I taught in the public schools and junior colleges of the California Bay Area 1957-67 while working toward Ph.D. Moved to Utah State University, Logan, UT, as Associate Professor of Sociology, 1967-69. Then I went to Washington State University 1969-99 and retired there as Professor of Sociology and Religious Studies. I had eight children with wife of 50+ years, Ruth, plus 21 grandchildren, and so far 3 great-grands. I am currently living in Irvine, CA, among some of these descendants.
My areas of specialization for research and teaching are deviant behavior, social problems, social movements, and the sociology of religion. I have been active and periodically an officer in several professional societies related to those special fields, but mainly the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, the Association for the Sociology of Religion, and the Religious Research Association. I was editor, 1989 through 1992, of the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion and associate editor of several other journals. I was founding officer of the Mormon Social Science Association, 1976 and officer and president of the Mormon History Association (1,000 members), 1995-2000. I was also author or co-author of around 100 articles and reviews in various refereed journals, especially in JSSR; Sociological Analysis; Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought; Social Problems; Journal of Alcohol Studies; ASR, and AJS. Author of four books : Social Problems as Social Movements (Lippincott, 1975); Neither White nor Black: Mormon Scholars Confront the Race Issue in a Universal Church (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1984, with Lester E. Bush); The Angel and the Beehive: The Mormon Struggle with Assimilation (University of Illinois Press, 1994); and All Abraham's Children: Changing Mormon Conceptions of Race and Lineage (University of Illinois Press, 2003).
My interests in graduate school focused mainly on the sociology of religion, survey research, and social movements, so naturally my chief mentors were Charles Glock and Neil Smelser. I redirected what I learned from Smelser more toward social constructionism and somewhat away from the functionalist tradition, and thus my 1975 book was a social constructionist "merger" of social problem theory with social movement theory. Underlying all of this was an abiding interest in the sociology of religion, with particular reference to the rise and evolution of new religious movements. Focusing particularly (though by no means entirely) on the Mormons was a natural product of my own background. Inspired by Charlie's work on religion and prejudice, I have tried, with some success, to use sociology as a vehicle for constructive change within the Mormon tradition.