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.