Claude S Fischer
1972 Ph.D., Sociology, Harvard University
1970 M.A., Sociology, Harvard University
1968 B.A., Sociology, University of California, Los Angeles
Claude S. Fischer is Professor of the Graduate School in Sociology. He arrived at Berkeley in 1972 with an undergraduate degree from UCLA and a Ph.D. from Harvard. Most of his early research focused on the social psychology of urban life—how and why rural and urban experiences differ—and on social networks, both coming together in To Dwell Among Friends: Personal Networks in Town and City (1982). In recent years, he has worked on American social history, beginning with a study of the early telephone's place in social life, America Calling: A Social History of the Telephone to 1940 (1992). Along the way, Fischer has worked on other topics, including writing a book on inequality with five Berkeley colleagues, Inequality by Design: Cracking the Bell Curve Myth (1996). In 2006, Fischer co-authored a social historical book with Michael Hout, Century of Difference: How America Changed in the Last One Hundred Years (Russell Sage), which describes the shrinking of old divisions and the widening of new ones among Americans over the twentieth century. In 2010, he published Made in America: A Social History of American Culture and Character (University of Chicago Press), which analyzes social and cultural change since the colonial era. In 2011, Fischer completed Still Connected: Family and Friends in America Since 1970 (Russell Sage), a study, using compilations of survey data, of whether and how Americans' personal ties altered over four decades. A volume of his selected and updated columns from the Boston Review appeared in 2014 as Lurching Toward Happiness in America. Fischer's latest project, funded by the National Institute of Aging, was a five-year panel study of how personal ties and networks change as individuals experience life events, now being written up.
Fischer taught undergraduate and graduate courses in urban sociology, research methods, personality and social structure, social psychology, and American society, and seminars on topics ranging from professional writing to the sociology of consumption.
Fischer was the founding editor of Contexts, the American Sociological Association's magazine of sociology for the general reader, 2001 through 2004. In 1996, Fischer won Robert and Helen Lynd Award for lifetime contributions to urban studies. In 2011, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, in 2015 as David Riesman Fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, and in 2017 to the American Philosophical Society.
Fischer blogs at Made in America (http://madeinamericathebook.wordpress.com/).
- 2011 Still Connected: Family and Friends in America Since 1970. Russell Sage Foundation. (Amazon)
- 2010 Made in America: A Social History of American Culture and Character. University of Chicago Press. (Amazon)
- 2006 Century of Difference: How America Changed in the Last One Hundred Years (with Hout). Russell Sage Foundation.
- 1996 Inequality by Design: Cracking the Bell Curve Myth (with Hout, Lucas, Sanchez-Jankowski, Swidler and Voss). Princeton University Press
- 1992 America Calling: A Social History of the Telephone to 1940. University of California Press.
- 1984 The Urban Experience. Second edition. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich (Cengage).
- 1982 To Dwell Among Friends: Personal Networks in Town and City. University of Chicago Press.
- 1977 Networks and Places: Social Relations in the Urban Setting (with Jackson, Stueve, Gerson, Jones, and Baldassare). Free Press.
- 1975 Human Aggression and Conflict (with Scherer and Abeles). Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall.
Selected 21st-Century Academic Papers
- In pr. Fischer and Offer, “Who is Dropped and Why? Methodological and Substantive Accounts for Network Loss.” Social Networks.
- 2019 Fischer and Bayham, "Mode and Interviewer Effects in Egocentric Network Research," Field Methods. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1525822X19861321.
- 2018 Offer and Fischer, "Calling on Kin: The Place of Parents and Adult Children in Egocentric Networks," in Alwin et al. (eds.), Social Networks and the Life Course. Springer.
- 2018 Offer and Fischer, “Difficult People: Who is Perceived to be Demanding in Personal Networks and Why Are They There?,” American Sociological Review, online: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0003122417737951
- 2016 Giannella and Fischer, "An Inductive Typology of Egocentric Networks." Social Networks.
- 2014 Hout and Fischer, “Explaining Why More Americans Have No Religious Preference: Political Backlash and Generational Succession, 1987-2012.” Sociological Science.
- 2009 "The 2004 GSS Finding of Shrunken Social Networks: An Artifact?" American Sociological Review, 74:4: 657-69 --- A personal use copy of this article (and a reply by McPherson et al) can be accessed here.
- 2009 Fischer and Mattison, "Is America Fragmenting?" Annual Review of Sociology 35: 435-55 (with Mattson).--- A personal use copy of this article can be accessed here.
- 2008 "Paradoxes of American Individualism." Sociological Forum 23 (June): 363-72.
- 2005 "Bowling Alone: What's the Score?" Social Networks 27 (May):155-67
- 2004 Fischer et al., "Distinguishing the Levels and Dimensions of U.S. Urban Segregation" Demography 41 (February): 37-59.
- 2002 Hout and Fischer, "Explaining the Rise of Americans with No Religious Preference: Politics and Generation" American Sociological Review 67 (April):165-90.
- 2002 "Ever More Rooted Americans." City & Community 1(June): 175-94.