Samuel James Surace (1953)

Emeritus Professor, University of California, Los Angeles

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. 

Dissertation Title: 
The Status Evolution of Italian Workers, 1860-1914
Dissertation Book Title: 
Ideology, economic change, and the working classes; the case of Italy
Berkeley,