I arrived at Berkeley in 1975 with a strong interest in social theory. By the time I left, after the customary ten years, I much preferred labor history. One of the strengths and weaknesses of Berkeley's program was to nurture both interests without much regard for careerist considerations. After a three year layover at Syracuse University, I settled at UC San Diego, where the department has that same strength and weakness and, not coincidentally, a large enclave of Berkeley Ph.D.s.
After graduating from Berkeley, I took a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford. After an unsuccessful search for a faculty position in sociology in the Bay Area (where my husband's career was rooted), I accepted a job teaching in the college of business at San Jose State. While that was not what I had envisioned for myself while in graduate school, it proved to be a very positive move for me. I have been very happy in a public university business school setting, with its emphasis on applied research and excellent teaching.
Berkeley's sociology was full of people who knew that the best sociology is comparative : Smelser, Wilensky, Castells, Schurman, Burawoy. Coming to Berkeley via Sweden, I found among both fellow students and faculty appreciation for the challenge of doing comparative research in a critical framework across disciplines. I also discovered I was happier in Europe. Thus I probably take up a rather strange position among the graduates of being an American working in Europe.