Steve Derne (1983)

Professor of Sociology, SUNY, Geneseo

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.

Dissertation Title: 
Culture in Action: Hindu Men's Talk About Women, Marriage and the Family
Dissertation Book Title: 
Culture in action : family life, emotion, and male dominance in Banaras, India
Albany, N.Y.