Carl Milofsky (1970)

Professor of Sociology, Bucknell University

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.

Dissertation Title: 
Organization for Failure: Growth and Stabilization in Special Education
Dissertation Book Title: 
Special education : a sociological study of California programs