Ruth Wallace (1963)

Emeritus Professor of Sociology, George Washington University

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.

Dissertation Title: 
Some social Determinants of Change of Religious Affiliation