walnut Creek and the like. Yet they were to us as far away as the moon with their landscape and the way their people talked. Whenever I had to go there, a song from the fifties would ring in my ears, “purple people eater, take us to your pre-si-dent.”

A much more customary route was to Marin County, Sausalito and Mill Valley. The part-wooden bridge to Tiburon was beautiful on the drive. As one crossed one was met with a huge, deserted wooden building on the left that might have been a silo of sorts. It had a four-digit San Francisco telephone number from the Twenties inscribed on its side in big letters. Each time I went by the building a Bacall-Bogarde dialogue in black-and-white would play in my head. In Sausalito they made wonderful avocado-and-shrimp salads at the Trident, owned by the Kingston Trio of “Tom Dooley” fame. However posh and endowed with a marvelous terrace on the water it was, there, in those days, even a student could afford a light lunch of an avocado sandwich. A dime was dime and a dollar was a dollar.            

In 1964 the department of sociology was still at South Hall. Barrows was under construction. Blauner and Matza were the younger of the professors, Blauner brilliant and radical, perhaps a little more junior, Matza forever youthful and endlessly inspiring. They were kind enough to let me take their graduate seminars in my senior year, and I wrote a paper for each that I still find extremely insightful in my less modest moments! Smelser was ageless in his forever-mature way: always the mainstay of the department, helpful, attentive, diligent, superb. I owe Neil Smelser the rest of my career, but more on that later.

Returning to the department, Kenneth Bock gave extremely lucid lectures. I learned a good deal of my Marx from him. His favorites were Toynbee and Sorokin and Margaret Hodgson, who has a wonderfully lucid book, unfortunately forgotten now, on the historical geographical sociology of England before the Industrial Revolution, in which she argues that all innovation occurred where there had been immigration that broke the back of conventionalism. Bock looked the Berkeley grandee even in his Marx lectures. He looked as if he had been at Berkeley since before the university had even come to the hills. He was there already when the department was called the Department of Social Institutions. Bock was always very courteous if a bit distant. 

We all read Marx very carefully. Our favorite contemporary radical sociology writing then was that of Ralf Dahrendorf! We took him as one of our heroes. We considered so-called conflict sociology a true alternative! A bit of a mistake in retrospect. Randall Collins fell for it. That was before we discovered the Frankfurt School.

In the mid-sixties Berkeley had an excellent undergraduate program before it got axed after the Free Speech Movement. We felt in no way inferior to the graduate students. Sproul Plaza was the core of the campus. It was largely dominated by the sociology, philosophy, political science and English majors. The engineers would not come down too much, but would hang out north, where the fraternities were. The law students stayed in the north in isolation. The psychologists had already run to the other side of the campus to become professional. Next to them were the department of social welfare and one or two state institutions of social service. The agricultural experimental farm with its open space provided the light for that corner of the campus, forever saving Oxford Street with its airiness. The historians were not yet in the picture; in those days in America the history departments were where the football players were parked for their semi-academic sojourn. 

We all gathered on Sproul Plaza, by the fountain or in the adjoining cafeteria, for heated post-lecture discussions. Zellerbach Hall had not been built. From Sproul you could, on a clear day, have a magical view of the Bay, San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge, sitting like a crown in their midst.

Berkeley was an open university. Evening seminars never ended in the classroom as scheduled. They would continue many hours into the evening in one of the beer joints on Telegraph. One favorite was Robbie’s, a Chinese-run hofbrau! It had the cheapest pitcher if not the best beer.

During the day in the lecture halls around Sproul on the other side of Sather Gate, we would go to any lecture of our choosing. Everyone had his favorites. Mine were Carl Schorske’s history lectures in Dwinelle. I never took his course but hardly ever missed his lecture around noon three days a week. He remains the best lecturer I have ever heard. Listening to him with his free associations, recounting the ironies in western history, was pure joy, a delight unmatched by anything else. I am sorry that his written work has been no match for this volcanoof a lecturer. People cannot get to appreciate him as much as he certainly deserves!If it was not a Schorske day, my early afternoon excursion could be either to Dreyfus’s lectures on Existential Philosophy, a subject we thought broke through conventional thinking, or Frankenstein’s lectures up the hill on renaissance art, where he made the symbols come to life.

One day, opposite Dwinelle, in Wheeler Auditorium, John and I went to listen to Koestler. We both admired him very much. His Darkness at Noon is, I believe, still a classic. He was then preoccupied with “the thirteenth tribe”. We were a bit disappointed with the lecture, but it felt great to shake the hand of a great man—on that we didn’t change our minds. Berkeley education was not only in the classroom; it was everywhere!

Years later, in the late sixties, it was at Sproul that I would meet Marcuse, who would bring that holy place to its pinnacle. But let me continue with the Sproul days before Marcuse and return to the years 1964-65. These were still the years of the beginning, before Marcuse, before Vietnam, before Kent State, and the dream of the general strike and the sit-ins.

On Sproul Plaza, on a beautiful sunny day in late 1964—it must have been around noon—we surrounded a police car that had come to disperse us. A very fine man, Mario Savio, whom I, as a habitué of Sproul, had seen and exchanged many greetings with, climbed onto the, by then immobilized, police car carrying the bullhorn he had for the occasion. Mario in his light brown leather jacket climbed onto the police car in his white socks but only after he had instinctively removed his shoes! This is the image I have of the day after more than forty years. Not the details of what he said, but that innate elegance, that civility, is to me the unforgettable thing about that moment that has remained with me forever. It remains as one of the softest spots in my heart. That was the beginning of the student movement. It was Berkeley, 1964. His elegance in no way detracted from his passionate and radical speech, punctuated with a wonderfully witty and acerbic portrayal of the university administration. He expressed for all of us the fears of what might become of the university in the future.Clark Kerr’s idea of the multiversity was already in the air. Kerr wanted to integrate the university with the giant corporations on the outside; we believed in the ivory tower. This was the start of the Free Speech Movement. Nineteen sixty-eight had started in Berkeley, four years ahead of the world.

That evening the students held a sit-in in Sproul Hall, which was the University’s administration building. I wanted very much to go but couldn’t. Something very personal which I could not refuse came up... I went to Ernie’s that evening, which was then perhaps one of the best restaurants in San Francisco. I had my first Duck à l’Orange. I still think it was the best I’ve ever had. 

In 1964 a conflict had been brewing for some time between the students and the administration with regard to whether leafleting tables might be put at the entrance of the University for the upcoming California elections, which Ronald Reagan would eventually win. I remember how dark we felt when several months later we listened to his inaugural speech as the new governor one late California afternoon on the lawn where the University’s undergraduate library now stands. The university had put up loudspeakers, as if to forewarn us of the coming events. In the FSM struggle the students wanted no restrictions on political speech. The university claimed they wanted politics not to be allowed on campus.  I could see the university’s point. I knew if we wanted an ivory tower it had to cut itself off from society. On the other hand, the university had a bad record of denying tenure to Marxist faculty. It had a history of demanding the oath of allegiance from its faculty members. Only a few years earlier the same issue had led to a violent skirmish when the House Committee on Un-American Activities, a legacy of the McCarthy days, had met in San Francisco, and Berkeley students had a big role to play on that occasion only to be hosed down the stairs of City Hall by city firemen. Perhaps those were the first seeds of the coming student movement!

Berkeley had become the vanguard of the student movement. Already by the early sixties many bright students from the best colleges in New York and other parts of the East who had seen the rough side of the Civil Rights movement in the South had transferred to Berkeley. Berkeley had become the place where the bright and committed children of middle and upper middle class professional parents chose to complete their university education. They had no patience with aloof, academic savoir-faire.

The police car and the Mario Savio episode say so much in retrospect. Not only did Mario take his shoes off to climb onto the car, in the later hours we would bring coffee and sandwiches to the two cops who had been trapped so long inside it. What strikes me is the innocence, the purity—the naiveté in the positive sense of the word—that characterized the early days of the student movement. I find that completely commensurate with the assumptions in which the whole paradigm of the Modern was anchored—alas, at times at its fragile expense! I find that civility, innocence and optimism about human nature much more germane to the Modern as an Enlightenment project than the atrocities, the violence, the Holocaust (Bauman) perpetrated in its name.

The Free Speech Movement wreaked havoc among the faculty. Some saw in it the Hitler Youth; some saw it as another version of the juvenile “rebel without a cause”. They were wrong. The students were also wrong to imagine they could get involved in the world but only on their own terms. The administration handled the situation very badly. They had no experience with any of this. Every movement at some point has aneed for dialogue and recognition. The administration instead totally shunned the students. They could have built a bridge between the students and the faculty. By the time they tried to do that, it was already too late.

Four years later, in late 1969, I returned to Berkeley as a graduate student after Cambridge (UK), Paris and the New School, and a little working time in East Africa. The department had moved to the fourth floor of Barrows Hall, where all the social sciences departments had also moved. Herbert Blumer had built the best department in the country—at least that is what we thought, and what the country thought, as the top students from the top colleges congregated there. These were the years of sociology. Herbert Blumer represented George Herbert Mead in the department. He had been Mead’s student. Blumer was a wonderfully warm person. Huge as he was, he would put his arms around your shoulder with the greatest friendliness. Rumor had it that he had been a professional football player in Chicago to put himself through college and was once married to a beautiful fashion model. Blumer filled the corridors of Barrows fourth floor with the magnanimity of a department chair who had created the best department in the country by recruiting sociologists whose methodologies were most unlike his—an exceptional quality indeed in academia! When he and Smelser gave the graduate theory course it was a feast. It was said that to make his methodological point he once asked Smelser, “Neil, have you ever seen a norm walking down the corridor?” Leo Lowenthal was the highbrow German intellectual, very sophisticated and acerbic, quite in the center even before we had all discovered the Frankfurt School. Marcuse’s fame had not yet fully moved north from San Diego—or was he still at Brandeis then, I cannot remember. At the time, Habermas was only a mimeo we circulated among ourselves as the bright young new German sociologist. The text was his “Science and Technology as Ideology”, translated by a fellow graduate student, Hans Muller. It very much enchanted us. Foucault’s Madness and Civilization, his best work, might have just been just translated! David Matza was to review it for ASR. Bendix was remarkably erudite. Lipset I never met; he was always on leave. Kingsley Davis had already established his turfat Demography. Goffman had gone to the East Coast the year before I came to Berkeley, but his fame still lingered vividly in the corridors of the department. Kornhauser, still young, was resting on the laurels of his Politics of Mass Society—I think he took an early intellectual retirement after the book. It was de Tocqueville made contemporary. I realize now, when I reflect retrospectively, that this Tocqueville “secondary organizations and democracy” advanced a formula that messed us all up.France had almost no secondary organizations until the 1890s, but Germany had a lot of them. They both went Fascist in the mid-Thirties, yet France resisted better with its deeply entrenched state, whereas Germany could not! Hannah Arendt certainly has been much more perceptive on this issue and the rise of Fascism.

Berkeley had become much more of a graduate institution, perhaps a little in response to the Free Speech Movement. Sproul had lost its earlier focus as the principal forum. Intellectual activity had shifted more to the departments. For us, the social scientists, it was Barrows Hall. Sproul had become more the promenade with lots of Hare Krishna song and dance. The cafeteria had become more amorphous, and the new Zellerbach Hall now obstructed the magical vision of the Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge. One good thing was that the student movement had totally turned the law students around; they had now become mature, political and active. With the more graduate character of the university, the research institutes had come to play a more dominant role, often at the expense of the departments. One institute that had become a highbrow intellectual center was the Center for the Study of Law and Society. There, Selznick was the duke, subtle in mind, elegant in manners. From him I learned so much. He was magnanimous and most generous with his time and his ideas.  I spent many seminar hours at the Center. The following year I had the great fortune of being asked by the department to give Selznick’s theory course while he was on sabbatical leave. A great experience! It was my first true teaching job. I believe I was very successful. I gave a tough course and a tough final exam and was rated very highly by the students. Habermas was then on my reading list and his ''science and technology as ideology'' was the dominant theme of my essay final! It was the beginning of my academic career. I had already been a Teaching Assistant for several years. I had enjoyed that very much. It was a great learning experience. As a Teaching Assistant I might have been a bit too serious for the job and a bit too pompous. On reflection I sometimes feel embarrassed. Teaching my own course might have taken those silly edges off my demeanor. No better cure for pomposity than a little self-confidence!

The other most gratifying and educational experience was being on the editorial board of eight of the Berkeley Journal of Sociology, a graduate students’ journal whose board was selected by fellow students. We spent hours arguing over manuscripts. It was a wonderful way of getting an education. Manuscripts were reasons to argue over methodologies, politics and theory. It was a great education and tremendous fun. I will return to it below.

The Journal gave me one of my most memorable experiences, which I still recall with great pride. For the Journal, Karl Kreplin and I taped Herbert Marcuse in a fully packed ASUC auditorium. He was brilliant, beautiful and moving. Marcuse had become my hero and he still remains so.

Berkeley’s mindset in those days was shaped by Marcuse, Kuhn and the Beatles —the first of whom I still adhere to academically, and the second of whom I now abhor for his lowbrow academism. Since then, Marcuse for me has remained a perennial talisman. Listening to the Beatles now is an even more moving experience. Today they bring tears to my eyes, tears of nostalgia for the Modern. Yet Pink Floyd has become the most potent in my consciousness since they sound the death-knell of the Modern from its own involution: “teacher, teacher you’re just a brick in the wall...”

I had returned to Berkeley in 1969 on the heels of the flare-up over the “people’s park”, a strip of land used by political groups that the university wanted to take to build new dorms. I was told about the great episodes of that conflict when I arrived. A year later was the time of the greatest eruption: the Kent State killings, the escalation of the war in Vietnam, and the invasion of Cambodia. It was a total event. A good many of us in Sociology got involved with writing leaflets to mobilize workers in the flatlands for a general strike. What phenomenal excitement, what fabulous education, what fantastic solidarity.

The anti-war movement was in full swing. As teaching assistants, we were holding teach-ins on capitalism, imperialism and the war. Baran-Sweezy was our handbook. Retrospectively now I feel a little ashamed of how we put the engineering students through such an ordeal when they lacked all interest. They were intelligent enough to bite the bullet, go through the episode most obligingly and not jeopardize their grades in their social science electives. I think the university handled that occasion better. Yet I do not know how much they were in on the helicopters that sprayed our Sproul Plaza meetings with orange gas. That was brutal and silly. The helicopters only agitated us and made our will all the stronger. It was Paris all over again as I knew from the year before, but now on the Berkeley campus. We thought Berkeley was Paris! The issue was one of war and killing, of empire and the draft!

But it was not all politics and campaigning: Berkeley was a city of cinemas, from the most regular kind to the walk-ins, like the two at Northside. The crown however belonged to the Pacific Film Archives. Tom Luddy had made it one of the richest sources of “oldies”, from Nosferatu to Pandora’s Box, two rare films to be viewed every night. I would run into Luddy in Paris, Boulevard St. Germain, and we would nod and pass by as if we were on Telegraph Avenue. I must have been at the PFA almost every other evening of the week. It was a tremendous source of education in black-and-white.  If that was not enough, one went to the Surf Theater in “Frisco” by the ocean at the other end of the city. I believe the Surf no longer exists today. People there wore black turtlenecks and smoked like Juliette Greco. Walking the paved streets—as they were then—around the Surf Theater on a sunny day and then topping it off with a brief visit to the Musée Mécanique at Pigeon Point remains for me something to yearn for forever.

The Marcuse of those days on has remained my beacon. He has always been there somewhere, hidden or apparent, in every course I’ve taught for the last thirty plus years. Some people are both place and persona in one. It was also at that time in Berkeley that I met three friends from whom I still keep learning, Ilkay Sunar, Claus Offe and Steve Cohen. To them my gratitude remains immeasurable.

How could I not consider myself a very, very lucky man! Berkeley was a fantastic place. No place has yet come even a distant second for my learning experience and for the depth of its lived days.

My social geographical account ends here. Let me turn now to the people I met in a chronology of personal acknowledgments, to thank them for enabling me to write this book.

For the people who shaped my lucky life, let me once more go back to my undergraduate years at Berkeley for a moment. At Berkeley, still before 1965 and before the Student Movement, every day I would read T.S. Eliot in the mornings and afternoons, and every day I would gravitate to Berkeley’s Morrison Library—a beautiful wood-paneled reading room—to read whatever appeared that day on the “new arrivals” table. Next to it stood the table with current journals. There, I started reading one of the first issues of The New York Review of Books, to which I have since subscribed for so many million years. Next to it was The New York Times, for which you had to sit close to the table to catch one of the few copies before somebody else got it; there was no California edition back then. From the same table I avidly read the journals, Encounter and Commentary, which the CIA had been supporting, unbeknownst, of course, to us. We did not know much about the CIA then. One day on the new arrivals table I discovered the first English translation of Apollinaire’s Alcools. It has since radically configured my understanding of the Modern, as I write below in a way quite different from all the ways the Modern has been understood and rendered by many others. It was thanks to what I learned from John Steele that I would so much enjoy the Morrison Library and Apollinaire. Without him I might have become just a bookworm sociologist in the Reserve Book Room next door!

But my Berkeley early education (1964-65) was not only the theatre of the absurd and German expressionist drama. In fact, Esslin’s introduction to The Theatre of the Absurd only reinforced my choice of sociology as a major. It was not the contextualization of those theatrical texts, which he intelligently does none of, but his discussion of their—to use another neologism—subtext that struck me as so Durkheimian. I had read Marx and Durkheim on many occasions. My search in sociology was not for public conscience or a Fabianist type of  “do-goodery” [sic]. However much I commend them both when done privately, I abhor them when done academically. My search was for a conceptual understanding of how societies exhibit particular cultural forms in particular times in their history. There, I wanted geometry and rational discourse. I never had patience with description that pretends to be theory the way Giddens would practice it later. In my first term in Berkeley sociology, Neil Smelser’s course on theory was required. I found in its systematic rigor, analytical depth and comparative skill what I had been dreaming of at Amherst. That is when I decided to study sociology as the real thing. It is the best course I ever had in the many thousand years of my education; it set me the model of teaching for which I have received so much praise, adulation and reward, and I have traveled with it on demand to many different parts of the world. Smelser made me into a medieval craftsman who carries his means of production with him, never to depend on anyone else. He gave me my métier, an incomparable gift! I took Smelser’s word to many places around the globe, and it has given me a purpose and prestige. I consider I had three principal teachers, in the Yaqui sense (Carlos Castaneda, The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge):my friends, Scott at Amherst and John Steele, and Neil Smelser. He is my third teacher, yet so different from the other two­—of them I will say more later. Thanks to Smelser’s geometry, their contributions complete the circle and become meaningful. It was so essential for me to see where geometry ends and where poetry begins, where reason must prevail and where unreason is to be admitted. That was also Durkheim’s problem; in a deep reading of Durkheim it becomes obvious that unreason is ubiquitous, always there, robust and hard to keep at bay. Courage, as Esslin mentions in his introduction to his book on the Theatre of the Absurd, was to survive rationally in the face of its fragility, by facing the deep truth of unreason that lurks behind reason. Nietzsche in his struggle is as modern as Kant. Weber never was.

I have since taught a theory course on Smelser’s heels with a different emphasis. Marx and Durkheim got more comprehensive and longer. For Durkheim I included his Kantian essays and for Marx Hegel, and I dropped Smelser’s Michels and Parsons to include a little Weber as a conclusion. I have never failed to mention Smelser as the originator of the course each time I taught it for over thirty years in many places, and, to Neil Smelser’s credit, I was often elected best teacher by the students. Neil Smelser has had more impact on my life than anyone else; he made me into an academic. My loyalty to him wouldnever waver.

When I went from Berkeley to Cambridge to read Economics in 1965, Frank Hahn and Nicholas Kaldor taught theory in the same elegant, rigorous manner. There is no better training in logical analysis than good economic theory. Again it was my luck that I ended up as an economist at Cambridge. I had wanted to read European history. But Cambridge would not let me do European history without Latin—very sensible indeed. Reading my second choice, Economics, at Cambridge proved most valuable in the long run, much more than history, which I read the most now. Frank Hahn must have been the most intelligent person I’ve ever met. I had never seen wit and logic combine so well. His article, co-authored with Matthews, on economic theory is, to my mind, still the best model for any analytical theory thinking and still my guide to the way I organize my theory lectures.  

After Cambridge I found myself in Paris in 1968. I do not have to recount the story of Paris in 1968. Obviously the French students might have been politically much more mature than the American students, but they were naive about university education when compared to my Berkeley cohort.The crisis was as much of the state and the universities, as it was of the unions, which had been mothballed politically in part because of their relationship with the atrophying Communist Party. The youth rebellion was against both. In the grand auditorium of the Sorbonne I was tired of warning them over and over again of the pitfalls of the “relevant education” they were clamoring for. The French university had been moribund for a long time, but I thought the answer was not more relevance, as I knew from my Berkeley days, but more university. I had Clark Kerr in mind!I could never convince them of the errors of their vision. Eventually Edgar Faure would give them a model of relevant higher education andprove me right. French students must be far unhappier now than before. Only many years later did I meet Daniel Cohn-Bendit in person. Then and now a wonderfully intelligent and admirable fellow who heroically never tires of politically defending the tenets of the political modern, he gets lonely now in the maze of the European Union’s Leviathan.

After a year in the turbulent Paris of 1968 and a brief stint in East Africa, I went to the New School in New York. I wanted to go to the New School because it still had remnants of the “university in exile”. I had a tremendous admiration for German Jewish scholars and felt a particular affinity with them, especially after my year at Amherst, which was, of course, in my mind the opposite.The urban context of New York suited me well. My fin de siècle and the Modern were still lurking in the East Village, where most resident shopkeepers spoke Polish almost exclusively. I lived on a shoestring on St. Mark’s Place near Tompkins Park. I loved the intellectual atmosphere at the New School and that part of New York. I had no money to go beyond 14th Street except on foot. In the tiny, cozy library in the 12th Street basement of the New School I discovered L’Homme et la Société, which had articles by Lévi-Strauss, Georges Gurvitch and Lucien Goldmann, who, I believe, were also the editors of the journal. Its content and orientation—what they called Philosophical Anthropology—I still consider the most sophisticated intellectual example of the human sciences, a model that has unfortunately become archaic.

The next year I came to Berkeley as a graduate student. I was TA-ing and I loved it. It was most educational. One learns best by teaching, I’ve always found. The Berkeley department had become a haven for the best students in America. Barrows Hall graduate lounge was the meeting place where I learned an infinite amount from my fellow students. We organized to meet one evening a week at Karl Kreplin’s house on College Avenue. Art Stinchcombe would come to these meetings. That was where some of the best theory discussions took place. Outstanding times! This was education at its very best. Sometimes we also met at Art’s house on Henry Street. Stinchcombe was one of the best minds one could meet, clear and rigorous, challenging and superb. He was always most cordial to me.  I learned so much from him on those occasions. Berkeley was a total learning experience.

Yes, Berkeley was a total learning experience. From sociology people would also go to other departments for seminars, lectures, discussions. One of my favorites was Steve Cohen’s at Urban Planning. I have not seen anyone who could elucidate the instrumental grammar of the modern with total cynicism the way Steve did. Kolakowski, very famous then, came once to teach for a term in Political Science. It was very exciting at the beginning, yet the lectures turned banal after a while. Visitors often did not have a knack for lectures the way Berkeley faculty did. One exception was Amartya Sen. I learned my Harrod-Domar from him—a tough job to teach—in my junior year when he was visiting faculty: a very bright, conscientious and fine man. Lectures were central to Berkeley teaching, and that suited me far better than the tutorials of Cambridge.

Two other people at Berkeley whose work would also contribute significantly to my thinking with their systemic approach. One was West Churchman, whose Design of Inquiring Systems I read like a medieval monk with his holy book every day for several months at the Graduate Social Science Library, where the only copy of the book could be found. The other person who influenced me in that regard was Benjamin Ward. By then I had had a relatively good training in Economic Theory at Cambridge. Ward gave informal seminars at his home with great generosity and cordiality. Along with West Churchman’s book, I also read Ward’s What’s wrong with Economics? more than a few times when it was still in manuscript format. I do not know whether it ever got published in that original, thoughtful, rigorous, radical language. It was an almost Kantian critique of the science of economics. Nothing beats the rigorous reading of economic theory for developing an analytical logic, checking one’s assumptions, delineating one’s lines of causality, and recognizing the logical boundaries of one’s theory. For my thinking, for an analytical perusal of mental paradigms Edmund Wilson set the model, then the works of Halévy and Ronald Meek. Parsons showed me the practice of talking in terms of cultural paradigms as bundles of Will, and Churchman how to look at their underside. But nothing is as indelible an experience of a live lecture as Schorske, always a giant in that regard. How sad that his written works, though so germane to the concerns of this study, remain in my eye somehow not on a par with his giant intellect - yet certainly better than Peter Gay’ssuperficial dabbling in the same subject. Again in the vicinity of the issues into which this study wants to delve, it was Gay’s failure that prompted me to first unearth the mood to capture the sensibilities of a period, and to do that best tongue-in-cheek and with humor, which Gay, so lowbrow, darkly lacks.

To begin with, from Berkeley, in retrospect, two people stand out in my memory of the Berkeley faculty: David Matza, totally enchanting, outstanding, brilliant, a loner, most lovable for his exceptional mind; and, above everyone else, Neil Smelser, our Buddha figure forever. Finally, for my academic superiors, two others after Berkeley have to be mentioned once more: Donald Black at Yale, political and logical positivist, most invaluable for his double challenge, without which this work of mine could have degenerated into metaphysics or astrology; and Offe, who, with his passion for abstraction and critique, with his search for rigor and geometry, I still feel sits on my shoulder the minute I turn to my text.

As far as friendships beyond intellectual camaraderie are concerned, Jeff Prager and Karl Kreplin were the two people from the department that I saw most often: brilliant people, brilliant minds with kind, generous, warm hearts. Knowing them was pure pleasure. Jeff later went to UCLA to teach. Jeff’s father had been with the Lincoln Brigade, which for us was the truly highest accolade for a person, even more than the Nobel Prize. We were most proud of it. I got to see Karl for a longer period. Karl stayed in Berkeley to eventually teach millions of hours a week at the local community colleges. A very, very sharp mind that connected the micro with the macro so well but that hit the political glass ceiling when it came to employment.  I learned so much from Karl—a brilliant sociologist in the best muckraking tradition.

It was also then that I had many wonderful evening discussions on the theory of the state with Ilkay Sunar. I would venture to say we were the first to deal with the question when the state was still only “an agency of resource mobilization”, to use Parsons’ words, in American social science. My dissertation came out of those discussions, as did my later connection with Pierre Birnbaum. After I returned to Europe, Pierre and I developed a wonderful friendship that was not only fun but also of great learning. To me Pierre stands as the true edifice of the Republic and the French Modern, which this book is about; hence, my gratitude to him is most immediate and real. With great amazement I note the later rise from that wilderness of the industry of the “sociology of the state”! After Sunar’s in political science, my dissertation was the first in sociology to put the state at the center of a comparative historical discussion, in my case with the extensive benefit of Schumpeter and Selznick’s sociology of organizations. Theda Skocpol, whose work I much admire, and others writing on the state came only after a decade. With Sunar then, a mind sharper than mine, and since then each time we converse—now for almost half a century—I have to rethink what I thought I knew, and each time a new understanding emerges. What great joy and elation.

Claus Offe, the master of systematic abstraction and of state theory, was Berkeley’s other gift to me at the same time. That concern—rare for the day—with the theory of the state was again the basis of our almost immediate intellectual solidarity in Berkeley in the early years of our camaraderie. There is no single person I owe as much as I owe Claus Offe for his stoic patience and generosity with me; and for making academic opportunities available to me that I otherwise could not have obtained on my own. Thanks to him, I discovered Budapest, which would later play such a central role in my life. Thanks to him I spent so much intellectual time in Germany, which in itself is a full education when in the company of Claus. He is one person whose goodness I can never fully reciprocate. Intellectually, our discussions went on until dawn over Hennessey or Armagnac, and often with the contribution of Sabine, his then wife. Time with Claus is still a tremendous intellectual joy. Based on our Berkeley friendship, founded in 1969, we have been getting together in different parts of the world for an evening or two of intense discussion every year for the last forty years. I also benefited from being witness to the subtle disagreements between Claus and Pierre on the state and modernity. On that my position was closer to Pierre’s.

I first met Steve Cohen at the Max Planck Institute in Starnberg in a seminar Claus organized in the early 1970s. Since then Steve has become one of my best friends. He was my savior when I got writer’s block with my endless dissertation. Yet he is much more than that to me. Steve is the most cynical radical brilliant insightful person, and great fun. Great to see him run circles around anything and still maintain a great sense of humor, and to hear him, with his tremendous intuition and theoretical insight, debunk all existing conventions tongue-in-cheek and with the subtlest humor. One of the most intelligent persons I have met in my life.

So much fun! So much to admire! So much to learn from! Yet, before I conclude recounting my days in my Berkeley intellectual rose garden, I must relate one experience that I have never stopped retelling for its irony. It was at Berkeley, on one of those days Marcuse had come to town and was staying at Leo Lowenthal’s house in San Francisco. As a favor to me, Leo asked me if I would take Marcuse on his afternoon stroll in the city. It was the best gift anyone had ever given me. I duly went, of course, and we set out on the walk. I discovered I had nothing to tell him! I was totally dumbstruck. I never felt so stupid. In total awe, whatever I mumbled was rubbish. The old man, very generous in his way, very handsome and very elegant, bent over backwards to engage me. It was to no avail. It must have been the lowest point in my life of over six decades. Today, I tell the story every year to my students as a warning to curb one’s hubris. Life is full of irony and contradictions! My angel of luck must have been busy somewhere else that day!

One microcosmos where I grew intellectually might also interest sociologists of later generations: Berkeley Graduate Student Lounge.

The rectangular room on the fourth floor of the east side of Barrows Hall was the sociology graduate students’ lounge, a room lively as no other department’s in Barrows. It was at the east end of Barrows on the fourth floor and had a huge window, a beautiful view of the hills, the playing fields, Kroeber, Environmental Design, and the architecturally beautiful women’s gym. It had such wondrous light and was so bright and appealing that we started to gather from the morning, to debate, to dispute, to discuss, to disagree. For grad students, Berkeley campus was a total institution, and in particular the sociology department was alive all the time, percolating forever, a teapot (Sunar's words) that made it different from Columbia, Harvard and Yale.

The intellectual center of the room was the seating arrangement: a lounge and two armchairs at the left side of the room by the left wall. It was the center of gravity.  Ann Leffler, always a little quiet; Margaret Polatnick, jovial yet extremely reserved; Carole Joffe, whom I always found the most brilliant of our cohort; Sydney Halpern, always most elegant, always distant, always Proustian in motion, most insightful but always quiet; and the very sedate and serene Ann Swidler, almost the queen, sat on the edge of the couch and carried on intense conversation. The late Carol Hatch, when she could escape from department work, would join them, and also Fred Block when he came to the lounge. At the table by the window in the northeast corner—usually the boys’ corner—Harry Levine would sit, he a brilliant conversationalist with a great voice, a charismatic and brilliant guy who had been a part-time cab driver in Manhattan and told lots of wonderful stories with the greatest sense of humor; I talked to him a lot. Again, on the east side, one table south, again by the window Sue Greenwald, most bright and congenial, would sit and at times carry on a distant conversation with the women’s side of the seating arrangement. I liked Sue a lot. A woman, like so many of the women in the department, whose parents were from the D.C. area, Sue was, I believe, from Alexandria, Virginia, and her father was in the foreign service. At the time it was very prestigious to have parents in public service, as it is today to have a “business background”; these were still the Kennedy years. Richard Apostle would quietly drift in and out of the lounge as if watching it all but saying not a word; David Hummon would come in, always with a friendly smile on his face, a good voice, and a lovely personality; Jeff Alexander would burst in like “the force” with an overwhelming presence and a booming, deep baritonevoice; Jeff Johnson and wife were slightly standoffish and looked a little conceited. I thought he would have been much happier at the Law School.  Karl Kreplin, my mentor, from whom I learned so much in conversation, would come in the afternoons in his preferred colors, beige and brown. Jeff Prager, whom I liked very much and spent good times with, was always most amiable and intelligent and personable; I was awed by his father’s having been in the Lincoln Brigade, which to me was the highest accolade one could get—I would always ask him about his father and his stories. David Minkus was intelligent and always a shock value in terms of what he had up his sleeve. On some days Jeff Weintraub would come in with his slick blue Italian bicycle—which he would take along even when he went to the men’s room—but chose to remain a little aloof to the lounge’s intense sociability. JerryHimmelstein was a very nice fellow, earnest in his theory interests and intelligent, a person with whom I had long discussions on Marx and theory; I enjoyed him a lot. He was one of the mainstays of the lounge.

Another foreigner with whom I spent a lot of good time together during and after Berkeley was Federico D'Agostino, a priest at heart, most gentle and sensitive but never perturbed.

Around the coffee machine on the right Tom Taylor, whose father had been the architect of the U.S. policy in Vietnam,and another friend, whose name now escapes me, who had already as a graduate student published in the ASR, remained on the high right-wing of the department at a distance, holding the south end of the room against the prevalent left. I always admired Taylor for his reticence and his courage to come and go with noloss of poise in such an anti-war atmosphere. To be at Berkeley at the height of the Vietnam conflict must have required a lot of courage. I admired him for not losing his composure, keeping his chin up, and courteously going about his own business, never engaging in any political discussion—very hard in that common room—but never apologetic either.There were also two people who would occasionally hold court in the lounge. They were from an earlier cohort, senior to us,but with a little too much sound and fury. They were Irwin Sperber and Hal Jacobs. I never found them as intellectually powerful as the members of my cohort.

At Berkeley, lectures ruled. That was where the education most entertainingly occurred. They were great. Berkeley as a whole exuded education, from the Film Archives to the Museums. The Graduate Lounge was yet another site where our education in sociology took place. There, getting annoyed with Erik Olin Wright—Erik, a year or two my junior, was the “sociological engineer” who alienated everybody with his opinionated aloofness and highhanded manner—and, on the positive side,  adoring Ann Swidler, being envious of Jeff Alexander—Jeff was an exceptional figure, Foreman’s Mozart: radical, rascal, rebellious, very sharp; trying to figure out Fred Block and enjoying Carole Joffe’s conversation were all part of my education. Stuart Buckley, an Englishman, I found even more difficult than Fred Block to decipher, my English sympathies notwithstanding. Another Brit, Rosemary Taylor was the model personality, solid, helpful, polite, gracious and intelligent; David Hummon, a good fellow, intelligent and always helpful; Margaret Polatnick had the most disarming smile, but I rarely managed to talk to her. In the meantime, in one of the offices next door, Jeff Paige, with whom I later developed a strong camaraderie, was trying to do something very unique, putting Marxian theory to a Durkheimian statistical test. His book, Coffee and Power, would one day crown this very special intellectual endeavor.

Once in a while some faculty also drifted in; among them, Troy Duster was the most amiable and well liked. He had the great talent of holding the department together—a great feat for all that tension and radicalism. What I would give today to be back in that lounge for just half an hour to be with all those intelligent, earnest, gregarious and brilliant young people, especially the brilliant young women, like a scene out of a Tom Stoppard play.

But in my mind nobody compares with Carole Joffe.Carole, who was without a doubt by far the sharpest mind among us all was at her best in one David Matza evening seminar—the most brilliant seminar I ever had. Carole Joffe’s intellect was exceptional. The best course, undergraduate or graduate, I had was no doubt Neil Smelser’s theory course. Neil Smelser was the theory’s master. Nobody could do it like him. There was also Art Stinchcombe, from whom you learned the heavens by talking to him, but never in his lectures. Selznick was the intellectual aristocrat who best practiced the sociological dialectic: the negative surprise of good projects, the irony of good intentions. Leo Lowenthal, the Frankfurt School itinerant, brilliant and intolerant, was Marxist and elitist, radical but archconservative, very sociable but hating people at the same time. Leo, a bon vivant with refined taste, was the prototype of the German bourgeoisie before all was destroyed by the Holocaust. Robert Bellah was different. Whenever I saw him I could not but visualize him as a lanky old man with a staff in his hand, wearing sandals, a wooden cross slung over his neck, sweet-talking infidels into Christianity. In retrospect, it might be too harsh to see him as the first post-modern in the department, the beginning of the end. This was in radical contrast to his brilliant earlier book on the Japanese samurai—a book that, unbeknownst to him, was, I think, in the best Schumpeterian tradition, which later much formed my historical sociology. Schumpeter, once the president of the American Economic Association, had then been all but forgotten. When I borrowed his books from the library, they had not been checked out for twenty years. My dissertation was much lodged in Schumpeterian institutional economics, which was then practiced only in one or two places south of the Mason-Dixon line.

Around the campus, lively conversations educated me in the coffee shops and backyards, and for that I am most grateful in particular to Bob Dunn and Elliot Currie for the brilliant discussions in their backyards. There must be a hundred other fellow students whose names I do not recall now. I am grateful to them. They make up the Berkeley that I feel so loyal to.

Here my text runs ahead of its grammar: The Lucky Circle

Looking back, let me run a cycle, return, go back to the beginning, and recount, to punctuate my luck for the places, friends and teachers, to connect that personal narrative more directly, and have my Berkeley cohort pitch in briefly to set the stage in the many ways I cannot figure out.

For my pursuit of the fin de siècle, I am most grateful to icicle-like, self-righteous, alien and alienating New England’s stiff upper lip that made the search for the fin de siècle the means of my survival, its sensibility the most radical antidote to New England self-righteousness. That context helped me to see the fin de siècle as Will and un-Will, its vide as a perennial fixture at its core, and the Beckettian absurd as the principal aspect of the fin de siècle’s coherence, which became so intelligible to me in the midst of New England certainty, self-assuredness and hubristic arrogance. This, and my neighbor Scott at Stearns Hall reading “The Ancient Mariner” aloud every other night, broke my rationalist mindset cast in Turkish Republicanism and the positivism so handy for a young man so insecure.

Reading Stuart Hughes’ Consciousness and Society at Amherst shaped my initial mind as it did the minds of many of my generation. Swaying me so directly into the fin de siècle that much impatiently  I dropped out of Amherst to search for it in Europe at the end of my first year. Luck that I dropped out ! I found my fin de siecle at Berkeley a year later.

Thanks at a more personal level are due to John Steele, as I met him in my very first semester at Berkeley during an irrelevant public lecture at Dwinelle. He became my perennial source, though always from his abyss—a duality between the sharpest mind and the most elusive metaphysics—to make Berkeley the fount of my youth and the cradle of all of my later intellectual impatience and aspirations, and for jointly reading Jung and T. S. Eliot's Wasteland. In short,

I am grateful to Steele for helping me to discover Dada in a very special way, so I could read Dada and Modernity as inseparable, the Ying and Yang of reason and unreason. I am thus grateful to him for seeing sociology in its fear of the Surrealists, of German Expressionism, and Durkheim's  Pascalian fears.

Finally, all my generation owe everything to the Beatles’ music and to Marcuse’s intellectual passion. I am so fortunate for having been a “lucky man”, to have traversed the sixties so well situated and so naively; to have seen The King’s Road and Mary Quant, to have been at the Sorbonne in 1968, to have been on Sproul Plaza with Mario Savio in 1965, to have been in love when the world turned upside down, to have walked Telegraph Avenue when helicopters were spraying Berkeley with tear gas, to have had the teach-ins for the law school and the engineering kids, reading them Paul Sweezy during the Cambodia crisis, and to have spent endless nights composing leaflets for the working class below San Pablo, debating Stalinism against Régis Debray in the editorial meetings of the Berkeley Journal of Sociology, disagreeing with Jane Tatum and admiring Karl Kreplin.

At Berkeley at the time—I don’t know how it is now—each department had a different doctoral qualifying procedure. In sociology it was the oral exam. It was pivotal. That, I think, was one reason why the sociology degree at Berkeley was so strong. We took it very seriously. I did, too—read almost everything under the sun for my areas and beyond. That preparation was the bedrock of my sociology for many years to come. I loved that period of most serious, extensive reading and discussion.  I did very well in my exam. I enjoyed it tremendously. It was fun and serious at the same time. It was thorough and exhausting. I am most grateful to my committee. I wanted to pass with distinction. I did not. That year Hardy Frye did. He must have been very, very good. I knew him well. He was a very bright fellow. Oh, what a wonderful department! Oh, what wonderful times!

Finally Most Personal:

But all was not of course all pink and rosy, as it was not for Lindsay Anderson’s Mr. Travis either. There were many dark moments of brown and melancholy. They connected me to Apollinaire’s “Pont Mirabeau”.

Thanks to my soul brother Osama Doumani, I survived, literally, the “butt ends” of those moments, and thanks to him I am still here writing. He saved me from a stretcher lying in the corridor of the El Cerrito Community Hospital! Without his intercession, I would certainly have died. For those most formative days exceptional thanks goes to Brenda Cummings. Her personal brilliance, her stamina and above all her British sense of humor at its best, which made me see the orange and the sunshine even in the days of the “darkest side of the moon”. She will forever remain my soul sister.

As this is about the rosy and the pink and my exceptional luck, I do not have to further acknowledge here the dark days of my past. Apollinaire, from the first day I read him at Morrison Library, bridged for me the brown and the pink, the melancholy and the joy. Let that remain as my acknowledgment of those brown days.

In retrospect one more reminder is also in order! The downside of all that luck, of all those lucky trips and encounters, those coffee shops, cinemas and lecture halls was that “a rolling stone gathers no moss”. One day soon people will say “oh, how his hair has grown thin, how he wears his trousers rolled”, on Amazon he has nothing to his name.

The end of one diaspora and the start of another!

My first teaching job was at Yale. A day came at Yale when, despite myself, I could no longer be the foreigner and a local at the same time. It was not fair to my departmental colleagues, who had embraced me as a fellow faculty member. My commitment to the department, which ran deep, would contradict my wayward conscience. Would I be a passerby pretending to be permanent? I had to either mentally naturalize—an awful expression—or go back home. I chose the latter.

It was a Weberian dilemma. I wanted to be more publicly involved than I could have possibly hoped to be as an academic in America at the time. I packed and went home, or actually went back to what I imagined to be home. I could not have known what I was getting into. Only with time did I discover that everything looked the same but had changed drastically in the almost two decades I had been away. Someone must have wished on me the Toyota ad, “You asked for it. You got it”! Since that return, my engagement in public service has never ceased to be intense!

Thus I ended one diaspora for another. It was the beginning of my diaspora from the Berkeley of the 1960s. But then again, wasn’t that only an Atlantis? John Steele is in LA now doing his aromatherapy, and sociology has now been toppled from its pedestal, where the best and the brightest once sought self-expression.

But what of the other choice? Public activism in my land, as I discovered in the end, was no different from being on a treadmill, where one tries hard, runs and sweats buckets with the illusion one is moving forward while in fact one remains in the same spot; the good days and the bad days differ only in how steep the treadmill is set for that moment. The agency the modern paradigm presumes for its actors might be no more than an extension of their hubris, as Kierkegaard so painfully realized!

Istanbul, 2015

My career path at Berkeley and beyond was neither linear nor traditional, reflecting departmental and social discontinuities during the early 1970's. The first two years were very intense. As I took classes with Neil Smelser, Norm Denzin, Herbert Blumer, Bob Blauner, and others, my life was also directly touched by events related to the Vietnam War, radical movements, and the 'counterculture.' My academic experience changed abruptly when the three faculty members with whom I worked most closely all left Berkeley in Fall, 1971 - two permanently and one (Smelser) on sabbatical. Searching for new mentors, I found the interdisciplinary program in Human Development across the bay at UCSF. I also dropped out for more than a year to explore alternative careers, but a recession led me back to complete my courses and preliminary orals. 

Now 'ABD' and married, I bounced around the country with my first husband, an erstwhile academic. We went first to Kansas City, where I taught sociology at UMKC and wrote my dissertation proposal, then to Cleveland, where I was a research analyst in a gerontology organization, the Benjamin Rose Institute, and collected dissertation data. Last, in Chicago, I directed an NIMH-funded project to create a community college gerontology program, analyzed the data, divorced, and wrote my dissertation, in about that order. Neil Smelser and Arlie Hochschild guided my dissertation by mail and my brief annual visits to Berkeley.

During the 1980s and 90s, I identified mainly as a gerontologist and a program developer, creating and working with interdisciplinary gerontology programs. With doctorate in hand and remarried, I worked first in Evanston (National College of Education and Northwestern University), then moved to head the Gerontology Program (Health Science Department) at San José State University. I've been settled in San José, with my husband and our two daughters, since 1987. My research has focused on practice and policy related to eldercare services, health ethics, and ethnogerontology. In January 2000, I changed career paths to become Director of the SJSU Center for Service-Learning. This has brought me closer to my sociological roots.

The Sociology Department at Berkeley influenced my career by enabling me to see the 'big picture' and grounding me in theory, especially political economy and interactionist perspectives. I attribute my interdisciplinary interest in the life course to the Human Development Program at UCSF. And I learned how to apply sociology to policy and practice in my subsequent wanderings.

If my sociology has 'shaped the world,' it has been through the courses and programs I've developed and taught in human development and gerontology, the applied research I've conducted in ethics and eldercare, and my current work to infuse sociological awareness across the disciplines by connecting undergraduate students with community issues through service-learning. In working with colleagues, students, practitioners, and policy-makers, I have tried to help them see the links between 'personal troubles' and 'public issues' that I learned as a student of the sociological imagination.

Since leaving Berkeley, I have worked at Holy Cross College in Worcester, Massachusetts, a liberal arts college in the Jesuit tradition. Much of my energy has been devoted to teaching, offering courses in community, the sociology of place, American Studies, and more recently the sociology of childhood and issues of identity and self. My research agenda has also evolved, with time out for administration and other service at various points of my career. The last decade, I have done work on the sociology of culture, ranging from studies of the representation of the biblical image of Jacob's Ladder in American culture to a sociological biography of a nineteenth-century, Irish-Catholic couple, who appear in miniature portraits, painted in Boston, in the 1820s. I am currently thinking about retiring, though I have made no decision to do so. On a more personal front, the decades have been good to me: Pat and I have raised our family, and our two sons are now well along to defining lives of their own in Colorado and California. I would enjoy hearing from former classmates via e-mail or otherwise.

In 1965, I graduated from Harvard with a senior thesis on Thomas Kuhn and the social sciences, and headed to Lesotho with the Peace Corps.Returning to the US in 1969, to enter a doctoral program in sociology at the University of California, Berkeley, I landed in the middle of a passionate opposition to Vietnam War.  I was already radicalized by living for two years among farmers who lived in thatched roofed huts, so I knew where my loyalties lay.  When the war came to the beginning of its end with Nixon’s resignation, my comrades and I turned our attention to the feminist project; the women in our circle gave us no alternative.  I was a founding member of what was apparently the first men’s conscious-raising group of the era.  I ended up teaching gender, family, and sexuality courses at San Francisco State and UC San Diego.  My dissertation treated human evolution in a game theoretic framework. During the storm of feminism and the sexual revolution, I lost my first wife, Leslie Kilham '66, and found my new wife and life partner Ellen Bloch, an artist and botanist from Hollywood and UC Berkeley. Next came a post doctoral fellowship in bioethics at the Hastings Center. Seminars with moral philosophers like Alasdair MacIntyre, and bioethicists like Ronald Bayer stretched my mind. A growing dissatisfaction with both the intellectual direction and tenure prospects in sociology opened a door to a program for PhDs at NYU's business school, and  then a job writing the strategic plan for Chemical Bank's new Multinational Group. I banked major pharma companies, then moved to another planning job at American Express, for their Asian business. I found my groove for the next 19 years with Sanwa Bank of Osaka (now UFT), another bank seeking a guidance on breaking into business with the US Fortune 500. With my Japanese colleagues, I made Sanwa Bank a leader in arranging financing for major office buildings. Ellen and I found ourselves settled into NY lives, as she worked in the Herbarium at the New York Botanical Garden.  Finally we were ready, and our son Jonah was born.As the office market entered a down cycle, I founded the Global Finance Internship program at Sanwa.  For each of 9 years, we brought a half dozen early career professionals from the central banks and ministries of finance of the emerging and post-Soviet economies to New York to study banking and the capital markets, with placements throughout our operations, and my intensive accounting and financial analysis classes.  I was blessed by wonderful students from all over the world. Post 9/11, my attention turned to investigating the uses of the banking system by international criminals and terrorist organizations.  First for Sanwa, then for many other international banks, and for the Central Intelligence Agency, I worked to implement controls the US put in place to minimize these problems. I have been retired since 2008, and have made a hobby of orthopedic adventures, with surgery and long recoveries following a motorcycle accident, and then a paralysis-threatening disc herniation almost severing my cauda equina.  As a result, I learned what it is like to be in one’s 80’s with loss of mobility and vitality.  I did not like what I saw, and so have gone through two different successful rehabilitation regimes, leaving me not worse off than most of my classmates.

Other tidbits:  Although raised as a Southern Baptist, I converted to Judaism in 1997, after years of designating myself as Jewish-ish.Throughout my financial career, I have been puzzling over matters of ethics and finance.  My library and my study are marshaled to write in this area.  Time will tell whether I produce.

I am now a political sociologist at Tufts University with a speciality on the influence of US domestic politics on military policies. I examine the impact of social movements, public opinion, and various business and bureaucratic interests particularly with regard to the Vietnam War and nuclear weapons policy. I am now writing a book on public opinion and military interventions during the period bookended by the two wars in Iraq. I wrote my Ph.D. thesis with Franz Schurmann on the Pentagon Papers and my interest in the organization of social violence remain with me to this day. Recently my teaching and administrative activities have been extended into the interdisciplinary field of peace studies. I have been fortunate to parlay these interests into some wonderful travel opportunities in Europe and especially Asia, including Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Japan, and a year-long sabbatical in New Zealand.

I have fond memories of UC Berkeley in the early 1970s, particularly of my fellow graduate students who provided enormous intellectual stimulation and personal friendships. There were many interesting classes and also beer, other substances, poker, potlucks, a men's group, and softball games behind Barrows Hall on Friday afternoons. I was also lucky to have three or four faculty members who taught me alot and became friends. The Bay Area was a very stimulating place to live in those days and one of the strengths of the Sociology Department was to encourage different links between the campus and the surrounding political/cultural events. Over the years it has been a pleasure to recommend Berkely to my better students - even more when they ended up enrolling. Another fond memory: I met my wife while I was a graduate student. We now have three children with two in college.



Anita Lynn Micossi, a writer, teacher and journalist, of North Road, Tivoli died Monday, December 8, 2008 at Benedictine Hospital. She was 61.

She was born in California on July 3, 1946, a daughter of the late Leonello and Rosemarie Sapone Micossi.

Formerly of Boston, Manhattan, and Port Ewen, she has lived in Tivoli for 10 years.

She married Robert Zises on July 26, 1992.

Dr. Micossi was currently a PROFESSOR, SENIOR ACADEMIC ADVISOR, and DIRECTOR OF PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT at Bard Prison Initiative, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson.

Dr. Micossi was a FREELANCE FEATURE WRITER & ESSAYIST for The Humanist, Forbes, Ms., Savvy, Boston Globe, The Christian Science Monitor, San Francisco Chronicle, PC World, Bloomberg Personal, & numerous trade publications.

She was currently a HUMOR COLUMNIST for the Hudson River Sampler, a monthly newspaper covering general interest topics for the Mid-Hudson Valley of New York. Dr. Micossi was also a MEDIA CONSULTANT & BUSINESS EDITOR for numerous national corporations. Also, an ON-AIR ESSAYIST for The Roundtable on WAMC, NPR affiliate in Albany.

Dr. Micossi was a former E-COMMERCE COLUMNIST for Business Without Borders, an international business magazine. Wrote market analyses and features, edited copy, and supervised production for the Insider, the monthly newsletter of the National Computer Exchange. She wrote features, columns, and trends pieces for Enterprise, a business and technology quarterly.

Dr. Micossi previously wrote and produced features for weekly broadcast of PC Talk Radio, syndicated nationally through the American Broadcasting Company network, New York City. She was the EASTERN NEWS EDITOR for Computer Decisions, a trade biweekly. Covered the Boston hi-tech business & science community, researched legal, labor, and social issues, and wrote features and news articles.

In 1982-83 she was a REPORTER for The Israel Economist, Jerusalem and was an INSTRUCTOR in English as a Second Language, Haifa, Israel at the same time. From 1978-82, she was involved with The Iroquois Poetry Ensemble & Theater Group in Berkeley, CA. .

During the 1970's Dr. Micossi conducted various social research projects and demographic analyses with grants from the National Institute of Mental Health, under the auspices of the University of California, Berkeley. Results of these studies were presented at professional meetings and several were published. In the 1970s & 80s Dr. Micossi conducted various social research projects and demographic analyses with grants from the National Institute of Mental Health, under the auspices of the University of California, Berkeley.

She was a former ADJUNCT PROFESSOR at Marist College, Hyde Park.

She received Ph.D., M.A., B.A. Sociology degrees from the University of California, Berkeley and Faculty of Arts & Letters, University of Padua, Italy. Dr. Micossi was a member of the National Writers Union, Dramatists Guild, Phi Beta Kappa, Manhattan Association of Cabarets & Clubs, Village of Tivoli Master Plan Committee and Architectural Review Board, chair and Director of the Northern Dutchess Jewish Family Group

Since 1982 she has been a full-time working journalist and published hundreds of articles on topics ranging from legal and social issues to business and technology.

Surviving are her husband Robert, her daughter Sofia Lili Rose Micossi Zises at home; two stepsons Bryan and Zachary Zises, both of Chicago, Ill.; one sister Carol Bredel of California, one brother James Micossi of California, many nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be conducted on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. at the Woodstock Jewish Congregation, Kehillat Lev Shalem, 1682 Glasco Turnpike, Woodstock NY 12498 (845)679-2218 ( Interment will follow in Montrepose Cemetery, Kingston.

Memorial contributions may be made to Woodstock Jewish Congregation, Kehillat Lev Shalem, 1682 Glasco Turnpike, Woodstock NY 12498.

I began graduate studies at Berkeley in 1969 and received my Ph.D. in 1975. While at Berkeley I worked mostly at the Survey Research Center under the supervision of Charles Glock, becoming a Project Director for the 1973 Bay Area Survey on which my dissertation was based. In 1974 I became an instructor at the University of Arizona and was promoted to assistant professor the following year. In 1976 I moved to Princeton University as assistant professor and William Paterson Bicentennial Preceptor in sociology. I have remained at Princeton ever since. My teaching and research have focused mainly on sociology of religion, cultural sociology, and civil society. I am currently director of the Center for the Study of Religion, an interdisciplinary center spanning the humanities and social sciences which I helped initiate in 1999, subsuming an earlier center founded in 1991.

Berkeley's influence on my use and development of sociology was decidedly a product of the events in the wider world that impacted so heavily on the Berkeley campus in the late 1960s and early 1970s. I arrived shortly after the People's Park and Third World mass demonstrations, routinely found my way to Barrows Hall through clouds of tear gas, lived near Black Panther headquarters, took courses in black nationalism and heard lectures by a professor who made periodic junkets to North Vietnam, participated in anti-war protests, served as a campus liaison for an East Asian religious group, and was employeed in the same office as Emily Harris the day she kidnapped Patty Hearst. Insofar as sociology was concerned, Charles Glock taught me how to do survey research, Neil Smelser sparked my interest in sociological theory, Robert Bellah imprinted me with indelible normative concerns, Guy E. (Ed) Swanson saved me from despair, and Gertrude Selznick kept me humble. Needless to say, I was drawn in multiple directions, and through this creative tension came to be oriented more toward trying to think outside the box than adhereing too closely to the norms of the discipline. In retrospect, I have greatly appreciated the flexibility of the Berkeley program in that era and the faculty's commitment to large-scale questions.

If my own research and teaching has had any impact on the world, I would be the last one to describe it accurately and fairly. All I can say is that I have tried to keep important questions in mind as guiding principles in the selection of topics for inquiry. These have included such tensions in our culture as those between religion and politics, between individualism and altruism, and between diversity and cultural tradition, as well as such perennial concerns as the meanings of work and money, virtue, the self, community, and the human quest for transcendence. I have been privileged to have opportunities to write about these topics and even more privileged to work closely with students who will make contributions beyond anything I have been able to do myself.


I came to graduate school at Berkeley late, in October 1970. I arrived from France, on election day 1964, to work as a researcher in David Apter's Politics of Modernization project. I had never thought I would stay in the United States, but marriage decided otherwise. In the meantime, I had also written two books on Latin America, and taught for two years at San Francisco State. When it appeared that I could exchange my 'F' visa for a green card (and it was not easy!), I applied to Berkeley. I gravitated toward the Latin American Studies institute, and the faculty I had met in my earlier passage: Art Stinchcombe, in particular, Bill Kornhauser, Bob Blauner, and, later, David Matza, Troy Duster and Russell Ellis. But the experience of the anti-war movement, and the Third World Strike at San Francisco State (where I was the faculty adviser of the Latino students) had turned my work from Latin America to the United States.

Many of us were thinking at the time about the 'new working class' 'a resurgent topic, even today. Since my husband was trying to organize a union of employed architects, I thought I would look into what it meant to be an employed professional. It did not turn out that way: my book, The Rise of Professionalism, I am led to believe, re-wrote the sociology of professions at least for a while, but it also locked me into a series of theoretical and historical articles on lawyers, architects, teachers, nurses, proletarianization, and so on.

A long time passed before I could return to architects. I was more interested then in the cultural impact an organized profession can have. Behind the Postmodern Façade is about the structural bases of cultural influence, and I was very proud to get the Sociology of Culture book award for it. I wish architects read it!

The academic labor market was not easy for older foreign women. There were many disappointments, but I started at the University of Pennsylvania, stayed two years, and then accepted an associate professorship at Temple University in 1978. I stayed twenty years, and I taught, and learnt, and administered, a lot! I must say that as a European and a Latin American, I always was deeply committed to public higher education, the private being a very foreign concept indeed.

In 1998, I took early retirement from Temple to accept a chair in Italy, at Urbino. The idea was that I would go for a semester every year, and I would learn to live in my native country, where I had never lived for any length of time It was probably too late to adjust. Italy is fascinating and maddening, and, above all, the university system is something to which I could not adjust. I resigned in 2001, and I go back for an occasional graduate seminar. It is my first year of retirement, and I am trying to do other things than editing journals, and doing research and writing on political culture. Work with Latino immigrants, and political work, and sometimes teaching, and trying to keep together all the very scattered parts of my existence, here, in Europe, in Argentina that is hard to organize. Sociology has been the center of my intellectual and even my social life, but I always saw it as a political activity. I would like for it to become more so, and to give more to it. That's about all.

I am Professor of Sociology at Bucknell University and I've been here since 1982. Before that I taught at Yale in the Institution for Social and Policy Studies and in sociology and before that at Richmond College-CUNY. I also completed post-doctoral study in Education at the University of Chicago. My early research involved issues in educational policy with a focus on special education. At Yale I was one of the founding members of the Program on Nonprofit Organizations and most of my research for the last twenty years has involved nonprofits, especially community-based organizations. I came to Berkeley with an interest in community organizing and policy studies and while there I worked at the Childhood and Government Project and in the Graduate School of Public Policy. Policy studies has remained the main focus of my teaching, my research, and my community work. Being able to focus on community-based organizations continued my involvement in community organizing.

I think of Berkeley as my 'ethnicity'. It involves a way of life that includes activism, eating strange foods, and bringing rich social theory to bear on everything from bread baking to social conflict in Northern Ireland. The intellectual legacy I most identify with is institutional analysis in the style of Phil Selznick, Art Stinchcombe, and Chic Perrow. I think it contrasts sharply with the 'new' institutionalism so I call it the 'orthodox' institutionalism. For me it takes the internal activity of institutions and organizations seriously and emphasizes comparing social life across institutional cultures.

Passionately involved in the new women's liberation movement in the late '60s (in NYC), I decided to go to sociology graduate school to deepen my understanding of sexism. Graduate student life in the early '70s was exciting intellectually and politically, with an active Women's Caucus, Radical Caucus, and ethnic caucuses. Within sociology I studied the just-approved area of 'sex roles' as well as family, sexuality, and class and racial stratification, and I also audited every newly emerging course in other departments that addressed women's lives (history, anthropology, psychology, economics, etc.) Yet I remember being told in my M.A. evaluation that my interests were too narrow! The Berkeley Journal of Sociology published my early article 'Why Men Don't Rear Children,' which has been anthologized repeatedly and still is requested for course readers. Through the '70s I gained valuable teaching experience in the Department and in Strawberry Creek College, a liberatory/humanistic 'college within the college.' In the latter '70s, I was a core member of the groundbreaking campus group Women Organized Against Sexual Harassment. I stretched out my graduate student years with community-based social justice activism, travel, and teaching, including a stint in the early '80s at Friends World College's North American Center, back in New York.

With mentoring from Professors Hochschild, Blauner, Duster, and Barbara Christian (African American & Women's Studies), I did my dissertation on Strategies for Women's Liberation: A Study of a Black and a White Group of the 1960s. By then quite rooted in Berkeley, I taught sociology and women's studies courses in Bay Area colleges, had a daughter, and then landed a tenure-track position at San Jose State in the Women's Studies Program of the Social Science Department. In 1995, I participated in the United Nations 4th World Conference on Women, in Beijing, a peak experience that continues to inspire me. Increasingly, I have globalized my curriculum.

After ten consuming years of commuting, I 'retired' from San Jose State and spent two years as a Senior Researcher at Professors Hochschild and Thorne's stimulating Center for Working Families, investigating care issues in the middle-school years and children's views of their full-time employed parents. I began teaching sociology at Vista Community College in downtown Berkeley and led a successful effort to establish a Women's Studies Program there, which I continue to coordinate. This spring I was appointed to the City of Berkeley's Commission on the Status of Women.

The Sociology Department provided me with some faculty and peer models of outstanding thinkers/teachers/writers committed to progressive social change and liberatory education. I have made those commitments central to my own life. Sustaining them despite powerful counter-pressures within academia has been a challenge. I trust that the Department's graduate students will continue to take up that challenge.


I love sociology

I became a graduate student in the Sociology Department at Berkeley in 1971 and ultimately received my doctorate in 1979. A postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford and then a stint as an Assistant Professorship at UCB followed. Then came tenured appointments at UCSC and the University of Michigan. At the latter,I cut my teeth on administrative work as Director of both the Latino Studies Programand the Center for Research on Social Organization. The publication of my book Racial Fault Lines and being awarded a named chair as the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor were the high points of my stay at the UM. In June 2000, however, I made my way back to the more welcoming environs of the San Francisco bay area.

In my current life form, I have become a full time administrator committed to dramatically redefining what was the first and still remains the only College of Ethnic Studies in the country. It has been a tough row to hoe. But thirty years of engagement with Ethnic Studies via the Sociology of Race and Ethnicity has made this daunting challenge managable. In all of these professional incarnations I have remained deeply identified first and foremost as a sociologist. It was the foundational experience at Berkeley that shaped that core identity. I remain deeply indebted to Bob Blauner, Troy Duster, and Michael Burawoy for helping to forge the sociologist within and for igniting my sociological imagination.


James R. Beniger, Award-winning Scholar, Dies at 63.

Mr. Beniger taught communication and sociology at the University of Southern California and Princeton University and authored a highly acclaimed study of the economic and technological origins of the information society entitled The Control Revolution. He passed away after an extended battle with Alzheimer's disease at age 63.  

The Control Revolution: Technological and Economic Origins of the Information Society (Harvard University Press, 1986)  is a true classic of sociological and historical analysis with a long history of influence in a variety of social science fields. Beniger's study made a compelling case that the information age grew out of a crisis of control in transportation and manufacturing during the latter half of the 19th century rather than resulting as an incidental or secondary effect of the development of electronic communication technologies.  In 1986, the book received the Association of American Publishers Award for the Most Outstanding Book in the Social and Behavioral Sciences and the Phi Kappa Phi Faculty Recognition Award.  It received a full-page review in the New York Times Book Review and the lead review in the special book review edition of Science, the journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  The New York Times Book Review selected the 1989 soft cover edition as a "Notable Paperback of the Year." In 2007 the book won the International Communication Association's Fellows Book Award for "having stood the test of time."  The book has also been published in Italian and Chinese language editions.  Beniger's first book, Trafficking in Drug Users: Professional Exchange Networks in the Control of Deviance, was selected by the American Sociological Association for its competitive Rose Monograph Series and published by Cambridge University Press in 1983.

Beniger graduated magna cum laude in history from Harvard College in 1969 where he was an editor of the Harvard Crimson.  During college Beniger was also a freelance arts critic for the Boston Globe and a staff writer for The Wall Street Journal in Chicago, where he helped to cover the 1968 Democratic National Convention, with a front-page byline story about President Lyndon Johnson on the opening day of the Convention.  Following college, Beniger taught history, English and creative writing at the International College in Beirut, Lebanon, and at a secondary school in Cali, Colombia, work which led him to travel through some 40 countries on five continents. Before beginning graduate school, he served as the Acting Books and Arts Editor of the Minneapolis Star.  He studied statistics and sociology at the University of California, Berkeley graduating with a Ph.D. in Sociology in 1978.

Beniger served as Associate Editor of Communication Research from 1986 to 1993 where he was responsible for a special section of the journal entitled Far Afield, a wide ranging set of review essays written by Beniger and other leading scholars from across the spectrum of the academy. His former colleague from USC, Peter Monge noted "For many readers these essays were the crown jewel of the journal. They tackled challenging communication issues, offered perspicacious insights, and were written with loving care in a form that has become almost extinct in the Academy."

In 1996 he was elected the 53rd President of the American Association of Public Opinion Research some 20 years after he won the Association's Student Paper Award.  "Jim's deep involvement in AAPOR spanned his academic career," said Peter Miller, current AAPOR President.  "He was a charismatic figure who led the Association into the digital age.  We will miss him greatly." Mr. Beniger initiated and ran the association's online bulletin board for many years and as a frequent contributor demonstrated the breadth of his concerns and the depth of his legendary wit.

Professor A. Michael Noll, former dean of the Annenberg School noted "Jim Beniger had the highest academic standards, along with the strongest caring for our students.  He was always challenging them intellectually.  The field of communication has lost a delightful human being and a provocative scholar taken far too soon."

He is survived by his wife Kay Ferdinandsen and daughters Ann and Katherine Beniger of Manhattan Beach CA, his mother Charlotte Beniger of Sheboygan WI and his sister Linda York of Lake Geneva WI.  In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be sent to the Alzheimer's Association,

Although my experiences at Berkeley were a mix of exhilaration and struggle, I can't imagine a more intellectually invigorating place to develop a sociological imagination. Like others, I drew great support and inspiration from my fellow students and the environment of engagement they provided. Working on large research projects, most notably Hal Wilensky's comparative study of modern welfare states and Claude Fischer's study of urban social networks, allowed me to learn the craft of sociology by doing it. These apprenticeships taught me how to discover and develop large ideas through careful research. They also gave me faith that sociology mattered. All of my professors, including Arlie Hochschild (who inspired me to be creative and brave in the search for knowledge that is not only accurate but true) as well as Hal and Claude, gave me the room to find my own sociological voice.

My research has sought to combine the deep understandings developed throughqualitative interviews with the rigor of systematically collected samples andcarefully situated comparisons. At both Berkeley and my subsequent home, the NYU Sociology Department, my main focus has been on understanding the link between processes of social and individual change, with a special focus on how the conflicts and contradictions between social institutions and individual lives prompt innovative strategies of action, belief, and discourse. All of my books have investigated the rapidly changing intersections among gender, work, and family life, including Hard Choices (1985), about women's efforts to resolve the conflicts between work and family in the context of institutional contradiction and flux; No Man's Land (1993), about the transformation in men's family and work choices in the wake of the women's revolution; The Time Divide (with Jerry A. Jacobs, 2004), about the rise of new social inequalities rooted in the changing dynamics of work and family time; and The Unfinished Revolution (2010), about how a new generation of young women and men are fashioning innovative gender, work, and family strategies as they respond to blurring gender boundaries, shifting domestic arrangements, and persisting work-family conflicts.

My books on women, men, and the children of the gender revolution seem to form a kind of trilogy, and they have provided the opportunity to participate in the public debate on these critical issues. As important, interviewing hundreds of people about their public and private lives has given me a great appreciation for my own good fortune. I have been able to combine meaningful work with a gratifying family life, and I still wake up every day eager to do sociology and make sense of the puzzles of 21st century social life.

My graduate education in Sociology and my experiences at U. C. Berkeley were profound influences on my life and work. Having grown up in the dense, congested, and largely humanly-constructed environment of New York City, the sheer beauty, color, and quality of life in Berkeley intrigued me from my first moments there. It did not take long for a group in the class of 1971 to begin meeting regularly; we grappled, of course, with the big questions of sociology and life. And many of us from that group, started over thirty years ago, are still friends in frequent contact today. The thought-provoking, critically-incisive, and substantively rich environment in which we posed questions, did our research, and worried about the world, are formative still.

Questions that emerged for me at Berkeley are still central concerns: the nature of community in America, how to understand our common interests, the role of discussion, participation, and deliberation in discovering our values, and how democratically-derived ethics can be translated into policy commitments. This culminated for me in a forthcoming book, Community, Democracy, and the Environment: Learning to Share the Future (Rowman & Littlefield, 2003.) I have spent almost all of my professional life at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. SPEA is a multi-disciplinary school located on six campuses of Indiana University. From here I have been fortunate enough to be involved in local, regional, and national issues related to the concerns I developed in graduate school, which still motivate me today.

As an undergraduate major in sociology at Columbia, I had feasted at the table of sociological theory, and my diet of graduate courses at Berkeley beginning in 1971 was similarly rich in theory. At the end of my second year, I attempted to balance my diet by enrolling as an intern in a San Francisco-based consumer advocacy organization. This experience inspired me to blend sociology and consumer movement activism, which I managed to do with the help of several supportive professors and my fellow graduate students in the 'Dope Caucus.'

In 1977, I accepted a job in a new department, Family and Consumer Studies, at the University of Utah. I anticipated staying in Salt Lake City for a year while finishing my dissertation and then moving to a 'real' university in a 'real' state. Surprisingly, the person-environment fit was perfect for me and my spouse, and I have now spent 25 years here.

From my sinecure at the University of Utah, I have been allowed to (even rewarded for) bring my sociological research skills to the service of consumer organizations around the world. In particular, I have worked closely with Consumers Union (publisher of Consumer Reports), the National Consumers League (the world's oldest consumer group), and Consumers International (the umbrella organization for the world's consumer organizations). I have presented my research to policy makers at the Federal Trade Commission and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and I like to think I have played a small role in increasing the power of consumers vis-à-vis sellers. I have also enjoyed seeing the field of sociology gravitate toward the serious study of consumption. In my case, science has definitely not spoiled my supper.

Sociology captured my intellectual fancy in the 1960s when I discovered its adherents tended to support radical change in America's South. Being a fourth generation ancestor of Freed Blacks from Ohio who had been Underground Railroad supporters that was all I needed to grasp. Going to Berkeley in the early '70s was as good as it got. Those were heady days filled with the competing ideas of Bob Blauner, Neil Smelser, Troy Duster, Hardy Frye, Harry Edwards, Herbert Blumer and so many others. I sat in on some of the early Women's Studies classes and gradually purged myself of my sexism. As importantly I learned from other graduate students such as Jualynne Dotson, Rob Meyer, Jane Grant, Herb Holman, and Al Black. Leaving campus I often ran through and away from circles that included flaming out activists such as Huey Newton. I couldn't graduate soon enough.

Having read everything that Marx, Mao, Blauner, St. Clair Drake, Hortense Powdermaker and Talcott Parsons wrote I was ready to become a working sociologist. I turned down a job from the Ohio State University and signed on to become one of the very first Blacks to teach sociology at the University of Mississippi. In my first class twelve rednecks walked out. As one got up he spat on the floor and muttered that he'd die in hell before he'd accept a nigger sociologist" from California. I knew then that Berkeley had prepared me for the real world. I stayed at Ole Miss on and off for twelve years. Eventually I earned tenure and became a full professor of African-American Studies at San Jose State University. My career has allowed me to do more than a dozen documentaries from William Buckley's Firing Line to HBO specials on the rebellion of Black athletes at Mexico City in the late 1960s. My most important work has probably been with the students of the South who were in the first generation after the Movement and needed to understand why their White and Black worlds had changed so much.l also did five years teaching sociology behind seven steel doors while on staff at Soledad prison.Those "students" loved the study of social change. I now teach the children of a California that has changed utterly from the one I first encountered when I got off a Santa Fe Chief train at eleven years of age and began walking through the streets and alleys of South Central Los Angeles. Berkeley helped get me ready to understand every social realm my life has offered.

Sociology has been a second career for me. Before I enrolled for graduate work at Berkeley, I sailed as a merchant seaman during World War II, then worked for more than fifteen years as a union activist in the steel, meat packing, electrical and construction industries. During the mid-sixties, I spent five years in China teaching American Studies and English to students under the Foreign Ministry.

When I entered the sociology graduate program, I worked closely with Professor Franz Schurmann, one of the leading China scholars in the country. During this period I co-edited the Random House China Reader - People's China - with Franz Schurmann and Nancy Milton and was co-author with my wife Nancy Dall Milton of The Wind Will Not Subside: Years in Revolutionary China 1964-1969. This was an eye-witness description and political analysis of Mao's Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. My dissertation was on the birth of the CIO and the relation of the American labor movement to Roosevelt's New Deal. A revision appeared as a book: The Politics of U.S. Labor: From the Great Depression to the New Deal.

I learned a great deal about macro historical analysis from Professors Reinhard Bendix, Neil Smelser, and Visiting Professor Gertrude Lenzer. The Berkeley sociology department proved to be very congenial for a person who had spent many years outside academic life.

I was hired by the University of Oregon in 1978 and spent nearly twenty years teaching there. The sociology department at Oregon was unique in its emphasis on work, organized labor, social movements and environmental studies and I established many close friendships with my faculty colleagues. In the early eighties, I was chair of the university Asian Studies Committee and over the years taught a wide range of graduate and undergraduate courses, specializing in modern China, American society, the U.S. labor movement, sociological theory and international relations.

During my retirement I have renewed my interest in history and have just published a book on international aspects of the American Civil War: Lincoln's Spymaster: Thomas Haines Dudley and the Liverpool Network.

As for the influence of sociology on society ... At a time when the United States is emerging in the world as the new Rome and the current government is hard at work constructing a police state at home, I would suggest that the discipline has a challenging future.



Bobby Joe Neeley, 74, died on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2012. Dr. Neeley was born in Vallejo, Calif. He was a former resident of Oakland and Berkeley, eventually making his home in Mount Shasta, where he resided for 20-plus years.

After serving time in the U.S. Navy, Bobby Joe enjoyed an extensive professional career, which included working for Valley Medical Center and Standard Oil, as well as teaching at several Bay Area colleges. He dedicated most of his life to his academic endeavors, which continued until just days before he left this world. He received both a Master's of Sociology and a Ph.D in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley.

He traveled the world in his quest for answers and to validate his hypothesis on the origins and migration of African peoples across the globe.

Bobby Joe Neeley was greatly honored to be a member of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

Bobby Joe Neeley is survived by his daughters, Mechele Neeley-Scholis of Monterey, Calif., and Isis Neeley of Sacramento, Calif.; four grandchildren, Micheal A. Scholis, Ingeleiq Neeley, Louisa Neeley and Amoni Hudson-Neeley; nieces, LaTonya, Lawana and Letieca; many other family members; and several friends.

With his passing, ends the first generation of Katherine and George Neeley's offspring.

A private burial ceremony will be held at Skyview Memorial Lawn, Vallejo. A celebration of life will be held in Mount Shasta in June.

Published in TimesHeraldOnline on Jan. 12, 2012

When I first attended Berkeley in 1971, I was teaching part-time in Sociology at San Jose State University. Later I became the Head Counselor in the Chicano EOP. In 1975, I was hired by the Chicano Studies Program to direct the Raza Recruitment Program. I was honored to work with Tomás Almaguer, Mario Barrera and Carlos Muñoz. In 1980, I was hired by Hartnell College to teach Chicano Studies but in my nearly 22 years, I have also taught Sociology, History, Political Science and Ethnic Studies. Since the spring of 1996, I have also taught at Califoirnia State University, Monterey Bay in the Social and Behavioral Science Center.

Berkeley's Sociology program helped me see the interconnectedness of the individual and society. For me the professors who influenced me most were Robert Blauner, Troy Duster and Herbert Blumer. I also want to thank Neil Smelser and Kenneth Bock from whom I gained an appreciation for the big picture.

Since arriving in Salinas in 1980, I have been involved in the civil rights and social justice struggles of the community. I served five and one half years as a city council member to empower my community and to address social problems such as the large number of youthful homicides in our community, housing and jobs. My proudest effort was using my sociological knowledge and skills in the redistricting movement in the Salinas Valley. Today most school districts, city councils and even the Monterey County Board of Supervisors are redistricted. Now Chicanos are represented politically throughout the Salinas Valley where for many years they were not. I hope that I have proved I can be an activist/scholar.



You can find tributes from all over the world here

From Margherita Larson, Introductory Remarks to the Politics and Society Conference on Erik Wright's book, How to be an Anticapitalist in the Twenty-First Century (Verso, 2019) held in New York on September 26, 2019.

Good morning and welcome.

In the spring of 2018, when Erik started his battle against acute myeloid leukemia, AML, we were confident and naïve. We really believed that he would be here, with us, answering our questions. He was going to receive a bone-marrow transplant, and his tremendous strength and will to live would do the rest. Indeed, how naïve: Erik died on January 23.

Now I stand here, moved and honored and daunted by what Fred Block and Will Milberg have asked me to do: evoking Erik in a way that brings him back as the man he was with us and for us -- not only the critical Marxist thinker, the brilliant sociologist, the outstanding teacher, the past president of the ASA, but our own inexorable utopian. I must tell you that the experience of seeing Erik five days before his death has been so dominant and indelible that I have not been able until now to go back to happier memories. I shall try to do it with you and to get through without crying. As a preface: what Erik was, his beautiful life and his meaningful death, would not have been possible without Marcia and the family they created.

Erik arrived in Berkeley in the Fall of 1971, with a mass of curly red hair, a terrific smile and the rumored reputation of having a book ready, based on his service as a student chaplain at San Quentin. Later, we found out that he had been at Oxford and at the Unitarian Seminary in Berkeley to avoid the draft and Vietnam. And there was a book, indeed, The Politics of Punishment, which came out in 1973.

I did not take any class with Erik, but we had a good friend in common, Luca Perrone, and I was aware through Luca of how unusual and joyful and generous Erik was. We started seeing each other regularly at the evenings of conversation at Art Stinchcombe’s house [Stinchcombe would be thesis director for both of us] and there also was a summer retreat for all the Berkeley progressives, Marxist or not, two days near a river where we went skinny-dipping. Those who did not come called it Commie Camp. It is there that we all discovered Erik with his fiddle and his grey cap, dancing around joyfully like a young Marc Chagall who played more country and Irish than Yiddish tunes. It was the high point of the retreat. It amazed us that he could be both the fiddler on the roof and the most serious Marxist scholar, together and with no effort, when others were so pompous and so boring … Erik was never, ever, self-important, and he was fun.

I started working with Erik more closely on the board of Kapitalistate, under Jim O’Connor’s short-lived direction, and I became accustomed to the rapid analyses put together with rapier wit. I also found out that he listened. He later was to say at one of our Politics and Society meetings, “I am highly persuadable, give me a good argument and I can change my mind.” And he did, and at times the last person to offer a strong argument won the day and some of us were a bit angry: how could he defend a paper until a vehement critic got the floor? He was persuadable, indeed.

I was on the East Coast and Erik stayed a while, but Berkeley was past. Erik and Marcia moved to Madison. I heard that they went to Costa Rica to get Jenny and came back with also Becky on the way. We may have already been colleagues on the board of Politics and Society, in fact we were, since 1975 … OMG, like the kids say. There were meetings, and work and quarrels, in Washington, Chicago, Seattle, Philadelphia and almost always New York. The board changed but Erik and Fred and Molly Nolan and I and soon John Bowman and David Plotke and then Gay Seidman were always there. Over 40 years, with photos of the girls growing up, diving from pontoons on the lake, and a few times Marcia coming to the dinners. We were close.

Erik and I became closer when Becky moved to Philadelphia, where I live. Erik followed Becky’s theater career with passion. He wrote me about what I should not miss and then asked me what I thought. Last year, he could not see Becky’s clever and beautiful staging of Adriano’s play, A Perfect Day, and I sent him a full account. When I went to say goodbye in his very last days, he asked for more details. 

Becky married Adriano in 2012 in a memorable ceremony and party. Jenny and Mark came from Australia and all of Erik and Marcia’s loving families came. Erik donned his grey cap and pranced around with his fiddle playing square dances, and it was like Commie Camp, except that his mass of curls was gray.

When his grandchild Vernon was born, Erik would come to Philly more often and we would take him out together while Becky and Adriano were at work, first in his pram, later to the playground at Clark Park, where we ate eggplant sandwiches while Vernon crawled or stumbled around. Erik was the most loving, the most permissive and the most fun grandfather. Remember that his last work was the autobiography and the letters he wrote for his grandchildren, Safira and Vernon and Ida, the latest one. Thanks heaven he got to know Ida and spend Christmas with all of them in the hospital! There he wrote this on the art of goofiness, two days before he died:

There’s many ways to be goofy. A closely related term is silly.  It means having, as part of your way of life, something to counter the dead seriousness of our human condition, to make life fun and funny and not to take everything so seriously. And, for me, the idea of being silly as one of the ways you live in the world has always been an important way of expressing that need.

I will get to the blog, of which he said: "I adore this blog, which has become a kind of centerpiece in my life, it really has. It's helped me understand much more deeply than I think I could possibly have done otherwise, what it means to me to be dying." The blog is the most amazing document I have ever read about a man’s combat with a deadly disease. I believe that Erik’s evolution as a sociologist places it in context.

Erik’s focus, since his dissertation, was on class and on the possibilities of redistribution.  He started in a classic Marxist way and then saw the necessity to update and articulate the basic variables -- relations of production and ownership of capital. Scarce skills were also a form of capital and Erik arrived rapidly to the idea of contradictory class locations that affect class interests, class consciousness and collective action. Still, in the earlier analyses and the comparative studies of class, there remained a deterministic inclination, a search for the crucial independent variable. Erik corrected and surpassed it as he moved with originality in a Gramscian direction, looking for the society in nuce, in a nutshell, that could be glimpsed in the real utopias, the cooperatives, the governing committees of firms, the urban agriculture projects, the participatory budgets and the free services, which become the seed of alternatives to capitalism. With the Real Utopias Project, started in 1991, Erik had most definitely moved toward agency. He produced six important books and gave to the American Sociological Association the most emancipatory program it ever had, a complex view of how social science could become the bearer and even the agent of pragmatic applied ethics.

The book we are discussing today starts by developing the concepts behind three words that represent our better angels: Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité. I cry when I see them on French public buildings! From the onset Erik affirms that notwithstanding class locations, contradictory or otherwise, being anti-capitalist is a moral choice. The blog comes from that moral universe, from that inexorable utopian agent stance.

Let me mention first what I instantly remember from the blog. The description of his mother’s death -- her nakedness, her curling up in a fetal position, Erik’s words and gestures for her. It shattered the soul. On a light note, when he was home and could not sleep, he went to reorganize the kitchen closets and he put all the plastic containers together with their lids … and you know the satisfaction, when you find one that fits! I remember the self-criticism of his military metaphors for the battle with AML –a war on too many fronts, he said. And countless vividly concrete descriptions of bodily functions and procedures we do not usually describe. When he was for two weeks in his astronaut capsule, he thought of telling us what he was listening to: Aarvo Part, whom I had never heard of, and Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time.

But I have come to the end of my time, and I want to leave you with Erik’s words. First his reaction to a powerful Christmas sermon he heard:

Love, period, the rest is commentary. That is really potent for me right now. I see love as really a deep thread in my life, unifying how I teach, how I am a parent, my scholarly work and commitments to Marxism and emancipatory social science. To see this powerfully stated in a broadcast Christmas service moved me greatly. Of course, I can't accept all the God-talk … But when God is more elusive --God is Love rather than the God Of Love -- it is easier to swallow. Still, for me God detracts from the central message: love, period.

And this, on January 18:  

So, dear friends, what we've known for a while is in fact the case.  I have a very limited time left in this marvelous form of stardust which I've been talking about over the past few months. I don't feel any dread.  … It seems very petty to complain about the eventual dissipation of my stardust back into the stardust of the cosmos after having lived 72 years in this extraordinary form of existence that very few molecules in the entire universe get to experience.  Indeed, to even use the word experience with respect to my stardust is amazing.  Atoms don't have experiences.  They're just stuff.  That's all I really am is stuff.  But stuff so complexly organized across several thresholds of stuff-complexity, that it's able to reflect upon its stuff-ness and what an extraordinary thing it has been to be alive and aware that it's alive and aware that it's aware that it's alive. And from that complexity comes the love and beauty and meaning that constitutes the life I've lived.

In Rupert Brooke’s words, Erik is now a pulse in the eternal mind, no less. And in our minds, and in our hearts.


From Fidan Elcioglu. I didn't know Erik very well. But I did take his 'real utopias' seminar at Berkeley back in 2006 or 2007, when he visited for a few weeks. I remember feeling amazed and flattered that he cared so much about the rambling comments and random opinions of a bunch of first and second-year graduate students. In fact, he cared enough to engage seriously with our questions and critiques. I think he even recorded those discussions, and the transcripts are floating out there. To me, that was far more memorable than the content of the seminar itself. I remember thinking, that's how I want to be--using teaching and seminars as opportunities to learn, to not be afraid of being vulnerable in front of students, and to be open to their ideas.

From Marcel Paret. Erik played a prominent role in my own trajectory. I began reading his work in Sam Lucas' graduate seminar on stratification. I had been looking for a lens through which to understand the world and spark my research, and his analysis of class helped me to find it. I met Erik a few times in Berkeley, but my primary relationship has been with his sociology. While in graduate school, I used Erik's syllabus as a guide for learning about the capitalist state and other topics; and I have long looked to Erik's writings for their precision and clarity. When I want to understand something, I know I am lucky to find a relevant EOW piece on the topic. While I did not know Erik very well personally, as a sociologist I feel that he gave us so much.

From Michael Kimmel. By chance, the first person I met on the 4th floor of Barrows Hall when I arrived for grad school in 1974 was Erik Olin Wright.  He was walking out of the main office and we chatted for a few minutes.  He'd already written a book -- before grad school!  I immediately realized that my admission to the program had been an administrative error and told myself that if I spent the next four years in the library, reading 24/7, I might know enough to talk to these people!  And yet.  That was all me.  Erik never made me - or anyone, really - feel small, stupid, or inadequate.  In fact, he was gracious and generous with his time and boundless energy.  At the end of that first year, I joined the Kapitalistate group with Erik, John Mollenkopf, Jim O'Connor, David Gold, Clarence Lo, Kay Trimberger, and Alan Wolfe, among others.  Once again, it was clear to me I was way over my head, but the group was patient and indulgent.  

My most cherished memory of Erik, though, came on July 4th weekend, 1976, the bicentennial weekend, when Erik organized a rafting trip for about 30 people down the Stanislaus River (just prior to its being flooded for a dam).  It was his farewell trip for his many friends, before he decamped for Madison.  He brought his fiddle and I brought my banjo and that first night, on the banks of the river in front of an enormous bonfire, we held a square dance.  I hope readers can visualize all the Marxist and neo-Marxist and quasi-Marxist social scientists dancing like fools.  Then, as always, he set the tempo with his playing, and I tried to keep up.  
From Michael Burawoy. Erik Wright died just after midnight on January 23, in Milwaukee’s Froedtert Hospital. He was 71 years old. The world lost one of its great social scientists – practitioner as well as thinker. He died as he lived – to the fullest. Diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia the previous April, throughout the subsequent ten months he exuded optimism about the world that he was devastatingly sad to leave.  

Not knowing if and when the end would come, but knowing his life was in grave danger, he created a real utopia around him, beautifully described in the book-length blog that enchanted multitudes of followers, often leaving them in tears. Always an inveterate recorder of his life, whether through photography or writing, this time he took his life public. Every day or two he recounted his thoughts on living and dying, memorably referring to himself as among “the most privileged, advantaged, call it what you will, stardust in this immensely enormous universe.” He was of that special stardust, miraculously “turned into conscious living matter aware of its own existence.” And then, “this complex organization ends and the stardust that is me will dissipate back to the more ordinary state of matter.”

The blog tells of the ups and downs of the battle with the blasts – cancer cells – that were attacking his body, that then devoured the new and defenseless transplanted immune system; he describes his faith in the powers of meditation to control pain; he evokes the poignancy of a fellow patient disappearing from one day to the next, a fate he knew could catch up with him too; he examined reciprocity in generosity and love; at the same time, he was not inhibited to talk of bodily functions we too easily take for granted, the challenges of pooping and peeing. And his last post was on the art of being goofy.

But he also told of his nightmares – that his closest and dearest were collectively laughing at his silly blog - the fear that life and love had deserted him. In a moving exchange Dr. Michaelis, head of the hematology oncology team, a Catholic by faith, recalled the words of Jesus on the Cross: “My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?” Erik, Marxist atheist, understood the universal significance of the utter abandonment that haunted his sleep.   

That was by night, by day Erik welcomed all comers into his real utopia. He wrote of the joy of seeing visitors. Friends and students (past and present) would crowd around his bed, listen to his stories, and leave in tears. But the first place was always family – Marcia, his wife and partner for 53 years, their two daughters Jenny and Becky, and their three grandchildren, Safira, Vernon, and Ida. Erik was devoted to his mother who doted on him, while she always wanting to make him better. He visited or called her almost every day until she died in the middle of those ten months, not knowing Erik’s life was in jeopardy. Erik didn’t fear death; nonetheless he desperately wanted to live, to be with his grandchildren who gave him such ecstasy. He was composing a long letter addressed to them about the lessons of his own life – and sometimes he would allow readers of his blog to enter this inner sanctum.

He was often most lively when conducting seminars over skype with colleagues and activists. He reflected on the meaning of Marxism, and on his latest book on how to be an anti-capitalist – a book that he only completed in July, when already under treatment. Erik rarely looked back on his enormous accomplishments, but instead looked forward, planning for a better world. Until December he was still thinking of teaching in the Spring. And to the very end he was worrying about the future of his department, his students, and the Havens Center he had created.

As he openly acknowledged, the blog was his realm of freedom. It gave meaning to his disappearing life.  It turned out to be a spontaneous archive of his multiple talents. But this realm of freedom rested on an expanding realm of necessity. Yet, even here, Erik managed to organize a community of associated producers, engaging the medical staff – the teams of doctors and nurses who tended to his punctured body – in ongoing conversation about their lives as well as his.

Marcia was the chief organizer of this realm of necessity. She was on 24-hour call to comfort him. She oversaw the scene, organized visits, monitored his medications, questioned the doctors, and slept in the same room as him. At the end, she read to him the last chapter of The Clearing, one of his favorite books. She shared everything he did as she always had done. Even when he was in some far off land, they kept in touch every day. Now she wanted him to have his mental freedom, keeping the realm of necessity at bay for as long as she could. He would have done the same for her.                      

There’s much more to be said about Erik’s extraordinary last 10 months. He gave us lessons in both dying and living; he showed us how to be a real utopian in spirit and in practice. The blog speaks for itself and it deserves to become a book. My words cannot begin to express its power, its inspiration.  Each of us will have our favorite parts, appealing as they do to different sensibilities.

But this wondrous ethnography of the struggle between life and death didn’t appear from nowhere. All I can do is to offer a short history of this Marxist utopian.    


Where did it begin?  It’s difficult to say. Maybe it was at the childhood dinner table where each member of the Wright family had to give an account of their day’s activities.  Or was it as a Harvard undergraduate, enticed by the systemic elegance of Talcott Parsons’ structural functionalism? Perhaps it was at Oxford where he studied at the feet of the great Marxist historian, Christopher Hill, and by the sociologist and political theorist, Steven Lukes.

Perhaps he was a Marxist utopian all along. Erik’s animated film, “The Chess Game” made in 1968, expresses the dilemmas of revolution, dramatically played out on a chess board. His unpublished manuscript, Chess Perversions and other Diversions, completed in 1974 has a similar character. It disturbs the vested interests behind the arbitrary rules that define chess and other games by introducing a series of modifications with transformative consequences. “This book,” he wrote in the preface, “is an invitation to that kind of freedom and delight that comes with invention and straying from the conventional path. Running a maze efficiently has its pleasures, as any laboratory rat could tell us. But changing the maze is reserved for the experimenter.”  Harking back to his youth, perhaps unconsciously, Erik’s last book shows how changing the rules of capitalism can, indeed, be a revolutionary move.

Erik himself liked to trace his interest in utopias to 1971 when he was a student at the Unitarian-Universalist seminary in Berkeley, avoiding the draft. It was then that he organized a student-run seminar called “Utopia and Revolution” to discuss the prospects for the revolutionary transformation of American society. He then worked at San Quentin as a student chaplain, joining an activist organization devoted to prison reform. From this emerged his first book, The Politics of Punishment, co-authored with some of the San Quentin prisoners and prison-rights activists. 

This prepared him well to be a graduate student at Berkeley in the heady days of the early 70s. In those times, especially at Berkeley and especially in sociology, students were more concerned about changing the world than pursuing academic careers. The Free Speech Movement, Third World Strike, anti-War movement, and civil rights movement had left faculty at war with each other, opening up spaces for graduate students to demand greater control of their education. Erik and his fellow graduate students put together their own courses, the most important of which was Controversies in Marxist Social Science, whose descendent Erik would later teach in Madison.  Erik was also an energetic participant in the Marxist collective around the journal Kapitalistate, led by Jim O’Connor and a principle organizer of “Commie Camp” – an annual retreat to discuss pressing issues in Marxist theory and practice. Again he took this project with him to Wisconsin where it became known as RadFest. Sociology itself became a real utopia.


Erik became a major figure in the intellectual project of those days: to reinvent sociology as a Marxist discipline. So Erik’s dissertation challenged mainstream sociology not on ideological grounds but on scientific grounds. He demonstrated that a reconstructed Marxist definition of class could explain income disparities better than existing models of stratification and human capital theory. He and others effectively put an end to ideas of “stratification” (gradation based on socio-economic status), then at the heart of sociology, with a notion of “class” based on exploitation. This prefigured sociology’s more recent concern with social inequality. One might even say that Erik’s critique of human capital theory contributed to the acceptance of Bourdieu’s varieties of capital (social, cultural, political as well as economic) – a path very different from Erik’s.   

At the same time as he was challenging sociology, Erik was reinventing Marxism. The middle class had long been a thorn in the side of Marxism – it was supposed to dissolve yet it seemed to get bigger.  Together with his friend Luca Perrone, Erik solved the problem by introducing the concept of “contradictory class locations” – class positions that were located between the three fundamental classes: capital, labor and petty bourgeoisie. There were three such contradictory class locations: small employers between the petty bourgeoisie and large scale capital; supervisors and managers between capital and wage labor; and semi-autonomous employees (professionals) between wage labor and the petty bourgeoisie. Having established these conceptual distinctions, he went on to use them to map the changing US class structure. In an early piece that he wrote when he was still a graduate student, published in New Left Review he challenged the Marxist giant Nicos Poulantzas, who had proposed his own class categories, but without Erik’s empirical or analytical rigor. 

Taking up a position as Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin (Madison) in 1976, Erik began to develop a research program of class analysis. As existing surveys were not designed to map his new categories, he applied for and received funding to administer his own national survey, designed to capture his class categories. In this era of Marxist ascendancy, his ideas spread and soon he had organized teams in a dozen other countries, fielding parallel surveys.  Even the Soviet Union could not resist entering this Marxist world, but that’s a story for another time.

Erik’s class analysis sparked many invigorating debates about the meaning of class. Through these debates and in response to criticism, Erik revised his scheme over the years, sometimes with small adjustments, sometimes by shifting its foundations. If there is one trait that threads through his scholarly work – and indeed through his life – it is the determination to get things right. This not only entailed developing a close dialogue between theoretical elaboration and empirical research, but also deepening the internal logic of his analytical schemes. You can trace the evolution of his thinking through a series of books, starting with Class, Crisis and the State (1978), followed immediately by the publication of his dissertation, Class Structure and Income Determination (1979), and then to the deeper shift that came with his adoption of John Roemer’s notion of exploitation in Classes (1985), and his response to his critics in The Debate on Classes (1989). The summation of the international project in Class Counts (1997) establishes the effects of class on such issues as intergenerational mobility, friendship patterns, gender relations, and class consciousness. His final contribution on this topic, Approaches to Class Analysis (2005), fittingly enough, was recognition of the multiple Marxist but also non-Marxist approaches to class analysis that had sprung up on the ruins of stratification theory where he had begun.


Erik’s fame spread far and wide, so in 1984 the university gave him funds for the creation of a center for critical social science that he named after Gene Havens, his close colleague who had recently died of lung cancer. The Havens Center invited visiting scholars and activists and invested in broad left-wing projects. Over its 34 years countless national and international figures on the left visited the Havens Center, working with students and colleagues. These visitors will remember Erik, not only for his incisive intellectual contributions, but for his hospitality. They will remember his home and his cooking, they will remember outings to concerts or theater. Through the Havens Center Madison radiated to the furthest corners of the world.

In 1981, Erik joined a group of brilliant social scientists and philosophers, among whom he was most influenced by the philosophers G.A. Cohen and Philippe van Parijs and the economist John Roemer. They pioneered “Analytical Marxism.” known more colloquially as “no bullshit Marxism,” clarifying the foundations of Marxism in a no-holds barred grilling of each other’s work.  Over the last four decades the composition of the group has changed and drifted from its Marxist moorings, but Erik remained, a stalwart Marxist in its midst. It became a second intellectual home for Erik, and one source of inspiration for his subsequent turn to the moral foundations of Marxism.

A second inspiration was rooted in the changing historical context. Even before the collapse of Soviet communism, the Marxist resurgence within academia had begun to subside. As Erik’s class analysis became part of mainstream sociological orthodoxy, marked by its required presence on prelim reading lists, his work attracted a bevy of critics who announced the end of class (reminiscent of the “end of ideology” in the 1950s) and the plurality of identities. Sociology took a neo-institutional and cultural turn; conservative readings of Durkheim and Weber overshadowed the radical Marx. The issue was no longer capitalism vs. socialism, but the varieties of capitalism. With the extinction of really existing socialism and the ascendancy of neoliberalism, alternatives to capitalism were discredited. Indeed, as Fredric Jameson has said, it was easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism. From its beginning Marxism had an allergy to utopian thinking, but now the political conjuncture called for just that. Erik took up the challenge. Directly contesting the pathos of the new conservatism he advanced a socialist agenda by laying out alternatives to capitalism, but discovering their nuclei within capitalist society.             


The new project began in 1991, the very year the Soviet Union collapsed.  Erik inaugurated a series of conferences to discuss “real utopias” – not some speculative ideal world but real alternatives that can be found within actually existing societies. Held at the Havens Center at Madison, each conference assembled scholars from various disciplines to respond to specific proposals. Over the years, conference topics included associative democracy, market socialism, participatory democracy, universal incomes grant, and gender equality. The conference papers were published in a book series that Erik assembled and often introduced, culminating in his own magnum opus, Envisioning Real Utopias (2009).

That book starts out by examining a series of pathologies of capitalism:  the suffering it creates, the destructiveness it guarantees, the freedom it denies, the communities it corrodes, the inefficiencies it promotes, the inequalities it generates. Socialism is necessary to mitigate those structurally produced deficits of capitalism. But the originality of the analytical project lies elsewhere – in the restoration of the social in socialism. If early Marxisms were constructed around the collapse of the capitalist economy, and subsequent Marxisms revolved around the creation and critique of some form of state socialism, today’s socialism would be built around the reconstruction and revitalization of civil society, understood as distinct from economy and state. This elevation of the social has its roots in the early writings of Marx, but most notably in Antonio Gramsci’s prison writings. But there was also a convergence with sociology that underscores the standpoint of civil society.

This led him to specify three strategies in the transformation of capitalism: ruptural strategies involving the smashing of the state (which he now largely rejected), interstitial strategies building alternatives outside the state, and symbiotic strategies that engaged the state through struggles on its terrain.  Ultimately, his own answer was to combine interstitial and symbiotic strategies, creating spaces against the state and then transforming those spaces in collaboration with the state.

In 2012 Erik would become President of the American Sociological Association and his annual meeting became a platform for real utopias – featuring 20 special panels devoted to specific real utopia proposals, 50 thematic panels on broad topics connected to real utopias and social justice, and 3 plenaries focused on real utopias in the areas of environment, equality and democracy. He also took to the road with “real utopias”, visiting Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and Gallaudet University (where he learned to appreciate the rich dimensions of sign language). Never one to dodge a difficult issue, Erik had deliberately set himself up for questions about the inclusion of race or the Deaf in real utopias. Sociology was, temporarily, awash with real utopias.

Erik was returning sociology to its founders – Marx, Durkheim and Weber – who had been less squeamish about building their theoretical architectures on moral values than the professionals of today. Erik was explicit in defining sociology’s project as understanding the institutional possibilities for realizing those values. What institutions might advance equality, freedom, and community? What are the distinctive attributes of those institutions? What are the conditions of their reproduction and dissemination? What are their contradictions and dynamics?

Erik scoured the earth in search of budding real utopias, putting each of them under his analytical microscope and, on that basis, elaborating more general designs. Some of his favorite examples were participatory budgeting in Porto Alegre, Brazil; the cooperatives of Mondragon in the Basque Country; and the collective self-organization of Wikipedia. Erik became an archeologist, digging up institutions, organizations and social movements with potential to challenge capitalism, placing them in their historical context, translating them into a common language, and thereby linking them to one another across the world. By virtue of its dynamism and its ideologies the dialectic of capitalism inescapably generates alternatives to itself; we just have to grasp them, run with them, disseminate them and enact them.  

On one occasion, unable to find an adequate example in the real world, he turned to a comic strip. In one of the episodes of the Li’l Abner comic strips from the late 1940s, Li’l Abner, a resident of the hill-billy community of Dogpatch, discovers a wonderful creature called the “shmoo” whose virtue lies in providing all the material things human beings need, not luxuries just the basic necessities of life. The story starts with employers competing with one another for profit, driving up hours and lowering wages. When the shmoo appears – read Universal Incomes Grant – capitalist relations are turned upsides down and the workers of Dogpatch get their revenge, thumbing their noses to their erstwhile exploiters. Erik turns the story of the shmoo into a disquisition on the capitalist class structure and its contradictions.  Knowing Erik’s love for the shmoo, his former students presented him with a video that begins with Erik lecturing, followed by their hilarious reading of the comic strip.  

In the last years of his life Erik discovered that these real utopias were very appealing to activists. He spent much time traversing the world talking to groups keenly interested in hitching his ideological-intellectual framework to their own projects. So he set about rendering Envisioning Real Utopias in an abbreviated and accessible form, removing the clutter of academic chatter, creating a handbook of anti-capitalism. He fittingly called it, How to be an Anti-Capitalist in the 21s Century (forthcoming with Verso). He gets right down to business: what’s wrong with capitalism today? It corrodes the foundational values of equality/fairness, freedom/democracy; community/solidarity. How to reverse this process?  Capitalism can be smashed, dismantled, tamed, resisted, or escaped. He dismisses the first as incompatible with his three foundational values and argues for a combination of the remaining four, what he calls eroding capitalism, a form of evolutionary socialism – the gradual displacement of capitalism by economic democracy. One appealing feature of this last book is the way each chapter begins by dismantling the capitalist common sense that what exists is natural and inevitable. 

His critics will attack him, as they have done before, for being Panglossian. But Erik would respond by saying that today we need not just optimism of the will, but also optimism of the intellect. “It’s easy to be pessimistic,” it’s hard work to be optimistic and realistic under the crushing sinews of capitalism. Those in the trenches of civil society were enthusiastic to hear this positive message but surprised that it should come from the pen and the mouth of an academic. Here was an intellectual paying tribute to their largely invisible labors, contesting capitalism against all odds, enduring insults and reprisals.


Erik leaves us with both a way of thinking and a way of being. Let me be blunt. I know of no one who thought more lucidly, more cogently, more speedily, more effortlessly than Erik; no one who so effectively cut to the chase as to what was at stake in any issue, any paper, any book. Gentle and cogent though he was, exposure to him was both elevating and intimidating. He took your own claims, arguments, facts more seriously than you did yourself.  When he argued with others he never resorted to exaggeration, distortion, or over-simplification. Instead, he zeroed in on the best in his opponents’ arguments, often better than what they could offer themselves. He brought all these gifts to the legions of students he taught, calling on them, too, to be logical, rigorous and imaginative, but no less important, to be decent and honest, to give others the benefit of the doubt. We can’t be like him, but we can be inspired by what he has laid down, to follow in his footsteps, guided by his map, refashioning it as we move forward. 

His way of thinking bled into his way of being. There was something remarkably innocent about his engagement with the world. That’s why he loved to be with children, to entertain them with his magical stories. It made him a great theorist – like a child he was able to get to the root of things, to call into question what the rest of us, inured to the world, take for granted.  He didn’t just read stories to his children, he created a world in which children created their own stories and even played them out. He loved to distort old games, like his animated version of class struggle on the chessboard. He had no cookbook, he followed no recipes except his own, manufacturing low-cholesterol fantasy dishes. It was that inventiveness that defined his existence; it was also the principle behind real utopias.   

The values he espoused – equality, freedom and community – were not only the substrata of a new society, they were moral principles to follow. We can’t wait for the future, we must demonstrate our faith by our actions in the here and now. Erik sought to be supremely egalitarian in his dealings with those below him as well as those alongside and above him. There was not an evil bone in his body, nor a jealous fiber in his soul. I never heard him swear – he wondered how anyone could turn the most beautiful act of love into a curse. The rapidity and clarity of his mind gave him an enormous advantage in any deliberative process, and so he recognized the importance of constraints on individual participation. You could call him on his blindness and he would try to make amends – not always successfully.

Still, he was a sort of Modern Prince, a permanent persuader, an indefatigable builder of community that enabled people to flourish or, as Marx would say, to develop their rich and varied abilities. As one former student wrote to Erik: “You are always yourself in a way that invites all of us to be ourselves too.” He was a great conductor not only in life but in music. But he didn’t go solo, at the end of every party he’d get out his fiddle and have us all square dancing together in unison. And I’ve no doubt, wherever he is, that’s what he’s doing right now – a sparkling stardust in the heavens.    



During my time as a graduate student in Sociology at Berkeley from 1971 to 1976 the Berkeley department provided a setting for free-wheeling exploration of politically-charged social theory through student-initiated seminars and study groups, many of which included students from throughout the Bay Area. While there were faculty involved in these things and their encouragement was important, the impulse and intellectual vigor came almost entirely from students. We ran a multi-semester seminar on current controversies in Marxist theory, organized the publication of new radical journals, ran conferences of academics and activists in the Sierra foothills. The intellectual agenda that I have followed since that time, as well as my academic style as a teacher, were forged through these activities. The central preoccupation of my intellectual work has been the reconstruction of the Marxist tradition of social theory and research, trying to give it more coherent analytical foundations and greater relevance for rigorous sociological research. My empirical work linked to the agenda of reconstructing Marxism has mainly revolved around the problem of analyzing class structure and its transformation in developed capitalism. More recently I have directed the Real Utopias Project, exploring the normative and practical properties of designs for alternatives to existing institutions. At the University of Wisconsin, where I have taught since 1976, I teach a course called 'Class, State and Ideology' which is a direct descendent of the seminar on current controversies I helped run at Berkeley, and I organize an annual conference called RadFest: a weekend conversation between activists and academics, which is the descendent of the conference of the Union of Marxist Social Scientists held every spring in the early 1970s near Nevada City, California. I continue to believe that the Marxist tradition provides essential intellectual tools for grounding a critique of capitalism, but also feel that for a variety of historical reasons Marxism has lost much of his compelling theoretical and political power. My hope is that my writing and teaching have contributed to sustaining -- and, perhaps, strengthening the relevance of Marxism both in the academy and in the world at large.


Charlene Harrington graduated with a joint Ph.D. from the Department of Sociology and the Department of Higher Education in 1975. Her specialty areas were medical sociology, work, and education and her dissertation was entitled: Ideologies of Physician Groups Contenting for Power Within the Medical Professor. She grew up on a farm in Kansas and received the Bachelor's degree in nursing from the University of Kansas, the Masters degree in public health nursing from the University of Washington.

After receiving her doctoral degree at UCB, she was appointed deputy director of the California Licensing and Certification program, where she was instrumental in strengthening the legislation and regulation of nursing homes and hospitals in California under Governor Jerry Brown in 1975. In l980, she joined the faculty of School of Nursing in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of California and focused her teaching and research on long term care, nursing homes, managed care, and home and community services. She later served as Chair of the Department and Associate Director of the Institute for Health and Aging.

She served on the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Committee on Nursing Home Regulation whose l986 report led to the passage of the Nursing Home Reform Act of l987, and she was elected to the IOM in 1996, where she has served on three IOM committees that examined the nursing workforce, long term care quality, and patient safety (1996, 2001, 2003). She and a team of researchers designed a model California consumer information system website for nursing homes funded by the California Health Care Foundation (launched in October 2002) that she continues to maintain and expand. Since 1994, she has been collecting and analyzing trend data on Medicaid home and community based service programs and policies, currently funded by the Kaiser Family Foundation. In 2003, she became the principal investigator of a five-year $4.5 million national Center for Personal Assistance Services funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, which was refunded for (2008-2013). She has conducted many research projects on nursing home enforcement systems and has published those in peer-reviewed journals. She has testified before the US Senate Special Committee on Aging, and has written more than 200 articles and chapters and co-edited five books while lecturing widely in the U.S. and the U.K.

She is currently Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Nursing at UCSF where she directs two large research projects and is working on an international study of long term care in 6 countries including the US and Canada. She continues to serve on a number of national committees related to long term care policies and to be active in professional organizations and teaching.

I first entered Sociology at Berkeley in 1972. From 1975 to 1980 I taught at community colleges, worked for a left-wing journal, and did other things. I returned in 1980 and finished my dissertation in 1985.

My first permanent job after graduation was in Political Science, at Yale. My second job was also in Political Science, at the New School for Social Research. That is where I am today. I was Chair of my Department for a long time and am able to focus more on research and writing.

My experience at UCB was very positive. I probably got better training about how to study politics and why in the Sociology program than I would have received in Political Science at the time. That's debatable, of course, and it is sad that the person with whom it would have been especially interesting to discuss this, Michael Rogin, is no longer with us.

The intellectual breadth, historical awareness, and theoretical ambition of the UCB Sociology program made it possible for me to leave Sociology credibly for Political Science. If most of Sociology were like the UC program, this might have been a pointless move. It was not easy to change disciplines right after graduate school, but it was the right move.

Since 1985 I have stayed close to the lines of inquiry I was pursuing as a graduate student, in American politics and political theory. I am now trying to finish a linked group of articles and book manuscripts on American politics in the 1960s and later.

As an institution, NSSR was deeply affected by the battles in the1980s and early 1990s that resulted in the end of Communism in most of the places it had existed. This happy outcome was of course not uncomplicated. I have had the opportunity to observe the process and its results, including efforts toward democracy, in a number of countries, via NSSR projects and related initiatives. This long engagement made me more of a comparativist than I had been before, and a better political theorist.

I think my UCB Sociology training remains invaluable in convincing me that it is a good idea to try to address interesting questions and problems without worrying too much about boundaries between disciplines and fields within them.


In January, 1996, the Center for Employment Training mourned the loss, and celebrated the life, of Dr. Anthony Soto. He co-founded CET in 1967, and served as its first Chairman of the Board, a position he held until 1990. In addition to his accomplishments at CET, Dr. Soto was a man of many interests who held a variety of careers. He was a Professor at the School of Social Services at San Jose State University, a published author, a Catholic priest for twenty five years, and a community activist for over thirty years.

Dr. Soto was born in Tucson, Arizona on October 22, 1921. In 1935, he left Arizona and entered a Franciscan seminary in California. He received his Master's degree in sociology from the Catholic University in 1950. Between 1950 and 1961, he served at the order's main seminary at San Luis Rey, where he was a professor of philosophy and the social sciences.

In 1962, he became the first Chicano pastor in the history of Santa Clara County (after the war between the United States and Mexico in 1946-48, the church replaced all the priests of Hispanic descent with European-Americans). He helped organize the first program of Chicano deacons in California.

Dr. Soto was the founding pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in East San Jose. Before Dr. Soto came to the parish, Our Lady of Guadalupe was a small chapel, but under his leadership, parishioners organized themselves into construction groups and raised the church building. This church became an important site in the war against poverty. It was here that Robert Kennedy attended the first "Misa Folklorica" (Folkloric Mass) in 1968, only a few weeks before he was assassinated.

The historic 1965 Farm Workers' March from Delano to Sacramento included Dr. Soto and a group from San Jose. In 1967, as a result of his interest in helping people become economically self-sufficient, he teamed with Russell Tershy to found the Center for Employment Training. Dr. Soto served as the first Chairman of the Board, a position he held until 1991.

In the late 1960's, during the construction of the Center for the Performing Arts in San Jose, Dr. Soto engaged in civil disobedience protests. These demonstrations were organized because management of the construction company had not hired any minority workers for this important project. Along with thirty other protesters, Dr. Soto was arrested. However, the increase in community awareness that resulted from their actions led the City of San Jose to adopt an ordinance requiring Affirmative Action clauses in all City contracts.

In 1974, he married Phyllis Armas at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in San Jos&#65513;. They devoted their lives to education, community service and institutional reform. In 1978, he received his doctorate in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley.

He spent his life teaching and devoting his time to community and leadership development, especially among minorities. He concluded that "the positive energy out there far outweighs the evil, but it is not often publicized. We need more role models for our young people." We are left to wonder if he ever realized that he was exactly the role.


My graduate school application said something to the effect that I was interested in the relationship between knowledge and ideas, on the one hand, and power and authority, on the other. Berkeley didn't change that, but it helped me get it to the level of researchable problems. Philip Selznick and Philippe Nonet showed me that law was a logical focus for someone interested in culture in action and the role of rationality in modern life. Though I came to Berkeley prepared to acquire marketable skills and make my peace with positivist sociology, both my teachers and my student colleagues tempted me to continue my liberal education instead, and I succumbed.

I taught for thirteen years, first at Northwestern and then at Georgetown. I published a book (The Culture of Policy Deliberations) about the social conditions affecting intellectual integrity in a government organization. When I left academia, through some complex mixture of choice and circumstance, I was ready to risk being an intellectual in the world of action rather than a pragmatist in the world of thought. I got a job in NSF's Office of Inspector General (OIG).

Of course, bureaucracy, even in an office of inspector general (the OIG is a federal agency's internal cop), and not just at NSF, is a world of thought, as I knew from my academic research. Far from being an ethereal, professorial issue, intellectual integrity turned out to be the most practical possible organizational concern, and my sociological knowledge and perspective were constantly in play. Whether in working to construct a legal order adequate to investigating crimes against science or in elucidating the dilemmas of purposive action in NSF-funded organizations, I found myself translating sociology into ordinary action and ordinary English.

Organizational cultures are fragile (venerable sociological wisdom), and I was fortunate to leave the OIG as a new IG was moving to dumb it down. I am now redesigning NSF's survey on public attitudes toward and understanding of science and technology, experiencing new variations on the ironic interplays of pragmatism and positivism, thought and action, liberal education and technical skill, and (always) knowledge and ideas, on the one hand, and power and authority, on the other.

I was an older student with an M.A. in Interdisciplinary Social Science from San Francisco State when I arrived at Berkeley. As a married woman, with a big family, and many years of experience in volunteer work and paid work, I was not in sync with the other students who came in at my time. While I was there, I also worked part-time as the Executive Director of a small philanthropic fund which gave money away both locally and nationally to nonprofit activist organizations working on civil rights, environmental issues, peace, women's issue, and other social justice causes. That introduced me to the many organizations founded by the radical students of the 1960s who had gone on to try to do something worthwhile with their ideals. The faculty were all bemoaning the lack of activism on campus without really knowing anything about all these groups. For that, and other reasons I was not really in sync with the faculty, either. However, I struggled through and finally finished.

I will never forget two experiences. My first interview with a faculty person I explained that a lot of my interests arose from my work in the civil rights movement and research I had done on white ethnic groups and the backlash to the poverty program. This distinguished professor literally looked down his nose at me and said being at Berkeley would cause me to have a broader perspective. And when the time came to do my dissertation on philanthropic foundations my first, logical, choice for an advisor told me to read a set of expose articles in Ramparts magazine about the Rockefellers and if I agreed with their political analysis and approach he would be willing to be on the dissertation committee but not otherwise! I did not continue that effort.

The book which resulted, Private Foundations and Public Policy: The Political Role of Philanthropy, was published in 1991, 10 years after the dissertation. Since Berkeley, I have continued to be involved in the nonprofit world - as foundation staff, consultant to donors, fund raiser, interim director of an activist organization sending volunteers to Nicaragua in the 1980s. I did major research on the peace movement in the 1980s and many articles and some student dissertations have been written using the unique data I gathered. I taught several courses at the Nonprofit Organization Management Institute at the University of San Francisco. I still serve as senior faculty adviser for the M.A. thesis work of a few students at the same USF program. Over these years I have taught one course at a time (social psychology, social movements, peace movements) at three UC campuses: Santa Cruz, Davis, and Berkeley. My last teaching at Cal was in the Peace and Conflict Studies Department. I am now essentially retired, although I have had a small research project focusing on environmental activists in the Arcata region of Humboldt County underway for several years. My husband died in the second year of this effort which caused a hiatus in that work. I have recently moved to a retirement community in Oakland and hope to at least finish that project.

Addition: While doing graduate work in Sociology at UCB I worked in the philanthropic foundation world and the topic of my dissertation was public policy and philanthropy. Garland published a revised version of that in1993. After the PhD I continued to work for a few years as a consultant to donors and small foundations and as a fundraiser for the Sierra Club Foundation for a short time. In the late 80s I did a survey of peace movement organizations nationally, with a lot of help from graduate sociology students at Catholic University of America, when John McCarthy was chair of the department, and colleagues like Sam Marullo at Georgetown University and published several articles growing from this research. The data were quite rich and many of those who worked on the project also published articles based on them. I also taught one or more courses at UCB, UCSC, UCD, and USF during the 1980s and early 1990s. I started a new research effort on nonprofits working on environmental issues in the later part of the 90s but gave up this work after my husband died in 1999 since we had planned it as a joint project. I now serve as a volunteer advisor to the Data Center, a social justice research group in Oakland, live in a very active community, St. Paul Towers and have served as a Resident Representative to the Episcopal Senior Communities Board and am currently in my second term as a board member of the Aging Services of California Board
The Berkeley Sociology Department gave me the freedom to do almost anything I wanted. I wrote my dissertation on the history of physics, studied statistics and the philosophy of science, and ignored mainstream sociology. After graduation I pursued a career as a statistician with minimal links to sociology. I have directed over 250 research projects with total budgets of over a $100 million.
After completing my PhD I moved to Washington D.C. and served as director of statistical services for the US Treasury and as a senior advisor to the Office of the President. 
In 1985 I returned to the Bay Area and founded Quality Planning Corporation. Quality Planning provides risk assessment services to the insurance industry. I took a leave from Quality Planning in 1989 to serve on the US Senate staff assisting with passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. 
I have conducted a wide variety of major disability rights related studies for the Senate, the Office for Civil Rights, Department of Labor, National Science Foundation, and the Department of Health and Human Services. Collectively these studies have helped advanced this important movement. I have developed cost management and fraud control systems for the Department of Treasury, Medicare, Medicaid, the Department of Education, Social Security and numerous insurance companies.  These systems have produced audited savings of many billions of dollars.
In 2008 I sold Quality Planning and retired to Provence and New York City.
Showing true diversity, the Berkeley Sociology Department even produced a capitalist.

I became a Berkeley graduate student at a time when the sociology department was admitting large groups of students at a time. Many of us found the place bewilderingly impersonal, super competitive, and alienating. But stick it out most of did, and in my case, an important reason was the support provided by a large cohort of Chicano and Chicana graduate students on campus from different disciplines. Still, for a working-class Chicano it was a great opportunity just being at Berkeley studying sociology full-time, learning so much from the Duster, Glock, Kornhauser, Blauner, Fischer, and Selznick seminars.

I went to Berkeley knowing I would focus on Mexican Americans, although I had no idea what kind of sociologist I would become. One time I wrote a paper on a historical topic, and that set me on a path toward historical sociology of a sort. It's been rewarding, thus far authoring one book, co-authoring another, doing the articles.

In 1987, a year after finishing my dissertation, I was appointed assistant professor in sociology at the University of New Mexico where I have been ever since and where I teach in the race-ethnic track and a course called the Sociology of Mexican Americans. For the last seven of the years I was also director of the Southwest Hispanic Research Institute. In collaboration with many colleagues from throughout the university, the work of the Institute involved quite varied administrative and research activities. I am most proud of the research which produced not only academics, but assisted the current-day heirs of the old Spanish and Mexican community land grants in their efforts to gain political recognition and resources so as to realize to the extent possible their own cultural and economic sustainability in New Mexico.

Berkeley marked the beginning of an intellectual and professional odyssey that has resonated positively and negatively in all aspects of my life. I transferred to Berkeley from Reed in 1968 for an unforgettable sophomore year, the sociological lessons of which were learned more in the streets than in classrooms. That year and my subsequent years in the department undoubtedly shaped my commitment to studying social change and how people made sense of it in their everyday lives. A summer trip through the Balkans motivated by political and cultural interests cemented my research trajectory in graduate school. Geo-political constraints, however, compelled me to pursue dissertation research in Romania rather than in the former Yugoslavia. Since then, I have done extensive ethnographic research on topics ranging from ritual traditions during state socialism to an ethnography of the state analyzed through the Ceausescu regime's reproductive politics, to comparative research on the politics of gender and of poverty since the collapse of communism in Central East Europe. In consequence of such research, my academic identity has often been questioned: am I a sociologist? An anthropologist? The rhetorical celebration of interdisciplinary studies notwithstanding, transgressing borders (international or disciplinary) has repeatedly proven problematic. Not surprisingly, much of my research focuses on the relationship between discourse and practice in socialist and postsocialist states, and on gender and political cultures. My experiences at Berkeley as a student and thereafter have also contributed importantly to my dedication to teaching students and mentoring junior colleagues here and abroad.

Joseph Palacios (Ph.D. 2001, Sociology, University of California, Berkeley) teaches in Georgetown University's Liberal Studies Program, Sociology Department, and the School of Foreign Service's Latin American Studies Program.  Dr. Palacios brings to his academic career a wide experience in corporate diversity management, community organizing, and religious pastoral work among minorities and immigrants in the United States, Mexico, and Chile.  He is an internationally recognized leader in the development of community-based learning and research programs.

Dr. Palacios is a sociologist of political culture and expert in the area of faith-based community organizing and community service initiatives.  His research interests include: Latin American and Latino Sociology, Sociology of Religion, Political Culture, Civil Society, Social Theory, and Social Justice Analysis.  In the spring of 2007 the University of Chicago Press published his book on faith-based community initiatives, The Catholic Social Imagination: Activism and the Just Society in Mexico and the United States.  In 2005 he was invited to write on "Morality Battles" in Contemporary Sociology and contributed an article entitled "Reconfiguring American Civil Religion: The Triumph of Values."

In 2009 he was awarded a 2009 Fulbright Fellowship for Chile and began working on a book entitled Chilifornia: Chile, Vanguard Latin Nation which highlights Chile's leading role in education, democratic institutions, and economics in Latin America.  He taught a doctoral seminar on "Culture, Religion and Politics in the United States" at the Universidad de Santiago's Institute for Advanced Studies from March through July 2009.  From 2005 to 2009 Dr. Palacios served as the Director of the Georgetown Community-Based Learning Summer Program at the Universidad Alberto Hurtado in Santiago, Chile. 

Dr. Palacios is a consultant to a variety of human and civil rights organizations. He is on the Board of Directors of The DC Center, the DC Steering Committee and Board of Governors of the Human Rights Campaign, and Director of Catholics for Equality.  He has been a commentator on the Voice of America, C-Span, Univision, Catholic New Service, National Public Radio, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and Washington Blade.

Dr. Palacios has been awarded research and teaching fellowships from the University of California, Andrew W. Merrill Foundation, Pew Trust, Georgetown University, and the Fulbright Foundation.  He has been a visiting scholar at El Colegio de Mexico, the Center for Religion and Civic Culture of the University of Southern California, and the Institute of Advanced Studies of the Universidad de Santiago, Chile.  In 2009 he received a Presidential Appointment to serve on the Board of Visitors of the Western Hemispheric Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), the U.S. training facility of Latin American military officers at Fort Benning, GA, that is also known as the School of the Americas.

I find myself telling students all the time that my graduate work at Berkeley gave me the tools for learning. I never took courses in what later became my fields of specialization, but my academic roots are clearly reflected in my approach to each of them. After my dissertation was published in 1984 as The State and Working Women: A Comparative Study of Britain and Sweden, I turned to a newly evolving interest in health care. It took me several years to learn the field and to place myself in it. My second book, Realignments in the Welfare State: Health Policy in the United, States, Britain and Canada was published in 1996. The book I have just finished came more quickly, even though I once again became immersed in totally new areas of social thought. From Quackery to Legitimacy: Mainstreaming Alternative Medicine (or something like this'the title is still tentative) should see the light of print in 2003.

I have moved from coast to coast a few times (Barnard College, UCSD, Columbia University, and now the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University), teaching courses on social theory, gender, comparative welfare states, health care and health policy. I'm still married to John, my high school sweetheart, and our son Andreas has been a joy to us both.


Barbara Worthing Jones died on  June 20, 2013. Born in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania in 1948, she died peacefully in her sleep in Richmond California. A graduate of UC Berkeley with a BS in psychology, a MS in Criminology and PhD in Sociology she worked for many years in data analysis and database management. Disabled in 1995 she spent the subsequent years struggling valiantly with severe chronic pain.She was an incredible person with a mind unlike any other. She spent her latter years comforted by her two dogs, Mr. Darcy and Miss Sophie and her husband Larry Jones. Her mother joined the household in March of 2012. Before disability robbed her of most of the use of her hands she was a supremely talented horsewoman, painter, crocheter, knitter and an innovative and creative cook. She loved good mysteries, science fiction and World War II history. She leaves behind her husband, Larry M. Jones, her son Avery Worthing-Jones, his wife Jamie and her grandson Christopher Michael Worthing-Jones, her mother Norma J. Worthing, her brother Michael Worthing, his wife Maxine and as well as grieving family and friends. Donations in her memory can be made to the ASPCA. May she rest in the peace that eluded her for so many years. A memorial service will be held later.

Published in East Bay Times on June 27, 2013


Whenever I look back at my years as a graduate student at Berkeley, I feel a surge of excitement along with a liberal dose of nostalgia. For me, like for so many others, these were years of discovery, exploration and hope, years in which I met some of my best friends, I developed some of the ideas that have stayed with me longest, and experienced some of the moments of greatest emotional happiness and intellectual exhilaration that I have ever experienced.

Many of the professors left a lasting impact on me -- Neil Smelser, David Matza, Gertrude Jaeger, Robert Blauner and not least the late Paul Feyerabend, whose philosophy of science classes were among the most stimulating experiences of my life. Yet, a great deal of the learning was initiated by fellow-students who organized a variety of cutting-edge courses in Marxist controversies, Freudian theory and others. I will not forget working on the Berkeley Journal of Sociology in 1974, a life-enhancing group experience. Much of my work at the time focused on labor process and psychoanalytic theories, although I found myself becoming familiar with a wide range of ideas. Apart from making a great number of friends with extraordinary people, I remember my second year at Berkeley for a mad escapade to Reno, Nevada, where I got married with Jane, my companion since then.

My years at Berkeley were followed by a year in the Greek military -- a mind-destroying experience, as Berkeley had been a mind-expanding one. There followed years of teaching in a variety of British universities, in which the birth and first steps of my two children offered much more significant memory landmarks than my expanding research interests in the sociology of organizations and psychoanalysis. Those were years when, under the influence of Margaret Thatcher's 'There is no such thing as society,' sociology became almost a pariah in British universities. Very few job and research opportunities. Like many other social scientists, I found myself working for a number of business schools, with my research focusing increasingly on work organizations and the labor process.

In 1989, I moved to Bath University which had and continues to have a very vibrant Management School. Surrounded by several unusual thinkers (mostly of a social constructionist hue), I developed two areas of research interests. One was in storytelling and narratives. I came to view these as elements of an 'unmanaged organization,' and used them to study some aspects of organizations which had not been adequately recognized -- fantasy, emotion, dream. The study of stories and narratives allowed me, at last, to bring together the two core research interests that had stayed apart in my thinking, psychoanalysis and labour process. I realized that many stories could be analysed as though they were dreams, without losing sight of their political and cultural dimensions. This also allowed me to exorcise my experience in the military by allowing me to interpret and finally resolve many of the stories that I had picked up there. The other new area of interest has been in studying the consumer, something very important for the study of organizations, but also indispensable in understanding contemporary higher education, as students come to view themselves through the prism of consumerism.

Three years ago, I had the great privilege of being appointed Professor of Organizational Theory at Imperial College London, the university where I had started my studies as an undergraduate 30 years earlier. I have continued to research storytelling and narratives, but have also developed a critique of the dissemination of management ideas and concepts as fads and fashions, and more generally a critique of what I call 'the hubris of management', the belief that everything can be forecast and controlled by management.

I am currently teaching courses on leadership, organizational theory and psychoanalysis of organizations. I am associate editor of 'Human Relations' and editor emeritus of 'Management Learning.'

When people ask me what I am, I rarely say 'Sociologist' these days. I am more likely to call myself 'social psychologist' or 'organizational theorist'. All the same, my years at Berkeley were the basis on which much of my thinking, and maybe even my identity, are based. They are a part of my past that I particularly cherish.

Lucky me: I had no sooner landed my Ph. D. than Berkeley decided to create an undergraduate Mass Communications program and Sociology decided to house it. I got the job, doubling up, and stayed at Berkeley 1978-1994. After an interim year in Paris, I moved to New York original home was calling and taught for seven years at NYU, chiefly in the departments of Culture and Communication (media studies) and journalism. In September 2002 I moved to Columbia, where I profess journalism and sociology. In journalism, my prime responsibility is a new Ph. D. program in communication. As always, I write in all sorts of venues books (most recently Media Unlimited: How the Torrent of Images and Sounds Overwhelms Our Lives, Metropolitan, 2002, and the forthcoming Letters to a Young Activist, Basic, 2003), articles mostly for the popular press and magazines, and increasingly on-line (mostly, a remarkable experiment in cross-national disputation, which I serve as North America editor).

Berkeley taught me theory and the limits of theory. Arlie Hochschild's thinking about emotion came back to me years later, and entered into my last book. I lurched into graduate school in 1974 with grand historical-theoretical ambitions, and was not unhappy to see them drift away. The department renewed my respect for rigor a renewal I hope to relay to students now.

I don't see that sociology, mine or anyone else's, is succeeding in shaping the world nowadays, but as ever, consider that every piece of writing, every talk, every act of teaching is a prayer in behalf of reason in a world that needs all it can get.

Since my first reading of Freud at age eleven something inside of me said that I was destined to be a psychotherapist. But psychology alone was not enough - so where could one study race, alienation or phenomenology, not to speak of psychoanalytic theory? Sociology at Berkeley permitted all these fields to be subsumed under the title "the sociology of..." and the Department became a good home to me.

Grad school at Berkeley was a time of high excitement. Some of us thought we could affect the world by understanding grand theory and ideas and passion became inextricably bound. My dissertation led me to worked with patients at mental institutions in France and in the Bay Area to gather research on cross-cultural contrasts between French and American psychiatric wards and their treatment of patients. Postdoctoral fellowships at the Schools of Medicine in Hawaii and at UCSF in medical anthropology continued to widen my interests in ethnopsychiatry.

A professorship at an Ivy League college (Dartmouth) offered me a position that held promise for a few years. However, living in an isolated New England town was culturally challenging for my family and me. Moreover, I missed the immediacy of working with people not just from the head but also from the heart. So, I returned to the Bay Area, got additional clinical training and licensing and put out a shingle as a psychotherapist in Oakland.

I have had the good fortune to have a full and rewarding practice. My work incorporates a cross-cultural sensitivity with insights gained as a student of human nature across many disciplines. I also teach and mentor graduate students in clinical and cross-cultural psychology. When I have a sociological imagination, it finds expression in my writings on internalized oppression, biracial identity formation, and developmental issues.

I came to Berkeley in 1974 to study how multinational corporate investment had transformed cultures and identities in French West Africa. I left in 1981 with a dissertation on revolutions in 17th century France and England. Since finishing, I've developed an expertise in the Sociology of Gender, and have been instrumental in developing the subfield of Men and Masculinities.

While this may strike one as a textbook case of sociological dilettantism, I prefer to see the ways in which Berkeley sociology with its emphasis on being theoretically informed, comparative and historically grounded, and politically engaged underlies each of these moves. In the first case, I was captivated in the late 1970s by the new synthetic works that sought to explain the rise of modern society (Moore, Tilly, Wallerstein, Skocpol, Bendix, Anderson) that seemed to return to original sociological questions raised by the classical theorists.

By the time I arrived at Rutgers in 1982, I had split my interests, and worked on both gender and comparative social movements. I've sustained those interests both separately and together since arriving at Stony Brook, my home since 1987. (I returned to Berkeley in 1992-3 as a Visiting Professor, and was voted 'Best Professor' on campus that year by the Daily Cal.) My work on the history of American manhood has been coupled with books and articles that represent my intellectual and political engagement with various issues raised by feminism: pornography, the 'men's movements,' homophobia and aggression. That distinctly Berkeley sensibility a sociology that brings together history, theory, and political commitment - has, I believe, guided all my work.

My Berkeley years also committed me to public education, and I have spent my entire career at large, public universities, educating the next generation of Americans, who have little sense of entitlement.

A New Yorker by both birth and temperament, I could not be happier than living in a turn of the century brownstone in Park Slope, Brooklyn -- a community that is rivaled, perhaps, only by Lake Merritt for the vitality of multiculturalism.

I discovered sociology at San Diego State University, inspired by Nicos Mouratides' stories of the Greek resistance and how a sociological perspective might offer a way of engaging in the world with purpose and clarity. After graduation, and a two-year stint in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve with an honorable discharge and conscientious objector status, I arrived in Berkeley. To be honest my interest was as much about having an adventure and finding myself, as it was about pursuing a particular intellectual focus or academic direction. My father had arrived at CAL as a grad student in 1939 to demonstrations against Hitler; I arrived just weeks after Nixon's resignation when everyone seemed to be searching for Patty Hearst. I was searching too.

I began to find my way with the support of new friends both within and outside the University. Berkeley's critical and historical approach to sociological issues provided me a framework to explore my interests, vague as they were in that first year.

It was a true privilege to work with David Matza, Bob Blauner, Troy Duster and Harry Edwards throughout my graduate experience. Their research and teaching pointed me toward studies of outsiders, race, ethnicity, social change, and power. David Montejano's course on the political economy of the Southwest planted a seed that would later sprout into my dissertation topic. It was clear that my fellow Chicano / Latino students and me had an opportunity to add new stories to the obra sociologica.

Apart from my graduate student life, I also worked as a waiter in Lafayette and Walnut Creek where the tips were abundant. One night I heard some Mexican ranchera music coming from a kitchen radio and discovered my dissertation topic - undocumented immigrants in the restaurant industry. I returned to San Diego, found work in a restaurant, plugged into the local immigrant networks and began my fieldwork. Soon afterward I joined a team of energized researchers at the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at UCSD, exploring the labor market impact of immigrants on the California economy. It was relevant work with a policy focus on a hot topic. Post-graduate work followed in the form of more research and lecture positions at UCSD and San Diego State.

By the late 1980's I was married with a young daughter and at a career crossroads; gratified by my foray into sociology but not happy with my options, and not interested in whining about it. As luck would have it I was asked to join the faculty of the Center for Creative Leadership, a unique research and training not-for-profit. For eight years I designed and delivered leadership development experiences for people from every field. A sort of praxis began to emerge.

Fifteen years ago I started an organizational development consulting business. I love being my own boss and helping decision makers facilitate change, find their focus and, sometimes, re-discover their purpose. Especially gratifying has been the opportunity to apply my background and experience to working with people of color in diversity/ inclusion and cross-cultural development initiatives. A book on Latino leadership is in the works.

I look back on my time at Berkeley with gratitude for the people and experiences that shaped my journey, and helped me gain the confidence to define success on my own terms - with perhaps just a bit of sociological imagination.

I came to Berkeley's department of Sociology to learn a sociologically sophisticated way of theorizing the role of the spatial environment in human social life.

Unfortunately, I entered graduate school too soon. The current large post-modern and Marxist relevant literature had not been translated or even written. I changed emphasis, studying the then current urban literature with Claude Fischer. I also began studying the theoretical assumptions behind the use of various methodologies - in practice this means that I took or audited every methodology, theory of methodology and statistics course that I could.

While that had not been my initial intent, it proved to help shape my work career since my graduate degree. I have worked as a full-time researcher since that time. After the degree, I extended my doctoral work on how cultural understandings of private property help shape how people organize community by studying common interest developments. Because of what happened to a family member, I changed research interests and worked for a number of years as the Research Director and Co-Principal Investigator for The Center for Self-Help Research. Steve Segal, the Principal Investigator, and I worked collaboratively with some of the major figures in the mental health consumer rights movement to understand the effectiveness of consumer run organizations for people with mental health and substance abuse problems.

I currently am the Research Director at the Institute for Nonprofit Organization Management at the University of San Francisco. We do applied research in service to nonprofit sector.

While I continued teaching for several years after my degree at Berkeley, I have not taught there for some time. Instead, I have taught on an adjunct basis at USF, San Francisco State and at one of the few remaining local alternative colleges: New College of California.

Is this the career I envisioned for myself when I entered Berkeley? No. I don't get to engage in the critical theoretical perspective that Berkeley teaches, except in my own teaching. There are, however, a number of personal rewards in doing applied and policy based research.


Going to graduate school was something I'd never really planned to do, but after getting my degree in 1985 I got a job at University of Southern California. Another sociology graduate student (Greg McLauchlan) and I were together by then, and so began our 5-year saga looking for two tenure-track jobs in the same place. With the help and counsel of literally about 70 people, we finally landed two jobs at the University of Oregon, where we've been since 1989.

I've taught 20+ courses ranging from theory to philosophy and epistemology of social research to courses on development in the South and alternatives to it. Teaching has been the major way my sociology has shaped the world. I've written two books on Cuba and the German Democratic Republic, but I'm not especially pleased with the impact these academic studies have had on the world. So, a principal goal of my next project on luxury products and global inequalities is to write something accessible to a wider audience.

The Berkeley department, in particular Michael Burawoy and my fellow graduate students, influenced my sociology a lot. Had I not gone to Berkeley, I don't think I'd have connected sociology and activism nearly as well. (It may not even have occurred to me to do so.) I recall Claude Fischer once warning graduate students that, coming out of the Berkeley department we wouldn't have a clue what sociology was really like. I remember being puzzled. I thought I was learning sociology at Berkeley! But now I know Claude was right. And I'm convinced there should be more Berkeleys among the US sociology programs.

I arrived at Berkeley in 1975 with a strong interest in social theory. By the time I left, after the customary ten years, I much preferred labor history. One of the strengths and weaknesses of Berkeley's program was to nurture both interests without much regard for careerist considerations. After a three year layover at Syracuse University, I settled at UC San Diego, where the department has that same strength and weakness and, not coincidentally, a large enclave of Berkeley Ph.D.s.

I have retained my interest in the history of labor relations, slowly writing what will eventually be a trilogy. The first part focused on the role of trade union institutions in shaping factory politics (Between Craft and Class, 1988) and the second on the role of the state (Making American Industry Safe for Democracy, 1997). My current project takes on employers. In different ways, each of these applies my Berkeley-bred conviction that the best sociology is comparative history.

Hanging out in archives studying dead workers, bureaucrats, and employers keeps me some distance from contemporary labor struggles. Over the last several years, however, I have tried to follow the good example set by more activist mentors, colleagues, and family members. My modest participation in campus organizing efforts and in San Diego's Labor Academic Network has contributed more to my own education than to worker rights, but it rests the soul -- and helps me keep my head up as a Berkeley alumnus.

After graduating from Berkeley, I took a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford. After an unsuccessful search for a faculty position in sociology in the Bay Area (where my husband's career was rooted), I accepted a job teaching in the college of business at San Jose State. While that was not what I had envisioned for myself while in graduate school, it proved to be a very positive move for me. I have been very happy in a public university business school setting, with its emphasis on applied research and excellent teaching. I have carved out a role for myself as the resident expert on 'social issues,' teaching popular undergraduate courses in business and society, labor relations, managing environmental issues, and global business and human rights. I have twice been named outstanding undergraduate instructor at the college. My McGraw-Hill textbook, Business and Society: Corporate Strategy, Public Policy, Ethics, is the market-leader in its field. I am also active as a writer of teaching cases for use in business schools, and my cases have been widely used in management education. Last year, I served as president of the North American Case Research Association, and I am a member of the board of the Social Issues in Management division of the Academy of Management. Although I no longer participate in the professional community of sociologists, I feel that my training at Berkeley profoundly influenced my approach to the issues I study.


Timothy McDaniel, Professor of Sociology at UC San Diego, died on March 10, 2009, after a brave fight against colon cancer. He was one of the leading comparative-historical sociologists of his generation, an inspiring teacher, and a man of unwavering probity and extraordinary erudition. A dedicated scholar, he contributed greatly to the growth of the university during his three decades on the faculty.

Tim was born in San Francisco on October 11, 1947. He received his undergraduate education at Yale and at UC Santa Cruz. He began his graduate studies at the University of North Carolina planning to specialize in the study of Latin America, but his growing interest in the comparative study of revolutions prompted him to transfer to Berkeley. At Berkeley, he set about learning the Russian language and read omnivorously, primarily under the guidance of the historian Reginald Zelnik. Having lived in Chile during the Allende revolution and the US-inspired coup, Tim turned his attentions to a revolution of much greater notoriety and world-historical consequence. He was soon busy with a thesis on the Russian labor movement and its connections to the Russian Revolution. Completing his dissertation in 1979, he joined the department at UCSD, a place that would be his intellectual home throughout the remainder of his career.

Tim spent three years heading the UC program in the USSR and Russia. Working under often extraordinarily difficult and even dangerous conditions he served as a mentor and guide to a generation of students, many of whom became lifelong friends. In addition, he acquired an extensive first hand acquaintance with Russian culture and society that deepened and enriched his scholarship. On campus, he played a major role in the foundation of Eleanor Roosevelt College, was very active in the Academic Senate, and served five years as chair of his department. His courses were always demanding, but they were packed with enthusiastic students. When the campus instituted an award for its finest teachers, Tim deservedly won the award in its very first year. As he developed an increasing interest in the Islamic world, a still broader array of students flocked to take his classes.

Tim's enduring reputation rests on three remarkable books. The first displays his immense learning, his deep knowledge of archival sources used by few other Western scholars, and his remarkable originality. Autocracy, Capitalism, and Revolution in Russia (1988) is one of the most outstanding discussions of the revolutionary process in Russia to appear in the past quarter century. After the outbreak of the Iranian revolution, Tim became fascinated with its similarities and differences with its Russian counterpart, and the upshot was Autocracy, Modernization and Revolution in Russia and Iran (1991), an incisive and carefully considered book that immediately took its place as one of a handful of seminal studies of comparative revolutions. The Agony of the Russian Idea (1996) is an extended essay in cultural analysis that draws upon a dazzling range of sources to examine all aspects of Russian society and its culture from Peter the Great to the first years of Yeltsin, and to demonstrate some remarkably stable features that have distinguished Russia under both the Tsars and Communism, and have consistently undermined its failed attempts to modernize. An intellectual tour de force written by a major scholar at the height of his powers, it was deeply admired (among others) by George Kennan, and by Khrushchev's granddaughter, Nina. At his death, Tim was at work on a fourth major book, a close interrogation of the relationship between Islam and modernity, an aspect of his growing engagement with the problematic relationships between religion and social change. That manuscript, sadly, remains incomplete.

Tim is survived by his mother, Eloise McDaniel; his twin brother Patrick, his wife Debbie and their son, Ryan; and by his sister Cheryl Erickson and her husband, Jim. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him. A memorial to celebrate his life was held at UCSD on Monday, April 13, 2009.

The department has established an annual prize for an outstanding Eleanor Roosevelt college undergraduate. Those wishing to contribute to this fund should send a check to UCSD Department of Sociology, 9500 Gilman Drive MC 0533, La Jolla, CA 92093.

by Andrew Skull, Department of Sociology, University of California, San Diego

For me, becoming a sociologist was from the outset linked to a commitment to social change. I was attracted to the Berkeley department because I presumed that it would be hospitable to that orientation, and that indeed proved to be the case, if not always in exactly the ways I had expected. As a student my intellectual agenda was driven by feminism and Marxism; only much later did I develop an appreciation of sociology as a discipline. In fact, despite a very privileged employment history - at UCLA from 1988 to 2009, and before and after that at CUNY (from 1982 to 1988 and again since January 2010), for many years I felt deeply alienated from the profession. That began to change in the late 1990s, thanks to the revival of labor sociology, which has long been the focus of my own research and writing. I started off studying job segregation by gender and U.S. women's labor history; later turned to examine the transformation of factory work and industrial unionism in the late twentieth century, and more recently have written about contemporary labor organizing among Latino immigrants. From 2000 to 2008 I directed the UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (and for the first few years led a similar UC statewide unit as well), which seeks to link the university and the labor movement. Since returning to New York in early 2010, I have been affiliated with CUNY's Murphy Labor Institute (along with a faculty appointment in Sociology at the CUNY Graduate Center). These positions have provided me with extraordinary opportunities to pursue the intellectual and political concerns that have engaged me ever since I was a student at Berkeley.

I have been here at the University of Wisconsin, Parkside since Fall 1984. I Moved up the ranks from assistant to associate to full professor. I spearheaded the creation of a Criminal Justice Department on campus and moved from the Department of Sociology/Anthropology to the Criminal Justice Department in 1999.

My research is well integrated with my teaching and service; for example, in the mid-1980s, I had several teams of undergraduate students researching the local gang problems in Kenosha and Racine. I replicated the undergraduate student operated research center here at UWP (originally

a part of the Cal State Dominguez Hills student research center, which was recognized by Hans Mauksch as one of the innovative ASA teaching projects). Since my undergrad days at CSUDH, I've kept in touch with Professor Jeanne Curran and we continue to experiment with teaching/learning approaches (check out our Dear Habermas website: We team teach long distance and our students work on various projects together and then we meet at conferences to present out work.

While at Berkeley, I worked with wonderful people like Troy Duster, David Matza, Herbert Blumer, Harry Edwards, and Bob Blauner. While a grad student, I was associated with the Institute for the Study of Social Change with my National Institute of Corrections grant to examine alternatives to jail incarceration. I was given the freedom and yet gentle guidance, to think "outside the box."

I share with my students, the community and colleagues my excitement for interactive process of teaching/learning. I challenge student to think about real world problems and issues and how they relate to "theory, policy, and practice" and to come up with creative answers/solutions. We did this with the Racine Gang Project. And this semester, I have a small group of students examining alternatives to jail incarceration and the jail overcrowding problems in Racine. (In September, I was appointed to the Racine County Citizens Criminal Justice Task Force). On a much broader level, we are doing this with the Dear Habermas website focusing on issues of social justice and peace.

Anita M. Weiss received her doctorate in sociology from UC Berkeley in 1983 and is now professor and head of the Department of International Studies at the University of Oregon. She has published extensively on social development, gender issues, and political Islam in Pakistan. Her books include Pathways to Power: the Domestic Politics of South Asia (co-edited with Arjun Guneratne, Rowman & Littlefield, forthcoming 2014); Development Challenges Confronting Pakistan (co-edited with Saba Gul Khattak, Kumarian Press, 2013); Power and Civil Society in Pakistan (co-edited with Zulfiqar Gilani); Walls Within Walls: Life Histories of Working Women in the Old City of Lahore; and Culture, Class, and Development in Pakistan: The Emergence of an Industrial Bourgeoisie in Punjab. Recent publications include “Crisis and Reconciliation in Swat through the Eyes of Women” in Beyond Swat: History, Society and Economy along the Afghanistan-Pakistan Frontier (edited by Magnus Marsden and Ben Hopkins); Moving Forward with the Legal Empowerment of Women in Pakistan (USIP Special Report 305, 2012); and “Population Growth, Urbanization and Female Literacy” in The Future of Pakistan, edited by Stephen P. Cohen and others. Her current project, Interpreting Islam, Modernity and Women’s Rights in Pakistan (in preparation; Palgrave Macmillan 2014) analyses how distinct constituencies in Pakistan, including the state, are grappling with articulating their views on women’s rights. Professor Weiss is a member of the editorial boards of Citizenship Studies and Globalizations, is on the editorial advisory board of Kumarian Press, has been s a member of the Research Advisory Board of the Pakistan National Commission on the Status of Women, and is just concluding her term as vice president of the American Institute of Pakistan Studies (AIPS).

Berkeley's sociology was full of people who knew that the best sociology is comparative : Smelser, Wilensky, Castells, Schurman, Burawoy. Coming to Berkeley via Sweden, I found among both fellow students and faculty appreciation for the challenge of doing comparative research in a critical framework across disciplines. I also discovered I was happier in Europe. Thus I probably take up a rather strange position among the graduates of being an American working in Europe. Doing field work for the dissertation in Sweden, I went native, and worked as a researcher on policy projects in housing and energy for the government and the Royal Institute of Technology before finally finishing the dissertation. Berkeley continued to affect me however, as it was the Swedish arm of E.O. Wright:s International Class Project of that got me interested in gender and class.

Gender became my claim to fame upon moving to Belgium where I am now Professor at the Free University of Brussels, teaching comparative politics, policy and sociology. I helped start women's studies in Belgium and write mostly on gender issues, doing consulting for the European Union, the Belgian government and the Council of Europe. The focus has been on elites in the EU and in Belgium and policies to engender and diversify the elite. Doing policy research and advocacy probably only indirectly shapes the world, but thanks to Claude Fischer, my knowledge of networks helps keep my expectations realistic.




From the News-Gazette, Urbana.

Jorge Chapa, 62, of Urbana passed away at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana on Monday evening (Oct. 19, 2015).Jorge was born in Monterrey, Mexico, on Aug. 10, 1953, the son of Juan and Olga Chapa. He married Belinda De La Rosa on Sept. 4, 1982, in San Francisco, Calif.Jorge is survived by his mother; his wife; two sons, Juan and Roberto Chapa; one brother, Juan Chapa; and four sisters, Olga Chesser, Mercedes Robertson, Rosalinda Dussault and Elizabeth Chapa.

Jorge had a Ph.D. and M.A. in sociology as well as an M.A. in demography, all from the University of California at Berkeley. His B.S. was from the University of Chicago in biology (honors) with a minor in sociology. Jorge began his distinguished academic career at the Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, where he rose to the rank of tenured professor and associate dean in the Graduate School.  His research interests focused on Latino educational achievement and access into higher education. Much of Jorge's research and policy work was driven by a desire to make positive change in the world. He was an expert witness for 10 redistricting legal cases in Texas, Illinois and Arizona. He spent one year at Michigan State University as interim director of the Julian Zamora Institute, and was the founding director of the Latino/a Studies Program at Indiana University. Jorge joined the University of Illinois in the fall of 2006, where taught in Latina/o studies and sociology; served at the Institute of Government and Public Affairs and Women and Gender in Global Perspectives Program; and became director of the Center on Democracy in a Multiracial Society.

He was a prolific scholar. He was widely published on the subjects of Latino policy issues and demographic trends and their political implications. His seminal 2004 book on Latino immigration to the Midwest, "Apple Pie and Enchiladas" (co-authored with Ann V. Millard on the University of Texas Press), is the standard treatment of one of the most important political and demographic changes to the region in the past generation. He was the author, editor, co-author or co-editor of 12 books, and he published 15 refereed journal articles and 18 book chapters. Jorge was incredibly involved in the scholarship of public engagement, writing for and speaking to a wide range of non-academic audiences in Illinois and around the country. In particular, he worked on many voting rights court cases and spoke frequently about the use of data in these cases.

His legacy will live on in his work, mentorship of students and faculty, and love of family and friends. He touched the lives of many people, and will be missed by all who knew and loved him.

My first graduate seminar, in the fall of 1976, was in the area of Sociology of Education. The course examined the influence parents' social origins have on children's academic outcomes. At the time, while the pattern was incontrovertible, the mechanisms through which these patterns were sustained were very unclear. I found this question engaging and ultimately pursued it in my dissertation. This work, a revised version of which was published as a book, Home Advantage: Social Class and Parental Intervention in Elementary Education, examined the social processes though which social class shapes parents' relationship to school.

When I finished my dissertation I became a post-doctoral fellow in1984 in the Sociology Department at Stanford University. The contrast helped me see the distinctive aspects of the training at UC Berkeley: at Berkeley the training was more theoretical, longer in duration, less statistical, and more laissez faire. After Stanford I spent four years as a faculty member at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale Illinois (a tremendous cultural shift from the Bay Area) before coming to Temple University in Philadelphia in 1990. I also worked at University of Maryland before joining the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania in the fall of 2008.

Though it is over 20 years since I left Berkeley, I believe that my research continues to reflect the distinctive nature of my graduate training. For example, my 2003 book, Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life (University of California Press), attempts to ask a big picture question (i.e., how does social class influence daily routines of family life) using ethnographic methods. It would have been much more expedient to break my research into smaller and narrower questions. My hope is that, in keeping with the Berkeley tradition, my focus on more theoretical broad-minded” questions using ethnographic methods will be seen as more worthwhile.

When I arrived at U.C. Berkeley I came with a desire to learn, and no clear idea about career. Studying with Ed Swanson, John Clausen, Bob Bellah, Gertrude Jaeger, Michael Burawoy, Burt Dreyfus, Dick Lazarus, Arlie Hochschild, and others at Cal was a privilege beyond measure. Working and studying in both the sociology and psychology departments, dabbling in philosophy and theology, participating in the NIMH Fellowship group on Personality and Social Structure, and volunteering with the "northside" Amnesty International chapter gave full vent to my multiple passions and interests. Focusing all those passions into a single career, while at the same time, with my husband, raising two sons with disabilities, has been the challenge.

Following a few years as Academic Dean, I've now served for 8 years as Executive Director of New College Berkeley, an institute of the Graduate Theological Union, offering programs for those eager to integrate their faith with their daily lives. I teach there and as a regular adjunct at seminaries in the U.S. and Canada, in the areas of caring ethics and practices, and spirituality. I'm also on the clinical faculty of U.C.S.F.'s nursing school. A book I edited, The Crisis of Care: Affirming and Restoring Caring Practices in the Helping Professions (with Patricia Benner, and the recipient of the CHOICE award for best academic book of 1994) reflects the unusual way in which my faith, sociological imagination, and commitment to caring practices come together. I remain grateful to learn, and never quite sure about career.

Andrew J. Treno is a Research Scientist at the Prevention Reseach Center in Berkeley, CA, a National Alcohol Research Center. He has worked in the area of environmental prevention for the past 12 years. During that period he has worked on two major projects, the Community Trials Project (Harold D. Holder, Principal Investigator) and the Sacramento Neighborhood Alcohol Prevention Project, a project designed to reduce alcohol access, drinking, and related problems in two low income largely minority neighborhoods in Sacramento, California (Paul J. Gruenewald, Principal Investigator). As a member of the research team on the Community Trials Project he assumed responsibility for the evaluation of community mobilization and media advocacy and developed a surrogate measure for alcohol involved injury. He currently serves as project director on the SNAPP project and maintains management, budgetary, and scientific responsibility for the daily conduct of the project. Additionally, he has served as Project Director on a project funded by the National Institutes of Health investigating the effects of Alcohol Advertising on Youth (Joel Grube, Principal Investigator), which has involved conducting both focus groups and self-administered questionnaires in school settings and has published using those data. His c.v. lists over 35 publications primarily in the areas of environmental interventions, community evaluation, and alcohol-involvement in injury.

In the past 20 years, I have done field research on the topic of police-minority relations in various contexts--Northern Ireland, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and the United States. Although I took no criminology courses at Berkeley (none were offered in the Sociology Dept!), it is fair to say that my interest in this topic originated at Berkeley. First and foremost, I am interested in "conditions of transformation", i.e., the conditions under which racialized and repressive policing in America can be changed.  For instance, racial profiling is not inevitable, and already some progress has been made in reducing it in various states and cities.  I have recently been involved in both city-specific and nationwide studies examining various policing problems, and I expect to continue working on these issues.

A secondary research interest centers on the sex industry, which resulted in my book, Sex For Sale (Routledge).  Other recent books include Current Controversies in Criminology and Deviance & Social Control.


Kathleen Barry is Professor Emerita of the Pennsylvania State University and an internationally known feminist and sociologist. She is the author of the landmark book Female Sexual Slavery (1979) which has been translated into six languages and launched an international movement against sexual exploitation. She is the founder of the United Nations NonGovernmental Organization, The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, and collaborated with UNESCO to develop new international law that makes sexual exploitation a violation of human rights which is the subject of her 1995 book, Prostitution of Sexuality: Global Exploitation of Women, (New York University Press). It has been translated and published in Chinese and Korean.

She is a biographer and author of Susan B. Anthony: A Biography of a Singular Feminist (1st Books, Ballantine, 1989) and was featured in the movie for television "One Woman, One Vote." She appeared in the 1999 Ken Burns PBS special "Not For Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony." She was the editor of Feminist Crosscurrents, a book series for New York University Press.

Kathleen Barry's international work led her to Vietnam in 1991. She developed a project on women and the family with the Institute of Social Science in Ho Chi Minh City in 1993 which led to her edited volume, Vietnamese Women in Transition (Macmillan and St. Martins Press, 1996). This book is recognized as the first published social science collaboration between the Americans and Vietnamese since the war in Vietnam.

Kathleen Barry lectures widely in the U.S. and abroad. She has appeared on OPRAH WINFREY, LARRY KING LIVE, and numerous other national and local talk shows for over two decades. In 1995, Dr. Barry was honored with a ten-city lecture tour in France on Susan B. Anthony and the Womans Rights Movement at the invitation of the U.S. Embassy in Paris. She previously held positions at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifque and L'Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales as well as various visiting professorships in the US and in Dublin and Belfast. She was awarded a Fulbright in Ireland to launch the subject of her next book based on interviews with mothers, daughters and grandmothers, over three generations living through the Northern Ireland "Troubles." She is writing Viola, a fictionalized memoir, and Sociology of Spirit, a book that combines social theory and spirituality.

I came to Berkeley in the 1970s totally unhip. I had worked in 'management' for six years and wanted to study organizations. After feeling the power of corporations to shape lives, and having lived through a massive reorganization, I wanted to learn more and take a break from wearing suits. Todd Gitlin told me one day that I looked 'suburban,' and it wasn't a compliment. It was also true. But Berkeley couldn't have been a better place to develop the skills I have used for the last 25 years studying Asian business groups, working class women involved in direct selling organizations, and most recently, the commercial building industry and its failure to embrace energy-efficient technologies. Although the topics have varied widely, I have always been concerned with the intersection of power, interests, and meaning in economic organization, lessons I learned from Philip Selznick and Reinhard Bendix.

I have spent my entire career at UC Davis with a joint appointment in the Graduate School of Management and in Sociology. It has been a perfect situation for me. I typically teach classical theory to Sociology graduate students and organization and technology classes to MBAs. We have a very activist MBA cohort at UCD and I am the advisor to the pro-bono consulting program we run for non-profit organizations. We're helping a coffee cooperative in Nicaragua now.

Professionally, I have been active in promoting Economic Sociology as an alternative to neoclassical accounts of markets and economic action. I've had the good fortune to travel around the world promoting an institutional and historical understanding of economies.

Teresa Cordova is Chair and Associate Professor of The Community and Regional Planning Program at The University of New Mexico. She received her Master's and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley and her undergraduate degree from the University of Denver. Among her awards and fellowships, she was a National Research Council Fellow and a National Science Foundation trainee.

Professor Cordova teaches Foundations of Community Development, The Political Economy of Urban Development, Community Economics for Planners, and Introduction to Community and Regional Planning.

Professor Cordova is currently a member of the Board of Directors of The Praxis Project, a national, nonprofit organization that provides research, technical assistance and financial support to tackle issues impacting the well being of communities.

Dr. Cordova is founder and former Director of the Resource Center for Raza Planning, a Center within the School of Architecture and Planning whose mission is to promote the sustainability and survivability of traditional communities in New Mexico. Dr. Cordova and her students were instrumental in the development of the South Valley Economic Development Center. While Director, The Center engaged students in research, policy writing and analysis, public participation, design, strategic and sector planning, and curriculum development related to economic development, infrastructure (water, sewer, drainage, road improvement), land use, neighborhood development, agricultural preservation, and youth development. Students involved in the Center have gone on to become successful professionals in the field of community development.

Professor Cordova is a Former Bernalillo County Commissioner, when she also served on the Bernalillo County Board of Finance, The Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority, The Albuquerque Bernalillo County Government Commission and the Mid-Region Council of Government Metropolitan Transportation Board. While an elected commissioner she brought needed infrastructure projects and improvements, economic development, amenities such as open space, parks, a medical clinic, youth facilities, and services to her district. She initiated several long range planning projects.

She has sat on numerous national and local boards and steering committees of community development corporations, planning organizations, policy groups, and campus committees. Teresa served for several years as President of the Board of the Rio Grande Community Development Corporation, which serves the South Valley. She was a also member of the New Mexico Endowment for the Humanities,

Professor Cordova is an invited speaker and participant at numerous universities, policy meetings, and conferences. For several months in 2009, as a panelist on KNME TV (PBS) New Mexico in Focus, she discussed current local, regional, and national issues. Her research interests include community-based practice, university- community partnerships and service learning, economic development, local governance, global/local dynamics and public infrastructure. She publishes in the fields of Community Development and Chicano and Chicana Studies.

She is a recent recipient of the Sarah Belle Brown Community Service Award for Faculty and The Mid-Region Council of Government Leadership Award. In 2003, she was awarded the YWCA Women on The Move Award and was also awarded the Outstanding South Valley Citizen Award. In 2000 she received the Student Service Award for Faculty, and in 1999 was awarded the Hyde Chair of Excellence from the University of Nebraska.

I grew up in Harlem, or as it was called at that time, The Ghetto. By the time I was 15, I was a mother and a school dropout. After spending a few years working in factories and offices, I decided to return to school. I arrived at Berkeley in the summer of 1979, eager to learn more about people like me and to learn from people like Blumer and Blauner. There were so few students and faculty of color in the sociology department that I began to feel lonely and frustrated. That sense of alienation forced me to become actively involved in organizing the Women of Color Collective study group (our resolve to bring about change was strengthened by the activist environment at Berkeley). I also read, and was moved by, the works of Sennet and Cobb, Rubin, Goffman, and especially by Mills' Sociological Imagination. I learned from Hochshild, Duster, Edwards, Blauner and Burawoy. All of these experiences helped shape my ideas about race, class and gender inequalities. I left there in 1988 to work at Temple University. While at Temple, I began working to turn my dissertation that examines black teenage motherhood using a race, gender and class analysis, into an ethnography. After two years, I moved onto San Jose State University, finally landing at USC where I teach social justice issues including social inequality and race/ethnic relations from both American and global perspectives. Currently, I am teaching and researching in the area of Visual sociology, with a focus on the inner-city experiences of minority teenagers. Hochschild's mentorship and her work on the sociology of emotion have greatly influenced my thinking about how people experience their environment. What I learned from the Berkeley experience (and lessons I try to pass on to my students), is to appreciate the complexity of people's lived experiences and to present only the most thoughtful and nuanced analysis of those lives.

I came to Berkeley after being inspired in my undergraduate education (at Haverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges) by some brilliant sociologists and dedicated teachers in sociology and anthropology. The Berkeley program was sufficiently interdisciplinary, and permitted such a degree of intellectual freedom, that it enabled me to learn enough about critical thinking (and a basic amount about research) to allow me to pursue projects that I hope will make a difference in people's lives. I think the program is tough but also more rewarding than most (if you survive), precisely because of the demanding degree of freedom students have, and because the emphasis on innovative scholarship that matters places an enormous responsibility on students to produce work that is not only politically meaningful but also methodologically innovative, challenging categories accepted in the profession. After teaching and mentoring graduate students at several other universities (University of Michigan, University of Illinois, and now University of Virginia) I see that most graduate programs are extremely different in precisely these respects, and I've come to value my experience at Berkeley enormously.

In my own work I have used ethnographic and interpretive methods to study media and culture in the U.S., and comparatively, from a feminist perspective. Studying with Todd Gitlin, Michael Burawoy, Arlie Hochschild, and Robin Lakoff, and taking courses in several other fields, allowed by the flexibility of our program (philosophy, anthropology, comp lit, French, German), prepared me to use this kind of methodology in an interdisciplinary way. I am now employed 75% in a new “Media Studies” Department, a new department I was privileged to “found,” while retaining a 25% appointment in Sociology where I continue to mentor graduate students. My work focuses on examining communities of women and how they use popular culture to make sense of their lives.  My dissertation book, Women Watching Television, looked at media in women's lives generally, and my next book, Speaking of Abortion, examined their interpretive practices around the issue of abortion; I’m currently planning a follow-up to ideas developed there about politically conservative women consulting “alternative” scientific authorities. Both emphasize social class and generational comparisons. Recently I looked at adolescents and the media they use, with an emphasis on internet practices (The New Media Environment), and also at sexuality and social class in Hollywood film (my collection Media and Class).  I continue to write on media audience research (Feminist Reception Studies in a Post Audience Age) and on feminism from an interdisciplinary perspective (The Handbook of Contemporary Feminism, Media Ready Feminism and Everyday Sexism).  At Virginia I have been Executive Director of the Virginia Film Festival and at Illinois Producer of the Roger Ebert Festival of Overlooked Films. I don’t think any other sociology department would have given me the flexibility to learn film as part of my studies, and I am profoundly grateful to Berkeley Sociology for that, and for its unusual openness to interdisciplinarity.

Susan D. Toliver, Ph.D., CFLE, is Professor of Sociology and Department Chair at Iona College in New Rochelle, New York, where she previously held the positions of Associate Dean of the School of Arts and Science, Director of Women’s Studies, and Coordinator of Peace and Justice Education. She holds a doctoral degree in Sociology from the University of California at Berkeley, and a master’s degree in higher education administration from the University of Maryland, College Park. Her areas of specialization include multicultural diversity, family especially work-family intersections, race and ethnic relations, sociological theory, and sex and gender studies. She has written about and researched U.S. families, particularly African American families, multicultural organizational development, and other subjects. She is a member of several professional associations and is a past president of the New York State Council on Family Relations. At present, she serves as a member of the Advisory Council of the Connecticut Permanent Commission on the Status of Women, and a member of the Board of Directors of the National Visionary Leadership Project. She has done extensive work in multiculturalism, directing faculty as well as corporate employee development activities; leading workshops; conducting seminars; and evaluating departmental, multi-institutional, and state-wide multicultural diversity projects. She is an AIDS activist and has conducted seminars and workshops on the subject as well as developed AIDS educational outreach materials for African American women.

Dr. Toliver has worked as a consultant for and/or has given presentations to such organizations as the New York City Board of Education, the New Jersey Department of Higher Education, the Metropolitan Area Minority Employees (MAME) organization and the Black Women’s Leadership Council of Xerox Corporation, IBM, and Bayer Diagnostics.

Dr. Toliver is the author of BLACK FAMILIES IN CORPORATE AMERICA, Sage Publications, 1998.

Like all sociologists, my occupational history has a context. It began with my entrance to Berkeley. Looking back, my acceptance as a graduate student was one of the few times I remember feeling that a world of possibilities had suddenly opened before me. Those possibilities began first and foremost with the friendships I made with fellow students and faculty during my first year on campus.

I can't help but smile when I recall the graduate student orientation in the Barrows lounge in September 1977. During the course of the evening I was welcomed as a member of the Department "family", then met my new "brothers" and "sisters" who would make up my cohort and became fellow editors on BJS. They included Jon Cruz, Theresa Cordova, Elaine Kaplan, Susan Toliver, Andrea Press, and Gary Delgado, and later Brian Rich, Margarita Decierdo, Dana Takagi, and Andrew Treno. I also remember the generosity of several veteran grad students in the Department who calmed our fears and encouraged our research interests, including Michael Kimmel, Jerry Himmelstein, Tomas Almaguer, Greg McLauchlan, Lisa Heilbronn, Jorge Chapa, Ken Tucker, Elaine Draper, and Ken Chew.

I also have fond memories of several faculty members who shared their time and infinite patience over the years, including Troy Duster, Todd Gitlin, Russell Ellis (Architecture), Arlie Hochshield, Vicky Bonnell, David Montejano, Leo Lowenthal, Ron Takaki (Ethnic Studies), Herbert Blumer, Phillip Selznick, Henry Glock, and visits by Perry Anderson and Talcott Parsons.

To each of them, and several others who entered the Department after me, I owe a debt of gratitude for opening my eyes to the possibilities of a truly public sociology.

Despite their influence, I chose a non-traditional approach to sociology in general, and communications in particular. During the research phase of my dissertation on the history of cable television in the United States, I was hired by a state funded non-profit organization in San Francisco to manage a fundraising and grants program. My charge was to invest state money in innovative educational and community groups using cable technology to improve curriculum and employment development. A few years later I began working with municipal governments as an advisor and manager (in both Northern and Southern California) developing television stations, web sites, and other technology ventures.

Most of those ventures were start-ups, during which I attempted to test theoretical models and ideas based on my studies of communications at Berkeley. I also was given the opportunity to evaluate those models empirically during operational phases over several years under varying conditions involving different populations. Looking back, I remember thinking how fortunate I was to have access to what, in effect, were social laboratories when communications and technology were having such profound effects on what was rapidly becoming a global culture.

But nothing lasts forever, especially during fiscal crises. Beginning in 2000 I founded a consulting firm to advise community colleges, local governments, and commercial clients on technology issues. More recently my career has come full circle. In 2004 I was appointed Associate Dean of the School of Film and Television at Loyola-Marymount University in Los Angeles. I view this new position as an opportunity to reconnect with many of my colleagues and their students who share an interest in communications, culture and technology.

I could go on, but I've already exceeded my word limit. Let me conclude by saying that it's great to be back in the academic world, and I encourage anyone who reads this meandering account of my time since graduation to contact me at or at

Peace and Solidarity.


When I came to Berkeley in 1969, I was one of two or three students NOT given any financial assistance -- my academic record at Harvard was that bad! In fact, I was fortunate simply to have been admitted. My first two years at Berkeley revolved mainly around becoming a true Marxist intellectual, learning as much from Fred Block and the journal then called "Socialist Revolution" (later "Socialist Review") as from my courses. As my politics moved from revolutionary to democratic socialist (and eventually to left liberal), however, I became aware that I had, in fact, experienced several key intellectual episodes during those first years -- these were the courses from Neil Smelser, Robert Bellah, and Leo Lowenthal. I managed to corral all three to work with me on my grandiose dissertation, which became even more so in the four years after its completion, and have kept closely in touch with Smelser and Bellah ever since.

So, my Berkeley years were an intense education in high theory, starting from the culture of classical and New Left Marxism and moving from there into the classical and modern more strictly sociological domain. It was an experience that formed me, and removed me from "mainstream" sociology, for the rest of my academic life.

After leaving Berkeley, I spent 25 years as an assistant to full Professor at UCLA. I published lots of theory there, tried to start an intellectual movement or two, learned a great deal at the beginning from the microsociology that flourished there, and helped to build up, through my years of administration, one of our discipline's better, and certainly most balanced departments. Two years ago I moved to Yale, where I have reluctantly become a Chair once again, resuming institution building in a very interesting academic and disciplinary milieu.

In the more recent decades, the half life of the Berkeley "bomb" have continued to illuminate and charge my intellectual life. I've been trying to elaborate a cultural sociology, which has started off from Bellah's "symbolic realism," and I have been trying to develop a performative turn, which continues to be influenced by unyielding resistances to structural logics of Herbert Blumer, who was a kind of negative pole for me during my graduate student years. I have just completed editing a festschrift for Neil Smelser (with other Berkeley graduates, Christine Williams and Gary Marx). Neil and I worked closely together even over the last five years, developing at CASBS at Stanford, where he was Director, a collaborative theory of cultural trauma and collective identity.

So, "Berkeley" continues to be formative in my life, even as I have moved away from the notions of anti-capitalism and public intellectualism that formed my graduate life in the early 70s. There was a burning intensity to political, ethical, historical, and above all theoretical questions that made an indelible impression me, and that I hope continues to inform my work and intellectual identity today.

1978: I arrive at Berkeley, 21 years old, with little cultural capital, some political idealism, and the shakiest hopes of succeeding in graduate school. I relied throughout on Michael Burawoy and Arlie Hochschild and my warm, funny, brilliant fellow students for the recognition to reimagine myself. I became set on showing that the social world too could be reimagined.

Breathtaking moments: Gertrude Jaeger's last seminar on Freud; Habermas' seminar on Weber. Picketing to name and sanction sexual harassment. The incredible privileges of TAing for Jim Stockinger, twice, of discussing Michael's early drafts of 'Painting Socialism' and Arlie's early fieldwork for The Second Shift. Fighting among our dissertation group over Habits of the Heart, listening to women of color find their voices in Arlie's gender seminar.

Since leaving, I have written two books, moved around, survived some pretty cynical days, finally learned how to teach, and now am wrestling with a new project. I try to use the critical qualitative methods I felt so inspired by to puzzle out issues of changing gender and class relations. I've chosen issues I was ambivalent about, and then worked hard to decenter myself and learn from those I interview. I also work hard at writing accessibly following what an ex-senior colleague once snidely labeled, 'the Berkeley School of Pop Sociology.' A breathtakingly ironic moment: a Christian memoirist's suggested reading list starts with my At the Breast: 'It's a work of sociology, but it's so well written you won't mind! (Debra Reinstra, Great With Child.)

Doing graduate work at Berkeley was a positive experience for a number of reasons, including the cultural richness of the Bay Area, the brilliant and dedicated students, the renowned faculty, and a policy that encouraged students to develop their own intellectual agendas. In addition to taking courses in sociology, I spent a lot of time outside of the Department. I worked as a research assistant for five years at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory and took courses in the Department of Anthropology where, during the early 1980s, students and faculty interested in international migration congregated.

Since completing my Ph.D., I have taught sociology and done research --involving international migration, ethnic economies and qualitative methods -- at a liberal arts college in Los Angeles and currently, at a Big Ten University. My years at Cal provided with me a sound education, the ability to work independently, and a basis on which to establish relations with Berkeley alums.

I received my Ph.D. in sociology of Berkeley in 1986 working with Harold Wilensky, the late Reinhard Bendix, Neil Smelser, Claude Fischer and Michael Wiseman (economics). I was a post-doctoral fellow at Michigan State University, served on the faculty of Duke University for nine years, and have been at the University of Kentucky for the last fifteen years. 

My work is at the intersection of work and politics with what I call a left or optimistic Weberian approach to political economy. My dissertation was published as The Political Economy of Unemployment: Active Labor market Policy in West Germany and the United States (1990, University of California Press). It won the "Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship" award of the political sociology section of the ASA. Other books include Citizenship and Civil Society: A Framework of Rights and Obligations in Liberal, Traditional, and Social Democratic Regimes (1998, Cambridge University Press), and The Comparative Political Economy of the Welfare State (co-edited 1994 with Alexander Hicks and also published by Cambridge).  

Since moving to the University of Kentucky, I have continued my interest in political sociology and work.  I co-edited  "A Handbook of Political Sociology" (Cambridge, 2005) with Alexander Hicks, Mildred Schwartz and our fellow Berkeley colleague Robert Alford (who passed away during the project and to whom the handbook is dedicated).  My NSF project "Strangers into Citizens: A Comparative/Historical Analysis of Naturalization Processes in 18 Countries," has finally reached the press stage with The Ironies of Citizenship:  Naturalization and Integration in Industrialized Countries (August 2010, Cambridge).  

I am currently working on an NSF projects comparing lean production and teamwork at six automobile factories (three Japanese transplants and three American companies).  A book is in press with Darina Lepadatu called Diversity at Kaizen Motors, and I am working on a project called the "Vortex of Work: Integrating Globalization, Lean production, and the Web."  I have also published a number of articles on the processes of volunteering that integrates social network analysis with opinion leaders and Jeffrey Alexander's theory of civil society (Comparative Social Research 2009, Journal of Civil Society 2010).  The intent is to bring activism and everyday volunteering into one theory.

While our cohort was at Berkeley in the late 1970s and mid-1980s, the sociology department was in a transition from the faculty who had built its excellent reputation over the years to its present reincarnation. During our cohort's time at Berkeley, we saw many retirements and a few hires. We had many good times from WOASH (Women against sexual harassment) demonstrations to parties at the old church near the Albany BART station. And we had many battles. Having traveled around the world for two years, going through military service, and working in numerous factories, Berkeley was a unique and special experience.

I have been engaged in teaching, research, creating, and beyond at University of Shizuoka in Japan since 1987. I owe a lot to Berkeley, so that I have contributed donations to I-House and UC Alumni Association almost every year. I am most grateful to late Professor John A. Clausen, my thesis advisor as well as ex-head of the Institute of Human Development. I translated his book, Sociology of the Lifecourse, into Japanese in 1987, and it is now the sixth printing. I visited him at home or in his office whenever I visited Berkeley and we had a good time. I also invited him to Japan in 1989 and we had lecture campaigns together in Tokyo, Shizuoka, and Kyoto. I am also grateful to other faculty members including Bob Blauner, Claude Fisher, and Ann Swidler. Bob Blauner was helpful as one of my thesis committee members; Claude Fisher taught us how to make papers stronger; Ann Swidler's seminar at Stanford was most impressive. My experiences at Berkeley were quite valuable and I am proud that I studied there for several years to obtain a Ph.D. I hope the Department of Sociology will continue to prosper.


I decided to do my graduate sociology work at UC Berkeley because Michael Burawoy told me I'd never get in! I got my undergraduate degree in sociology at Cal, and was much inspired by Michael, notwithstanding his assessment of me. I thought I'd be focusing on social theory and culture studies, but instead, got caught up in early feminist scholarship and found it more compelling. My dissertation work landed me in the realm of social policy, and at the time, it was difficult to find anyone on the faculty specializing in this area, so I didn't have a real mentor. Also, being totally self-supporting, I spent much of my time working at multiple jobs each semester (I used to joke that I didn't work 'with' any faculty members, but I worked 'for' plenty of them). Indeed, one of my proudest moments came when, fighting to unionize the graduate student employees at Cal, I was called to testify before the board that was adjudicating the unionization drive, and discovered I had the unique distinction of having held nearly every graduate student job category at the university! Anyway, my policy interests led me away from academia after teaching for a couple of years. Through a circuitous path, I entered the realm of federal science policy, and now work at the NIH in social and behavioral research on HIV/AIDS. On this pathway, I had a stint at the White House science office, which, for a while, made me the ASA's poster child for non-academic careers! The critical sociology training I had at Berkeley (chiefly acquired from my classmates) has allowed me to be more of a public intellectual than a mere bureaucrat. I get to help shape a science agenda, defend sociology to the biomedical crowd, and direct lots of money to where it belongs!



Elisa passed away peacefully in her parent's home in West Sacramento on Thursday, August 30, 2018 after an extensive battle with terminal cancer. She was a lovingly surrounded by her mother, sister and niece and embraced by Native American spiritual music as she made her final journey.

Elisa was born on April 28, 1957 in Toppenish, WA. Elisa's parents, seeking a better life for their new family moved to West Sacramento, CA. Elisa along with her younger brother Ernie Jr. and sister Cynthia actively engaged in school and youth sports activities. Elisa graduated with honors from James Marshall High School in West Sacramento in1975.

Elisa began the next phase of her transformation into a nationally and internationally recognized scholar and activist. Elisa graduated from Santa Clara University (Cum Laude) with a B.S. in Sociology, and a M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California , Berkley. Upon receiving her doctorate, Elisa was awarded a Postdoctoral Fellowship from the National Institute of Aging (NIA) at the University of California, San Francisco. In 1991, Elisa was appointed as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She received tenure and was promoted to an Associate Professor. She also held an affiliate faculty appointment in the Women and Gender Studies Department. In 2014, Elisa accepted an appointment at Eastern Washington University, Spokane, WA as Associate Professor and Director of the Chicano Education Program. Elisa's last appointment was at Sonoma State University in the fall of 2017. Over a 20 Year academic career, Elisa's research and teaching interests were embedded in the areas of age, aging and generations, Chicana and Indigenous feminist knowledge(s), Social movements, health care studies, globalization and gender studies, research methods including Indigenous and feminist epistemologies and spirituality studies.

Among the many distinctions, honors and accolades of her career was the 1996 National Hispanic Teacher of the Year ( Hispanic Magazine), Rockefeller Postdoctoral Fellow, Washington State University (1997), Outstanding Scholar Award, Boulder, (2002), Equity and Excellence Teaching Award CU, Boulder (2010), and the Champion of International Education for Study Abroad Students for Faculty Directors-Cuba Global Seminar, CU, Boulder (2010). Elisa's Publications include Understanding Older Chicanas: Sociological and Public Policies Perspectives (1996), and co-edited anthologies Enduring Legacies: Ethnic Histories and cultures of Colorado (2011), and Fleshing the Spirit. Spiriting the Flesh. Spirituality and Activism in Chicana, Latina, and Indigenous Women's Lives (2014). Her most recent book Fleshing the Spirit is highly acclaimed publication recognizing the radical interconnection between feminista spirituality, women of color and social activism.

As a distinguished professor, Elisa's teaching philosophy was a true commitment toward creating and or enhancing a diverse and inclusive learning and living environment for all her students with a particular focus on student communities marginalized by race, gender, class, sexuality, age, citizenship and ableism. Elisa enjoyed the classroom because she always respectfully utilized this space as a location on intellectual and spiritual transformation for her students and herself. Elisa considered being a teacher and educator her greatest accomplishment and her life's essence. Her intent was always to have an impact in her student's lives.

Elisa's commitment to Chicana and social activism was evidenced as a co-founder of Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social (MALCS), providing radical inspiration and guidance to the organization for over 30 years. She was recognized by MALCS with the Tortuga Award. Elisa was actively engaged in the Denver community and served as a longtime member of INCITE: Women of Color Against Violence and served as Board President for Sisters of Color United for Education. She also presented at many Denver schools and colleges as well as throughout the U.S., Europe, Mexico, Bahamas and Cuba to motivate and encourage students to continue with their educational aspirations.

Elisa traveled the world, but especially to visit her family in California. During some visits with her nieces and nephew, and her many family members she spent much time mentoring and motivating them to pursue their academic ambitions, college degrees and careers. She loved all types of music, going to the movies, and visiting family and friends. Elisa loved cooking her mother's authentic Mexican recipes. Elisa was an avid sports fan and attended many games of the Denver Nuggets, Denver Broncos and the Colorado Rockies. Elisa was a long time soccer and tennis fan, and recently enjoyed NCAAW and WNBA basketball.

Elisa now rests with her father, Ernie Facio, Sr. She is survived by her mother Petra (Pat) of West Sacramento, her brother Ernie Jr. (Deborah) of Elk Grove, her sister Cynthia Facio-Ortiz (Javier) of West Sacramento, and her nieces Vanessa Facio (Mandy), Cecily Ortiz (fiancé Tony), and nephew Christopher Jorrin (Rebecca). Her greatest joy, light, and life forces are her great nephews Aiden and Diego. Elisa was from a large family and is survived by numerous a aunts, uncles and cousins in California, Colorado and Washington. And finally, Elisa's pet companions Mr. Kitty Facio and Diego Rivera Facio are reunited and joined her on her final journey. Frida Kahlo Facio enjoys the attentive care she receives with her new foster mom and loves lounging in the sunshine everyday.


I arrived at Berkeley in 1979 anxious and eager to become a sociologist. However, the department was not quite prepared for a dark-skinned Chicana raised by working class parents. There were no safe spaces for my language, values, experiences, or transformations. Working with Michael Burawoy, Arlie Hochschild, Bob Blauner, Tomas Almaguer, Troy Duster and a core group of Chicanas in the department provided me with valuable skills, as I experienced unpredictable states of self-doubt and confidence, to negotiate a relatively safe space to develop critical race and gender perspectives on Chicana feminism and older Mexican women.

After graduating, I received a post-doctoral fellowship in medical sociology at UCSF then I was off to Boulder, where I joined the sociology faculty at the University of Colorado. However, I moved to the Department of Ethnic Studies where critical studies of anti-racist discourse and Chicana feminisms were welcomed. During my transition, I completed my first book Understanding Older Chicanas (SAGE, 1996). My teaching, research, and activism continue to focus on age and aging in the Chicana community. Being a student of Berkeley sociology, the commitment to social change or desalinization, lead me to Cuba where I've conducted research on Women and the Revolution during the last several years. I'm currently completing my second book on Cuban sex workers.

Despite the alienation experienced at Berkeley, I developed an identity as a Chicana sociologist, not a sociologist who happens to be Chicana. I have taken skills and values learned at Berkeley into interdisciplinary areas of research, teaching, and community activism in the Denver/Boulder area.

I came to Berkeley in 1977 on a Harkness Fellowship. Initially I circled around the Philosophy Department, much too analytical for my European background at the time, and in 1979 I got on the Ph.D. program offered by the Department of Sociology. This has been the best educational experience of my life: I still remember with great nostalgia the passionate climate of discussion in the theory class taught by Michael Burawoy for us incoming graduate students. There I met my friends and companions of my graduate studies: Brian Powers, Chuck Stephen, Neal Aponte, Luciano Costa Neto and many others. And later the intellectual encounters with Neil Smelser, my thesis supervisor, Ken Bock, and Jürgen Habermas – who was visiting professor in 1980 – shaped my professional life. On Habermas’s invitation, I finished writing my dissertation on Rousseau’s ethics of authenticity in Frankfurt, in 1984. The same year I returned to Italy and got my first teaching position in Rome. I kept writing my books in English  – Modernity and Authenticity (1993), Reflective Authenticity (1998), Justice and Judgment (1999), The Force of the Example (2008), The Democratic Horizon (2014) – ever since. After a 4 year parenthesis of teaching in Parma, since November 2002 I’m a professor of political philosophy (but I also continue teaching social theory) at the University of Rome Tor Vergata.

Berkeley has nourished my own inclination for theory (where else is sociological theory so much cherished?) but above all has given me a mental habitus and a set of standards that I regard as the most preciousresource for salvaging what one of my friends used to call “a sense of purpose” amidst the less edifying aspects of academic life and professional involvement.

As for the impact of my thoughts, I’m happy enough if my ideas somehow have been shaped by the world around me, as opposed to being totally idyosyncratic. I’m happy to see that in contemporary developments in social and political theory corroboration can be found of the basic idea I got from Berkeley, namely that the source of normativity is ultimately to be located in identity.

I am a moralist and a hedonist, and went to Berkeley in 1979 because it promised serious political analysis and a luxurious environment (the Bay Area, not Barrows Hall). I was attracted to the Frankfurt tradition's combination of politics and culture, the same intersection that all of my books have explored in one way or another. At the same time, observing Leo Lowenthal at close range helped me see the underside of that tradition. The authoritarian personality in the flesh!

Friends from that period Judy Auerbach, Vicki Smith, Mary Waters, Chris Williams and many others remain the central reason I attend the ASA meetings (almost) every year.

I had a fairly normal junior-faculty career at NYU until the tenure process, the breathtaking pathologies of which persuaded me to leave the academy altogether. Being a writer is a lot like being unemployed, except it doesn't pay as well. I also spent the late nineties doing some consulting for nonprofit theaters, speculating in the fevered stock market, joining the rentier class and digging for buried treasure near Palmyra.

Currently I am at work on a sociological theory of strategic interaction, a kind of cultural and institutional answer to game theory. I am also trying my hand at writing fiction and doing stand-up comedy. (I get easy laughs just from announcing I am a sociologist.)

I arrived in Berkeley in 1979 as part of a very large cohort of graduate students, many of whom are leaders and important researchers today. We were immediately immersed in a quirky and exciting seminar, co-taught by Michael Burawoy and Neil Smelser. In retrospect, I can see that my main experience as a grad student was benign neglect; I received little direction with my work, and almost no professional socialization. In some ways, this laissez-faire context ended up serving me well; I connected with several talented grad students, learned a great deal from them, and was mostly free to pursue my interests.

Radical sociology drew me to the UCB sociology department. By the late 70s, I had become involved in networks of men who were grappling with questions related to the theory and practice of feminism. I wasn't sure if anybody at the University was doing that sort of work, but I did know that some men in the Berkeley community were doing anti-rape organizing. Hooking up with Bob Blauner aided me in getting in the ground floor of what eventually developed into a multidisciplinary network of scholars who study the social construction of gender and men. A highlight of grad school for me was being a TA in Bob's course on men and masculinity one of the first such courses taught in the nation. Bob was a brilliant discussion facilitator even in a very large class. His course became the template from which I developed my own course. The interests that I developed at UCB on men and feminist politics, and on gender and sports provided a foundation for much of my subsequent work on these topics.

The clear sign of changes in socialist Poland of 1970s was the reopening of sociology departments, dismantled in the earlier, socialist phase. Staggering numbers of students, myself among them, flocked to analyze what type of society we lived in. Study there failed to provide me with insightful answers to that question, nor prepared me for such sociological exploration. For that I had to tap into Western Sociology, rendered by the Berkeley Sociology Department.

While in Berkeley, I was undergoing simultaneous adaptations -- to graduate studies, to marriage and double parenthood, to an immigrant life in the American society. In my first year there, I encountered a young Michael Burawoy who was intensely pondering on the very questions at the center of my interest'the nature of real existing socialism, its future and their theoretical implications for Marxism. Throughout many, long years he had tremendous patience, commitment and intellect to nurture my own answers to these questions. I was also very fortunate to learn doing sociology from Neil Smelser, David Matza, Bob Blauner, Vicky Bonnell Jerry Karabel and Neil Fligstein. These long years in the graduate program rewarded me with dear friendships, (many of them lasting), most especially, with Bob Freeland, Judy Auerbach, Terry Arendell, Gay Seidman, Steve Stoltenberg, Charlie Kurzman, Lynne Haney, Huyn Ok Park. They sustained me both emotionally and intellectually.

After graduation, I joined Sociology Department at Haverford College. Drawing on the training from Berkeley's Western Sociology, I now reach back to post-socialist Eastern Europe to explore how these systemic transformations modify our classical sociology's conceptions of the origin and nature of capitalism, property and agency.

I arrived at Berkeley in 1979, at a time when many graduate students were intellectuals and political activists and few were getting good academic jobs. People were inspired by the possibility of using academic skills to study power and inequality in the service of social change. This spirit seems to me to be the defining essence of Berkeley sociology. From what I know of Berkeley today, that spirit remains quite lively, with the added bonus that now Berkeley students routinely get hired by leading sociology departments and are able to spread it around the country.

I went to Berkeley with the goal of doing research on the family but historical timing set me off in a different direction. 1979 was the year that Burawoy published Manufacturing Consent. Harry Braverman's Labor and Monopoly Capital had been published recently. In my first term of graduate school I was introduced to and inspired by both these books; from Braverman and Burawoy it was off to my own research, publishing two books and various articles on the labor process, corporate restructuring, power and inequality.

I am now a full professor at UC Davis. Professionally, I've been involved in the Labor Studies Division of the SSSP and the Organizations, Occupations and Work Section of the ASA (chairing the latter last year). I endeavor to teach 'Berkeley sociology' by presenting a critical perspective on the world and by trying to get students to consider how they can use their university knowledge to change the world post-graduation.

I came to graduate school to get a PhD so I could get a job as a professor, but I soon learned that most of the students who were finishing their PhDs could not find jobs and were very bitter about it. Barrows Hall was deserted; the faculty almost all seemed either sad or angry, and they were profoundly alienated from the discipline they were supposedly teaching us about. The grad students were left alone mostly to socialize each other, with some rather bizarre results. I decided to get an extra masters degree in demography so that I would at least be able to get a job as a consultant. In the demography department I found the kind of pre-professional training in research I was looking for. Ironically, it also led me to appreciate the huge void that was the sociology department. The culture of the sociology department supported an intellectual freedom to chart your own course in a bold direction. This was both exhilarating and frightening. I went to demography whenever I wanted straightforward direction, I went to sociology when I wanted to think big thoughts. The fusion of the two has defined my academic work.

There were some bright spots in what I now remember as an unusually stressful time in my life. Stan Lieberson, Ken Bock, Neil Smelser and Michael Burawoy taught me a lot.. Carol Hatch provided the kind of useful feedback on ideas and the encouragement that many of us craved from the faculty. Mostly though I learned from, and had fun with, my fellow graduate students, most especially Chris Williams, Judy Auerbach, Jim Jasper, Bob Freeland, Mike Messner, Laurie Wermuth, Terry Strathman, and Kwok-Kian Woon. Their accomplishments define the positive Berkeley experience for me.

I did get a job as a professor when I finished my PhD in 1986 in the Harvard Sociology Department and I have been here ever since. My research is in the areas of immigration and race and ethnicity.


If I use translation, web presence, awards, and purchase price as measures of influence, my most influential works pre-date and post-date my brief, ten-year sojourn in sociology. "Economic Law and Class Struggle", authored in my early, Marxist period has been translated into French, Italian, and German and appears on two web sites. Getting Started with Workspace, a product of my later, corporate period, was translated into German, French, and Swedish, garnered an award for excellence in technical communication, and was available only with the purchase of a software system that cost approximately $200,000.

By contrast, my dissertation remains unpublished; the article derived from it, "Homes Are What Any Strike Is About" (The Journal of Social History, 1989), is merely listed on the web; and my post-doctoral "The Ethnic Saloon as a Form of Immigrant Enterprise" (International Migration Review, 1992) is only summarized. 

Actually, my personal favorite is "Venturing on Your Own" (Oakland Tribune, 1985), an account of trekking in the Himalayas during a brief respite between sociology courses and orals. As for how my "sociology shaped the world", that would have to be the articles I wrote in the early 90s for the Trail Guardian, a newsletter I founded to spearhead local hikers' class struggle against mountain bikers who were lobbying for access to narrow trails on Mt. Tamalpais.

Sociology did not become a career for me, or even a pastime. If I had to choose between an ASA conference and backpacking in the Sierras, you'd find me at that mountain lake. To make a living, I took up technical writing, became a manager of technical writers for a while, and rode the high tech boom up and down and around. Now I'm working at a small software firm in Berkeley within walking distance of campus. 

I certainly learned a hell of a lot during my sojourn in sociology at UC Berkeley. But by far the greatest benefit came from meeting my wife, Anne Machung, fellow refugee from sociology and hiking and backpacking partner for life.


Eloise Dunlap, Ph.D. is a sociologist and graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. She has extensive qualitative experience in research and analysis with African-American families, drug users, drug dealers, distressed households, sex workers, and with drug-abusing families. Her work is rooted in an attempt to understand violence, drug use and markets, male-female and family relations and whether and how these relationships contribute to African-American family instability. Dr. Dunlap has conducted survey research, focus groups, intensive ethnographic studies, including lengthy in-depth interview and detailed observations in many African-American households, communities, drug settings, and a variety of inner city social context. Her research has been focused upon the nature of family interaction patterns and how the presence of drug users/sellers affects family life.

Some of her research includes: Director of first large scale crack for crime study entitled Careers in Crack, Drug Use, Distribution, and Non-drug Criminality; Co-Investigator of large scale ethnographic study entitled Natural History of Crack Distribution/Abuse; an ethnographic examination of sex for crack in New York City as part of a seven major cities study administered for NIDA by Birch and Davis; an examination of drug dealers family life and violence entitled Violence in Crack User/Seller Households: An Ethnography; a focus upon co-occurring factors entitled Co-Occurring Drugs And Violence In Distressed Households; and Males in Distressed Households: Co-occurring Drugs and Violence. Dr. Dunlap has observed numerous times over the years the restructuring and reformulation of family relationships based on drug use and/or sales. She has numerous publications analyzing various issues related to drug use and or sales, violence and other social phenomenon. At the present time, Dr. Eloise Dunlap is Principal Investigator of a NIDA grant entitled Marijuana/Blunts: Use, Subcultures and Markets designed to investigate blunts consumption among youths; use practices, social settings and markets.

Dr. Dunlap's long-term career goal is to increase public understanding and uncovering social processes by which behavioral patterns of aggression and violence are practiced, as well as learned and passed on from one generation to another, and drug use and co-occurring factors among inner city distressed families. She is working to develop a more accurate and precise conceptual and empirical understanding of the nature, types, and severity of aggression and violence within African-American families when one or more members participates in crack and other drug consumption and/or sales. A relevant sub theme of such a research agenda involves understanding the progression or its lack from alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana to hard drug (cocaine, crack, and heroin) use and/or sales as well as violence in various social contexts especially within the family.


Anita Garey passed away on September 24,  2014

As a second-generation immigrant and the first person in my family to go to college, I entered the doctoral program in Sociology in 1981 with very little idea of what graduate school was all about. My interests in the sociology of motherhood and in work/family issues were encouraged and furthered by working with Arlie Hochschild and Nancy Chodorow, and in 1991 I taught a senior seminar on the sociology of motherhood, a topic I still teach.

Berkeley influenced my development as a sociologist is many ways, but perhaps most importantly in the strong grounding I received in qualitative methods and interpretive analysis. A few years ago, one of my graduate students told me that what was noticeable about my approach to qualitative research was that I was not apologetic about it and I like to think that is one way that I take Berkeley Sociology out into the world.

After finishing my dissertation (later revised and published as Weaving Work and Motherhood), I spent a year conducting fieldwork on women's employment and kinship-based patterns of childcare in a village in Botswana. From 1995 to 2000, I was a faculty member in the Sociology Department at the University of New Hampshire, and am now an Associate Professor in the School of Family Studies at the University of Connecticut. In 1999, I spent a wonderful year at the Berkeley Center for Working Families and found myself again immersed in and inspired by the Berkeley intellectual tradition at the lively weekly seminars facilitated by Arlie Hochschild and Barrie Thorne. My work continues to focus on families and their interconnections with other social institutions. With Karen V. Hansen, another Berkeley alumna, I co-edited Families in the U.S.: Kinship and Domestic Politics, an interdisciplinary collection of core readings that reflects our Berkeley Sociology roots.12.30.23

Originally from Uganda, I became a graduate student in the Sociology Department at UC Berkeley in 1981. I received my M.A. in 1983 and a doctorate in 1991. I joined the University of Nevada as Assistant Professor in 1990 and was tenured to Associate Professor in 1995. I have been chair of the Sociology Department since 2001.

Since coming to the United States to study at UC Berkeley, my dream has been to help other Ugandans who have not been as fortunate as I have. In 1993, I founded the Foundation for Credit and Community Assistance (FOCCAS), a non-profit organization providing financial and educational services to families in eastern Uganda. As of December 2002, there were 17,500 families benefiting with a projected 33,000 by 2005.

The sociological experience at UC Berkeley has had a profound influence on both my personality and professional career. This experience has not only inspired me to pursue an academic career, but more importantly, to realize that education is the key to self-empowerment and to helping others to help themselves. I remain deeply indebted to Professors Franz Schurmann, Troy Duster and Kenneth Bock who influenced my intellectual development and continue to serve as my academic role models.

My professional goal and desire has been to use the knowledge and skills I have acquired to have an impact upon the issues I care most deeply about - racism, inequality and social justice, in the US and throughout the world. For the past fourteen years I have served as a Professor in Schools of Education; for eleven years at Berkeley and now for three years at Harvard University. In addition to teaching and doing research at the university my quest to have an impact has led me to take on a number of roles in public life. I served as the Assistant to the Mayor of Berkeley (1986-'88), an elected member of the Berkeley School Board (1990-1994), a member of the Centers for Disease Control Task Force on Youth Violence (1994-1996), and as a consultant to numerous NGOs, community based organizations, local and state governments. Though I have not taught in a sociology department since graduating in 1988, the skills and insights I acquired during my years of graduate study at Berkeley have profoundly shaped the questions that motivate my work and the approach that I take as I attempt to intervene in the social world.

Feminist pioneers in Sociology have described their experiences in graduate school as a time of intense isolation, as the lone woman scholar who faced intellectual uncertainty and professional exclusion. By the time I entered graduate school in early 1980s, the numbers of women graduate students had increased dramatically ­ one-half of my entering cohort of 20 students were women. Although there were only two women on the faculty when I entered the program, by the time I left in 1991, there were six women among the 24 faculty members, including a number of prominent feminist scholars. Far from feeling isolated, I was an active participant in many feminist study groups, on the editorial board for the Berkeley Journal of Sociology, and in the graduate student union that organized teaching assistants in the 1980s.

Berkeley Sociology's critical mass of feminist (and feminist-friendly) faculty and graduate students helped support my early research interests in gender, work, and ethnography which are, in turn, reflected in my first book Gender Trials: Emotional Lives in Contemporay Law Firms (U of California 1995). After landing a tenure track professor position in a Sociology Department that did not value feminism or ethnography, I moved to my current academic home in the Department of American Studies at the University of Minnesota, an interdisciplinary, intellectually intense, and feminist-friendly space. Most recently, I have become the director of the Center for Advanced Feminist Studies at the University of Minnesota where I am working to develop funding for faculty, graduate student and community partnership research projects on gender, work, and immigration in the Twin Cities.

I have been a writer and editor since earning my Ph.D. at Berkeley.  I’ve written three books: The War Within: America’s Battle over Vietnam, Wild Man: The Life and Times of Daniel Ellsberg, and (with Richard Leo) The Wrong Guys: Murder, False Confessions, and the Norfolk Four.  I’m currently finishing a book on the innocence revolution in the justice system with Richard Leo.  I’ve edited books on a diversity of topics, though it’s a poor way to make a living….  I’ve received fellowships and grants from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, and the Open Society Institute, among other institutions.  I live in Boulder, Colorado.


I came to Berkeley in 1982, M.A. from UCSB in hand. I spent six years getting my Ph.D., learning Persian, participating with wonderful characters on the BJS, hardly taking any sociology courses, benefiting enormously from a dissertation writing fellowship my last two years (the first time this program was tried I was in the right place at the right time), and going through lots of personal and political changes and adventures. Great years in an otherwise alienating place. My professors Vicki Bonnell, Tom Gold, and Ira Lapidus in History supported my obsession, leaving me alone to do a too-long dissertation on social change in Iran from 1500 to the revolution.

By great good fortune I landed in an even better place, UCSB, in 1988, and have been learning the arts of teaching and writing here happily ever since. I have been part of making UCSB the place to be in the areas of global and international studies, race/ethnicity/nation, culture, and feminist studies, all of which I dabble in. I've had great colleagues and students, and met a wonderful partner, Kum-Kum Bhavnani, on the job. Books on revolution have been produced, and latterly delayed by the arrival of two wonderful children, Amal and Cerina. We also spent two marvelous years as visitors at Smith College . I wish everyone could have such an interlude in the middle of their careers.

Sociology has been by tuns fun, meaningful, exasperating, challenging, rewarding much the same can be said for being at Berkeley in the 1980s.

I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Health, Behavior and Society at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and the Director of the CDC-funded Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth. I teach courses on social and behavioral aspects of health, media advocacy, and alcohol policy. Previously I co-founded and worked at the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at Georgetown University. I have also taught at Mills College in Oakland. I co-founded the Marin Institute for the Prevention of Alcohol and Other Drug Problems, and worked there for 13 years.

I am the author of Thirsting for Markets: The Global Impact of Corporate Alcohol, was principal author of the World Health Organization's recent Global Status Report on Alcohol and Global Status Report on Alcohol and Youth, and co-authored Media Advocacy and Public Health: Power for Prevention, and Alcohol in the Developing World: A Public Health Perspective, published by WHO and the Finnish Foundation for Alcohol Studies and winner of the Addiction Book Prize. I served as a member of the WHO Director-General's Alcohol Policy Strategy Advisory Committee, and have worked as an expert advisor to both WHO and the World Bank. I have consulted with and trained thousands of public health advocates, and authored numerous peer-reviewedarticles and training curricula on environmental approaches to prevention, media advocacy, and the prevention of alcohol-related problems.

Although my current work is more in public health than sociology, I view it as a natural extension of the worldview of Berkeley sociology, as I have contributed to a paradigm shift away from an understanding of alcohol issues as private and individual, and towards a view of the problems and their solutions as public and systemic. I have always valued thinking and asking questions sociologically, and I appreciate Berkeley for encouraging that.

Berkeley was the natural place for me after a decade: first as radical community organizer Colorado and Iowa; then as a teacher in an African-American inner city public school in Los Angeles, finally, as an early women's studies graduate and women's public policy wonk in Washington, D.C. We published the first study on military family violence at the Center for Women Policy Studies thanks to support from the Carter Administration.

Berkeley in the 1980s offered a good antidote to the Reagan Administration. There was the sense of intellectual excellence, maintaining high standards, and creating social change. This was the height of political organizing for various causes: against apartheid in South Africa, for the U.N. Women's Decade, and the graduate student union. University funding and support from faculty gave me the cultural capital to pursue studies on militant labor in the Philippines in the 1980s (Militant Labor in the Philippines, Temple University Press 1997), and cross-cultural feminist social movement organizations (Feminist Nationalism Ed. Routledge 1997.

The Berkeley state of mind is also a bubble: a center of intellectual narcissism, radical parochialism, and social hypocrisies. A male sociologist told me to forget about pursuing family life because to dedicate oneself to the sociologists calling was a full-time endeavor (unless, of course, one had a wife). Later, in the early 1990s, I was proud to have sociologist Jim Stockinger as my son's pre-school teacher, demonstrating the effects of Berkeley sociology even on small children!

The world outside Berkeley is another story. In my present position, Florida's salary compression means I am an associate professor making less than a beginning assistant professor at most universities Sabbaticals are competitions among a privileged few so I have never had one. Governor Bush dismantled the state Board of Regents and now they fight over which businessmen at what level will run the schools. I daily dream of switching careers. However, I was privileged to be a part of the Berkeley Experience, and am very grateful to everyone I knew while there.




Dr. David Allen had several careers, all of which were motivated by his politics and passion. At age 16, David Allen became an activist after the assassinations of MLK and Robert Kennedy. He actively opposed the war in Vietnam and was sympathetic to the Black Power movement. Dr. Allen got his Bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1974 and his Master’s degree in Sociology from the University of California at Berkeley in 1986. He got his PhD in 1995 from the University of California at Berkeley, writing his dissertation on a topic he loved: the New Left.

Dr. Allen began his academic career as an adjunct instructor of sociology at the University of California at Santa Cruz and then the University of California at Berkeley. He then became an assistant professor of sociology at Phillips University and an assistant professor of sociology at Georgia Southern University in 1998. After that, he took several visiting assistant professor positions at Drexel and Montgomery County Community College. He joined the faculty at Temple first as a visiting assistant professor of sociology in August 2004 and later became an assistant and then associate professor of teaching instruction. 

Dr. Allen’s intellectual interests concerned the turbulent politics and organizing of the sixties and the aftermath of the movements of that decade.  Some of his recent talks have had provocative titles such as “McLuhan as prophet of the sixties, 68ers as harbingers of the Global Village,” “May ’68: The student revolt that changed the history of revolution,” and “Conflating the cultural and political in social movement theory today.” He has published on philosophy and politics in the classroom and on the disappearance of childhood, and has presented a creative multi-media work called “Imagination is seeking power” at the Fourth International Social Theory Consortium. He was working on a manuscript asking the question: “Is it possible to reinvent Communism in the 21st Century and if so in what forms?”  and had intended to use his upcoming sabbatical to finish the work.

Dr. Allen will be remembered by his colleagues at Temple and the many students who loved his classes. Dr. Allen taught such diverse courses as Development of Sociological Thought, American Ethnicity and Comparative Societal Development, Honors Introduction to Sociology, Social Inequality, Social Movements and Social Change, Race and Ethnicity, Ethnicity and Immigration in America, and The History of Race in America. He was a valuable department citizen, teaching the courses that needed to be taught without hesitation.  He was an active participant in meetings and sought to make the department a better and more intellectually stimulating place. When he regularly brought in outside speakers to talk about Berkeley in the 1960s, students were completely engrossed and full of questions. 

His colleagues describe him as a “sensitive, kind humanitarian,” “generous, kind, warm, interested in and knowledgeable about many subjects and devoted to his family,” “a good soul,” “ a vibrant thinker,” “a wonderful and dedicated teacher and a good department citizen,” and  will remember his “amazing wit and his deep, deep love for deep, deep thinkers.” Many of his students were genuinely devoted to him and had the following to say about him and his classes: “He was open to all viewpoints and even encouraged people to speak up with what they were thinking;” “Very genuinely kind and caring. Cares a lot about the topics discussed in class. He is very open and personable. The class feels like a book club almost- somewhere where we are all able and willing to speak and take in information;” “He is very enthusiastic and passionate about the material, which makes it easier to feel the same way;” “He was open with his students about a range of different topics. We learned from him and he also learned from us;” and, simply, “He is an amazing professor.” I think that sums up how many of us feel about David Allen: We learned from him, and he was indeed amazing.

I've met a lot of people for whom graduate school was a struggle, but the Berkeley department was unfailingly supportive. On the first day of orientation, Claude Fischer encouraged us to dream big, telling us that Berkeley dissertations often became books. Later, Claude patiently helped socialize me about research methods, professional writing and the profession. As I did my dissertation research and writing, I could always count on Arlie Hochschild to ask the questions I needed to answer and to help me distinguish the interesting ideas from the ones that were mundane. I was perhaps one of the last students whose dissertation committee included Ken Bock and perhaps one of the first Berkeley students whose (informal) committee included Ann Swidler. (Ann hadn't yet arrived when Arlie sent me off to the field with a few draft chapters of Talk of Love ,a work which deeply influenced my dissertation research. When I returned, Ann commented on every chapter of my dissertation and allowed me to audit her graduate sociology of culture course, which helped me learn the field. At one point, we discussed whether she should be formally added to my committee and concluded it was unnecessary. Given her support for the last fifteen years, I wish we had completed the necessary paperwork to recognize her essential role.) Arlie, Ann, and Ken supported my writing, while helping me see the areas that needed further work. Only after leaving Berkeley did I realize how lucky I was to have such ongoing support from such fine scholars over many years. Thanks, all.

While Berkeley supported my intellectual endeavors and helped me tie my work into recent debates, much of my socialization to the discipline took place after I left. My first week in the department, my assigned adviser Richard Ofshe had suggested I should try to look more professional if Iever wanted to get a job. When I showed up at my first job (at a private college in the South) 6 years later, I didn't yet understand how a professor should dress for a party on the President's lawn, but I soon learned. Teaching intensively through four temporary jobs gave me the strong background in the discipline's older debates, allowing me to better situate the research which my Berkeley mentors had so enthusiastically supported.

Since leaving, I published three studies in the sociology of culture. *Culture in Action: Family, Emotion and Male Dominance in Banaras, India*(1995) (which was based on my dissertation) developed a theory of the fit between structural realities, cultural orientations and emotional dynamics, while trying to understand how culture constrains. *Movies,Masculinity and Modernity: An Ethnography of Men's Filmgoing in India* (2000) explored the dynamics of popular-culture reception. In 2001, I replicated a study I had conducted in India a decade before to understand the effects of cultural globalization on culture, class, and gender in India. This one is still in the works, but it will probably be called *Globalization on the Ground: Culture, Class, and Gender in India,1991-2001*. Thanks to Arlie, Ann, Claude, and Ken for helping me think big.

I met another Bay Area expatriate academic at my first temporary job in North Carolina and ­ miraculously ­ we ended up with two tenured jobs within 20 miles of each other, mine at SUNY-Geneseo. I once told Arlie that I'd rather end up in a hut in San Diego than a mansion in Syracuse, New York. That jinxed it, as I ended up 70 miles from my idea of hell. But as it turned out, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, and kayakking on the cold fresh water seamlessly (well, almost) replaced my attachment to the California coast. Of course, my continuing involvement in a hula halau (yes, in Rochester NY!) and regular travels to the warm waters (Hawaii, Burma, Fiji, Samoa) suggest the transformation is not yet complete. You can take the boy out of LA but can't take LA out of the boy. Aloha to all.

In the Berkeley sociology department, I found my intellectual home. I was drawn to Berkeley in part because it was teaming with smart, creative colleagues from the editorial collective of Socialist Review, and in part because it was far and away the best place to study historical sociology from a feminist perspective.

My interest in women's history, class inequality, and contemporary families deepened at Berkeley and continues to motivate my teaching and scholarship. Berkeley gave me analytic tools, the courage to be creative and independent in my choice of topics and methodological approaches, and role models. If I close my eyes, I can easily see Arlie Hochschild's long hands sculpting a thought or hear Carol Hatch wryly skewering a sloppy argument.

With that Berkeley stamp of methodological innovation (quirkiness?), my new book, Encounter on the Great Plains: Scandinavian Settlers and the Dispossession of Dakota Indians, 1890-1930, uses historical maps, photographs, and oral histories to explore racial-ethnic inequality and coexistence on an Indian reservation.

In 1999-2000, I was a fellow at the Berkeley Center for Working Families. To the delight of my contemporary sociologist friends, I was finally doing research squarely in the present! With Barrie Thorne and Arlie providing leadership and inspiration, the center proved the ideal forum for analyzing inequalities and kinship, profoundly shaping my book, Not-So-Nuclear Families: Class, Gender, and Networks of Care.

I have co-edited three anthologies with colleagues who have Berkeley ties: At the Heart of Work and Family: Engaging the Ideas of Arlie Hochschild, and Families in the U.S.: Kinship and Domestic Politics, with Anita Ilta Garey; and Women, Class, and the Feminist Imagination, with Ilene J. Philipson.

My dissertation compared ethical behavior at two different types of boarding schools. As soon as my fieldwork at the schools was finished, I married a Swiss mathematician, Peter Stucker, and moved to Bern and here we still are, together with our son Thomas (born 1993). I wrote my dissertation in Bern and then turned it into a book, Practicing Virtues: Moral Traditions at Quaker and Military Boarding Schools, while working as a teaching assistant at the University of Bern sociology institute. To my amazement, eight years after its publication the book continues to interest people who work at boarding schools. Soon after it came out I was asked to speak to Quaker educators, and during the past year (2001-2002) I've spoken twice at St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire, and once at The Hill School outside Philadelphia.

This recent attention to my book has been especially surprising (not to mention fun) because I no longer consider myself a sociologist. I left the Bern sociology institute when it became clear that I had no future there, took a few required education courses, and spent five years teaching English-as-a foreign-language to bright, university-bound teenagers at Literargymnasium. While I was teaching English, I began freelancing for an English-language newspaper and website based in Switzerland, and eventually I quit teaching to concentrate on writing. Today I have two regular columns in Swiss News, a monthly newspaper. I still teach one English class a week to adults, and I also freelance for a company called Cendant, which organizes cultural orientation sessions. They hire me on a regular basis to prepare either English-speakers for a move to Bern or German-speakers for a move to the US.

Although I don't 'do' sociology anymore, my work as a journalist and an inter-cultural consultant for Cendant uses all kinds of skills I acquired during my graduate-school days, particularly as an interviewer. Something else I still have from those days is an abiding affection for a number of the people who taught me, especially Robert Bellah, Neil Smelser, Ann Swidler, and Victoria Bonnell, and for the Berkeley friends I made, especially Lyn Spillman, Marty Gilens and his wife Janet Felton, Davida Weinberg, Elsa Tranter, and Claudius Ohder.

My research, teaching and activism have addressed how immigration brings about dramatic changes in people's lives, looking particularly at the realm of gender and work, and now, at movements for social change. I was a graduate student in the 1980s. Berkeley was a wonderful place to live. The campus offered so much, and I liked the radical mystique of it all, but truthfully, as a graduate student I was quite alienated from the Department of Sociology. There was a lot of posturing in seminars and benign neglect from professors. Since I'd never before been a PhD student, I didn't know to expect anything better. Now, I wish I had acted more assertively and with less anxiety. Still, seminars exposed me to big debates and books, and I was lucky to participate in several supportive study groups with other graduate students. Back then, there wasn't much sociological research on immigration, so I was able to read broadly in fields like history, anthropology, and ethnic studies. When I began working with Michael Burawoy, he gave prompt, challenging feedback, and really pushed me to develop analysis of my ethnographic and interview material. He helped me understand the intersections of the macro and the micro in my study of Mexican undocumented migration, gender and settlement. My work on that topic, and on the resurgence of paid domestic work strives to hit a balance between sociological analysis and social advocacy.

I became a freshman college dropout on the occasion of Kent and Jackson State in 1970, worked for the UFW, was drafted by & then expelled from the US army, then worked for SEIU for 9 years. All this left me strangely fascinated with Habermas, strikes, & the difference between public & private sectors. Fired for recalcitrance by SEIU in 1982, I hurriedly earned a PhD in sociology at Berkeley in 1988, then joined the faculty @ Yale in 1989. My big regret re: Berkeley was my failure to stay & feast at length upon that sumptuous sociological smorgasbord.

At Yale I directed the organizational behavior program, finished my book Success While Others Fail, studied urban, organizational, educational & political sociology, and worked in the administration of John Daniels, New Haven's first African-American mayor. After the passage of Proposition 187 in CA I took another leave, this time to study labor union response to the attack on immigrants. One year turned into two and then to resignation from Yale, as my family decided to stay here in our native California.

Now I enjoy the luxury of working part-time as director of the Salinas-based Citizenship Project (a labor-led immigrant community-based workers' center in Salinas CA), and part-time as a grant-funded associate researcher at UC Santa Cruz. I'm wrapping up my study of the convergence of the new labor movement and the emergence of citizenship among Mexican immigrants in California (tentatively, Citizens of the Future)' and don't know what comes next.,

None stated


Tomoji Nishikawa, Ph.D. (aka Tomoji Ishi), our dear friend, colleague, husband, father, son, and a co-founder of Japan Pacific Resource Network, died at home on Tuesday, 26 August 2003, following his courageous ten-year battle with brain tumor.

Tomoji was born in 1946 in Shiga Prefecture in Japan, the only child of Mrs. Kiyoko Nishikawa and the late Mr. Tomokazu Nishikawa. Tomoji and his wife Virginia Louie moved to San Francisco in 1978. He became an active member of the Japanese American community, volunteering at Nobiru-kai Japanese Immigrant Services in San Francisco, and was employed with Asian Manpower Services in Oakland. Soon after they moved to Los Angeles as Tomoji entered a master's program at UCLA to study Asian American Studies in 1980. He went on to receive a Ph.D. degree in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley in 1995.

Tomoji graduated from prestigious Tokyo University majoring in Sociology in 1971. He refused, however, to follow the expected path which would have led him to the Japanese power elite. Instead, he eventually left Japan to become a world traveler. Experiencing multi-cultural societies abroad, he came to develop a critical perspective on Japan, and published a number of articles in Japanese. Along with the activities with the Japan Pacific Resource Network (JPRN), Tomoji devoted himself to educational activities focusing on American multicultural society, and the corporate social accountability of Japanese corporations.

Tomoji co-founded the Japan Pacific Resource Network in 1985. JPRN is a public interest and educational nonprofit organization promoting civil rights, corporate social responsibility and community empowerment in the context of U.S.-Japan relations. Along with United Methodist Church ministers, he also co-founded in 1990, the African/Asian American Roundtable (AAART), an interracial support group fostering dialogue between African American and Asian American communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. He taught Asian American Studies and Sociology at the City College of San Francisco from 1996 until May of this year.

Tomoji's areas of teaching and research expertise included: political sociology, race and ethnic relations and international migration, modernization and development, sociology of contemporary Japan, Asian American Studies, community economic development, globalization, sociological methods, and social problems, business and society. His doctoral dissertation, submitted to the Sociology Department at U.C. Berkeley, was entitled, Diversifying the State: American Grassroots Groups and Japanese Companies. This project investigated the unexplored relationships between American grassroots groups and Japanese multinationals in the U.S., and revealed how such groups were able to make gains within the American political process.

In 1992 his brain tumor was discovered, and thus started Tomoji's long, courageous battle with the condition. Throughout the course of his ten-year struggle, Tomoji continued to play an active role as a community activist, educator, lecturer, researcher and writer. He never failed to make his family laugh, even at times of great difficulty. He passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his family.

Tomoji is survived by his wife Virginia, his daughter Emi, his son Ken, and his mother Kiyoko. After cremation, Tomoji's remains are scattered in the Pacific waters between the United States and Japan. Tomoji's family requests that contributions be made to the National Brain Tumor Foundation ( or the Wellness Community of the East Bay ( in his honor. We would like to thank all of the staff of the Kaiser Hospice Care program and the members of the Wellness Community Brain Tumor Support Group for their help and support.

A number of papers and articles by Tomoji in both English and Japanese can be found at During the two and a half months that Tomoji was under hospice care, his friends and colleagues formed a support group via e-mail ( Contributions of shared memories are welcomed.

There are many special qualities by which we remember Tomoji, but the very first thing many of us recall is his smile. We pray for Tomoji that his soul may rest in peace, and believe that his dream for racial equality and international social justice shall be remembered. We thank Tomoji for his courage, smile and love for all of us. Tomoji's spirit and dream will live on.

~ Family and friends of Tomoji

Larry Hajime Shinagawa received his doctorate in 1994 from the University of California at Berkeley in Sociology. He is the Director of the Center for the Study of Culture, Race, and Ethnicity at Ithaca College. Formerly, he was the longstanding Chair of the Department of American Multi-Cultural Studies and the Departments of Ethnic Studies at Sonoma State University. He is an acknowledged authority on research and methodology in race relations and Asian American Studies and a former director of the California State University Census Information Center. In the past six years, he has worked on numerous federal and non-profit research projects to study racial classification, intermarriage, health delivery systems, redistricting, and political behavior. He has authored numerous articles and publications on applied research and social policy topics regarding multi-cultural studies. He has been featured on the Donahue Show, All Things Considered, CNN, and various radio programs and newspapers. He currently teaches in ethnic studies and American multi-cultural studies, develops curricula in such programs, serves on boards and projects among ethnic minority community organizations, works on many research projects involving race and ethnic issues, and is currently the managing editor of the journal Ethnic Studies and a board member of the National Association of Ethnic Studies (NAES).

I arrived at Berkeley in the early 1980s, when many of us wanted to be writers, teachers, and activists rather than "professional sociologists."   The department offered a friendly home for the ambivalent and the eccentric. I entered wondering where the program would take me, and ended up becoming socialized into the academic milieu, or at least Berkeley's version of it.

The Department nurtured a vision of sociology that was publicly engaged, writerly, and theoretically sophisticated.  For me, Nancy Chodorow, Robert Bellah, and some wonderful graduate student colleagues kept this vision alive. I was involved in a number of study groups in the department, as well as in intellectual and activist worlds beyond the university. 

It was a rude shock to eventually find out that American sociology is not, on the whole, dedicated to the same ideals I learned at Berkeley.  Nonetheless, I seem to have found my place within it. Upon graduation, I taught for two years in England at the University of Essex.  I then took a position at the University of Oregon, where I taught for seven years. I'm now Associate Professor of Sociology at Rutgers University, where I'm also on the Graduate Faculty of Women's Studies. 

How has my sociological work shaped the world? In small ways, perhaps. I've been active building a presence for sexuality studies in sociology. I take mentoring grad students very seriously, and gain much from these relationships. And most recently, galvanized by world events, I've become a frequent op-ed writer, producing bite-sized sociology for mass consumption.


In 2001, I joined the sociology department at the University of New Hampshire after eight years at Yale University. Most of my research and publishing had been in the area of religion and culture. In addition to research articles on the cultural framing of abortion, and the construal of religion in contemporary sociological theory (e.g. Habermas, Bourdieu), I have published Debating divorce: Moral conflict in Ireland (University Press of Kentucky, 1993), Catholic identity: Balancing reason, faith, and power (Cambridge University Press, 1999), and edited Handbook of the sociology of religion (in press, Cambridge University Press). I am currently working with extensive life review interview data from a longitudinal study of lives that originated at Berkeley in the 1920s. My main interest is in mapping the place of religion and spirituality in individual lives and exploring how life course, institutional, historical, and cultural changes impact each other.

I loved the cultural diversity and intellectual exuberance at Berkeley and especially enjoyed what I perceived as its pluralistic approach to theory and research. It is this openness to multiple theoretical perspectives and methodologies that has probably influenced my own research and teaching the most. In turn, when I speak to larger publics outside the university (through the mass media and to non-academic groups and conferences) I emphasize the empirical and theoretical compatibility of pluralism and community, and show, for example, how the doctrinal pluralism contained within Catholicism allows for a greater inclusivity of diverse social identities than acknowledged by church officials.

'Ruined for Life!' That's the proud slogan of the Jesuit Volunteer Corp, and it fits Berkeley sociology, too. I was delighted and constantly incredulous when there: here was a whole institution filled with people who were creative, stubborn, politically committed and active, hyper-intellectual, sensitive to the nuances of everyday interaction and eager to theorize about their own lives, constantly aware that another world is possible' as weird as me, in other words. How could this be? Is it true that I can do something so genuinely subversive for a living?? I wondered.

I think it's true at some universities, for some people, but such positions are as rare and randomly hard to come by as I had suspected. This miracle of social attentiveness is not normal sociology. I feel most like I am fulfilling that mission when I'm teaching undergraduates from northern Wisconsin who come to my office halfway through the semester to say that they just figured out that disagreement is not always bad, not always the sign of a fight. I sort of feel I'm fulfilling the mission when writing for nonacademic audiences, though I always wonder if anyone will read what I wrote.

I can't separate the experience of grad school from life in the Bay area. The weightless sunlight; living on almost no money thanks to now-defunct rent control; and the day or two a week I was producing news and public affairs at KPFA, marveling there at a cast of characters as imaginative, scrupulous, and non-standard as I'd encountered at UC. All together, Berkeley offered a utopian model of living. Luckily, I have a bit of Berkeley with me, in the form of Paul Lichterman; we struggle to maintain that imagination even while living outside of a city, with two children who can't wait for that other 'possible world,' in the insistently non-utopian midwest. We each have a half-time position at UW.

Aside from the direct experience of listening to my undergrads, I don't know how to tell if my sociology is changing the world. I wrote a book, Avoiding Politics: How Americans Produce Apathy in Everyday Life, that people seem to be reading. It's an ethnography of voluntary associations, that starts with those nuances of everyday interaction to ask how people actively avoid appearing to care about the world. Right now, I'm working on a book about youth programs in the US, that are supported by an odd mixture of state, nonprofit, market, and civic institutions. I'm asking how moral and political dialogue happens in these places.

I came to the U.S. to do a master's degree in electrical engineering in 1981, and eventually ended up at Berkeley in 1984. My first formative experience at Berkeley, like for so many, was the first year methods course with Michael Burawoy, and TA-ing for him. Berkeley was my first experience of a relatively cosmopolitan environment in the U.S. and in addition to grad school, I was also tasting the pleasures of civilized friendship. Todd Gitlin and Bob Bellah were my advisers, and they were very tolerant with me. This was part of the freewheeling, pluralistic spirit of Berkeley sociology, which I valued. But I think that the theoretical understanding of western modernity that I absorbed was historically limited, and this was clearest when studying non-western societies.

My dissertation was a reception study of a Hindu epic serialized on Indian television in the late 'eighties. The movement that grew in the serial's wake became the largest in post-independence history in India. In effect, I was able to study a historical conjuncture in formation; the movement went onto reshape Indian politics and culture. My book on this, Politics After Television (Cambridge, 2001) has won a couple of prizes. Since then, I've studied questions of religion and secularism, the cultural politics of emerging markets, and specifically, of late, urban politics in Bombay. I now teach at New York University in media studies. I enjoy working here. And I've found that New York City is an easy place to get used to.

Occupational history (why only teaching, research and beyond)? Gardener, umpire, dishwasher, ice production, packing and shipping, wallpaper hanging, researcher, liberal arts college professor (Bingham Associate Professor of Sociology at Transylvania University, Lexington, Kentucky), and attempting to be as public a sociologist as I can.

How did Berkeley influence my use and development of sociology? Incredibly. Berkeley's sociology department was a whirlwind of intellectual currents, all pulling in various, at times antinomian, directions. It was quite painful and incredibly humbling at times, but looking back after almost 10 years out, a wonderful way to grow, witness and be part of so much knowledge and intellectual vigor. I started with interests in technological developments in the workplace and then moved into the gender/work/inequality nexus which formed the basis of my dissertation research on the feminization of the banking industry.

In recent years I have been focused on ethnoracial and class dynamics, viz., multiculturalism as a social practice (as distinguishable from anideology) and am working to examine its empirical dynamics in applied and activist research on the process of Latino immigration to novel destinations in the U.S like Lexington. I have always been engaged by the intellectual history of sociology, but especially the role of social critics (marxists, feminists, queer theorists, ecologists and others) in the perpetual reform and radicalization of sociology as more than just an academic discipline.

I see sociology as needing desperately to break out of the academy and invade all domains of society, as a way of making life better, somehow. Thus I have tried to be a public sociologist and encourage my students, colleagues, and fellow citizens to think and act sociologically, as a form of praxis. The sociological imagination cannot be just an intellectual process; it must be lived to have any real effect.

How has my sociology shaped the world? I would have to say that I have seen and believe in the genetic power of ideas and actions, ones that we receive, reinvent, and transmit from the past and the present, with future targets. Thus while I might be pessimistic about trying to measure empirically the impact of any specific actions on the world, I am certain that my praxis has and will leave its traces on the people that have worked with me in the classroom, the civic center, and in the streets.""


Graduate studies at Berkeley shaped my fundamental interest in understanding the relation between knowledge and power in modern societies. My faculty mentors and fellow students provided me with intellectual tools to bring social theory to bear on social issues that mattered, and they encouraged me to develop an 'engaged' sociology. The faculty members with whom I worked also had no hesitations about providing me the space to explore areas and empirical topics that sometimes were unfamiliar to them.

After leaving Berkeley, I accepted a postdoc and then a faculty position at UCSD, where I am presently an associate professor. Although my appointment is in Sociology and I feel strong allegiances to that field, my interests have become increasingly interdisciplinary. I am active in UCSD's interdisciplinary graduate program in Science Studies, as well as in our undergraduate Critical Gender Studies Program, and I am an affiliated faculty member in the Ethnic Studies Department. I teach a range of courses on topics that include biomedicine, science studies, social theory, social movements, and sexuality.

My dissertation, advised by Jerry Karabel, was awarded the ASA's dissertation prize, and the book that developed from it, Impure Science: AIDS, Activism, and the Politics of Knowledge, received three prizes, including the C. Wright Mills award. I am pleased about the book's influence in helping people think through the complexities of relations between experts and laypeople. I am currently writing a second book which examines the 'politics of inclusion' and the 'management of difference' in U.S. biomedical research.

I am also active in professional circles outside the walls of UCSD. In recent years, I have served as a contributing editor of AJS, as a member of the governing council of the Society for Social Studies of Science, and on the National Research Advisory Board of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

Of Berkeley I will not forget the frantic first year, with drinks and cigarettes in North Beach bars and late-nights walks from Bart station on Shattuck to Grizzly Peak (home of the friendly family that provided me with a roof in the first month). I'd rather forget the following years of single-minded dissertation work, which were spent in a Spruce Street cloister (with a view). If I stayed intact, then thanks to certain Russian and Germanic authors, such as Turgenev, Musil, and Bernhard (the last time I read that sort of thing), and the occasional mental massage by Neil Smelser (without whom I'd not be able to write these lines). Two more bright Berkeley lights should be mentioned: Ricky's Star Show at Sather Gate and the Lowenthal seminar.

In 1993, I quit my job as assistant professor at the University of Southern California, and moved to the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. Having failed to get tenure there (a fate that I share with famous Berkeley alumni), I'm currently on the move again from New York, where I'm writing these lines in my lush townhouse office at the Russell Sage Foundation, to Vancouver, where I will be reunited with my old mate John Torpey at the University of British Columbia.

My source of happiness are Catherine, Benjamin and Nicolas (two life-long fiorentini), who follow me around.

I forgot: intellectually I started as a Habermasian; I'm now a reactionary liberal; what will I be next?

Having gotten my BA in mathematics in 1961 (from Brandeis), I made my way by loops and by-ways to a doctorate in sociology at UC exactly thirty years later. In between I lived in India for seven years, publishing two books, Bullock Carts and Motor Bikes: Ancient India on a New Road in 1972, and On a Tree of Trouble: Tribes of India in Crisis in 1974.

In 1972, I returned to the US, with a small son, a militant set of principles about child-rearing, few ideas about earning a living, and good friends in the San Francisco Bay Area. With the latter, I began a lay practice in an alternative approach to psychotherapy, work grounded in a social theory of alienation and a practice focused on community-building, including group therapy and conflict resolution. We taught workshops in mediation and trained therapists and mediators in long-term apprenticeships.

After some fourteen years, as my son considered where he wanted to go to college, I began enviously to long for a contemplative space in which to explore more deeply, and more theoretically, the ideas on which my practice was based. I applied to the sociology department at Berkeley and was accepted.

The faculty afforded me precisely the forum I wanted, to talk, to read, to write about the questions that occupied me, both in my therapist persona and as an activist. I saw academia as a way to bring together my attachments in South Asia to my more recent wanderings in the intersection of psyche and society. Under the tutelage of Bob Blauner, Sandy Freitag, and others, I returned to the subcontinent to study Hindu-Muslim conflict. In 1992 UC Press published Some Trouble with Cows: Making Sense of Social Conflict, an analysis of a riot in a Bangladeshi village, based only on the oral accounts of the villagers.

While continuing my therapy practice, I've gone on since then talking with people about moments of intense social conflict they've lived, and trying to draw from those oral histories sociological theory with a social justice bent. Bitters in the Honey: Tales of Hope and Disappointment across Divides of Race and Time was published in 1999 by University of Arkansas Press, a study of white racism in the context of working people's problems; the study derives from interviews with people from Little Rock, Arkansas, whose lives were touched by the crisis there when Central High School was desegregated in 1957. Currently, I'm talking with people around the country about the police killing of Amadou Diallo in New York to explore wide circles of social issues.

From time to time, I also teach at UC Berkeley in the Peace and Conflict Studies program and the Sociology Department.

Colin Samson is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at the University of Essex in England. He has been working with the Innu peoples of the Labrador-Quebec peninsula in Canada since 1994. His associations with them led to co-authoring the widely-cited human rights report Canada's Tibet: the killing of the Innu which won the Italian Pio Manzo peace prize in 2000. His book A Way of Life that Does Not Exist: Canada and the Extinguishment of the Innu (Verso Press) won the Pierre Savard Award given by the International Council for Canadian Studies in 2006. He has written a number of recent book chapters and articles on indigenous peoples' human rights and the role of anthropology in indigenous rights conflicts. In 2009 he worked with German film-maker Sarah Sandring on a film about the relocation of the Mushuau Innu in 1948. Over 2009/10 he was a Visiting Scholar at the University of Arizona, where he has been completing another book on the effects of colonialism on indigenous peoples and their potentials to reverse its most damaging effects through maintaining cultural continuity.

I was drawn to Berkeley because of its tradition of sociological reflection on important public issues. After graduating from Berkeley in 1992, I had a variety of interesting opportunities that broadened my intellectual horizons. Chief among these were a year as a post-doc at the Center for European Studies at Harvard; a stint as a program officer in the Jennings Randolph Program for International Peace at the United States Institute of Peace, Washington, D.C.; and a year-long fellowship at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. During the summer of 1999, I had the good fortune to be a visiting professor in the Department of Sociology at Boðaziçi (Bo-WA-zi-chi, aka Bosphorus) University in Istanbul, Turkey, at the invitation of another fellow Berkeley Ph.D., Faruk Birtek.

Over the years, my work has addressed the transformation of formerly socialist societies (my dissertation) and the development of nation-states (The Invention of the Passport). My current research on reparations for historical injustices concerns the worldwide spread of that idea to many historical experiences and explores why the past has come to play such a prominent role in contemporary politics. In connection with that project, I have grown increasingly engaged by questions concerning the nature, history, and fate of social hierarchies based on the idea of race.

I remain interested in the history of modern social thought, an interest nurtured at Berkeley. I see the classics as entirely relevant to the situation in which we find ourselves, and am grateful that I have the opportunity to teach social theory here at UBC. In this regard, I am working on a new edition of Tocqueville's classic, Democracy in America, for the Oxford World's Classics series.


Leah's book Violent Democratization:  Social Movements, Elites, and Politics in Colombia's Rural War Zones, and update of her dissertation, is scheduled to be released in January, 2011.

As of this writing, in 2010, I have drifted far afield from academic sociology. I still like to think that my life was forever impacted by having gone to graduate school, so long ago.

My dissertation became my second book, Roads to Dominion: Right-Wing Movements and Political Power in the United States, published in 1995 by the Guilford Press.

I published two other books after that, then donated my archives on right-wing movements to the Bancroft Library and retired from doing research and writing on the subject in 1998. I stopped doing the work simply because it was unsustainable for me personally and financially. I was unable to get a full-time teaching position in the bay area and I could not afford to continue to work as a part-time adjunct at Cal State Hayward, which I did for five years.

In 2000 I went to law school, and as soon as I passed the bar exam, I established my own solo law practice, in the areas of estate planning, probate and trust administration. My office is in downtown Berkeley, and about half my clients are UC employees. I hear from them about the many ways in which the university is no longer what it used to be, let alone what it was intended to be. I feel both sad about that and glad that I transitioned out of academia. I like being an entrepreneur, and I enjoy the field of law I'm in. I do no litigation and a lot of counseling with a diverse group of people, including many who are in the midst of health problems and other crises.

I rarely get a chance to read social science any more. I mostly read fiction, and I garden, knit, and tend to my house and partner. Aside from work, my private life is pretty all-consuming. I sometimes miss having a rigorous intellectual life, but not often.

I was greatly influenced by the graduate student and local political culture of Berkeley. So I am happy to have ended up in a Progressive city and state. The lifestyle is sublime here. My department, for the most part, sees itself as political, leftist, feminist, and sociologically ecumenical. 'Berkeley sociology' is appreciated here. This makes my life easier as a scholar, teacher, citizen, and mother, although in another biography I would not list my identities in that order.

I came to Berkeley from the Midwest to work with David Matza, at a time when few people studied deviance anymore. After conducting field research on AIDS outreach to injection drug users on the streets of a West Coast city, I entertained grand ideas (which were later dashed) of doing applied ethnography. But I took a job in academia after all; I figured one could leave the tenure track after a time easier than one could jump onto the track after a time. But I'm still here! Strangely, I wound up at the ideal place for me, the University of Vermont (in Burlington, sometimes described as Berkeley's sister city), where I am an associate professor of sociology. And now, two kids later and more gray hairs, I do field work in rather circumscribed settings, such as prisons.

I came to Berkeley with some vague idea that I was a symbolic interactionist and ethnographer. I left a Burawoyian ethnographer, with a focus on the less visible constraints that actors resist. My work now focuses on discourses of discipline and resistance. Insofar as my interactionist/constructionist bent has been modified, I try to address one of the fundamental weaknesses of interactionism by squarely tackling the role of power in discursive practices. Since Berkeley, I have come to enjoy and incorporate the works of Foucault and Dorothy Smith and the like.

As a student of (and former participant in) deviant behavior, I have been disenchanted with the elitism and humorlessness of (most) academic work. I still struggle with the value of the kind of academic research I enjoy doing. I could scarcely write this bio because I was so daunted by the question of how my sociology has changed the world! A list of my publications would not answer that question. Like frightfully many sociologists, a handful of people read my work, some like it. My work on prison therapy contributes a dissenting view from the traditional corrections literature which is uncritical of its own discursive/disciplinary techniques. Because so much of the research on prisons is of the what works variety, the Berkeley-ness of my sociology comes through in its theoretical flavor. What these publications change beyond my job security is anybody's guess, but it is fun stuff to think about. What I continue to enjoy about sociology is the intellectual play, which Berkeley gave me a taste for. And let's face it: academia provides a very nice life (despite all of our whining). Where else can one get paid to think, read and write? And the autonomy! But I suspect the people who are really changing the world are the ones who quit grad school or avoided academia.

I still feel like an ethnographer, even in/of academia, participating successfully enough, but still observing, scratching my head and taking notes?

I was fortunate to get a job within a year of my doctoral defense, and taught for four years at Georgia State University in Atlanta. Since then, I've been teaching at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, along with several fellow Berkeley grads. My research has branched out from social movements and revolutions, the field of my dissertation, to political sociology more broadly. I am currently working on a comparative history of new democracies that emerged around the world, and quickly failed, in the decade before World War I -- a project that builds on my Berkeley training in historical sociology. At the same time, my dissertation's focus on Iran has led to an interest in Islamic studies more generally. I edited two anthologies in this field, one on "Liberal Islam" (1998) and one on "Modernist Islam, 1840-1940" (2002), and am working to bring Islamic studies and sociology into more meaningful conversation with one another, after years of separate (though often parallel) trajectories. Since September 11, 2001, I have been asked to speak to public audiences and journalists who want to know more about Islamist movements. While preparing myself for these out-of-classroom educational settings, I have drawn lessons and taken heart from the careers of the public intellectuals on the Berkeley sociology faculty, who were a big part of the place's initial attraction for me when I was considering going to graduate school, back in the mid-1980s.

My academic career began with an attempt to decipher 'the Taiwan economic miracle.' The subcontracting network provided a key: its variegated and tiny units of production, its flexible mobilization and combination of these units, its downward-squeezing mechanism, its deployment of homeworkers, and its opportunity for 'becoming one's own boss.' This was the hidden abode of Taiwanese capitalism at its export-oriented phase.

A further deciphering of the category of 'wage' disclosed that the 'labor-only consciousness' dominated their everyday life in the shop floor. Only when the employment relationship threatened to break asunder did they realize that their labor power meant more than their piece wage only, thanks to the specifications of labor law.

I just finished an ethnography of a tea-producing village in the northern Taiwan to uncover the cultural base of the 'labor-only consciousness.' The native categories of understanding that concern the villagers' conceptions of 'personhood,' 'positionality,' 'cause,' and so on articulate with the category of 'wage,' and hence present a complicated and unanticipated local landscape of capitalism.

My future study will be a phenomenological investigation of commodity fetishism as it is encountered in the community of Taiwanese workers. While recognizing Power is Knowledge, which collective social action can directly challenges and perhaps changes, I nevertheless believe that Knowledge is Power, especially the profound knowledge that can bring to light the disguising mechanisms that make power as knowledge. That kind of profound knowledge comes from rigorous and original academic research at its base, to which I have dedicated myself.

I don't think my bio would be quite what you are looking for - no teaching or research, no shaping as a sociologist, and as to how sociology shapes the world, well, I'm not sure it does that much. I'm working as an artist, raising my children, and living pretty happily most of the time. Sociology seems kinda like ancient history to me, but not bad history, just not that relevant toi my life in the here and now.

My work has grown over the years out of a deep interest in ornamentation; how ornament has evolved in and across cultures, its usage in functional and decorative art, and the psychological function of ornamentation in modern as well as premodern culture. I have worked with ornament in the context of textile art, sculpture and, more recently, mixed media works onm paper and furniture art.

I was drawn to sociology for the license to practice social change it promised! In 1980, I traveled to the Middle East to see what I could do with an M.A. from the University of Michigan. After six years of work with a community-based organization, research and teaching, I returned to graduate school to prepare for a teaching career. I chose Berkeley, which I imagined to be teeming with Marxist sociologists. Of course quality is better than quantity, so I did not regret my choice, but midway through the program I realized that academia was not where I belonged. I managed to resist leaving the program by launching into a dissertation that was personally meaningful to me: a comparative study of the South African and Palestinian national liberation movements.

The job search was extremely difficult; human rights jobs were few and the chasm between the worlds of academia and non-profits difficult to bridge. After nearly a year, I landed in philanthropy another world altogether but one that, fortunately, values the other two. The Mertz Gilmore Foundation, a leading human rights funder, provided me with an extraordinary window into the field -- a veritable gold mine for a sociologist! From Berkeley, I brought methodological and analytical questions to the evaluation of funding proposals and programs, and I'm making a modest contribution to social change through the International Human Rights Funders Group an international network of funders committed to the realization of the full spectrum of human rights globally, including in the U.S.


I started my teaching career in 1981 as one of the founding faculty members of the Department of Sociology & Anthropology in Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu, Nepal. When I was nominated for a Fulbright-Hays scholarship to pursue a Ph.D. degree in sociology in USA in 1987, I gave top priority to UC-Berkeley because of my interest in qualitative sociology. I spent six years (1987-1993) there. I am very proud that I did it from Berkeley. I miss Berkeley and its very excellent, stimulating and inspiring academic and socio-cultural environment. I have a very fond memory of inspiring teaching style of Prof. Michael Burawoy, guidance of Prof. Robert N. Bellah, administrative and academic help and support of Ms. Elsa Tranter, books and journals of the library and local book stores, specially MOE's, sproul plaza, family life in UC Village at Albany, social diversity of the campus, and fellow graduate students with great academic performance.

After my return from Berkeley to Nepal in 1993, I developed my own working model, which I call RATOS: R stands for Research, A for Advocacy, T for teaching & Training, O for Organization building and S for Social Mobilization. I believe that this model is a Nepalized version of what life was at Berkeley as I experienced during my six years of stay. Since 1993, my only goal has been to contribute for rapid transformation of the Nepalese society for social equity and equality. By now, I have presented dozens of papers in international and national seminars, published about 150 articles on Nepalese society, culture and ethno-politics, and co-edited several books. The kind of research I do is mostly what I call it 'advocacy research' and I am heavily engaged in right-based social movements of indigenous nationalities, women, Dalit ("untouchables"), Madhesi (people of Terai region), mother tongue speakers, religious groups and other minorities. My teaching has spread its wings from graduate classrooms to outside the university premises including the remote villages. Also, I encourage different suppressed, oppressed and marginzalized groups to get organized and socially mobilized to claim their rights. Berkeley has given me full confidence and re-chargeable epistemological, theoretical, methodological and practical energy in juggling with these five different balls at the same time.

Berkeley taught me to think, imagine and practice sociology for common good and also to eat, drink, smell, play and live with sociology. I would have never been what I am in Nepal now, if I was not lucky enough to get a Ph.D. degree from Berkeley.

As a political sociologist, I am interested in the operation of actually-existing democracies, including processes related to public opinion, elections, and the level of legitimacy of, and degree of comprehensiveness in, welfare state policies. A good deal of contemporary political-sociological work is informed by the assumption that comparative-historical variation between welfare states, especially with reference to their effects on public social provision and civil rights/liberties, has far-reaching political and policy-relevant implications. The encompassing welfare states of Scandinavia, for instance, present an important alternative to laissez-faire democracy, and one whose relevance extends from left political parties and policy-makers to social movement actors and intellectuals.

My orientation has been influenced by the traditions of Berkeley sociology. My work is shaped by power resources theory and its variants, and by the tradition of empirical democratic theory that has emerged from U.S. political behavior research. Finally, I take seriously survey research methods and the quantitative analysis of cross-section and also panel data.

Much of my past research has investigated causal mechanisms behind the historical development of U.S. voter alignments in the postwar era. Another part of my research has analyzed structure and trends in American public opinion during the past three decades. Several new strains of research seek to situate the U.S. within a cross-national perspective to better gauge the effects of political system type, political culture, and other country-specific characteristics. In one such project I bring together comparative research on welfare states with empirical democratic theory to see whether exogenous shifts in public opinion contribute to the policy activities of national governments within the developed democracies.

I came to Berkeley from Boston, where I'd worked for a couple of years after graduating from Swarthmore College. Coming from a sociology family, I was ambivalent and vaguely embarrassed about the Sociology PhD part of the plan, but I figured it was warmer in California, physically and culturally, and I liked the idea of being both learned and tanned. It turned out to be a great place for me. I immediately adored my cohort, even though I was scared of how smart everybody was, and I was impressed by how often people were in the mood to drink. The faculty was accessible and interesting. I didn't really know quite what I wanted to do with myself, besides teach and write, so it suited me to have people who could push me in different areas but who never wanted to make me into mini-thems. Gradually, some interests started to emerge. With Ann Swidler and Todd Gitlin, I started to get more serious about the sociology of culture, especially media culture. With Michael Burawoy's intense P.O. seminar, I started to get interested in social movements, especially sexuality-based movements. Somehow, I wound up writing a dissertation about celebrity culture, which became a book, and then a few articles about gay and lesbian movements. The next thing I knew I was teaching at Yale--a mixed blessing, though a great experience. In 2002, I moved back to the Bay Area to teach at University of San Francisco. I think what Berkeley gave me was a sense that I could confidently pursue things that really interested me, however strange my choices might seem to others, and that the best work would come out of the pursuit. I've tried to pass on to students during the past decade. I suppose you could argue that I've taken that all a bit far; I've written about tv talk shows and sex scandals,among other things, and published a life-and-times biography of the late disco star Sylvester. But I thank the Berkeley faculty for teaching me that rigor and intelligence can be combined with curiosity, humor, and play.

After I got my PhD, I began teaching sociology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. I moved to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 2000 where I am currently an assistant professor. I travel to China regularly, doing ethnographic fieldwork, offering graduate seminars in Chinese universities in Beijing, and collaborating with Mainland Chinese sociologists. My current projects look at changing patterns of labor politics and collective memories of socialism. As Chinese sociology recovers and booms after thirty-year of state suppression, it immediately faces the challenge of grappling with the momentous social transformation unleashed by market reform. Making mutual sense of China and sociology is the daunting task we face now.

I do not know yet how my sociology may matter to the world but I am increasingly aware of a unique Berkeley vision of sociology that has quietly nurtured my work. That vision is a mix of transnational, humanistic and critical sensibilities that faculties and students there have created and sustained together. Berkeley sociologists embody transnationalism not only in their work grounded in societies outside of the United State, but more importantly in their insistence on critical engagement between sociology and area-specific insights. The search for productive tension and mutual illumination of both kinds of knowledge is a challenge and impetus for my erratic moves across research projects and countries. Moreover, the Berkeley tradition of ethnography has kept me in touch with the humanistic and critical impulse of sociology, whenever I felt the need for an intellectual and moral anchor.

I entered Berkeley in 1987 as a legal services attorney who had hoped to make the world fairer for poor women. After 5 years of practice I was cynical about the prospects for changing anything, much less the lives of my clients. I chose Berkeley because I was a pragmatic progressive feminist in search of explanations for inequality and injustice.

Once there, I traveled the intellectual terrains of welfare state theory, Marxism, feminism, race theory, and post-modernism with Burawoy, Hochschild, Luker, Blauner, and others. A fantastic group of women graduate students with whom I read in gender, race, and theory challenged me even more than the faculty! In 1991, I moved to New York, got married, had 2 children, practiced disability law to pay the bills, and did ethnographic research on welfare reform. My dissertation examined welfare state reconstruction in the U.S. as the state stopped supporting mothers' care work and began demanding wage work. I remain interested in the ways oppressed groups forge alternative visions of work, independence, and entitlement in the face of a contracting welfare state, and thanks to a post-doc fellowship from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, am currently doing ethnographic research on independence and inclusion for people with disabilities. I anticipate a career of teaching, research, and social justice work, and while I don't yet know how my sociology will shape the world, I do know that Berkeley training demands a sociology that is local and global, critical and political, engaged and meaningful.

I did both my undergraduate and graduate work in sociology at Berkeley, with a few years off in between. I took my first sociology course -- a tiny undergraduate seminar on Marxism -- as a 19 year-old sophomore with Michael Burawoy in the spring of 1982. This was a transformative experience intellectually, and it led me directly into sociology as a field of study as well as defining the shape of the intellectual questions I would be interested in for some time. Throughout both my undergraduate and graduate years, Bill Kornhauser encouraged and provided a sounding board for my emerging interests and ideas in political sociology, social movements, and the study of social change. My own trajectory as a graduate student reflected some of the changes in the Berkeley department. On the one hand, I continued a line of work on class analysis and radical political change that led to a dissertation on the U.S. New Deal, under the direction of Jerry Karabel and Mike Rogin. At the same time, however, I also began developing a research program (with Mike Hout and especially with Clem Brooks) in political sociology that makes use of survey data and quantitative methods, and that is the type of work that I have mostly pursued since leaving Berkeley.

I currently teach at Northwestern University, in Evanston, IL. I think the central imprint my years at Berkeley have been a desire to do sociology that will speak to general audiences and engage political and policy concerns. For the most part, I haven't succeeded. But my major current project as I write this (in October 2002), a study of the political and social consequences of felon disenfranchisement in the United States, is contributing to an emerging political debate, getting a fairly significant amount of media attention, and is even connecting up with an emerging social movement to re-enfranchise offenders. I'd like to imagine it is the sort of public sociology that reflects something of the Berkeley sociological tradition, and I hope to work in that vein in the future as well.

When I applied to graduate school, a mentor suggested any social science degree would do. How wrong she was! Any education worth its salt is transformative. Certainly Berkeley sociology transformed me. Graduate school (classmates at least as much as faculty) changed the world I saw and inhabited, revealing 'structure' wherever I looked. Since then, I use the language of structure more rarely like many others I've come to be as interested in surfaces as hidden bones, and in contingencies as much as determinations. But the conviction that individual lives are patterned beyond our single skins, and an intuition for how one might make that visible, legible, maybe even movable, has become a fundamental part of who I am.I left Berkeley for the University of Chicago, where I was lucky enough to continue to be student as well as teacher turning increasingly to anthropology and history. My book, Genders in Production: Making Workers in Mexico's Global Factories (2003), was slow in coming, and so bears the marks of those shifts. Today I'm about to make another move, to Boston College, seeking a place where my closest colleagues can be inside as well as outside sociology. I've also begun shifting my attention from the economy as context to the economy as object. I'm currently studying finance looking to delineate how meanings and subjectivities shape, organize and constitute economic processes, and thus to help chip away at their status as forces of nature that operate beyond our reach.


Ricky N. Bluthenthal's major research contributions have been in the areas of HIV epidemiology and prevention for drug injectors, racial/ethnic differences in alcohol consumption, consequences, and treatment outcomes, and community approaches to health promotion. Dr. Bluthenthal has published over 75 studies in peer-reviewed scientific journals such as the American Journal of Public Health, Addiction, Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, and Social Science and Medicine. He was formerly a Senior Social Scientist at the RAND Corporation (1998-2010), Dean of Graduate Studies and Research (2009-2010), Director of the Urban Community Research Center (2006-2010), and Professor (with tenure 2006-2010) at the California State University Dominguez Hills.

I went to Berkeley in sociology at the encouragement of wonderful faculty at Hampshire College. Until I got on the plane to Berkeley, I'd virtually never been out of New England, and I arrived thinking graduate school took four years, just like undergrad. After a tough first semester, I became inspired by the political and intellectual climate at Berkeley. Courses on feminism, sexuality, race, and psychoanalysis with Chodorow, Almaguer, Blauner, Luker, Hochschild, and Rogin were influential in developing my understanding of gender, sexuality and the self in everyday life. Just as important were the continuous conversations with my fellow graduate students, especially Elizabeth Armstrong and Arona Ragins, that took place in cafes all over Berkeley and that integrated the personal, academic, and political.

After finishing my dissertation, I got a job at the University of Michigan, where I am now an Associate Professor. My dissertation became a book with Routledge, and since then I have done research on how children's bodies are gendered in preschool and on how gender identity shapes labor and childbirth. I am currently finishing a project on the appearance routines of college women and starting a new one on parenting experts and gender, called, "William Wants a Doll. Can He Have One?" In my teaching and mentoring I try to teach students what I learned at Berkeley--how to think critically about the taken for granted, everyday, social world.

Inspired by the new class theory of Gouldner, I came to Berkeley in 1987 to study with Erik Olin Wright, who had been described by my Columbia-school mentors as a Marxist but a good sociologist. Upon visiting, however, Wright informed me that he was going back to Wisconsin, where the average daily temperature was a good 400 degrees colder (Celsius). Since students at Berkeley seemed so jolly, and I found an advisor who liked to talk almost as much as I did, I ended up staying. In the next ten years, I raised koi in a baby pool in my back yard, gardened, worked constantly on two motorcycles and a microbus, learned to play the banjo, and had two sons. I also vaguely remember completing a dissertation, a crime for which I was cruelly expelled.

While at Berkeley I learned much about the history of theory from Jim Stockinger, and advanced methods from Jim Wiley. But I also got something from the regular faculty: I got inspiration and caution regarding the pursuit of new methods from Mike Hout and Claude Fischer (respectively), I learned how to defend dogmatism while remaining intellectually open from Michael Burawoy, and I learned how to analyze fields without being evicted from the one in which my profession was embedded from Neil Fligstein. In addition, I profited from courses with Almaguer, Arditi, Evans, Goodman, Hochschild, Luker, and Schluchter. And of course I got my sense of how to do sociology and I think all the ideas that seem to be mine from Ann Swidler.

Completely unqualified for anything else, I have remained in sociology, still trying to understand what culture is all about. What did I learn most from Berkeley? To distrust methodological sophistication a great deal, and theoretical sophistication completely, and instead base one's scholarship on a passionate love of social life, even if you find most people pretty irritating.

As a graduate student, I found Berkeley sociology's long traditions of intellectual criticism and social engagement to be inspiring, sometimes frustrating, never boring. Sociology at Berkeley offered an alternative to the model of social scientists as professional monopolists of expertise and purveyors of the same to privileged elites. Instead, the department preserves an ideal of sociological knowledge that addresses, and enlarges, the democratic public sphere. Such a vocation demands, if anything, an even greater analytic clarity, investigative rigor, and accountability to a wider audience.

Since leaving the Bay Area I have taught courses in political sociology and social movements, urban sociology, labor relations, race and ethnicity, and historical methods, at Michigan State University and currently at Yale University. I've published articles on the Ku Klux Klan movement of the Nineteen Twenties and the 1946 General Strike in Oakland, California, and my book No There There: Race, Class and Political Community in Oakland is forthcoming from the University of California Press. My current research interests include contemporary alliances between labor unions and community organizations in selected U.S. cities, and industrial relations within the mass media. Methodologically, I am interested in narrative forms of sociological explanation, and problems of representing collective agency. Given the pervasive individualization of American politics and culture, my goal in sociology is to recover the history of collective actors, and to show how they contribute to social change.


I feel fortunate that my professional life to date has built on the ethnographic work on poverty I did in the department. I had a pair of post-doc's in Berkeley (thru the school of public health) that moved me into health policy--something I'd studied as an undergrad. The transition included some extremely painful professional moments and miscues that taught me a lot about academic politics. Thanks to Laura Schmidt, a cohort-mate in the dept, I ended up doing ethnographic work on how welfare reform is affecting recipients with substance use problems. I am grateful to Laura and many others that my dissertation will come out as "The Price of Poverty" from UC Press in Dec, 2003.

I'm now at UCSF in a soft-money faculty position in health policy and medical anthropology. In addition to the work on welfare reform, I'm doing an ethnography of cancer care among the poor. I'm ambivalent about my arms-length relationship with the discipline of sociology. During grad school, my professional aspiration was a faculty position in a soc dept. But I'm comfortable in interdisciplinary and policy-oriented UCSF, and the sociology I learned at Berkeley--training in an intellectual approach more than a disciplinary field--serves me well here.

The good fortune I've enjoyed in my professional life is dwarfed by what I've had personally. I'm madly in love with my wife and daughter, and living in San Francisco is dreamy.

The reasons for my fascination with authoritarian states and the ways that people manage to live in them are probably better left unexplored. In any case, they have led me to research on rhetorical strategies, cultural conflicts and strategies of everyday life in dictatorial environments like 1970's Argentina and 1990's Serbia. On some level, this has put me in the company of area-studies researchers, which is only partly consistent with my motivation. One of the principal reasons for going far afield to study life in authoritarian contexts has been the perception that authoritarianism is never very far away. As Theodor Adorno put it not too long after the Second World War, "the continued existence of fascism within democracy is more threatening than the continued existence of fascist tendencies against democracy." The examples that make this insight applicable to the contemporary United States will change several times long before the productivity of the insight is exhausted.

Berkeley's sociology department first attracted me because of its tradition of exploring the connections between political structures, cultural forms and social outcomes. While recognizing that "professional" sociology offers a foundation, it is "public" sociology that opens the opportunity for a dialogue about essential issues. The faculty provided outstanding models for the practice of public sociology, and the program offered me the freedom to find a path into the field. Several years out, it is still a difficult path to trace forward. But the impulse to affirm basic human values by inviting audiences to consider the cultural dimensions of political issues is strong, and it developed under the (not always conscious or intentional) guidance of Berkeley scholars like Franz Schurmann, Todd Gitlin, Troy Duster, Bob Blauner and Robert Bellah.

When my dissertation was published in 1999 as The Culture of Power in Serbia, I saw it as an affirmation of how ground-level sociological explanation could move political discussions beyond the level of moralism and essentialism. I was gratified to see it praised as insightful, complex and nuanced, and also to see it condemned as an apology for, depending on the reviewer, Serbian fascism or US imperialism. I took these as signs that public sociology still has the potential to catalyze both scholarly and political attention. My present research, on processes of social accounting for guilt and responsibility in the wake of gross human rights violations will, I hope, be no less productive or controversial.

One primary goal remains finding ways to bring the discussion back home. I have been privileged to have the chance to bring the strands of concern together in courses on political sociology, popular culture, human rights and genocide. If research can make the strange familiar, and education make the familiar strange, there may be some purpose in engaging in both after all.

Dr. Laura Schmidt is a sociologist with Masters degrees in public health and social welfare. She is currently Principal Investigator for the Welfare Client Longitudinal Study funded through the National Institutes of Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Study. Implementing Welfare Reform, and collaborates on other studies examining access to care, managed care and stigma in health care organizations. Dr. Schmidt has an extensive publications record in health services research focusing on organizational responses to substance abuse problems, access and utilization. She has consulted for the World Health Organization on studies of the social determinants of health and the cross-cultural applicability of diagnostic concepts related to addiction. She is also the author of the forthcoming book, The Corporate Transformation of American Medicine: Building the Health Care Market, under contract with Princeton University Press.

After several years of political/educational work in Central America in the 1980s, I sought deeper intellectual formation and was attracted to Berkeley by the work of faculty members Bellah, Swidler, and Burawoy. Theoretical training under these three, along with more empirical studies with Cole, Voss, Evans, Hout, and Fischer, gradually focused my interests on the cultural and institutional bases of democracy. Meanwhile, my political praxis and faith commitments drew my empirical attention to grassroots forms of democratic engagement. My dissertation involved a comparative analysis of the internal cultural dynamics of faith-based and race-based forms of community organizing in multiracial organizations in the U.S., and was ultimately published as Faith in Action: Religion, Race, and Democratic Organizing in America (University of Chicago, 2002). 

Berkeley shaped me as an analytic ethnographer and as a public intellectual. I strive to use a theoretically-driven version of participatory action research to understand, explain, and help re-shape the social world. I chose to become a faculty member at the University of New Mexico, a leading minority-serving doctoral institution and the premier research university in the poorest state of the U.S. I teach graduate and some undergraduate courses there, and have published steadily but not voluminously. In teaching and research, I strive to contribute to both disciplinary progress and "public sociology" -- the latter through dialogue with institutional leaders in foundations, political organizations, policing, and religious denominations.

My core intellectual interests remain the cultural and institutional underpinnings of democracy. Following an excursion into studying urban policing and its relationship to the democratic process (publications soon to emerge), I am now launching a new project to analyze the symbiotic and parasitic outcomes when political movements forge links to faith communities. 


I entered the Berkeley Sociology Department in the fall of 1990. The first few years of my education at Berkeley were entangled with the anxiety of the Gulf War, the trauma of the Oakland Hills firestorm, a labor strike to demand collective bargaining rights for AGSE, and graduate student protests over a controversial faculty hire. I sought temporary relief from these events as an editor for the Berkeley Journal of Sociology and as a member of one of Michael Burawoy's legendary Participant Observation seminars. It was in that class that I found my passion for the sociology of education and learned of the power of ethnography. That class ultimately pointed me towards my dissertation topic the cultural dimensions of school choice.

The most lasting effect Berkeley had on me, however, was that it turned me into a teacher of sociology. Ann Swidler and Michael Burawoy modeled ideal teaching methods in and out of the classroom. I began teaching out of financial necessity and ended up teaching because I loved it. In an attempt to raise the profile of teaching as part of our graduate education I initiated the GSI training seminar in the sociology department.

Since I graduated in 1999 I've been teaching sociology at Saint Mary's College of California, a small Catholic liberal arts college. I have the pleasure of teaching undergraduate courses on theory, methods, education, social movements, whiteness, disasters, adolescence, and film. In spite of a heavy teaching load I still find time for research. My book, Hollywood Goes to High School: Cinema, Schools and American Culture (Worth Publishers, 2005) analyzes the representation of schools and teens in popular films. It is now in its second edition (2015).

The last several months of writing my dissertation (Beyond Reason: Reconciling Emotions with Social Theory) were one of the high points of my life so far. I experienced a fountain of creativity and energy, and felt truly blessed to have the opportunity to express ideas so dear to my heart in a systematic and rigorous way.

While I did not pursue an academic career, I did not give up on teaching. While still in school, I became acquainted with Nonviolent Communication, a process and a philosophy which have informed my thinking and transformed my life. Since before my graduation I have been teaching people how to put human needs and feelings at the center of both theory and practice. I co-founded a local organization ( which is part of an international network of organizations and individual trainers, and I am happy to say that I have found my calling.

Just as much as my study of Nonviolent Communication affected my dissertation, my research in social theory has affected my teaching. I often find myself relating to my students stories, ideas, facts, and conceptualizations I came upon as part of my study of sociology. The writing bug has definitely stayed with me. I have published several articles since my graduation, and although my dissertation did not get accepted for publication, I continue to nurture a hope of revising parts of it into a book for the general educated public. I have a blog that is quite beyond the personal (, and I run a monthly TV program on a local community channel that is uploaded regularly ( If my sociology contributes to more people in the world learning to value their feelings and needs and to act empathically towards themselves and each other, there is nothing more I could hope for as a consequence of 10 years of my life.

I never intended to be an academic, but I always saw my Ph.D. training as a way to inform committed activism with the broad range of social insights that a Berkeley training was especially useful in instilling. My research, since turned into a book called 'Net Loss: Internet Prophets, Private Profits And The Costs To Community' (published by Penn State Press in 2002), was a way to analyze how changes in technology had shaped and been shaped by broader policies effecting economic inequality in society. I went to law school after Berkeley and, after a short stint in a law firm representing workers and unions, I now am employed as a policy analyst and counsel for the Brennan Center for Justice, which is affiliated with NYU Law School. My work focuses on supporting community groups and unions that are fighting for more work rights and smarter economic development for low-wage workers. It combines a nice combination of legal work, research, policy advocacy and community organizing.


I chose Berkeley because I imagined myself immersed in a politically active intellectual culture by day and being a coffee house free spirit by night. I was not disappointed. Right away, I got swept up in protests over departmental hiring and AGSE's struggle for recognition. Tense confrontations with professors were followed by tense support sessions with other professors. Mental gymnastics in Burawoy's seminars were mixed in with singing 'union carols' on the picket line. In our spare time, my cohortniks and I were discussing Marx and complaining about the department over cheap beer and pizza.

Berkeley's lassez-faire approach to mentoring let me explore a topic about which no one in the department was really able to guide me (culture and national identity in Uzbekistan). For better or worse, one can be a student at Berkeley without being a student of Berkeley. Other sociologists who want to understand my 'niche' wonder in what way am I a student of Ann or Michael. Though I don't always use the tools they gave me (often to my detriment!), they are in my kit.

I can't yet narrate a brilliant career trajectory upon which I was launched by Berkeley, but maybe that's the point. I have taught here and there. I publish my work here and there. I get most of the grants I apply for. And I continue to look for projects based not on carving out an alcove for myself in some well-established niche, but based on what is interesting to me and what is useful for the people I study. I came into Berkeley with a personality that pushed me to plunge into new territory and, to Berkeley's credit, I left Berkeley the same way.

After Berkeley I joined the sociology department of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Here I find myself (in common with what I understand to be a disproportionate number of Berkeley Sociology PhDs) as the theory person and have the true pleasure of getting to teach the undergrad and graduate level theory courses. I credit my love for teaching theory primarily to the multiple opportunities I had to work as a GSI for Michael Burawoy teaching social theory (as well as Michael Kimmel and Jim Stockinger). I feel fortunate that I additionally get to teach basically any substantive course I want and have taught graduate and undergraduate courses in gender, sexuality, religion, class and culture. As I teach any of these courses I am continually reminded of those that mentored me at Berkeley: Hochschild, Chodorow, Swidler, Burawoy and Fligstein.

I think of myself as a gender sociologist with shifting research interests. In the first two years of my tenure track I gave birth to 3 children, which, combined with the prospect of transforming my dissertation into a book, created some pretty exquisite anxiety. That book, Gender and Agency: How Young People Make Choices about Sex, came out just about the time my kids were entering kindergarten. In my current research I have shifted away - at least for now - from studying heterosexuality. In a qualitative interview project that looks at the redshirting of kindergarteners, I focus on how class and gender factor into the perceived competitive advantage of starting children (primarily boys) in school a year after they are legally eligible.

I'm the Managing Director of Research and Development for The McHenry Group, a financial consultancy that specializes in risk management and business development support for the investment-based benefits market . At McHenry, I am responsible for conducting financial analyses, industry assessments, and research on the latest pension and retirement trends. In addition, I manage research and design for financial reporting and analytical tools, which involves improving statistical measures, data calculation and testing, and product design.

In my spare time, I'm also the Managing Director for ELM Research & Strategy, which I co-founded with Berkeley Sociology alumnus Jason McNichol. ELM provides integrated research, development, and incubation services for new ventures in the non-profit, public, and private sectors. My work at the company has focused on employment and work processes research.

For ELM, I've conducted research on taxi driver health care for the San Francisco Department of Public Health, done a series of studies on sexual minorities in militaries around the globe, analyzed commodity chains and global corporate organizations in the maritime transport industry for the ILWU, and continue to work on an innovative city-union organizational change partnership in San Francisco.

While there certainly were faster ways of getting here, I've never regretted getting my Ph.D. or pursuing a career path outside of academia. A Ph.D. from Berkeley provides instant legitimacy within my industry. The training in Economic Sociology, Organizational Sociology, Political Sociology and Quantitative Methods has been tremendously helpful in my work, providing methodological and analytical tools for understanding the quantitative financial issues and the organizational and institutional elements of the industry. And while my work is less in-depth than academic research, its breadth and pace make my present career dynamic, challenging and engaging. I work with a group of good people who care about the lack of pension security in the U.S. and who, in their own small way, are working to improve accountability and transparency in the industry.

One final note: I was consistently surprised by the number of graduate students who expressed their own doubts about an academic career path when I told them my plans. It is one option among many, and I'm glad to report that there are many satisfying alternatives for those who question the academic route. Other social science disciplines, such as Economics, Psychology and Political Science, have more established and institutionalized career paths in the private, public and non-profit sectors. I believe it would be beneficial if our discipline worked to facilitate opportunities outside of academia for its Ph.D.s.

Therefore, I'm more than happy to talk with people who are thinking about careers outside of academia, or more specifically about the private sector or the financial services industry. I can be reached at

Since graduating, I taught Sociology at Foothill College for two years. I am now an Asst. Professor in the Asian American Studies Dept. of San Francisco State University My dissertation research, New Asian American Churches: The Religious Construction of Race, will be published by Rutgers University Press.

Sociology at U.C. Berkeley not only taught me to see the world with more analytic rigor, but it provided models for social change. As a result, while in grad school, I helped organize tenants to win a major housing legal settlement in East Oakland. The former slum where we lived will be redeveloped as permanent affordable housing in 2004 and the Cambodian and Latino residents will also get a new preschool and community center. I'm grateful that the Sociology Department provided me the time and flexibility to both organize and write my dissertation!

I came to the Berkeley Sociology Department in 1991 from Chicago via Kumamoto, Japan where I had been teaching English as a second language to pursue a dissertation ostensibly about Japanese education and to work with Robert Cole. Bob Cole was lovely but it was clear to me after the first term, that I wasn't that interested in Japanese education and was much more turned on by ideas of racialization brought on by teaching in the Asian American Studies Department. I also enjoyed our methods course taught by Michael Burawoy. Our cohort was infamous both for its size and strong will. We even managed to drive Michael out of one of our seminar sessions in a fight over politics and method. I remember thinking - what do we do now? In the end, I was elected to retrieve him and ask him to return to conclude the class. Converted by Michael, we became the same cohort that led the campaign to retain Michael when he was being wooed by another sociology department complete with a top 10 list of reasons to stay at Berkeley and "no dialectics" t-shirts.

After being in Berkeley for a year, I changed my topic to study racialization and Japanese American beauty pageants. Studying race in the early 1990s in the department wasn't easy and Troy Duster kindly agreed to supervise me. I was involved the next year in Loic-gate in an attempt to lure someone to Berkeley to teach race and by the end of that experience sought refuge in the Asian American Studies Department with Evelyn Nakano Glenn and Michael Omi. In the end, Barrie Thorne and Troy came to my rescue and got me through the dissertation, but it would never have happened without Evelyn and Michael and my dissertation group of J Shiao, Pam Perry, Kamau Birago and Robert Bulman who all were studying race as well. I don't think at the time I realized what a support and resource my cohort and fellow students really were and I still (12 years later in 2010) often go to them and other UCB grads to bounce ideas off of, chat about books, or just gain intellectual stimulation of a type that you can only get from a Berkeley grad.

My memories of Berkeley come up almost daily as I, like many others, met my spouse in the department and hence took a bit of the Berkeley experience with me when I left. I married Sean O'Riain while we were both in graduate school at Berkeley and we started out living in San Francisco and then Albany and had two kids there. We then did the unthinkable, LEAVING two tenure track jobs in the Bay Area and moved to Ireland (Sean's home place) where we have lived since 2003. Sean is the Professor of Sociology and I am a Senior Lecturer in the Sociology Department here at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. While leaving the Bay Area was difficult, we have thrived in Ireland (had a third child - thus becoming a rate busting academic couple), and the move forced me to upskill myself as a sociologist and change my research agenda to become a more global sociologist, a skill that ultimately I learned at Berkeley.

At Berkeley, I regret not slowing down more (I was in some strange hurry to get done!) and taking the time to enjoy the long chats about Marx over coffee and the intellectual challenge of it all because now as a professor, there is weirdly little to no time to do that.

After growing up in Newfoundland and attending college in Ohio, I went to Berkeley in fall 1991 because driving to California sounded more exciting than driving up the road to Toronto.

I'd worked my way through school: bussing tables, driving a delivery truck, digging ditches, waiting tables. I did not know what I wanted to do in life, but I liked reading books and hated working. Also, I had a tee-shirt that said 'capitalism sucks' in Russian and I thought this shirt would be more relevant in the 1990s than it had been in the 1980s.

As a strategy for avoiding work I decided to study it. In Kim Voss's industrial sociology seminar I wrote what would become my first published paper, on route sales work. I put it in Burawoy's box thinking he might get back to me in a month or two, and he woke me up the next morning at an unreasonable hour to tell me we had to talk.

Ten years later, thanks mostly to Burawoy, I'm my first year as an assistant professor of sociology at The Ohio State University. My first book, Re-Organizing the Rust-Belt, is forthcoming from UC Press. It's based on my dissertation, a participant observation study of SEIU nursing home organizing in southwestern Pennsylvania. In the last two years, I've worked as a housekeeper and an activity aide in several nursing homes, and I want to get myself certified as a nurses' aide. It occurs to me, however, that for someone who originally sought to avoid physical labor, I'll be doing quite a bit of it in the years to come.

Perhaps my next project should be about pro hockey scouts instead.

Since graduating in 1998, Dr. Motoyoshi has worked in and around the field of education. She briefly held a position as writer/editor for Toucan Valley Publications, where she wrote and published books on ethnic groups in California. She has also worked as a private tutor and as a freelance writer, providing content for educational websites.

Taking a brief break from education, in 2006 Dr. Motoyoshi created and produced a monthly variety show for Eth-Noh-Tec, an Asian American storytelling organization in San Francisco. The shows were designed to expand the organization's local presence and to provide an accessible venue for emerging talent. The shows continue to run today.

In 2008 Dr. Motoyoshi created an after school academic enrichment program under the auspices of Ohlone College in Fremont, CA. At present, she coordinates, develops,and teaches in the program, which she hopes to expand throughout the Tri City area.

In addition to her day jobs, Dr. Motoyoshi writes scripts and other fiction. Her work has been featured in several small journals and on several small stages around the Bay Area. She also has a blog on Open Salon.

Dr. Motoyoshi is married and has one child, a daughter who, at the moment, hopes to follow in her mother's Ph.D. footsteps.

I came to Berkeley Sociology after completing my law degree at the University of Wisconsin. Wisconsin has a rich sociological tradition which permeated law school teaching, but it was still law school. Several times at Wisconsin when I answered a question in class, a couple of professors said with a mildly degrading chuckle  "Well, Mr. Rountree, that's a very interesting 'policy' consideration, but how does the 'law' resolve that issue." I realized then that I was more interested in the policies behind the law, and I wanted to be in an environment where I didn't have ignore what I thought was really going on. At Wisconsin, I was lucky enough to find professors who prided themselves for being sociological in their approach to the law, which then led me on the path to Berkeley.

Since graduating from Berkeley I've been working as a trial consultant, assisting trial attorneys in preparing their cases to present to a jury. Much of this work involves pre-trial research such as surveys, designing trial simulations and analyzing results to help uncover attitudes and experiences that may influence how jurors will understand, and reach a verdict, on a particular case. I help attorneys navigate issues like pre-trial bias in high-profile cases, juror comprehension in complex business/patent litigation, as well as assisting them in jury selection. All of the methodological tools of the sociological trade come in handy. It's fascinating work and I love it.

Troy Duster and Arlie Hochschild provided me so much intellectual support and kept up my morale. The Institute for the Study of Social Change provided a great opportunity to engage in applied research, which kept me tuned in. A few other graduate students in the department and in my cohort gave me sanity checks at key moments.

San Francisco helped provide an even thicker blanket of comfort than I ever thought a city could provide. When it came time to think about leaving to go on the job market, I couldn't do it. So I'm not teaching full time as I expected when I started the program, and I'm so much happier because of it.

My advice to incoming students: Try to keep a positive attitude. Stay open everything and everyone for as long as you can. Remember that methodological and theoretical debates are important, but it's all sociology. If you're put on the spot of having to choose a method or a theoretical orientation, navigate that minefield with rigor and humor. Find questions you're interested in and work with people who will give you the time and the tools to help answer those questions. Don't fall into the trap of confusing mean-spiritedness with intellectual rigor. Nor should you confuse kindness with a lack of seriousness or intelligence. And don't sweat the small stuff - it won't matter in the long run.

I went directly into graduate school after undergraduate years spent in creative writing; microbiology; activism in antiracist, Asian American, feminist, and queer causes; and ultimately, women's studies. Frankly, I came to Berkeley more for its geography than the department seeking distance from an awkward immigrant youth in an elite, conservative part of Tennessee. Ironically, I found an institutional experience in which I increasingly chose to prioritize graduate school over political participation.

My Berkeley experiences socialized me to do sociology through a peculiar tension between 'liberation' and 'profession' with its messy mixture of principle and convenience. I helped create Berkeley's Asian American graduate association but also started with an exceptionally diverse cohort. We led a memorable revolt in our first year against faculty who later taught me critical lessons about theorizing 'politics' and designing research. Troy Duster, Michael Omi, and the ISSC gave us incredible opportunities to study race & ethnicity - at a time when the department seemed to devalue the field. My dissertation group provided the essential community to pursue an otherwise isolating project. And at graduation, the department permitted me to make an amusing speech about passion, rejection, and chaos.

I am now an assistant professor at the University of Oregon where I explore the relationship between demography and historical racial formations through (1) research on diversity policy and transracial adoption, (2) teaching classes on race, politics, and education, and (3) serving on diversity-related committees. At this early point in my career, I still have not found a satisfying resolution to the conflicting demands of politics and profession, but perhaps this is a good thing.

My connection to the sociological profession was always tenuous at best. When I spoke with Theda Skocpol at Harvard, she told me that Habermas really wasn't an important sociologist, so I decided to study at Berkeley instead. I also had the good fortune to marry Elizabeth, another sociology graduate student at Berkeley, whose commitment to the discipline could not be shaken. It was therefore inevitable that, once I finished, the dilemma of securing two appointments in the same location would compel me to jump ship.

Drawing on skills in C++ that I had refined as an excellent technique for procrastination, I surfaced in the waters of software engineering. I am currently employed by the Indiana Proteomics Consortum, where I write software for group of analytical chemists who build time-of-flight mass spectrometers to analyze cell proteins. My knowledge of biochemistry is limited, to say the least, but I have plenty of opportunities to learn about things like enzymatic digests and laser deabsorption and ionization.

When not otherwise engaged cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, mowing the lawn, or taking my kid to soccer practice, I find time to revive forgotten calculus and study the fundamentals of physics, chemistry, and biology. After I make millions in biotech (or at least put Aaron through college) I intend to revisit some of the issues that inspired me at Berkeley and may eventually be able to contribute something of a new perspective on the relationship between the natural and social sciences.


After finishing college in 1985, I received a Masters of Education in Teaching and Curriculum and worked for a half-dozen years in urban public education. In 1992, I entered the graduate program in Sociology at Berkeley with the intention of developing the analytic skills necessary to engage in policy debates around education. I completed my degree in 1996 as a result of the mentorship provided by faculty in the Department, particularly the efforts of Neil Fligstein and Mike Hout. Effective graduate education typically involves two components: interactions with peers and apprenticeship with specialists in crafts production. Berkeley provided me generous opportunities on both these dimensions. In addition to working with Mike and Neil, I also benefited from my involvement with the extraordinarily impressive graduate students there as well as with faculty such as Claude Fischer, Leo Goodman, Arlie Hochschild, Sam Lucas, Martin Sanchez-Jankowski, Neil Smelser, Ann Swidler, Kim Voss and Loic Wacquant. Following my training at Berkeley, I worked as an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Arizona (1996-2000) and am currently employed as an Associate Professor with positions jointly held in Education and Sociology at New York University. My work continues to focus mainly on education and is situated in the intersection of social stratification and the sociology of organizations.

Some have written of their graduate student lives studying sociology at U.C. Berkeley as years of privileged contact with esteemed professors, and others have written of a time of alienation. For me, graduate life at Berkeley came as an enjoyable escape into another world after working as an attorney in Washington D.C..

I left the law to pursue a career in sociology for a number of reasons.  The one I gave on my application, which the Berkeley faculty were kind enough to accept, was that I was devoting a good deal of time and energy to research that was being received with odd glances by my legal colleagues, along with the dismissive comment, "This isn't law, it's *sociology*."  I thought I would take that dismissal as advice, and move on to a more hospitable academic career.  Berkeley did indeed provide that to me, with professors (particularly Arlie Hochschild, Jerry Karabel, Kristin Luker, Troy Duster, and Evelyn Nakano Glenn) who nurtured my interests in sociology of law and sociology of the professions, and how these related to the construction of identity.

There was another, more personal reason that I left legal practice to study sociology at Berkeley--something I kept private.  In fact, I wanted to move on and start a new chapter in my life after an unsuccessful attempt to begin to gender transition as a lawyer.  I had made the attempt in 1991, and while I was working at what all considered a very liberal private public-interest law firm, with two prominent gay partners, accommodating gender transition was not yet on the radar for almost any business. The firm instituted a dress code just to stop me from wearing men's suits and ties. (In fact, the code applied to everyone, but the lead partner of the law firm sat me down and explained that the partnership had drawn it up with me in mind. It required "women" to wear "professional feminine dress" including pantyhose and "light makeup" in order to show "respect for clients.") I acquiesced, and went back to doing my best to present myself in a gender with which I didn't identify, but I also decided to leave for a more hospitable setting.  The Berkeley sociology department was certainly that.

Once I arrived at Berkeley, I knew I'd made a good decision.  After lawyering in Washington, D.C., seminars seemed friendly rather than intimidating. I loved the sense of intellectual community I found at Berkeley, chatting in the corridors and bantering on the picket lines. I invited my whole cohort to my commitment ceremony, and the fact that I wore the tux while my (cis) male partner wore the dress was received without a batting of an eye by my peers, treated with endearing straight-facedness by Elsa Tranter, and addressed with careful curiosity on the part of my students.  Graduate school provided me with sufficient flexibility to have a child, who was welcomed into the occasional seminar meeting.  I learned the mechanics of framing sociological articles from Claude Fischer, and continue to share that foundation with my own students today.  A course on sociology of the body with Loic Wacquant, while not directly influencing my dissertation project, set me on a research trajectory that would bear fruit years later in my career. And dissertating involved the most thrillingly unalienated labor I've ever performed.  Working with my dissertation writing group was the crowning experience of my time at Berkeley. 

Years later, after the struggle to get tenure at U.W. Milwaukee, I did at last have a secure enough setting to make a gender transition.  I earn as a tenured professor slightly less than I did twenty years ago as first year law firm associate, but I'm very happy with the life choice I made.  I teach classes I love, like sociology of sexuality and sociology of the body, and hopefully impart a critical sociological manner of thinking to the nearly 1,000 students I teach each year.  I'm very grateful to U.C. Berkeley for helping to make this possible.

My research has focused on 'grounding globalization' by investigating the local foundations, consequences and politics of a globalizing political economy. Most of my research has been on the political economy of high technology regions, particularly in Ireland, and on the state and workplace politics of such regional economies.

Berkeley in the 1990s was a department producing 'professionals', while at the same time there was freedom to pursue theoretical and political implications of research and teaching. Among the 'scattered hegemonies' within the sociology department, there was a great group of people interested in critical political economy and close connections to City Planning and Geography made it a great place to study globalization. Working with my fellow graduate students and Michael Burawoy doing 'global ethnography' was an experience to treasure forever. As an immigrant too I made many US friends among my fellow grad students and it was in my first teaching assistant job that I first felt that I was actually part of the society around me in the US. Meanwhile, every now and then a reaction to my research in Ireland helped to reassure me that research could have an impact beyond the university. If you started falling through the cracks in Berkeley sociology you might not have much to hold on to, but it was a great place to pursue sociology that was global and local, interdisciplinary, politically motivated and theoretically informed.

It was in becoming an assistant professor at UC Davis, also a pluralist department, that I realized what kind of 'sociological professional' that I had become. Mentoring students and supporting dissertations pursuing critical sociology has been a central part of my life as an assistant professor, a value learned at Berkeley.


My sociological research agenda focuses upon the intersections of sexuality, gender, and political economy. Economies of Desire, my forthcoming book, examines the significance of the exchange of sex for money in the late capitalist market place, based upon ethnographic research in five post-industrial cities. Subsequent research projects will explore the relationship between transnational migrations and intimate labor, comparing the trajectories of domestic workers and sex workers in New York and Barcelona.

I think that Berkeley was one of the few departments where I could have pursued the research agenda that I did--because of its strong tradition of urban-ethnography, the abundance and passion of feminist scholars on the faculty, and its location in the San Francisco Bay Area (a terrifically exciting and generative milieu for interrogating the theory and politics of sexuality). University-wide, there was a vibrant, interdisciplinary community of sexuality and gender theorists to generate productive dialogue.

I have tried to give back to some of the individuals and communities that enabled my research by following in the Berkeley 'public intellectual' tradition, making my research accessible to a broader public and speaking directly to questions of public policy in San Francisco, Barcelona, and New York City.

I came to Berkeley in 1993 after working with an international human rights group. I became enthralled by sociology, especially as practiced by Michael Burawoy and Peter Evans. I've since worked at Brown University, Johns Hopkins, and McGill. I teach courses on 19th and 20th century evils such as colonialism, fascism, Stalinism, US counterinsurgency policies, and post-colonial authoritarianism, as well as critical seminars on liberal transnational activism. My research examines the ways in which international norms shape patterns of political violence, often at the micro-level.

I've also worked as a consultant to groups such as the International Red Cross, Human Rights Watch, and CARE. When working with these organizations, I try and learn as much as I can for my own scholarly purposes. Recently, for example, I've become intrigued by the perverse financial incentives infiltrating the international NGO world, something I learned about through my consulting work. Over the coming years, I hope to train a group of graduate students interested in similar issues, combining NGO work with sociological research.

I learned some important lessons at Berkeley: the best way to understand something, I discovered, was to go where the sociological action was and to ask participants what they thought. I also learned to think critically at all times, even when this might be unpopular; this doesn't necessarily win you friends and influence, but it does generate some interesting sociology. Finally, I learned to always try and make my sociology matter in some broader political way.


After completing my dissertation in 2002 -- much to the relief of my long-suffering parents -- I took up a faculty position at the University of Michigan. My appointment there is divided between the Department of Sociology and the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.

I am a political and historical sociologist with interests in the political development of public policy in the United States, particularly in the area of civil rights, social policy, and health care. The centerpiece of my research agenda is a book manuscript tentatively entitled "The Fifth Freedom." Themanuscript is based on my dissertation, and it offers a new explanation for the emergence of affirmative action policies in employment. In collaboration with colleagues and students at Michigan, I am conducting related research on the politics of civil rights in the postwar urban North. With grant support from the Spencer Foundation, Lisa Stulberg (NYU) and I are beginning new research that investigates the origins of affirmative action policies in higher education. I am also completing a randomized field experiment that will be permit me to estimate the effects of racial and ethnic discrimination in a large metropolitan labor market. At the moment, I am a Robert Wood Johnson Scholar in Health Policy Research at Berkeley, where I am studying the political influence of organized business on the politics of American health care reform.

As a student at Berkeley, I benefitted greatly from contact with all of the faculty, but I learned the most from my dissertation advisors, Margaret Weir and Jerome Karabel. They taught me the basic skills any scholar should have: how to spot worthwhile questions, how collect and analyze empirical evidence, and how to draw defensible inferences. At the same time, they also encouraged me to communicate my research to a general audience beyond the university. I feel incredibly fortunate for the opportunity I had to work with them. As all of us surely recognize, Berkeley is far from a Shangri-La for graduate students, but I personally had a great experience due in large part to the care and attention that my dissertation advisors paid to me and my training.

None stated

Since leaving Berkeley in 2002, I have been a professor in the Department of Sociology, School of Human Sciences, at Osaka University. In this land of the over-worked, I study worker health and well-being, and social movements that fight to improve Japanese life at work and at home. Death from overwork (karoshi) is a long-running interest, as is the gender division of labor. Recently I've been studying leisure, of the reasons for the lack thereof, adding a third leg that provides stability to my work-famliy stool. Teaching (and professoring) in Japan is endlessly fascinating, like a trip back in time. The sociological paradigm often seems firmly stuck in early 1960s American abstracted empiricism; Parsonian functionalism and its theories of pattern maintenance remain popular, for they do appear to explain the persistent power of certain social structures in Japanese life. We are always told that change is just around the corner, but it never fully arrives. The 2011 earthquake and nuclear disaster in Northeast Japan, however, liberated social forces that may hasten some long-overdue reforms. Japan's people seem to have grown tired of taking a wait-and-see attitude.



La Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales Sede Ecuador expresa su sentimiento de profundo pesar ante el fallecimiento de nuestra querida profesora y amiga Susana Wappenstein.

Susana fue profesora de FLACSO Ecuador desde el año 2009. A lo largo de su vida académica, se desempeñó como catedrática en diversas universidades de Ecuador, Colombia y Estados Unidos. Trabajó constantemente en temas relacionados a la teoría social, estudios de género, movimientos sociales y fue una defensora incansable de los derechos humanos.

En homenaje a su memoria, el día jueves 14 de febrero de 2019, a las 18h00, realizaremos una conmemoración póstuma en el Hemiciclo de la Sede.

Extendemos nuestro sentido pésame a sus padres Ovidio y Betty, a sus hermanos Julia y Daniel, a su esposa Olga Lucía y a todos sus colegas y amigos quienes guardaremos el recuerdo de Susana en nuestra memoria y corazón.


The Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (Ecuador) expresses its profound sadness over the passing of our beloved professor and friend, Susana Wappenstein.

Susana joined the faculty at FLACSO Ecuador in 2009.  Over the course of her academic life she taught in various universities in Ecuador, Colombia, and the United States.  Her work focused on social theory, gender studies, social movements, and she was an indefatigable defender of human rights.

In homage to her memory, Thursday, the 14th of February, 2019, at 6:00 PM we will hold a posthumous commemoration in the Hermiciclo of the campus.

We extend our deepest sympathies to Susana’s parents, Ovidio Wappenstein and Betty Deller, to her siblings, Julia and Daniel, and to her wife, Olga Lucía, and to all of her colleagues and friends who hold Susana in our memories and hearts.





I came to Berkeley and to sociology after only a year away from college, and I came to it in a rather backward way. Knowing little about the institutional structure of the field, or what it would mean to get a Berkeley Ph.D., I followed the advice of mentors who said it would be a good place for me. They were right -- my socialization into being a sociologist, and being a Berkeley sociologist, opened new intellectual doors for me, and I consider it an excellent decision.

Berkeley sustained my preexisting respect for the multiple roles of serious theory in sociology. It also inculcated a sense of the importance of strong, creative, appropriate, and flexible methods, and of big questions that deserve attention. To my mind, it is this combination of theory, public importance, and methodological imagination that characterize my Berkeley experience.

After Berkeley I joined the sociology department at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where I have continued my work on citizenship and political ideology in the United States. True to the combination I outlined, I am the only person currently in the department to teach both theory and methods -- a fact of which I am proud.

Since January 2008, Mark Toney has provided leadership to TURN, a 38 year old consumer advocacy organization with a staff of 18, including 10 attorneys. TURN champions affordable, equitable, and sustainable energy, telecom, and other utility services for residential and small business consumers primarily in California. TURN wins consumer justice through legal intervention at the California Public Utilities Commission, political advocacy, and community organizing.

Mark Toney's dissertation, A Second Chance for the First Time: Movement Formation Among Former Incarcerated People, analyzes organizing efforts among the growing number of people released from prison who are fighting for the restoration of their basic rights to employment, housing, voting, and social benefits.

Employment experience for Mark Toney includes serving as executive director for Center for Third World Organizing, founding director of Direct Action for Rights & Equality, and a consulting practice focused on strategic planning and leadership coaching. Examples of his leadership recognition include: National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, Kellogg National Leadership Program, and the Echoing Green Fellowship.


I started graduate school thinking I wanted to do agent based modeling to look at how collective patterns emerge from individual decisions. I ended up writing a dissertation on how academic science became imbued with market values over the past several decades. In between I took a side trip through the emergence of the medical profession in 19th-century England. No wonder it took me so long to finish.

I came to Berkeley because I wanted the freedom to pursue my own path, and not to be plugged into someone else's research agenda, and that's exactly what I got. (Although sometimes it felt like I was being given enough rope to hang myself with.) But in the process I was able to explore, to grow, and to become the sociologist I wanted to be.

Since graduating from Berkeley, I've been an assistant professor at the University at Albany, SUNY. I am finishing my first book, Creating the Market University: How Academic Science Became an Economic Engine, which will be published with Princeton University Press, and have started working on a new project looking at how our understandings of the economy have shaped the policymaking process. Although I love my current department, it was not until coming here that I realized how distinctive Berkeley sociology really is. I just sort of thought that politics, culture, and the economy were basically the center of the discipline. How surprised I was to find out otherwise! And how lucky I was to be trained in a place where I could think that was the case.

I am currently an assistant professor of sociology at San Jose State University. I teach medical sociology, qualitative research methods and all manner of introductory classes. Since leaving UCB in 2006 I have been working on two books, the first, "Fat Panic: Media, Medicine, and Morals in the American 'Obesity Epidemic'" is forthcoming from Rutgers University Press. The second, co-authored with C.J. Pascoe (also a UCB Sociology alum), "Anas, Mias, and Wannas: Identity and Community in a Pro-ana Subculture", is forthcoming from the University of Michigan Press.  I consider myself fortunate to have found a position in the Bay Area as it allows me to continue to keep in close contact with many of the wonderful people who were such a huge part of my Berkeley Sociology experience and to continue to benefit from the intellectual community at UCB.

As the first sociologist in business school in China, I had once faced tremendous legitimacy problem: what does sociology can bring to business school? Now I have demonstrated the value of sociologists to them. By persuading the rich and powerful to be responsible and benevolent to the poor and weak, we can contribute to social progress. Of course, the prerequisite of doing this is to be accepted and respected by students. I really benefited from the training in Berkeley which taught me knowledge, insight, and care to the disadvantaged.



I earned my BA in anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley, after which I obtained an MA and PhD in sociology from the same institution. My MA focused on the rise of direct-to-consumer advertising for prescription drugs, while my PhD focused on the social construction of the Americn Ritalin market.

After lecturing at UC-Berkeley in 2010 and 2011, I arrived at the University of Auckland in July of 2011. Beyond my personal research, during my postgraduate career I participated on a number of research projects, including one analysing the social deterrence effect of governmental environmental enforcement actions, and another analysing the effectiveness of anti-tobacco activism.


My training and enculturation in Berkeley sociology has opened doors and allowed me a diverse career that has taken me around the globe solving interesting problems in and out of academia. As a visiting scholar at Chiang Mai University, I studied on natural resource conflicts involving farmers, environmentalists, and the state in northern Thailand. As a senior analyst for Statistics New Zealand, I designed better measures of natural resource inputs to economic production,  and of government-provided health and education service output. In my current role as research fellow in the University of Melbourne’s Faculty of Business and Economics,  I study social investment (investment intended to have positive community outcome) by large corporations to model how those decisions are made, what investment practices are working and why.  While the subject matter has shifted around, the unifying thread has been helping put evidence in the hands of those trying to improve the social and environmental outcomes in the world around them.


Research Interests: 
health and illness; care work; mechanisms of inequality; race, class, gender, and ability; culture; social psychology; feminist/social theory; qualitative methods; consciousness and solidarity

Areas of Expertise: Social Networks, Organizations, Religion, Development, Culture, Participatory Research, Community Based Research

Academic Interests: Dr. Noy’s primary academic interest lies in the practical application of social scientific research and methods to advance community, organizational, and social missions.



Corey M. Abramson is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Arizona. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley in 2012 and  spent the following year as a post-doctoral fellow at the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies at the University of California, San Francisco.

Abramson's research uses both quantitative and qualitative methods to explain how social inequality is reproduced over time. The End Game: How Inequality Shapes Our Final Years, his first book on this topic, is being published by Harvard University Press in 2015. You can read more about Abramson's current  research and publications on this site.

STEPHEN SMITH CODY is director of the Atrocity Response Program at the Human Rights Center at Berkeley Law. He designs and manages research on vulnerable victims and witnesses in international criminal trials. His current studies focus on survivors of human rights violations in Democratic Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast, Kenya, and Uganda.