Alumni Book


Carole Joffe

Like many others who came to graduate school in the 1960s, my sociological education was inextricably bound up with the turbulence and excitement of those times. Inevitably, the intellectual questions I engaged with as a grad student reflected the political issues of the period. My thesis work (mentored by Arlie Hochschild and Sheldon Messinger) was on childcare programs­something I, as a young childless woman, would not have been interested in had not the women's liberation movement introduced the idea of the political aspects of "private life," and raised the question of the state?s responsibility for such services.

My first job after graduate school was at Bryn Mawr College, in the Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research. In 1990, I joined the sociology department at UC Davis. I also have developed a very productive relationship with the Center for Reproductive Health Policy and Research at UCSF, where I am an adjunct professor.

While in Philadelphia, I continued my interest in the state, family and social services­this time in the field of reproductive health. I studied a Planned Parenthood clinic in the late 1970s, and have remained engaged in studying reproductive health services and reproductive politics ever since. My most recent book, Doctors of Conscience: The Struggle to Provide Abortion before and after Roe v Wade, was very deliberately written as a "cross over" book, intended to be read by an audience beyond academia. I also frequently write op-eds and do interviews with journalists about various aspects of reproductive health. I attribute this commitment to "public sociology" as a natural outgrowth of the "engagee sociology" that captured the imagination of many of us in the 1960s.

Richard Apostle

Berkeley, for me, was the late 1960s and early 1970s. My earlier undergraduate experience in Canada was an inspiring trip through the classics, and the movements, guided by a unique constellation of European and American scholars, temporarily gathered in British Columbia. Berkeley was a continuation, but with a tough political and academic edge. At one level, Berkeley was People's Park across the street, and Vietnam etched in veteran eyes. At another, grand theory was in decline, and new narratives were beginning to surface. Bob Blauner and Leo Lowenthal demonstrated the value of critical perspectives, and the courage to be as unconventional as necessary. Charles Glock taught me a wary respect for things empirical. He also showed me how to organize complex projects and, equally importantly, how to finish them. Michael Rogin gave me excellent advice on the independent character of American progressives. And, most of all, Berkeley was an incredibly rich set of graduate student affiliations, ranging from Leo's informal seminar on culture, to a very important dissertation drafting and support group.

I've had the good fortune to work in a joint department (with anthropologists), and a setting which is conducive to following autonomous intellectual agendas. I've been encouraged to work on interdisciplinary initiatives throughout, and have enjoyed a relatively easy transition, both geographically and intellectually, to Europe. My major projects, primarily in the area of economic sociology, have been Berkeley-inspired explorations of marginal labour markets, the persistence of small-scale primary production, and post-industrial professions. Lately, I've been making tentative forays into the cultural domain, investigating the social networks of some influential Canadian painters. I've also had the opportunity to work on a Royal Commission called to consider flaws in a provincial justice system, following on the wrongful murder conviction of an aboriginal youth, Donald Marshall, Jr. I hope my mentors would find their influence throughout my endeavours.

At an institutional level, I've been involved in some modest disciplinary advances. These include creating a doctoral program in a part of Canada which is not terribly hospitable to the newer social sciences, and helping to increase social science research capacity in the Faroes. The latter venture has been associated with some interesting academic projects, and the expansion of a circle of friends in the north Atlantic.

John Logan

I entered the PhD program in the spring of 1968, graduating a little early with a BA from Berkeley and taking advantage of Dave Nasatir's offer to work as his assistant at the Survey Research Center. I ran through all his computing money very quickly, but he had the good grace not to take it out of my salary. I accepted a fellowship at Columbia, but after completing my MA working with Paul Lazarsfeld and Immanuel Wallerstein (not a typcial combination) I was brought back to the Bay Area with a community organizing job that fulfilled my conscientious objector alternate service. Art Stinchcombe gave me free rein to do my dissertation on the Spanish working class in the last years of the Franco regime (finally finished in 1974). But my grassroots work on urban development and housing questions eventually pulled me more toward urban sociology.

My professorial career has been entirely in the SUNY system, first at Stony Brook (1972-1980), then Albany. One turning point was collaborating with Harvey Molotch on our book Urban Fortunes (1987), which brought together my interests in urban inequality and politics. In the early 1990s I had a chance to do research in China, which continues today. And while spending a year at the Russell Sage Foundation (1996-97), I was seduced by walking through a built environment that housed successive waves of newcomers fromthe 19th Century to the present, and much of my recent research deals with urban history.

Of all the kinds of work I have done, the most satisfying is the public-oriented research that I have been doing in the last three years as Director of the Lewis Mumford Center in Albany -- analyzing data from Census 2000 as it came out, preparing reports on the social issues that I am most concerned about, getting the word out through the media, and providing data resources to other scholars and community groups. I do have a sense of coming back around to the activities that brought me into sociology in the first place.

Elizabeth Garnsey

My first degree before I went to Berkeley, was in economics at Oxford. When I returned to  Cambridge, UK, I worked as a research associate in the Labour Studies Group of the Department of Applied Economics. My doctorate on occupational structure in the Soviet Union had showed that the Soviet economy was incapable of making the transition from industrial to post-industrial economy and was on the way to internal collapse. Comparative work  on occupational structure led me  to take an interest in employment structure  (at a time when unemployment was very high in Britain) and in women's employment.  I worked on projects for the UK government and on European Union on "non-standard employment." The work of our team was used to draw up the  Social Chapter of the Maastricht Treaty.

By the late 80s I wanted to move beyond remedial policy to seeing how new employment could be created and became increasingly interested in the rise of new industries, first from a job generation perspective and to see how new technologies were creating opportunities for enterprise and propelling new industries. In Cambridge UK, as in the Bay Area, new high tech companies were springing up in the 1980s,  as yet largely unnoticed. This seemed to be the way of the future,  in the face of the disintegration of the old systems of capitalism and communism. In the Soviet Union there were no mechanisms to encourage innovation. I began to research into innovation in high tech Cambridge and on clusters of new activity. As a result of my work on new technologies I was appointed to a teaching post in a division of the Faculty of Engineering. At Cambridge UK,  the Institute for Manufacturing resembles Stanford¹s Department of Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management. We put on  courses on industry for engineers and placements for engineering students in companies - a great base for research. I have been here since 1984. I am now what is called a Reader (in Innovation Studies), a joint appointment in the Business School at Cambridge (Judge Institute) and the Engineering Department.

If I have to define my discipline, I view myself as an economist rather than a sociologist. I wanted to learn some sociology to counter the narrowness of the economics paradigm and my experience at Berkeley moved me out of orthodox economics into 'alternative' political economy. I have published more in economics and business journals than in sociology journals.

The impact of my work? My research has influenced policy measures in Brussels and in London. In Cambridge I have been active in promoting links between industry and the university  through technology transfer. I have helped young companies to start up and grow, working at the local Innovation Centre. I place students with them on projects to help solve business development  and technical problems. I have taught and advised Russians and Armenians among others on innovation - on the basis of my experience of scientists using their knowledge to address industrial problems.

In the engineering school where I teach, the few of us who are not engineers are all viewed  together as in the soft sciences. From this perspective, all the disciplines dealing with people have much in common. My current work on the resource based theory of the firm and on evolutionary economics covers ground that is of interest to both sociologists and economists, while work on clustering of high tech activities encompasses business studies, economics and geography. In applied work of the kind I do, the relevance of continuing divisions between the social sciences is in question. Rigorous concepts and evidence are needed but these can cross disciplinary boundaries, as applications of evolutionary theory show.

Robert Boggs

Robert Boggs joined the Near East South Asia Center for StrategicStudies at National Defense University in August 2008, after serving 32years in the State Department as political officer and intelligenceanalyst. During his career he become one the State Department's mostexperienced specialists in South Asia, having served in India (nineyears), Sri Lanka and Nepal. In New Delhi he headed the embassy'sPolitical Section and in Calcutta the U.S. Consulate General. InWashington he served as Pakistan desk officer and as director of theOffice of South Asian Regional Affairs. His last overseas assignmentwas as Deputy Chief of Mission in Kathmandu, where he managed adiplomatic mission comprising 114 Americans from six U.S. agencies, over500 foreign employees, and 103 Peace Corps volunteers. During almostfour years in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, he was State'spolitical analyst for Pakistan and Bangladesh. He also has workedoverseas or in Washington on Egypt, Central Africa and Haiti.

Dr. Boggs has long pursued interests in the political economy ofnational development, especially in emerging states; political-militaryaffairs; U.S. foreign policy; and South Asian politics, foreign policyand security issues. As a Foreign Service officer he has writtenextensively about the politics and foreign relations of South Asia, andhas received multiple awards for his analytic skills and contributionsto bilateral diplomatic relations.

In addition to receiving his doctorate from the University of Californiaat Berkeley, Dr. Boggs is a graduate of the Air War College and theUniversity of Michigan (magna cum laude). Growing up as the son of aUSAID officer, he lived in Indonesia, the Philippines, Iraq and Lebanon.Since then he has traveled to some seventy countries around the world.

Ortiz Walton

Published in the Chicago Sun-Times:

Walton, Ortiz Montaigne age 76, passed away peacefully after a long illness at his Berkeley, CA home on July 29, 2010. Walton, born in Chicago, IL, was trailblazing, widely recognized contrabassist, distinguished sociologist and author. His music career included appointment, as first African American, to the Boston Symphony Orchestra (1957-1962); membership in the Hartford, CT, Buffalo, NY (Assistant Principal) and the Cairo, UAR (Principal) Symphony Orchestras. He performed in a number of critically acclaimed solo recitals, including New York City's Merkin and Carnegie Halls; in addition, to performances in Chicago and San Francisco. He also recorded classical works for the bass violin with the National Philharmonic Orchestra of London and in Paris. Walton studied music at Tanglewood, Hartt and New York's Mannes Schools of Music. He earned B.S. in psychology at Roosevelt University, Chicago, IL; and Masters and Ph.D in sociology from University of California at Berkeley, where he taught, in addition to campus at Santa Cruz, CA. During his life, he authored two books on music, Coronation of the King: Contributions by Duke Ellington to Black Culture, and a sociological survey of American music, Music: Black, White and Blue as well as numerous articles on music and sociology. Walton is survived by his loving wife, Carol Kara and his brother, Peter (Helen) Walton, his son, Omar (Judy) Walton, his grandchildren, Harmony, Elon and Jahlil, and many cousins, friends and music associates. Private services have been held. A memorial service in California will be announced at a later date.

Fred Block

Both what I received and what I failed to receive from my six years in the Sociology program at Berkeley have had lasting consequences. I learned a tremendous amount from faculty and peers, but probably because of the political struggles of that period, I was spared the 'disciplining' that is often thought to be indispensable for graduate 'training'. Nobody taught me that I could only address certain questions and must ignore others. This was an extraordinary gift'the freedom to explore those issues at the intersection of sociology and economics that have always excited my imagination.

My undisciplined direction did have its risks. When I first went on the job market and explained that my dissertation was about the rise and fall of Bretton Woods, interviewers looked at me as though I was from another planet. When I did get a job, I had a hard time keeping it. I had a long, difficult battle for tenure at the University of Pennsylvania.

But I have also been lucky because in the 1980's, economic sociology suddenly emerged as a legitimate and trendy new subfield within sociology. I found myself no longer at the margins but part of an effort to reclaim the core of the sociological tradition. Yet old habits die hard; I get nervous amidst too much agreement. So I continue to work at developing a heterodox and critical economic sociology -- one that I still dream could have real and progressive political consequences.

Wen-Hui Tsai

I met Professor Wolfram Eberhard in Taiwan in 1967who offered me a research assistantship to study with him. For the next 6 years, I focused my study mainly on comparative sociology under Professors Eberhard, Smelser, and Swanson. It was not an easy time during the late 60s and early 70s for a student like me coming from a different country; Berkeley was a normless community.

When I got my Ph.D. in 1974, the economy was in terrible shape and there were very few job openings. Fortunately, I was able to land a teaching position at Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne, Indiana (also known as IPFW). I remember I asked Professor Swanson what kind of reputation IPFW had before I went for interview. Prof. Swanson told me that if I published anything while at IPFW, I would not be accused of stealing research work from someone else. Well, I have been here for 27 years and I have published 20 some books and 60+ journal articles on comparative and cross-cultural studies. I have also been elected as President of American Association of Chinese Studies and President of Association of Chinese Social Scientists in North America.

I valued my years at Berkeley and have talked about what I had experienced as a graduate students to students in my classes. Most of all, it is the drive to carry out research and find publications which was the core of the spirit of Berkeley graduate program that has made my career a successful one. In 2 years, I will retire. But I am confident that I will continue to do research and write after my retirement.


Debra David

My career path at Berkeley and beyond was neither linear nor traditional, reflecting departmental and social discontinuities during the early 1970's. The first two years were very intense. As I took classes with Neil Smelser, Norm Denzin, Herbert Blumer, Bob Blauner, and others, my life was also directly touched by events related to the Vietnam War, radical movements, and the 'counterculture.' My academic experience changed abruptly when the three faculty members with whom I worked most closely all left Berkeley in Fall, 1971 - two permanently and one (Smelser) on sabbatical. Searching for new mentors, I found the interdisciplinary program in Human Development across the bay at UCSF. I also dropped out for more than a year to explore alternative careers, but a recession led me back to complete my courses and preliminary orals. 

Now 'ABD' and married, I bounced around the country with my first husband, an erstwhile academic. We went first to Kansas City, where I taught sociology at UMKC and wrote my dissertation proposal, then to Cleveland, where I was a research analyst in a gerontology organization, the Benjamin Rose Institute, and collected dissertation data. Last, in Chicago, I directed an NIMH-funded project to create a community college gerontology program, analyzed the data, divorced, and wrote my dissertation, in about that order. Neil Smelser and Arlie Hochschild guided my dissertation by mail and my brief annual visits to Berkeley.

During the 1980s and 90s, I identified mainly as a gerontologist and a program developer, creating and working with interdisciplinary gerontology programs. With doctorate in hand and remarried, I worked first in Evanston (National College of Education and Northwestern University), then moved to head the Gerontology Program (Health Science Department) at San José State University. I've been settled in San José, with my husband and our two daughters, since 1987. My research has focused on practice and policy related to eldercare services, health ethics, and ethnogerontology. In January 2000, I changed career paths to become Director of the SJSU Center for Service-Learning. This has brought me closer to my sociological roots.

The Sociology Department at Berkeley influenced my career by enabling me to see the 'big picture' and grounding me in theory, especially political economy and interactionist perspectives. I attribute my interdisciplinary interest in the life course to the Human Development Program at UCSF. And I learned how to apply sociology to policy and practice in my subsequent wanderings.

If my sociology has 'shaped the world,' it has been through the courses and programs I've developed and taught in human development and gerontology, the applied research I've conducted in ethics and eldercare, and my current work to infuse sociological awareness across the disciplines by connecting undergraduate students with community issues through service-learning. In working with colleagues, students, practitioners, and policy-makers, I have tried to help them see the links between 'personal troubles' and 'public issues' that I learned as a student of the sociological imagination.

Robert Wuthnow

I began graduate studies at Berkeley in 1969 and received my Ph.D. in 1975. While at Berkeley I worked mostly at the Survey Research Center under the supervision of Charles Glock, becoming a Project Director for the 1973 Bay Area Survey on which my dissertation was based. In 1974 I became an instructor at the University of Arizona and was promoted to assistant professor the following year. In 1976 I moved to Princeton University as assistant professor and William Paterson Bicentennial Preceptor in sociology. I have remained at Princeton ever since. My teaching and research have focused mainly on sociology of religion, cultural sociology, and civil society. I am currently director of the Center for the Study of Religion, an interdisciplinary center spanning the humanities and social sciences which I helped initiate in 1999, subsuming an earlier center founded in 1991.

Berkeley's influence on my use and development of sociology was decidedly a product of the events in the wider world that impacted so heavily on the Berkeley campus in the late 1960s and early 1970s. I arrived shortly after the People's Park and Third World mass demonstrations, routinely found my way to Barrows Hall through clouds of tear gas, lived near Black Panther headquarters, took courses in black nationalism and heard lectures by a professor who made periodic junkets to North Vietnam, participated in anti-war protests, served as a campus liaison for an East Asian religious group, and was employeed in the same office as Emily Harris the day she kidnapped Patty Hearst. Insofar as sociology was concerned, Charles Glock taught me how to do survey research, Neil Smelser sparked my interest in sociological theory, Robert Bellah imprinted me with indelible normative concerns, Guy E. (Ed) Swanson saved me from despair, and Gertrude Selznick kept me humble. Needless to say, I was drawn in multiple directions, and through this creative tension came to be oriented more toward trying to think outside the box than adhereing too closely to the norms of the discipline. In retrospect, I have greatly appreciated the flexibility of the Berkeley program in that era and the faculty's commitment to large-scale questions.

If my own research and teaching has had any impact on the world, I would be the last one to describe it accurately and fairly. All I can say is that I have tried to keep important questions in mind as guiding principles in the selection of topics for inquiry. These have included such tensions in our culture as those between religion and politics, between individualism and altruism, and between diversity and cultural tradition, as well as such perennial concerns as the meanings of work and money, virtue, the self, community, and the human quest for transcendence. I have been privileged to have opportunities to write about these topics and even more privileged to work closely with students who will make contributions beyond anything I have been able to do myself.

Anita Micossi


Anita Lynn Micossi, a writer, teacher and journalist, of North Road, Tivoli died Monday, December 8, 2008 at Benedictine Hospital. She was 61.

She was born in California on July 3, 1946, a daughter of the late Leonello and Rosemarie Sapone Micossi.

Formerly of Boston, Manhattan, and Port Ewen, she has lived in Tivoli for 10 years.

She married Robert Zises on July 26, 1992.

Dr. Micossi was currently a PROFESSOR, SENIOR ACADEMIC ADVISOR, and DIRECTOR OF PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT at Bard Prison Initiative, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson.

Dr. Micossi was a FREELANCE FEATURE WRITER & ESSAYIST for The Humanist, Forbes, Ms., Savvy, Boston Globe, The Christian Science Monitor, San Francisco Chronicle, PC World, Bloomberg Personal, & numerous trade publications.

She was currently a HUMOR COLUMNIST for the Hudson River Sampler, a monthly newspaper covering general interest topics for the Mid-Hudson Valley of New York. Dr. Micossi was also a MEDIA CONSULTANT & BUSINESS EDITOR for numerous national corporations. Also, an ON-AIR ESSAYIST for The Roundtable on WAMC, NPR affiliate in Albany.

Dr. Micossi was a former E-COMMERCE COLUMNIST for Business Without Borders, an international business magazine. Wrote market analyses and features, edited copy, and supervised production for the Insider, the monthly newsletter of the National Computer Exchange. She wrote features, columns, and trends pieces for Enterprise, a business and technology quarterly.

Dr. Micossi previously wrote and produced features for weekly broadcast of PC Talk Radio, syndicated nationally through the American Broadcasting Company network, New York City. She was the EASTERN NEWS EDITOR for Computer Decisions, a trade biweekly. Covered the Boston hi-tech business & science community, researched legal, labor, and social issues, and wrote features and news articles.

In 1982-83 she was a REPORTER for The Israel Economist, Jerusalem and was an INSTRUCTOR in English as a Second Language, Haifa, Israel at the same time. From 1978-82, she was involved with The Iroquois Poetry Ensemble & Theater Group in Berkeley, CA. .

During the 1970's Dr. Micossi conducted various social research projects and demographic analyses with grants from the National Institute of Mental Health, under the auspices of the University of California, Berkeley. Results of these studies were presented at professional meetings and several were published. In the 1970s & 80s Dr. Micossi conducted various social research projects and demographic analyses with grants from the National Institute of Mental Health, under the auspices of the University of California, Berkeley.

She was a former ADJUNCT PROFESSOR at Marist College, Hyde Park.

She received Ph.D., M.A., B.A. Sociology degrees from the University of California, Berkeley and Faculty of Arts & Letters, University of Padua, Italy. Dr. Micossi was a member of the National Writers Union, Dramatists Guild, Phi Beta Kappa, Manhattan Association of Cabarets & Clubs, Village of Tivoli Master Plan Committee and Architectural Review Board, chair and Director of the Northern Dutchess Jewish Family Group

Since 1982 she has been a full-time working journalist and published hundreds of articles on topics ranging from legal and social issues to business and technology.

Surviving are her husband Robert, her daughter Sofia Lili Rose Micossi Zises at home; two stepsons Bryan and Zachary Zises, both of Chicago, Ill.; one sister Carol Bredel of California, one brother James Micossi of California, many nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be conducted on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. at the Woodstock Jewish Congregation, Kehillat Lev Shalem, 1682 Glasco Turnpike, Woodstock NY 12498 (845)679-2218 ( Interment will follow in Montrepose Cemetery, Kingston.

Memorial contributions may be made to Woodstock Jewish Congregation, Kehillat Lev Shalem, 1682 Glasco Turnpike, Woodstock NY 12498.

Faruk Birtek

A Belated Memoir from the Berkeley of the 1960s and 70s and a Homage to Berkeley and its People

My Berkeley experience was most formative and most gratefully acknowledged. I feel loyal to the institution and most grateful to the then faculty and to fellow students. I experienced great days on the editorial board of Berkeley Journal of Sociology and learned so much as a teaching assistant. Berkeley is my second home, and I am most attached to the memory of the town but now avoid visiting as I feel aliens have taken over my habitus. Berkeley changed hence the world has changed. I have published very little yet am still full of "almost finished" writing projects on theory and history. Approaching sixty but still feeling very youthful thanks to the "non-conservative mindset" acquired at Berkeley. We are the Dorian Gray’s and the aging population only succeeded us!

Below is the story of a very lucky man (referencing Lindsay Anderson’s film, A Lucky Man).  That luck was mostly possible because it reflected its age, the modern at its height and, unbeknownst to itself, in its dying decades. At the time my story begins, there was a unified intellectual language and an abundance of student grants, and no visa was required to cross borders other than for the U.S. and the Communists. A phone call was a dime. There was no Internet and no ban on smoking. The written word was carried from place to place by humble postmen and women. People around me spent all their time either discussing with each other in bars, restaurants and coffee shops in clouds of heavy cigarette smoke, or in the library reading their nights out. I was twice locked up on the ninth floor of the UC Berkeley Library, where the bound volumes of Past&Present were housed, only to be saved by the night watchman. Most of my contemporaries at Berkeley worked part-time in the library for their subsistence. It was a wonderful time to be a foreign student in America.

All acknowledgments are written retrospectively. My ideas did not come from Heaven. I was a late bloomer. My ideas come from having been whirled in the blender of a very lucky life; my ideas come from the brilliant people I have met, from students, friends and teachers, and from all the wonderful places I have lived. Among those places, one stands out as the most crucial for my story. For places, I owe the most to Berkeley, where I came of age intellectually. Before that I was at best an infant.

My acknowledgments can thus only begin with my contemporaries, the wonderful people, the last of the moderns, the Berkeleyites of the sixties, and the place where I met them. I suppose the story of that Mohican-land must be written from afar and through the gaze of a young foreigner. The other wonderful people I have met since have had an impact on me expressly because I had my autobiography set in Berkeley in 1964 For all my encounters to be lucky breaks, my life had to have begun in Berkeley in the sixties and seventies, and I had to have had Berkeley to shape my mind and spirit to hear them. To Berkeley I owe myself and whatever I have had of curiosity, passion, a little disorganization, and a great love not for, but of, learning.

In acknowledging the people and the places, the events and the particular times I have lived through but of which I was no author, this autobiographical sketch might, indirectly, also serve an unintended end. It might, in very different categories, in very different language, convey a representation, a reflection, an incoherent summary, of the abstract and “grand narrative” of the modern. My personal experiences took place in the last decades of the Paradigm of the Modern, with which I have fully self-identified. In their final decades, paradigms often come to their full realizationin Hegel’s sense, as well as experiencing the beginnings of their inner fracturing.

The Place and the People

I transferred to Berkeley in December 1963 as a junior from Amherst College after half a year of wandering in Europe, as was then the custom. My going to Berkeley was out of no foreknowledge but due entirely to chance.My luck was due to two disconnected events. First, my deep discontent with New England “churchiness”, which made me drop out of Amherst at the end of my freshman year; and second, when, by pure chance, I came across a Berkeley Course Catalogue among the new arrivals in the tiny library in the basement of Cambridge (UK) City’s town hall.  The catalogue impressed me. It had all the things I wanted to read, from existentialism to Dostoevsky, from Jung to Nietzsche, nineteenth century intellectual history and Sociological Theory. I sent my transcript by Western Union to beat the deadline.

In those days you could get an air ticket from London to Berkeley that included a helicopter ride from San Francisco Airport to Berkeley Marina. The flight at night over the Bay was like flying over a jewel garden. In retrospect I think my adult life started that evening when I flew to Berkeley. Me as I know it began then, in December 1963.                                

Berkeley in the 1960s stood on the western precipice of the modern. The hills behind set Berkeley apart, as if it were an island. The Pacific in front looked endless, as if Berkeley would melt away into the ocean were it not for the Golden Gate Bridge forming a barrier. In that little patch of land between San Francisco Bay and the hills that separate Berkeley from Nevada and Arizona, a culture had been developing for some time that encapsulated all that the Modern meant, with its promises and its agonies, the certitudes and the void, the individualism and the collectivist politics, with its analytical rigor and poetry, Nagel and Rilke all in one, just as Paris had been in its fin de siècle, in 1900.

For all that, Berkeley was a pressure cooker. If Parisians had escaped to fin de siècle Normandy or Biarritz, where did Berkeley people go in the sixties?  One way was to go south as far as the Big Sur. At the time, Highway One was a one-lane country road, Monterey had not yet been hit by tourism and Clint Eastwood, and the canneries were still in operation. In Cannery Row one could smell the ocean in the sardines being canned. One could sleep on the beach if one did not mind the cold, the seaweed and the back pain. On the way, one could stop over in Santa Cruz. Where the University campus is today there was the woods. It must have been a state park. There one could spend the night under the pine trees if one did not mind the curious raccoons chewing on one’s sleeping bag. This was the long haul. One did not always have the time between course work and a charter flight to Europe to venture south often. For a short trip, Palo Alto was near, but it was a different continent. Stanford had a wonderful faculty but sat at the end of a very long, interminable bridge. From Berkeley we thought the Hoover Institution ruled the place. Its politics offended us as much as its coincidental name at the time.  Just on the other side of the Berkeley hills, almost as if in Arizona, stood the sleepy towns of Walnut Creek and the like. Yet they were to us as far away as the moon with their landscape and the way their people talked. Whenever I had to go there, a song from the fifties would ring in my ears, “purple people eater, take us to your pre-si-dent.”

A much more customary route was to Marin County, Sausalito and Mill Valley. The part-wooden bridge to Tiburon was beautiful on the drive. As one crossed one was met with a huge, deserted wooden building on the left that might have been a silo of sorts. It had a four-digit San Francisco telephone number from the Twenties inscribed on its side in big letters. Each time I went by the building a Bacall-Bogarde dialogue in black-and-white would play in my head. In Sausalito they made wonderful avocado-and-shrimp salads at the Trident, owned by the Kingston Trio of “Tom Dooley” fame. However posh and endowed with a marvelous terrace on the water it was, there, in those days, even a student could afford a light lunch of an avocado sandwich. A dime was dime and a dollar was a dollar.            

In 1964 the department of sociology was still at South Hall. Barrows was under construction. Blauner and Matza were the younger of the professors, Blauner brilliant and radical, perhaps a little more junior, Matza forever youthful and endlessly inspiring. They were kind enough to let me take their graduate seminars in my senior year, and I wrote a paper for each that I still find extremely insightful in my less modest moments! Smelser was ageless in his forever-mature way: always the mainstay of the department, helpful, attentive, diligent, superb. I owe Neil Smelser the rest of my career, but more on that later.

Returning to the department, Kenneth Bock gave extremely lucid lectures. I learned a good deal of my Marx from him. His favorites were Toynbee and Sorokin and Margaret Hodgson, who has a wonderfully lucid book, unfortunately forgotten now, on the historical geographical sociology of England before the Industrial Revolution, in which she argues that all innovation occurred where there had been immigration that broke the back of conventionalism. Bock looked the Berkeley grandee even in his Marx lectures. He looked as if he had been at Berkeley since before the university had even come to the hills. He was there already when the department was called the Department of Social Institutions. Bock was always very courteous if a bit distant. 

We all read Marx very carefully. Our favorite contemporary radical sociology writing then was that of Ralf Dahrendorf! We took him as one of our heroes. We considered so-called conflict sociology a true alternative! A bit of a mistake in retrospect. Randall Collins fell for it. That was before we discovered the Frankfurt School.

In the mid-sixties Berkeley had an excellent undergraduate program before it got axed after the Free Speech Movement. We felt in no way inferior to the graduate students. Sproul Plaza was the core of the campus. It was largely dominated by the sociology, philosophy, political science and English majors. The engineers would not come down too much, but would hang out north, where the fraternities were. The law students stayed in the north in isolation. The psychologists had already run to the other side of the campus to become professional. Next to them were the department of social welfare and one or two state institutions of social service. The agricultural experimental farm with its open space provided the light for that corner of the campus, forever saving Oxford Street with its airiness. The historians were not yet in the picture; in those days in America the history departments were where the football players were parked for their semi-academic sojourn. 

We all gathered on Sproul Plaza, by the fountain or in the adjoining cafeteria, for heated post-lecture discussions. Zellerbach Hall had not been built. From Sproul you could, on a clear day, have a magical view of the Bay, San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge, sitting like a crown in their midst.

Berkeley was an open university. Evening seminars never ended in the classroom as scheduled. They would continue many hours into the evening in one of the beer joints on Telegraph. One favorite was Robbie’s, a Chinese-run hofbrau! It had the cheapest pitcher if not the best beer.

During the day in the lecture halls around Sproul on the other side of Sather Gate, we would go to any lecture of our choosing. Everyone had his favorites. Mine were Carl Schorske’s history lectures in Dwinelle. I never took his course but hardly ever missed his lecture around noon three days a week. He remains the best lecturer I have ever heard. Listening to him with his free associations, recounting the ironies in western history, was pure joy, a delight unmatched by anything else. I am sorry that his written work has been no match for this volcanoof a lecturer. People cannot get to appreciate him as much as he certainly deserves!If it was not a Schorske day, my early afternoon excursion could be either to Dreyfus’s lectures on Existential Philosophy, a subject we thought broke through conventional thinking, or Frankenstein’s lectures up the hill on renaissance art, where he made the symbols come to life.

One day, opposite Dwinelle, in Wheeler Auditorium, John and I went to listen to Koestler. We both admired him very much. His Darkness at Noon is, I believe, still a classic. He was then preoccupied with “the thirteenth tribe”. We were a bit disappointed with the lecture, but it felt great to shake the hand of a great man—on that we didn’t change our minds. Berkeley education was not only in the classroom; it was everywhere!

Years later, in the late sixties, it was at Sproul that I would meet Marcuse, who would bring that holy place to its pinnacle. But let me continue with the Sproul days before Marcuse and return to the years 1964-65. These were still the years of the beginning, before Marcuse, before Vietnam, before Kent State, and the dream of the general strike and the sit-ins.

On Sproul Plaza, on a beautiful sunny day in late 1964—it must have been around noon—we surrounded a police car that had come to disperse us. A very fine man, Mario Savio, whom I, as a habitué of Sproul, had seen and exchanged many greetings with, climbed onto the, by then immobilized, police car carrying the bullhorn he had for the occasion. Mario in his light brown leather jacket climbed onto the police car in his white socks but only after he had instinctively removed his shoes! This is the image I have of the day after more than forty years. Not the details of what he said, but that innate elegance, that civility, is to me the unforgettable thing about that moment that has remained with me forever. It remains as one of the softest spots in my heart. That was the beginning of the student movement. It was Berkeley, 1964. His elegance in no way detracted from his passionate and radical speech, punctuated with a wonderfully witty and acerbic portrayal of the university administration. He expressed for all of us the fears of what might become of the university in the future.Clark Kerr’s idea of the multiversity was already in the air. Kerr wanted to integrate the university with the giant corporations on the outside; we believed in the ivory tower. This was the start of the Free Speech Movement. Nineteen sixty-eight had started in Berkeley, four years ahead of the world.

That evening the students held a sit-in in Sproul Hall, which was the University’s administration building. I wanted very much to go but couldn’t. Something very personal which I could not refuse came up... I went to Ernie’s that evening, which was then perhaps one of the best restaurants in San Francisco. I had my first Duck à l’Orange. I still think it was the best I’ve ever had. 

In 1964 a conflict had been brewing for some time between the students and the administration with regard to whether leafleting tables might be put at the entrance of the University for the upcoming California elections, which Ronald Reagan would eventually win. I remember how dark we felt when several months later we listened to his inaugural speech as the new governor one late California afternoon on the lawn where the University’s undergraduate library now stands. The university had put up loudspeakers, as if to forewarn us of the coming events. In the FSM struggle the students wanted no restrictions on political speech. The university claimed they wanted politics not to be allowed on campus.  I could see the university’s point. I knew if we wanted an ivory tower it had to cut itself off from society. On the other hand, the university had a bad record of denying tenure to Marxist faculty. It had a history of demanding the oath of allegiance from its faculty members. Only a few years earlier the same issue had led to a violent skirmish when the House Committee on Un-American Activities, a legacy of the McCarthy days, had met in San Francisco, and Berkeley students had a big role to play on that occasion only to be hosed down the stairs of City Hall by city firemen. Perhaps those were the first seeds of the coming student movement!

Berkeley had become the vanguard of the student movement. Already by the early sixties many bright students from the best colleges in New York and other parts of the East who had seen the rough side of the Civil Rights movement in the South had transferred to Berkeley. Berkeley had become the place where the bright and committed children of middle and upper middle class professional parents chose to complete their university education. They had no patience with aloof, academic savoir-faire.

The police car and the Mario Savio episode say so much in retrospect. Not only did Mario take his shoes off to climb onto the car, in the later hours we would bring coffee and sandwiches to the two cops who had been trapped so long inside it. What strikes me is the innocence, the purity—the naiveté in the positive sense of the word—that characterized the early days of the student movement. I find that completely commensurate with the assumptions in which the whole paradigm of the Modern was anchored—alas, at times at its fragile expense! I find that civility, innocence and optimism about human nature much more germane to the Modern as an Enlightenment project than the atrocities, the violence, the Holocaust (Bauman) perpetrated in its name.

The Free Speech Movement wreaked havoc among the faculty. Some saw in it the Hitler Youth; some saw it as another version of the juvenile “rebel without a cause”. They were wrong. The students were also wrong to imagine they could get involved in the world but only on their own terms. The administration handled the situation very badly. They had no experience with any of this. Every movement at some point has aneed for dialogue and recognition. The administration instead totally shunned the students. They could have built a bridge between the students and the faculty. By the time they tried to do that, it was already too late.

Four years later, in late 1969, I returned to Berkeley as a graduate student after Cambridge (UK), Paris and the New School, and a little working time in East Africa. The department had moved to the fourth floor of Barrows Hall, where all the social sciences departments had also moved. Herbert Blumer had built the best department in the country—at least that is what we thought, and what the country thought, as the top students from the top colleges congregated there. These were the years of sociology. Herbert Blumer represented George Herbert Mead in the department. He had been Mead’s student. Blumer was a wonderfully warm person. Huge as he was, he would put his arms around your shoulder with the greatest friendliness. Rumor had it that he had been a professional football player in Chicago to put himself through college and was once married to a beautiful fashion model. Blumer filled the corridors of Barrows fourth floor with the magnanimity of a department chair who had created the best department in the country by recruiting sociologists whose methodologies were most unlike his—an exceptional quality indeed in academia! When he and Smelser gave the graduate theory course it was a feast. It was said that to make his methodological point he once asked Smelser, “Neil, have you ever seen a norm walking down the corridor?” Leo Lowenthal was the highbrow German intellectual, very sophisticated and acerbic, quite in the center even before we had all discovered the Frankfurt School. Marcuse’s fame had not yet fully moved north from San Diego—or was he still at Brandeis then, I cannot remember. At the time, Habermas was only a mimeo we circulated among ourselves as the bright young new German sociologist. The text was his “Science and Technology as Ideology”, translated by a fellow graduate student, Hans Muller. It very much enchanted us. Foucault’s Madness and Civilization, his best work, might have just been just translated! David Matza was to review it for ASR. Bendix was remarkably erudite. Lipset I never met; he was always on leave. Kingsley Davis had already established his turfat Demography. Goffman had gone to the East Coast the year before I came to Berkeley, but his fame still lingered vividly in the corridors of the department. Kornhauser, still young, was resting on the laurels of his Politics of Mass Society—I think he took an early intellectual retirement after the book. It was de Tocqueville made contemporary. I realize now, when I reflect retrospectively, that this Tocqueville “secondary organizations and democracy” advanced a formula that messed us all up.France had almost no secondary organizations until the 1890s, but Germany had a lot of them. They both went Fascist in the mid-Thirties, yet France resisted better with its deeply entrenched state, whereas Germany could not! Hannah Arendt certainly has been much more perceptive on this issue and the rise of Fascism.

Berkeley had become much more of a graduate institution, perhaps a little in response to the Free Speech Movement. Sproul had lost its earlier focus as the principal forum. Intellectual activity had shifted more to the departments. For us, the social scientists, it was Barrows Hall. Sproul had become more the promenade with lots of Hare Krishna song and dance. The cafeteria had become more amorphous, and the new Zellerbach Hall now obstructed the magical vision of the Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge. One good thing was that the student movement had totally turned the law students around; they had now become mature, political and active. With the more graduate character of the university, the research institutes had come to play a more dominant role, often at the expense of the departments. One institute that had become a highbrow intellectual center was the Center for the Study of Law and Society. There, Selznick was the duke, subtle in mind, elegant in manners. From him I learned so much. He was magnanimous and most generous with his time and his ideas.  I spent many seminar hours at the Center. The following year I had the great fortune of being asked by the department to give Selznick’s theory course while he was on sabbatical leave. A great experience! It was my first true teaching job. I believe I was very successful. I gave a tough course and a tough final exam and was rated very highly by the students. Habermas was then on my reading list and his ''science and technology as ideology'' was the dominant theme of my essay final! It was the beginning of my academic career. I had already been a Teaching Assistant for several years. I had enjoyed that very much. It was a great learning experience. As a Teaching Assistant I might have been a bit too serious for the job and a bit too pompous. On reflection I sometimes feel embarrassed. Teaching my own course might have taken those silly edges off my demeanor. No better cure for pomposity than a little self-confidence!

The other most gratifying and educational experience was being on the editorial board of eight of the Berkeley Journal of Sociology, a graduate students’ journal whose board was selected by fellow students. We spent hours arguing over manuscripts. It was a wonderful way of getting an education. Manuscripts were reasons to argue over methodologies, politics and theory. It was a great education and tremendous fun. I will return to it below.

The Journal gave me one of my most memorable experiences, which I still recall with great pride. For the Journal, Karl Kreplin and I taped Herbert Marcuse in a fully packed ASUC auditorium. He was brilliant, beautiful and moving. Marcuse had become my hero and he still remains so.

Berkeley’s mindset in those days was shaped by Marcuse, Kuhn and the Beatles —the first of whom I still adhere to academically, and the second of whom I now abhor for his lowbrow academism. Since then, Marcuse for me has remained a perennial talisman. Listening to the Beatles now is an even more moving experience. Today they bring tears to my eyes, tears of nostalgia for the Modern. Yet Pink Floyd has become the most potent in my consciousness since they sound the death-knell of the Modern from its own involution: “teacher, teacher you’re just a brick in the wall...”

I had returned to Berkeley in 1969 on the heels of the flare-up over the “people’s park”, a strip of land used by political groups that the university wanted to take to build new dorms. I was told about the great episodes of that conflict when I arrived. A year later was the time of the greatest eruption: the Kent State killings, the escalation of the war in Vietnam, and the invasion of Cambodia. It was a total event. A good many of us in Sociology got involved with writing leaflets to mobilize workers in the flatlands for a general strike. What phenomenal excitement, what fabulous education, what fantastic solidarity.

The anti-war movement was in full swing. As teaching assistants, we were holding teach-ins on capitalism, imperialism and the war. Baran-Sweezy was our handbook. Retrospectively now I feel a little ashamed of how we put the engineering students through such an ordeal when they lacked all interest. They were intelligent enough to bite the bullet, go through the episode most obligingly and not jeopardize their grades in their social science electives. I think the university handled that occasion better. Yet I do not know how much they were in on the helicopters that sprayed our Sproul Plaza meetings with orange gas. That was brutal and silly. The helicopters only agitated us and made our will all the stronger. It was Paris all over again as I knew from the year before, but now on the Berkeley campus. We thought Berkeley was Paris! The issue was one of war and killing, of empire and the draft!

But it was not all politics and campaigning: Berkeley was a city of cinemas, from the most regular kind to the walk-ins, like the two at Northside. The crown however belonged to the Pacific Film Archives. Tom Luddy had made it one of the richest sources of “oldies”, from Nosferatu to Pandora’s Box, two rare films to be viewed every night. I would run into Luddy in Paris, Boulevard St. Germain, and we would nod and pass by as if we were on Telegraph Avenue. I must have been at the PFA almost every other evening of the week. It was a tremendous source of education in black-and-white.  If that was not enough, one went to the Surf Theater in “Frisco” by the ocean at the other end of the city. I believe the Surf no longer exists today. People there wore black turtlenecks and smoked like Juliette Greco. Walking the paved streets—as they were then—around the Surf Theater on a sunny day and then topping it off with a brief visit to the Musée Mécanique at Pigeon Point remains for me something to yearn for forever.

The Marcuse of those days on has remained my beacon. He has always been there somewhere, hidden or apparent, in every course I’ve taught for the last thirty plus years. Some people are both place and persona in one. It was also at that time in Berkeley that I met three friends from whom I still keep learning, Ilkay Sunar, Claus Offe and Steve Cohen. To them my gratitude remains immeasurable.

How could I not consider myself a very, very lucky man! Berkeley was a fantastic place. No place has yet come even a distant second for my learning experience and for the depth of its lived days.

My social geographical account ends here. Let me turn now to the people I met in a chronology of personal acknowledgments, to thank them for enabling me to write this book.

For the people who shaped my lucky life, let me once more go back to my undergraduate years at Berkeley for a moment. At Berkeley, still before 1965 and before the Student Movement, every day I would read T.S. Eliot in the mornings and afternoons, and every day I would gravitate to Berkeley’s Morrison Library—a beautiful wood-paneled reading room—to read whatever appeared that day on the “new arrivals” table. Next to it stood the table with current journals. There, I started reading one of the first issues of The New York Review of Books, to which I have since subscribed for so many million years. Next to it was The New York Times, for which you had to sit close to the table to catch one of the few copies before somebody else got it; there was no California edition back then. From the same table I avidly read the journals, Encounter and Commentary, which the CIA had been supporting, unbeknownst, of course, to us. We did not know much about the CIA then. One day on the new arrivals table I discovered the first English translation of Apollinaire’s Alcools. It has since radically configured my understanding of the Modern, as I write below in a way quite different from all the ways the Modern has been understood and rendered by many others. It was thanks to what I learned from John Steele that I would so much enjoy the Morrison Library and Apollinaire. Without him I might have become just a bookworm sociologist in the Reserve Book Room next door!

But my Berkeley early education (1964-65) was not only the theatre of the absurd and German expressionist drama. In fact, Esslin’s introduction to The Theatre of the Absurd only reinforced my choice of sociology as a major. It was not the contextualization of those theatrical texts, which he intelligently does none of, but his discussion of their—to use another neologism—subtext that struck me as so Durkheimian. I had read Marx and Durkheim on many occasions. My search in sociology was not for public conscience or a Fabianist type of  “do-goodery” [sic]. However much I commend them both when done privately, I abhor them when done academically. My search was for a conceptual understanding of how societies exhibit particular cultural forms in particular times in their history. There, I wanted geometry and rational discourse. I never had patience with description that pretends to be theory the way Giddens would practice it later. In my first term in Berkeley sociology, Neil Smelser’s course on theory was required. I found in its systematic rigor, analytical depth and comparative skill what I had been dreaming of at Amherst. That is when I decided to study sociology as the real thing. It is the best course I ever had in the many thousand years of my education; it set me the model of teaching for which I have received so much praise, adulation and reward, and I have traveled with it on demand to many different parts of the world. Smelser made me into a medieval craftsman who carries his means of production with him, never to depend on anyone else. He gave me my métier, an incomparable gift! I took Smelser’s word to many places around the globe, and it has given me a purpose and prestige. I consider I had three principal teachers, in the Yaqui sense (Carlos Castaneda, The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge):my friends, Scott at Amherst and John Steele, and Neil Smelser. He is my third teacher, yet so different from the other two­—of them I will say more later. Thanks to Smelser’s geometry, their contributions complete the circle and become meaningful. It was so essential for me to see where geometry ends and where poetry begins, where reason must prevail and where unreason is to be admitted. That was also Durkheim’s problem; in a deep reading of Durkheim it becomes obvious that unreason is ubiquitous, always there, robust and hard to keep at bay. Courage, as Esslin mentions in his introduction to his book on the Theatre of the Absurd, was to survive rationally in the face of its fragility, by facing the deep truth of unreason that lurks behind reason. Nietzsche in his struggle is as modern as Kant. Weber never was.

I have since taught a theory course on Smelser’s heels with a different emphasis. Marx and Durkheim got more comprehensive and longer. For Durkheim I included his Kantian essays and for Marx Hegel, and I dropped Smelser’s Michels and Parsons to include a little Weber as a conclusion. I have never failed to mention Smelser as the originator of the course each time I taught it for over thirty years in many places, and, to Neil Smelser’s credit, I was often elected best teacher by the students. Neil Smelser has had more impact on my life than anyone else; he made me into an academic. My loyalty to him wouldnever waver.

When I went from Berkeley to Cambridge to read Economics in 1965, Frank Hahn and Nicholas Kaldor taught theory in the same elegant, rigorous manner. There is no better training in logical analysis than good economic theory. Again it was my luck that I ended up as an economist at Cambridge. I had wanted to read European history. But Cambridge would not let me do European history without Latin—very sensible indeed. Reading my second choice, Economics, at Cambridge proved most valuable in the long run, much more than history, which I read the most now. Frank Hahn must have been the most intelligent person I’ve ever met. I had never seen wit and logic combine so well. His article, co-authored with Matthews, on economic theory is, to my mind, still the best model for any analytical theory thinking and still my guide to the way I organize my theory lectures.  

After Cambridge I found myself in Paris in 1968. I do not have to recount the story of Paris in 1968. Obviously the French students might have been politically much more mature than the American students, but they were naive about university education when compared to my Berkeley cohort.The crisis was as much of the state and the universities, as it was of the unions, which had been mothballed politically in part because of their relationship with the atrophying Communist Party. The youth rebellion was against both. In the grand auditorium of the Sorbonne I was tired of warning them over and over again of the pitfalls of the “relevant education” they were clamoring for. The French university had been moribund for a long time, but I thought the answer was not more relevance, as I knew from my Berkeley days, but more university. I had Clark Kerr in mind!I could never convince them of the errors of their vision. Eventually Edgar Faure would give them a model of relevant higher education andprove me right. French students must be far unhappier now than before. Only many years later did I meet Daniel Cohn-Bendit in person. Then and now a wonderfully intelligent and admirable fellow who heroically never tires of politically defending the tenets of the political modern, he gets lonely now in the maze of the European Union’s Leviathan.

After a year in the turbulent Paris of 1968 and a brief stint in East Africa, I went to the New School in New York. I wanted to go to the New School because it still had remnants of the “university in exile”. I had a tremendous admiration for German Jewish scholars and felt a particular affinity with them, especially after my year at Amherst, which was, of course, in my mind the opposite.The urban context of New York suited me well. My fin de siècle and the Modern were still lurking in the East Village, where most resident shopkeepers spoke Polish almost exclusively. I lived on a shoestring on St. Mark’s Place near Tompkins Park. I loved the intellectual atmosphere at the New School and that part of New York. I had no money to go beyond 14th Street except on foot. In the tiny, cozy library in the 12th Street basement of the New School I discovered L’Homme et la Société, which had articles by Lévi-Strauss, Georges Gurvitch and Lucien Goldmann, who, I believe, were also the editors of the journal. Its content and orientation—what they called Philosophical Anthropology—I still consider the most sophisticated intellectual example of the human sciences, a model that has unfortunately become archaic.

The next year I came to Berkeley as a graduate student. I was TA-ing and I loved it. It was most educational. One learns best by teaching, I’ve always found. The Berkeley department had become a haven for the best students in America. Barrows Hall graduate lounge was the meeting place where I learned an infinite amount from my fellow students. We organized to meet one evening a week at Karl Kreplin’s house on College Avenue. Art Stinchcombe would come to these meetings. That was where some of the best theory discussions took place. Outstanding times! This was education at its very best. Sometimes we also met at Art’s house on Henry Street. Stinchcombe was one of the best minds one could meet, clear and rigorous, challenging and superb. He was always most cordial to me.  I learned so much from him on those occasions. Berkeley was a total learning experience.

Yes, Berkeley was a total learning experience. From sociology people would also go to other departments for seminars, lectures, discussions. One of my favorites was Steve Cohen’s at Urban Planning. I have not seen anyone who could elucidate the instrumental grammar of the modern with total cynicism the way Steve did. Kolakowski, very famous then, came once to teach for a term in Political Science. It was very exciting at the beginning, yet the lectures turned banal after a while. Visitors often did not have a knack for lectures the way Berkeley faculty did. One exception was Amartya Sen. I learned my Harrod-Domar from him—a tough job to teach—in my junior year when he was visiting faculty: a very bright, conscientious and fine man. Lectures were central to Berkeley teaching, and that suited me far better than the tutorials of Cambridge.

Two other people at Berkeley whose work would also contribute significantly to my thinking with their systemic approach. One was West Churchman, whose Design of Inquiring Systems I read like a medieval monk with his holy book every day for several months at the Graduate Social Science Library, where the only copy of the book could be found. The other person who influenced me in that regard was Benjamin Ward. By then I had had a relatively good training in Economic Theory at Cambridge. Ward gave informal seminars at his home with great generosity and cordiality. Along with West Churchman’s book, I also read Ward’s What’s wrong with Economics? more than a few times when it was still in manuscript format. I do not know whether it ever got published in that original, thoughtful, rigorous, radical language. It was an almost Kantian critique of the science of economics. Nothing beats the rigorous reading of economic theory for developing an analytical logic, checking one’s assumptions, delineating one’s lines of causality, and recognizing the logical boundaries of one’s theory. For my thinking, for an analytical perusal of mental paradigms Edmund Wilson set the model, then the works of Halévy and Ronald Meek. Parsons showed me the practice of talking in terms of cultural paradigms as bundles of Will, and Churchman how to look at their underside. But nothing is as indelible an experience of a live lecture as Schorske, always a giant in that regard. How sad that his written works, though so germane to the concerns of this study, remain in my eye somehow not on a par with his giant intellect - yet certainly better than Peter Gay’ssuperficial dabbling in the same subject. Again in the vicinity of the issues into which this study wants to delve, it was Gay’s failure that prompted me to first unearth the mood to capture the sensibilities of a period, and to do that best tongue-in-cheek and with humor, which Gay, so lowbrow, darkly lacks.

To begin with, from Berkeley, in retrospect, two people stand out in my memory of the Berkeley faculty: David Matza, totally enchanting, outstanding, brilliant, a loner, most lovable for his exceptional mind; and, above everyone else, Neil Smelser, our Buddha figure forever. Finally, for my academic superiors, two others after Berkeley have to be mentioned once more: Donald Black at Yale, political and logical positivist, most invaluable for his double challenge, without which this work of mine could have degenerated into metaphysics or astrology; and Offe, who, with his passion for abstraction and critique, with his search for rigor and geometry, I still feel sits on my shoulder the minute I turn to my text.

As far as friendships beyond intellectual camaraderie are concerned, Jeff Prager and Karl Kreplin were the two people from the department that I saw most often: brilliant people, brilliant minds with kind, generous, warm hearts. Knowing them was pure pleasure. Jeff later went to UCLA to teach. Jeff’s father had been with the Lincoln Brigade, which for us was the truly highest accolade for a person, even more than the Nobel Prize. We were most proud of it. I got to see Karl for a longer period. Karl stayed in Berkeley to eventually teach millions of hours a week at the local community colleges. A very, very sharp mind that connected the micro with the macro so well but that hit the political glass ceiling when it came to employment.  I learned so much from Karl—a brilliant sociologist in the best muckraking tradition.

It was also then that I had many wonderful evening discussions on the theory of the state with Ilkay Sunar. I would venture to say we were the first to deal with the question when the state was still only “an agency of resource mobilization”, to use Parsons’ words, in American social science. My dissertation came out of those discussions, as did my later connection with Pierre Birnbaum. After I returned to Europe, Pierre and I developed a wonderful friendship that was not only fun but also of great learning. To me Pierre stands as the true edifice of the Republic and the French Modern, which this book is about; hence, my gratitude to him is most immediate and real. With great amazement I note the later rise from that wilderness of the industry of the “sociology of the state”! After Sunar’s in political science, my dissertation was the first in sociology to put the state at the center of a comparative historical discussion, in my case with the extensive benefit of Schumpeter and Selznick’s sociology of organizations. Theda Skocpol, whose work I much admire, and others writing on the state came only after a decade. With Sunar then, a mind sharper than mine, and since then each time we converse—now for almost half a century—I have to rethink what I thought I knew, and each time a new understanding emerges. What great joy and elation.

Claus Offe, the master of systematic abstraction and of state theory, was Berkeley’s other gift to me at the same time. That concern—rare for the day—with the theory of the state was again the basis of our almost immediate intellectual solidarity in Berkeley in the early years of our camaraderie. There is no single person I owe as much as I owe Claus Offe for his stoic patience and generosity with me; and for making academic opportunities available to me that I otherwise could not have obtained on my own. Thanks to him, I discovered Budapest, which would later play such a central role in my life. Thanks to him I spent so much intellectual time in Germany, which in itself is a full education when in the company of Claus. He is one person whose goodness I can never fully reciprocate. Intellectually, our discussions went on until dawn over Hennessey or Armagnac, and often with the contribution of Sabine, his then wife. Time with Claus is still a tremendous intellectual joy. Based on our Berkeley friendship, founded in 1969, we have been getting together in different parts of the world for an evening or two of intense discussion every year for the last forty years. I also benefited from being witness to the subtle disagreements between Claus and Pierre on the state and modernity. On that my position was closer to Pierre’s.

I first met Steve Cohen at the Max Planck Institute in Starnberg in a seminar Claus organized in the early 1970s. Since then Steve has become one of my best friends. He was my savior when I got writer’s block with my endless dissertation. Yet he is much more than that to me. Steve is the most cynical radical brilliant insightful person, and great fun. Great to see him run circles around anything and still maintain a great sense of humor, and to hear him, with his tremendous intuition and theoretical insight, debunk all existing conventions tongue-in-cheek and with the subtlest humor. One of the most intelligent persons I have met in my life.

So much fun! So much to admire! So much to learn from! Yet, before I conclude recounting my days in my Berkeley intellectual rose garden, I must relate one experience that I have never stopped retelling for its irony. It was at Berkeley, on one of those days Marcuse had come to town and was staying at Leo Lowenthal’s house in San Francisco. As a favor to me, Leo asked me if I would take Marcuse on his afternoon stroll in the city. It was the best gift anyone had ever given me. I duly went, of course, and we set out on the walk. I discovered I had nothing to tell him! I was totally dumbstruck. I never felt so stupid. In total awe, whatever I mumbled was rubbish. The old man, very generous in his way, very handsome and very elegant, bent over backwards to engage me. It was to no avail. It must have been the lowest point in my life of over six decades. Today, I tell the story every year to my students as a warning to curb one’s hubris. Life is full of irony and contradictions! My angel of luck must have been busy somewhere else that day!

One microcosmos where I grew intellectually might also interest sociologists of later generations: Berkeley Graduate Student Lounge.

The rectangular room on the fourth floor of the east side of Barrows Hall was the sociology graduate students’ lounge, a room lively as no other department’s in Barrows. It was at the east end of Barrows on the fourth floor and had a huge window, a beautiful view of the hills, the playing fields, Kroeber, Environmental Design, and the architecturally beautiful women’s gym. It had such wondrous light and was so bright and appealing that we started to gather from the morning, to debate, to dispute, to discuss, to disagree. For grad students, Berkeley campus was a total institution, and in particular the sociology department was alive all the time, percolating forever, a teapot (Sunar's words) that made it different from Columbia, Harvard and Yale.

The intellectual center of the room was the seating arrangement: a lounge and two armchairs at the left side of the room by the left wall. It was the center of gravity.  Ann Leffler, always a little quiet; Margaret Polatnick, jovial yet extremely reserved; Carole Joffe, whom I always found the most brilliant of our cohort; Sydney Halpern, always most elegant, always distant, always Proustian in motion, most insightful but always quiet; and the very sedate and serene Ann Swidler, almost the queen, sat on the edge of the couch and carried on intense conversation. The late Carol Hatch, when she could escape from department work, would join them, and also Fred Block when he came to the lounge. At the table by the window in the northeast corner—usually the boys’ corner—Harry Levine would sit, he a brilliant conversationalist with a great voice, a charismatic and brilliant guy who had been a part-time cab driver in Manhattan and told lots of wonderful stories with the greatest sense of humor; I talked to him a lot. Again, on the east side, one table south, again by the window Sue Greenwald, most bright and congenial, would sit and at times carry on a distant conversation with the women’s side of the seating arrangement. I liked Sue a lot. A woman, like so many of the women in the department, whose parents were from the D.C. area, Sue was, I believe, from Alexandria, Virginia, and her father was in the foreign service. At the time it was very prestigious to have parents in public service, as it is today to have a “business background”; these were still the Kennedy years. Richard Apostle would quietly drift in and out of the lounge as if watching it all but saying not a word; David Hummon would come in, always with a friendly smile on his face, a good voice, and a lovely personality; Jeff Alexander would burst in like “the force” with an overwhelming presence and a booming, deep baritonevoice; Jeff Johnson and wife were slightly standoffish and looked a little conceited. I thought he would have been much happier at the Law School.  Karl Kreplin, my mentor, from whom I learned so much in conversation, would come in the afternoons in his preferred colors, beige and brown. Jeff Prager, whom I liked very much and spent good times with, was always most amiable and intelligent and personable; I was awed by his father’s having been in the Lincoln Brigade, which to me was the highest accolade one could get—I would always ask him about his father and his stories. David Minkus was intelligent and always a shock value in terms of what he had up his sleeve. On some days Jeff Weintraub would come in with his slick blue Italian bicycle—which he would take along even when he went to the men’s room—but chose to remain a little aloof to the lounge’s intense sociability. JerryHimmelstein was a very nice fellow, earnest in his theory interests and intelligent, a person with whom I had long discussions on Marx and theory; I enjoyed him a lot. He was one of the mainstays of the lounge.

Another foreigner with whom I spent a lot of good time together during and after Berkeley was Federico D'Agostino, a priest at heart, most gentle and sensitive but never perturbed.

Around the coffee machine on the right Tom Taylor, whose father had been the architect of the U.S. policy in Vietnam,and another friend, whose name now escapes me, who had already as a graduate student published in the ASR, remained on the high right-wing of the department at a distance, holding the south end of the room against the prevalent left. I always admired Taylor for his reticence and his courage to come and go with noloss of poise in such an anti-war atmosphere. To be at Berkeley at the height of the Vietnam conflict must have required a lot of courage. I admired him for not losing his composure, keeping his chin up, and courteously going about his own business, never engaging in any political discussion—very hard in that common room—but never apologetic either.There were also two people who would occasionally hold court in the lounge. They were from an earlier cohort, senior to us,but with a little too much sound and fury. They were Irwin Sperber and Hal Jacobs. I never found them as intellectually powerful as the members of my cohort.

At Berkeley, lectures ruled. That was where the education most entertainingly occurred. They were great. Berkeley as a whole exuded education, from the Film Archives to the Museums. The Graduate Lounge was yet another site where our education in sociology took place. There, getting annoyed with Erik Olin Wright—Erik, a year or two my junior, was the “sociological engineer” who alienated everybody with his opinionated aloofness and highhanded manner—and, on the positive side,  adoring Ann Swidler, being envious of Jeff Alexander—Jeff was an exceptional figure, Foreman’s Mozart: radical, rascal, rebellious, very sharp; trying to figure out Fred Block and enjoying Carole Joffe’s conversation were all part of my education. Stuart Buckley, an Englishman, I found even more difficult than Fred Block to decipher, my English sympathies notwithstanding. Another Brit, Rosemary Taylor was the model personality, solid, helpful, polite, gracious and intelligent; David Hummon, a good fellow, intelligent and always helpful; Margaret Polatnick had the most disarming smile, but I rarely managed to talk to her. In the meantime, in one of the offices next door, Jeff Paige, with whom I later developed a strong camaraderie, was trying to do something very unique, putting Marxian theory to a Durkheimian statistical test. His book, Coffee and Power, would one day crown this very special intellectual endeavor.

Once in a while some faculty also drifted in; among them, Troy Duster was the most amiable and well liked. He had the great talent of holding the department together—a great feat for all that tension and radicalism. What I would give today to be back in that lounge for just half an hour to be with all those intelligent, earnest, gregarious and brilliant young people, especially the brilliant young women, like a scene out of a Tom Stoppard play.

But in my mind nobody compares with Carole Joffe.Carole, who was without a doubt by far the sharpest mind among us all was at her best in one David Matza evening seminar—the most brilliant seminar I ever had. Carole Joffe’s intellect was exceptional. The best course, undergraduate or graduate, I had was no doubt Neil Smelser’s theory course. Neil Smelser was the theory’s master. Nobody could do it like him. There was also Art Stinchcombe, from whom you learned the heavens by talking to him, but never in his lectures. Selznick was the intellectual aristocrat who best practiced the sociological dialectic: the negative surprise of good projects, the irony of good intentions. Leo Lowenthal, the Frankfurt School itinerant, brilliant and intolerant, was Marxist and elitist, radical but archconservative, very sociable but hating people at the same time. Leo, a bon vivant with refined taste, was the prototype of the German bourgeoisie before all was destroyed by the Holocaust. Robert Bellah was different. Whenever I saw him I could not but visualize him as a lanky old man with a staff in his hand, wearing sandals, a wooden cross slung over his neck, sweet-talking infidels into Christianity. In retrospect, it might be too harsh to see him as the first post-modern in the department, the beginning of the end. This was in radical contrast to his brilliant earlier book on the Japanese samurai—a book that, unbeknownst to him, was, I think, in the best Schumpeterian tradition, which later much formed my historical sociology. Schumpeter, once the president of the American Economic Association, had then been all but forgotten. When I borrowed his books from the library, they had not been checked out for twenty years. My dissertation was much lodged in Schumpeterian institutional economics, which was then practiced only in one or two places south of the Mason-Dixon line.

Around the campus, lively conversations educated me in the coffee shops and backyards, and for that I am most grateful in particular to Bob Dunn and Elliot Currie for the brilliant discussions in their backyards. There must be a hundred other fellow students whose names I do not recall now. I am grateful to them. They make up the Berkeley that I feel so loyal to.

Here my text runs ahead of its grammar: The Lucky Circle

Looking back, let me run a cycle, return, go back to the beginning, and recount, to punctuate my luck for the places, friends and teachers, to connect that personal narrative more directly, and have my Berkeley cohort pitch in briefly to set the stage in the many ways I cannot figure out.

For my pursuit of the fin de siècle, I am most grateful to icicle-like, self-righteous, alien and alienating New England’s stiff upper lip that made the search for the fin de siècle the means of my survival, its sensibility the most radical antidote to New England self-righteousness. That context helped me to see the fin de siècle as Will and un-Will, its vide as a perennial fixture at its core, and the Beckettian absurd as the principal aspect of the fin de siècle’s coherence, which became so intelligible to me in the midst of New England certainty, self-assuredness and hubristic arrogance. This, and my neighbor Scott at Stearns Hall reading “The Ancient Mariner” aloud every other night, broke my rationalist mindset cast in Turkish Republicanism and the positivism so handy for a young man so insecure.

Reading Stuart Hughes’ Consciousness and Society at Amherst shaped my initial mind as it did the minds of many of my generation. Swaying me so directly into the fin de siècle that much impatiently  I dropped out of Amherst to search for it in Europe at the end of my first year. Luck that I dropped out ! I found my fin de siecle at Berkeley a year later.

Thanks at a more personal level are due to John Steele, as I met him in my very first semester at Berkeley during an irrelevant public lecture at Dwinelle. He became my perennial source, though always from his abyss—a duality between the sharpest mind and the most elusive metaphysics—to make Berkeley the fount of my youth and the cradle of all of my later intellectual impatience and aspirations, and for jointly reading Jung and T. S. Eliot's Wasteland. In short,

I am grateful to Steele for helping me to discover Dada in a very special way, so I could read Dada and Modernity as inseparable, the Ying and Yang of reason and unreason. I am thus grateful to him for seeing sociology in its fear of the Surrealists, of German Expressionism, and Durkheim's  Pascalian fears.

Finally, all my generation owe everything to the Beatles’ music and to Marcuse’s intellectual passion. I am so fortunate for having been a “lucky man”, to have traversed the sixties so well situated and so naively; to have seen The King’s Road and Mary Quant, to have been at the Sorbonne in 1968, to have been on Sproul Plaza with Mario Savio in 1965, to have been in love when the world turned upside down, to have walked Telegraph Avenue when helicopters were spraying Berkeley with tear gas, to have had the teach-ins for the law school and the engineering kids, reading them Paul Sweezy during the Cambodia crisis, and to have spent endless nights composing leaflets for the working class below San Pablo, debating Stalinism against Régis Debray in the editorial meetings of the Berkeley Journal of Sociology, disagreeing with Jane Tatum and admiring Karl Kreplin.

At Berkeley at the time—I don’t know how it is now—each department had a different doctoral qualifying procedure. In sociology it was the oral exam. It was pivotal. That, I think, was one reason why the sociology degree at Berkeley was so strong. We took it very seriously. I did, too—read almost everything under the sun for my areas and beyond. That preparation was the bedrock of my sociology for many years to come. I loved that period of most serious, extensive reading and discussion.  I did very well in my exam. I enjoyed it tremendously. It was fun and serious at the same time. It was thorough and exhausting. I am most grateful to my committee. I wanted to pass with distinction. I did not. That year Hardy Frye did. He must have been very, very good. I knew him well. He was a very bright fellow. Oh, what a wonderful department! Oh, what wonderful times!

Finally Most Personal:

But all was not of course all pink and rosy, as it was not for Lindsay Anderson’s Mr. Travis either. There were many dark moments of brown and melancholy. They connected me to Apollinaire’s “Pont Mirabeau”.

Thanks to my soul brother Osama Doumani, I survived, literally, the “butt ends” of those moments, and thanks to him I am still here writing. He saved me from a stretcher lying in the corridor of the El Cerrito Community Hospital! Without his intercession, I would certainly have died. For those most formative days exceptional thanks goes to Brenda Cummings. Her personal brilliance, her stamina and above all her British sense of humor at its best, which made me see the orange and the sunshine even in the days of the “darkest side of the moon”. She will forever remain my soul sister.

As this is about the rosy and the pink and my exceptional luck, I do not have to further acknowledge here the dark days of my past. Apollinaire, from the first day I read him at Morrison Library, bridged for me the brown and the pink, the melancholy and the joy. Let that remain as my acknowledgment of those brown days.

In retrospect one more reminder is also in order! The downside of all that luck, of all those lucky trips and encounters, those coffee shops, cinemas and lecture halls was that “a rolling stone gathers no moss”. One day soon people will say “oh, how his hair has grown thin, how he wears his trousers rolled”, on Amazon he has nothing to his name.

The end of one diaspora and the start of another!

My first teaching job was at Yale. A day came at Yale when, despite myself, I could no longer be the foreigner and a local at the same time. It was not fair to my departmental colleagues, who had embraced me as a fellow faculty member. My commitment to the department, which ran deep, would contradict my wayward conscience. Would I be a passerby pretending to be permanent? I had to either mentally naturalize—an awful expression—or go back home. I chose the latter.

It was a Weberian dilemma. I wanted to be more publicly involved than I could have possibly hoped to be as an academic in America at the time. I packed and went home, or actually went back to what I imagined to be home. I could not have known what I was getting into. Only with time did I discover that everything looked the same but had changed drastically in the almost two decades I had been away. Someone must have wished on me the Toyota ad, “You asked for it. You got it”! Since that return, my engagement in public service has never ceased to be intense!

Thus I ended one diaspora for another. It was the beginning of my diaspora from the Berkeley of the 1960s. But then again, wasn’t that only an Atlantis? John Steele is in LA now doing his aromatherapy, and sociology has now been toppled from its pedestal, where the best and the brightest once sought self-expression.

But what of the other choice? Public activism in my land, as I discovered in the end, was no different from being on a treadmill, where one tries hard, runs and sweats buckets with the illusion one is moving forward while in fact one remains in the same spot; the good days and the bad days differ only in how steep the treadmill is set for that moment. The agency the modern paradigm presumes for its actors might be no more than an extension of their hubris, as Kierkegaard so painfully realized!

Istanbul, 2015


David Hummon

Since leaving Berkeley, I have worked at Holy Cross College in Worcester, Massachusetts, a liberal arts college in the Jesuit tradition. Much of my energy has been devoted to teaching, offering courses in community, the sociology of place, American Studies, and more recently the sociology of childhood and issues of identity and self. My research agenda has also evolved, with time out for administration and other service at various points of my career. The last decade, I have done work on the sociology of culture, ranging from studies of the representation of the biblical image of Jacob's Ladder in American culture to a sociological biography of a nineteenth-century, Irish-Catholic couple, who appear in miniature portraits, painted in Boston, in the 1820s. I am currently thinking about retiring, though I have made no decision to do so. On a more personal front, the decades have been good to me: Pat and I have raised our family, and our two sons are now well along to defining lives of their own in Colorado and California. I would enjoy hearing from former classmates via e-mail or otherwise.

Jeffrey Johnson

In 1965, I graduated from Harvard with a senior thesis on Thomas Kuhn and the social sciences, and headed to Lesotho with the Peace Corps.Returning to the US in 1969, to enter a doctoral program in sociology at the University of California, Berkeley, I landed in the middle of a passionate opposition to Vietnam War.  I was already radicalized by living for two years among farmers who lived in thatched roofed huts, so I knew where my loyalties lay.  When the war came to the beginning of its end with Nixon’s resignation, my comrades and I turned our attention to the feminist project; the women in our circle gave us no alternative.  I was a founding member of what was apparently the first men’s conscious-raising group of the era.  I ended up teaching gender, family, and sexuality courses at San Francisco State and UC San Diego.  My dissertation treated human evolution in a game theoretic framework. During the storm of feminism and the sexual revolution, I lost my first wife, Leslie Kilham '66, and found my new wife and life partner Ellen Bloch, an artist and botanist from Hollywood and UC Berkeley. Next came a post doctoral fellowship in bioethics at the Hastings Center. Seminars with moral philosophers like Alasdair MacIntyre, and bioethicists like Ronald Bayer stretched my mind. A growing dissatisfaction with both the intellectual direction and tenure prospects in sociology opened a door to a program for PhDs at NYU's business school, and  then a job writing the strategic plan for Chemical Bank's new Multinational Group. I banked major pharma companies, then moved to another planning job at American Express, for their Asian business. I found my groove for the next 19 years with Sanwa Bank of Osaka (now UFT), another bank seeking a guidance on breaking into business with the US Fortune 500. With my Japanese colleagues, I made Sanwa Bank a leader in arranging financing for major office buildings. Ellen and I found ourselves settled into NY lives, as she worked in the Herbarium at the New York Botanical Garden.  Finally we were ready, and our son Jonah was born.As the office market entered a down cycle, I founded the Global Finance Internship program at Sanwa.  For each of 9 years, we brought a half dozen early career professionals from the central banks and ministries of finance of the emerging and post-Soviet economies to New York to study banking and the capital markets, with placements throughout our operations, and my intensive accounting and financial analysis classes.  I was blessed by wonderful students from all over the world. Post 9/11, my attention turned to investigating the uses of the banking system by international criminals and terrorist organizations.  First for Sanwa, then for many other international banks, and for the Central Intelligence Agency, I worked to implement controls the US put in place to minimize these problems. I have been retired since 2008, and have made a hobby of orthopedic adventures, with surgery and long recoveries following a motorcycle accident, and then a paralysis-threatening disc herniation almost severing my cauda equina.  As a result, I learned what it is like to be in one’s 80’s with loss of mobility and vitality.  I did not like what I saw, and so have gone through two different successful rehabilitation regimes, leaving me not worse off than most of my classmates.

Other tidbits:  Although raised as a Southern Baptist, I converted to Judaism in 1997, after years of designating myself as Jewish-ish.Throughout my financial career, I have been puzzling over matters of ethics and finance.  My library and my study are marshaled to write in this area.  Time will tell whether I produce.

Paul Joseph

I am now a political sociologist at Tufts University with a speciality on the influence of US domestic politics on military policies. I examine the impact of social movements, public opinion, and various business and bureaucratic interests particularly with regard to the Vietnam War and nuclear weapons policy. I am now writing a book on public opinion and military interventions during the period bookended by the two wars in Iraq. I wrote my Ph.D. thesis with Franz Schurmann on the Pentagon Papers and my interest in the organization of social violence remain with me to this day. Recently my teaching and administrative activities have been extended into the interdisciplinary field of peace studies. I have been fortunate to parlay these interests into some wonderful travel opportunities in Europe and especially Asia, including Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Japan, and a year-long sabbatical in New Zealand.

I have fond memories of UC Berkeley in the early 1970s, particularly of my fellow graduate students who provided enormous intellectual stimulation and personal friendships. There were many interesting classes and also beer, other substances, poker, potlucks, a men's group, and softball games behind Barrows Hall on Friday afternoons. I was also lucky to have three or four faculty members who taught me alot and became friends. The Bay Area was a very stimulating place to live in those days and one of the strengths of the Sociology Department was to encourage different links between the campus and the surrounding political/cultural events. Over the years it has been a pleasure to recommend Berkely to my better students - even more when they ended up enrolling. Another fond memory: I met my wife while I was a graduate student. We now have three children with two in college.


Magali Larson

I came to graduate school at Berkeley late, in October 1970. I arrived from France, on election day 1964, to work as a researcher in David Apter's Politics of Modernization project. I had never thought I would stay in the United States, but marriage decided otherwise. In the meantime, I had also written two books on Latin America, and taught for two years at San Francisco State. When it appeared that I could exchange my 'F' visa for a green card (and it was not easy!), I applied to Berkeley. I gravitated toward the Latin American Studies institute, and the faculty I had met in my earlier passage: Art Stinchcombe, in particular, Bill Kornhauser, Bob Blauner, and, later, David Matza, Troy Duster and Russell Ellis. But the experience of the anti-war movement, and the Third World Strike at San Francisco State (where I was the faculty adviser of the Latino students) had turned my work from Latin America to the United States.

Many of us were thinking at the time about the 'new working class' 'a resurgent topic, even today. Since my husband was trying to organize a union of employed architects, I thought I would look into what it meant to be an employed professional. It did not turn out that way: my book, The Rise of Professionalism, I am led to believe, re-wrote the sociology of professions at least for a while, but it also locked me into a series of theoretical and historical articles on lawyers, architects, teachers, nurses, proletarianization, and so on.

A long time passed before I could return to architects. I was more interested then in the cultural impact an organized profession can have. Behind the Postmodern Façade is about the structural bases of cultural influence, and I was very proud to get the Sociology of Culture book award for it. I wish architects read it!

The academic labor market was not easy for older foreign women. There were many disappointments, but I started at the University of Pennsylvania, stayed two years, and then accepted an associate professorship at Temple University in 1978. I stayed twenty years, and I taught, and learnt, and administered, a lot! I must say that as a European and a Latin American, I always was deeply committed to public higher education, the private being a very foreign concept indeed.

In 1998, I took early retirement from Temple to accept a chair in Italy, at Urbino. The idea was that I would go for a semester every year, and I would learn to live in my native country, where I had never lived for any length of time It was probably too late to adjust. Italy is fascinating and maddening, and, above all, the university system is something to which I could not adjust. I resigned in 2001, and I go back for an occasional graduate seminar. It is my first year of retirement, and I am trying to do other things than editing journals, and doing research and writing on political culture. Work with Latino immigrants, and political work, and sometimes teaching, and trying to keep together all the very scattered parts of my existence, here, in Europe, in Argentina that is hard to organize. Sociology has been the center of my intellectual and even my social life, but I always saw it as a political activity. I would like for it to become more so, and to give more to it. That's about all.

Carl Milofsky

I am Professor of Sociology at Bucknell University and I've been here since 1982. Before that I taught at Yale in the Institution for Social and Policy Studies and in sociology and before that at Richmond College-CUNY. I also completed post-doctoral study in Education at the University of Chicago. My early research involved issues in educational policy with a focus on special education. At Yale I was one of the founding members of the Program on Nonprofit Organizations and most of my research for the last twenty years has involved nonprofits, especially community-based organizations. I came to Berkeley with an interest in community organizing and policy studies and while there I worked at the Childhood and Government Project and in the Graduate School of Public Policy. Policy studies has remained the main focus of my teaching, my research, and my community work. Being able to focus on community-based organizations continued my involvement in community organizing.

I think of Berkeley as my 'ethnicity'. It involves a way of life that includes activism, eating strange foods, and bringing rich social theory to bear on everything from bread baking to social conflict in Northern Ireland. The intellectual legacy I most identify with is institutional analysis in the style of Phil Selznick, Art Stinchcombe, and Chic Perrow. I think it contrasts sharply with the 'new' institutionalism so I call it the 'orthodox' institutionalism. For me it takes the internal activity of institutions and organizations seriously and emphasizes comparing social life across institutional cultures.

Margaret Polatnick

Passionately involved in the new women's liberation movement in the late '60s (in NYC), I decided to go to sociology graduate school to deepen my understanding of sexism. Graduate student life in the early '70s was exciting intellectually and politically, with an active Women's Caucus, Radical Caucus, and ethnic caucuses. Within sociology I studied the just-approved area of 'sex roles' as well as family, sexuality, and class and racial stratification, and I also audited every newly emerging course in other departments that addressed women's lives (history, anthropology, psychology, economics, etc.) Yet I remember being told in my M.A. evaluation that my interests were too narrow! The Berkeley Journal of Sociology published my early article 'Why Men Don't Rear Children,' which has been anthologized repeatedly and still is requested for course readers. Through the '70s I gained valuable teaching experience in the Department and in Strawberry Creek College, a liberatory/humanistic 'college within the college.' In the latter '70s, I was a core member of the groundbreaking campus group Women Organized Against Sexual Harassment. I stretched out my graduate student years with community-based social justice activism, travel, and teaching, including a stint in the early '80s at Friends World College's North American Center, back in New York.

With mentoring from Professors Hochschild, Blauner, Duster, and Barbara Christian (African American & Women's Studies), I did my dissertation on Strategies for Women's Liberation: A Study of a Black and a White Group of the 1960s. By then quite rooted in Berkeley, I taught sociology and women's studies courses in Bay Area colleges, had a daughter, and then landed a tenure-track position at San Jose State in the Women's Studies Program of the Social Science Department. In 1995, I participated in the United Nations 4th World Conference on Women, in Beijing, a peak experience that continues to inspire me. Increasingly, I have globalized my curriculum.

After ten consuming years of commuting, I 'retired' from San Jose State and spent two years as a Senior Researcher at Professors Hochschild and Thorne's stimulating Center for Working Families, investigating care issues in the middle-school years and children's views of their full-time employed parents. I began teaching sociology at Vista Community College in downtown Berkeley and led a successful effort to establish a Women's Studies Program there, which I continue to coordinate. This spring I was appointed to the City of Berkeley's Commission on the Status of Women.

The Sociology Department provided me with some faculty and peer models of outstanding thinkers/teachers/writers committed to progressive social change and liberatory education. I have made those commitments central to my own life. Sustaining them despite powerful counter-pressures within academia has been a challenge. I trust that the Department's graduate students will continue to take up that challenge.


Eliane Aerts

I love sociology

Steven Millner

Sociology captured my intellectual fancy in the 1960s when I discovered its adherents tended to support radical change in America's South. Being a fourth generation ancestor of Freed Blacks from Ohio who had been Underground Railroad supporters that was all I needed to grasp. Going to Berkeley in the early '70s was as good as it got. Those were heady days filled with the competing ideas of Bob Blauner, Neil Smelser, Troy Duster, Hardy Frye, Harry Edwards, Herbert Blumer and so many others. I sat in on some of the early Women's Studies classes and gradually purged myself of my sexism. As importantly I learned from other graduate students such as Jualynne Dotson, Rob Meyer, Jane Grant, Herb Holman, and Al Black. Leaving campus I often ran through and away from circles that included flaming out activists such as Huey Newton. I couldn't graduate soon enough.

Having read everything that Marx, Mao, Blauner, St. Clair Drake, Hortense Powdermaker and Talcott Parsons wrote I was ready to become a working sociologist. I turned down a job from the Ohio State University and signed on to become one of the very first Blacks to teach sociology at the University of Mississippi. In my first class twelve rednecks walked out. As one got up he spat on the floor and muttered that he'd die in hell before he'd accept a nigger sociologist" from California. I knew then that Berkeley had prepared me for the real world. I stayed at Ole Miss on and off for twelve years. Eventually I earned tenure and became a full professor of African-American Studies at San Jose State University. My career has allowed me to do more than a dozen documentaries from William Buckley's Firing Line to HBO specials on the rebellion of Black athletes at Mexico City in the late 1960s. My most important work has probably been with the students of the South who were in the first generation after the Movement and needed to understand why their White and Black worlds had changed so much.l also did five years teaching sociology behind seven steel doors while on staff at Soledad prison.Those "students" loved the study of social change. I now teach the children of a California that has changed utterly from the one I first encountered when I got off a Santa Fe Chief train at eleven years of age and began walking through the streets and alleys of South Central Los Angeles. Berkeley helped get me ready to understand every social realm my life has offered.

Tomas Almaguer

I became a graduate student in the Sociology Department at Berkeley in 1971 and ultimately received my doctorate in 1979. A postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford and then a stint as an Assistant Professorship at UCB followed. Then came tenured appointments at UCSC and the University of Michigan. At the latter,I cut my teeth on administrative work as Director of both the Latino Studies Programand the Center for Research on Social Organization. The publication of my book Racial Fault Lines and being awarded a named chair as the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor were the high points of my stay at the UM. In June 2000, however, I made my way back to the more welcoming environs of the San Francisco bay area.

In my current life form, I have become a full time administrator committed to dramatically redefining what was the first and still remains the only College of Ethnic Studies in the country. It has been a tough row to hoe. But thirty years of engagement with Ethnic Studies via the Sociology of Race and Ethnicity has made this daunting challenge managable. In all of these professional incarnations I have remained deeply identified first and foremost as a sociologist. It was the foundational experience at Berkeley that shaped that core identity. I remain deeply indebted to Bob Blauner, Troy Duster, and Michael Burawoy for helping to forge the sociologist within and for igniting my sociological imagination.

James Beniger

James R. Beniger, Award-winning Scholar, Dies at 63.

Mr. Beniger taught communication and sociology at the University of Southern California and Princeton University and authored a highly acclaimed study of the economic and technological origins of the information society entitled The Control Revolution. He passed away after an extended battle with Alzheimer's disease at age 63.  

The Control Revolution: Technological and Economic Origins of the Information Society (Harvard University Press, 1986)  is a true classic of sociological and historical analysis with a long history of influence in a variety of social science fields. Beniger's study made a compelling case that the information age grew out of a crisis of control in transportation and manufacturing during the latter half of the 19th century rather than resulting as an incidental or secondary effect of the development of electronic communication technologies.  In 1986, the book received the Association of American Publishers Award for the Most Outstanding Book in the Social and Behavioral Sciences and the Phi Kappa Phi Faculty Recognition Award.  It received a full-page review in the New York Times Book Review and the lead review in the special book review edition of Science, the journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  The New York Times Book Review selected the 1989 soft cover edition as a "Notable Paperback of the Year." In 2007 the book won the International Communication Association's Fellows Book Award for "having stood the test of time."  The book has also been published in Italian and Chinese language editions.  Beniger's first book, Trafficking in Drug Users: Professional Exchange Networks in the Control of Deviance, was selected by the American Sociological Association for its competitive Rose Monograph Series and published by Cambridge University Press in 1983.

Beniger graduated magna cum laude in history from Harvard College in 1969 where he was an editor of the Harvard Crimson.  During college Beniger was also a freelance arts critic for the Boston Globe and a staff writer for The Wall Street Journal in Chicago, where he helped to cover the 1968 Democratic National Convention, with a front-page byline story about President Lyndon Johnson on the opening day of the Convention.  Following college, Beniger taught history, English and creative writing at the International College in Beirut, Lebanon, and at a secondary school in Cali, Colombia, work which led him to travel through some 40 countries on five continents. Before beginning graduate school, he served as the Acting Books and Arts Editor of the Minneapolis Star.  He studied statistics and sociology at the University of California, Berkeley graduating with a Ph.D. in Sociology in 1978.

Beniger served as Associate Editor of Communication Research from 1986 to 1993 where he was responsible for a special section of the journal entitled Far Afield, a wide ranging set of review essays written by Beniger and other leading scholars from across the spectrum of the academy. His former colleague from USC, Peter Monge noted "For many readers these essays were the crown jewel of the journal. They tackled challenging communication issues, offered perspicacious insights, and were written with loving care in a form that has become almost extinct in the Academy."

In 1996 he was elected the 53rd President of the American Association of Public Opinion Research some 20 years after he won the Association's Student Paper Award.  "Jim's deep involvement in AAPOR spanned his academic career," said Peter Miller, current AAPOR President.  "He was a charismatic figure who led the Association into the digital age.  We will miss him greatly." Mr. Beniger initiated and ran the association's online bulletin board for many years and as a frequent contributor demonstrated the breadth of his concerns and the depth of his legendary wit.

Professor A. Michael Noll, former dean of the Annenberg School noted "Jim Beniger had the highest academic standards, along with the strongest caring for our students.  He was always challenging them intellectually.  The field of communication has lost a delightful human being and a provocative scholar taken far too soon."

He is survived by his wife Kay Ferdinandsen and daughters Ann and Katherine Beniger of Manhattan Beach CA, his mother Charlotte Beniger of Sheboygan WI and his sister Linda York of Lake Geneva WI.  In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be sent to the Alzheimer's Association,

Jane Grant

My graduate education in Sociology and my experiences at U. C. Berkeley were profound influences on my life and work. Having grown up in the dense, congested, and largely humanly-constructed environment of New York City, the sheer beauty, color, and quality of life in Berkeley intrigued me from my first moments there. It did not take long for a group in the class of 1971 to begin meeting regularly; we grappled, of course, with the big questions of sociology and life. And many of us from that group, started over thirty years ago, are still friends in frequent contact today. The thought-provoking, critically-incisive, and substantively rich environment in which we posed questions, did our research, and worried about the world, are formative still.

Questions that emerged for me at Berkeley are still central concerns: the nature of community in America, how to understand our common interests, the role of discussion, participation, and deliberation in discovering our values, and how democratically-derived ethics can be translated into policy commitments. This culminated for me in a forthcoming book, Community, Democracy, and the Environment: Learning to Share the Future (Rowman & Littlefield, 2003.) I have spent almost all of my professional life at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. SPEA is a multi-disciplinary school located on six campuses of Indiana University. From here I have been fortunate enough to be involved in local, regional, and national issues related to the concerns I developed in graduate school, which still motivate me today.

Robert Mayer

As an undergraduate major in sociology at Columbia, I had feasted at the table of sociological theory, and my diet of graduate courses at Berkeley beginning in 1971 was similarly rich in theory. At the end of my second year, I attempted to balance my diet by enrolling as an intern in a San Francisco-based consumer advocacy organization. This experience inspired me to blend sociology and consumer movement activism, which I managed to do with the help of several supportive professors and my fellow graduate students in the 'Dope Caucus.'

In 1977, I accepted a job in a new department, Family and Consumer Studies, at the University of Utah. I anticipated staying in Salt Lake City for a year while finishing my dissertation and then moving to a 'real' university in a 'real' state. Surprisingly, the person-environment fit was perfect for me and my spouse, and I have now spent 25 years here.

From my sinecure at the University of Utah, I have been allowed to (even rewarded for) bring my sociological research skills to the service of consumer organizations around the world. In particular, I have worked closely with Consumers Union (publisher of Consumer Reports), the National Consumers League (the world's oldest consumer group), and Consumers International (the umbrella organization for the world's consumer organizations). I have presented my research to policy makers at the Federal Trade Commission and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and I like to think I have played a small role in increasing the power of consumers vis-à-vis sellers. I have also enjoyed seeing the field of sociology gravitate toward the serious study of consumption. In my case, science has definitely not spoiled my supper.

Erik Wright


You can find tributes from all over the world

From Fidan Elcioglu. I didn't know Erik very well. But I did take his 'real utopias' seminar at Berkeley back in 2006 or 2007, when he visited for a few weeks. I remember feeling amazed and flattered that he cared so much about the rambling comments and random opinions of a bunch of first and second-year graduate students. In fact, he cared enough to engage seriously with our questions and critiques. I think he even recorded those discussions, and the transcripts are floating out there. To me, that was far more memorable than the content of the seminar itself. I remember thinking, that's how I want to be--using teaching and seminars as opportunities to learn, to not be afraid of being vulnerable in front of students, and to be open to their ideas.

From Marcel Paret. Erik played a prominent role in my own trajectory. I began reading his work in Sam Lucas' graduate seminar on stratification. I had been looking for a lens through which to understand the world and spark my research, and his analysis of class helped me to find it. I met Erik a few times in Berkeley, but my primary relationship has been with his sociology. While in graduate school, I used Erik's syllabus as a guide for learning about the capitalist state and other topics; and I have long looked to Erik's writings for their precision and clarity. When I want to understand something, I know I am lucky to find a relevant EOW piece on the topic. While I did not know Erik very well personally, as a sociologist I feel that he gave us so much.

From Michael Kimmel. By chance, the first person I met on the 4th floor of Barrows Hall when I arrived for grad school in 1974 was Erik Olin Wright.  He was walking out of the main office and we chatted for a few minutes.  He'd already written a book -- before grad school!  I immediately realized that my admission to the program had been an administrative error and told myself that if I spent the next four years in the library, reading 24/7, I might know enough to talk to these people!  And yet.  That was all me.  Erik never made me - or anyone, really - feel small, stupid, or inadequate.  In fact, he was gracious and generous with his time and boundless energy.  At the end of that first year, I joined the Kapitalistate group with Erik, John Mollenkopf, Jim O'Connor, David Gold, Clarence Lo, Kay Trimberger, and Alan Wolfe, among others.  Once again, it was clear to me I was way over my head, but the group was patient and indulgent.  

My most cherished memory of Erik, though, came on July 4th weekend, 1976, the bicentennial weekend, when Erik organized a rafting trip for about 30 people down the Stanislaus River (just prior to its being flooded for a dam).  It was his farewell trip for his many friends, before he decamped for Madison.  He brought his fiddle and I brought my banjo and that first night, on the banks of the river in front of an enormous bonfire, we held a square dance.  I hope readers can visualize all the Marxist and neo-Marxist and quasi-Marxist social scientists dancing like fools.  Then, as always, he set the tempo with his playing, and I tried to keep up.  
From Michael Burawoy. Erik Wright died just after midnight on January 23, in Milwaukee’s Froedtert Hospital. He was 71 years old. The world lost one of its great social scientists – practitioner as well as thinker. He died as he lived – to the fullest. Diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia the previous April, throughout the subsequent ten months he exuded optimism about the world that he was devastatingly sad to leave.  

Not knowing if and when the end would come, but knowing his life was in grave danger, he created a real utopia around him, beautifully described in the book-length blog that enchanted multitudes of followers, often leaving them in tears. Always an inveterate recorder of his life, whether through photography or writing, this time he took his life public. Every day or two he recounted his thoughts on living and dying, memorably referring to himself as among “the most privileged, advantaged, call it what you will, stardust in this immensely enormous universe.” He was of that special stardust, miraculously “turned into conscious living matter aware of its own existence.” And then, “this complex organization ends and the stardust that is me will dissipate back to the more ordinary state of matter.”

The blog tells of the ups and downs of the battle with the blasts – cancer cells – that were attacking his body, that then devoured the new and defenseless transplanted immune system; he describes his faith in the powers of meditation to control pain; he evokes the poignancy of a fellow patient disappearing from one day to the next, a fate he knew could catch up with him too; he examined reciprocity in generosity and love; at the same time, he was not inhibited to talk of bodily functions we too easily take for granted, the challenges of pooping and peeing. And his last post was on the art of being goofy.

But he also told of his nightmares – that his closest and dearest were collectively laughing at his silly blog - the fear that life and love had deserted him. In a moving exchange Dr. Michaelis, head of the hematology oncology team, a Catholic by faith, recalled the words of Jesus on the Cross: “My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?” Erik, Marxist atheist, understood the universal significance of the utter abandonment that haunted his sleep.   

That was by night, by day Erik welcomed all comers into his real utopia. He wrote of the joy of seeing visitors. Friends and students (past and present) would crowd around his bed, listen to his stories, and leave in tears. But the first place was always family – Marcia, his wife and partner for 53 years, their two daughters Jenny and Becky, and their three grandchildren, Safira, Vernon, and Ida. Erik was devoted to his mother who doted on him, while she always wanting to make him better. He visited or called her almost every day until she died in the middle of those ten months, not knowing Erik’s life was in jeopardy. Erik didn’t fear death; nonetheless he desperately wanted to live, to be with his grandchildren who gave him such ecstasy. He was composing a long letter addressed to them about the lessons of his own life – and sometimes he would allow readers of his blog to enter this inner sanctum.

He was often most lively when conducting seminars over skype with colleagues and activists. He reflected on the meaning of Marxism, and on his latest book on how to be an anti-capitalist – a book that he only completed in July, when already under treatment. Erik rarely looked back on his enormous accomplishments, but instead looked forward, planning for a better world. Until December he was still thinking of teaching in the Spring. And to the very end he was worrying about the future of his department, his students, and the Havens Center he had created.

As he openly acknowledged, the blog was his realm of freedom. It gave meaning to his disappearing life.  It turned out to be a spontaneous archive of his multiple talents. But this realm of freedom rested on an expanding realm of necessity. Yet, even here, Erik managed to organize a community of associated producers, engaging the medical staff – the teams of doctors and nurses who tended to his punctured body – in ongoing conversation about their lives as well as his.

Marcia was the chief organizer of this realm of necessity. She was on 24-hour call to comfort him. She oversaw the scene, organized visits, monitored his medications, questioned the doctors, and slept in the same room as him. At the end, she read to him the last chapter of The Clearing, one of his favorite books. She shared everything he did as she always had done. Even when he was in some far off land, they kept in touch every day. Now she wanted him to have his mental freedom, keeping the realm of necessity at bay for as long as she could. He would have done the same for her.                      

There’s much more to be said about Erik’s extraordinary last 10 months. He gave us lessons in both dying and living; he showed us how to be a real utopian in spirit and in practice. The blog speaks for itself and it deserves to become a book. My words cannot begin to express its power, its inspiration.  Each of us will have our favorite parts, appealing as they do to different sensibilities.

But this wondrous ethnography of the struggle between life and death didn’t appear from nowhere. All I can do is to offer a short history of this Marxist utopian.    


Where did it begin?  It’s difficult to say. Maybe it was at the childhood dinner table where each member of the Wright family had to give an account of their day’s activities.  Or was it as a Harvard undergraduate, enticed by the systemic elegance of Talcott Parsons’ structural functionalism? Perhaps it was at Oxford where he studied at the feet of the great Marxist historian, Christopher Hill, and by the sociologist and political theorist, Steven Lukes.

Perhaps he was a Marxist utopian all along. Erik’s animated film, “The Chess Game” made in 1968, expresses the dilemmas of revolution, dramatically played out on a chess board. His unpublished manuscript, Chess Perversions and other Diversions, completed in 1974 has a similar character. It disturbs the vested interests behind the arbitrary rules that define chess and other games by introducing a series of modifications with transformative consequences. “This book,” he wrote in the preface, “is an invitation to that kind of freedom and delight that comes with invention and straying from the conventional path. Running a maze efficiently has its pleasures, as any laboratory rat could tell us. But changing the maze is reserved for the experimenter.”  Harking back to his youth, perhaps unconsciously, Erik’s last book shows how changing the rules of capitalism can, indeed, be a revolutionary move.

Erik himself liked to trace his interest in utopias to 1971 when he was a student at the Unitarian-Universalist seminary in Berkeley, avoiding the draft. It was then that he organized a student-run seminar called “Utopia and Revolution” to discuss the prospects for the revolutionary transformation of American society. He then worked at San Quentin as a student chaplain, joining an activist organization devoted to prison reform. From this emerged his first book, The Politics of Punishment, co-authored with some of the San Quentin prisoners and prison-rights activists. 

This prepared him well to be a graduate student at Berkeley in the heady days of the early 70s. In those times, especially at Berkeley and especially in sociology, students were more concerned about changing the world than pursuing academic careers. The Free Speech Movement, Third World Strike, anti-War movement, and civil rights movement had left faculty at war with each other, opening up spaces for graduate students to demand greater control of their education. Erik and his fellow graduate students put together their own courses, the most important of which was Controversies in Marxist Social Science, whose descendent Erik would later teach in Madison.  Erik was also an energetic participant in the Marxist collective around the journal Kapitalistate, led by Jim O’Connor and a principle organizer of “Commie Camp” – an annual retreat to discuss pressing issues in Marxist theory and practice. Again he took this project with him to Wisconsin where it became known as RadFest. Sociology itself became a real utopia.


Erik became a major figure in the intellectual project of those days: to reinvent sociology as a Marxist discipline. So Erik’s dissertation challenged mainstream sociology not on ideological grounds but on scientific grounds. He demonstrated that a reconstructed Marxist definition of class could explain income disparities better than existing models of stratification and human capital theory. He and others effectively put an end to ideas of “stratification” (gradation based on socio-economic status), then at the heart of sociology, with a notion of “class” based on exploitation. This prefigured sociology’s more recent concern with social inequality. One might even say that Erik’s critique of human capital theory contributed to the acceptance of Bourdieu’s varieties of capital (social, cultural, political as well as economic) – a path very different from Erik’s.   

At the same time as he was challenging sociology, Erik was reinventing Marxism. The middle class had long been a thorn in the side of Marxism – it was supposed to dissolve yet it seemed to get bigger.  Together with his friend Luca Perrone, Erik solved the problem by introducing the concept of “contradictory class locations” – class positions that were located between the three fundamental classes: capital, labor and petty bourgeoisie. There were three such contradictory class locations: small employers between the petty bourgeoisie and large scale capital; supervisors and managers between capital and wage labor; and semi-autonomous employees (professionals) between wage labor and the petty bourgeoisie. Having established these conceptual distinctions, he went on to use them to map the changing US class structure. In an early piece that he wrote when he was still a graduate student, published in New Left Review he challenged the Marxist giant Nicos Poulantzas, who had proposed his own class categories, but without Erik’s empirical or analytical rigor. 

Taking up a position as Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin (Madison) in 1976, Erik began to develop a research program of class analysis. As existing surveys were not designed to map his new categories, he applied for and received funding to administer his own national survey, designed to capture his class categories. In this era of Marxist ascendancy, his ideas spread and soon he had organized teams in a dozen other countries, fielding parallel surveys.  Even the Soviet Union could not resist entering this Marxist world, but that’s a story for another time.

Erik’s class analysis sparked many invigorating debates about the meaning of class. Through these debates and in response to criticism, Erik revised his scheme over the years, sometimes with small adjustments, sometimes by shifting its foundations. If there is one trait that threads through his scholarly work – and indeed through his life – it is the determination to get things right. This not only entailed developing a close dialogue between theoretical elaboration and empirical research, but also deepening the internal logic of his analytical schemes. You can trace the evolution of his thinking through a series of books, starting with Class, Crisis and the State (1978), followed immediately by the publication of his dissertation, Class Structure and Income Determination (1979), and then to the deeper shift that came with his adoption of John Roemer’s notion of exploitation in Classes (1985), and his response to his critics in The Debate on Classes (1989). The summation of the international project in Class Counts (1997) establishes the effects of class on such issues as intergenerational mobility, friendship patterns, gender relations, and class consciousness. His final contribution on this topic, Approaches to Class Analysis (2005), fittingly enough, was recognition of the multiple Marxist but also non-Marxist approaches to class analysis that had sprung up on the ruins of stratification theory where he had begun.


Erik’s fame spread far and wide, so in 1984 the university gave him funds for the creation of a center for critical social science that he named after Gene Havens, his close colleague who had recently died of lung cancer. The Havens Center invited visiting scholars and activists and invested in broad left-wing projects. Over its 34 years countless national and international figures on the left visited the Havens Center, working with students and colleagues. These visitors will remember Erik, not only for his incisive intellectual contributions, but for his hospitality. They will remember his home and his cooking, they will remember outings to concerts or theater. Through the Havens Center Madison radiated to the furthest corners of the world.

In 1981, Erik joined a group of brilliant social scientists and philosophers, among whom he was most influenced by the philosophers G.A. Cohen and Philippe van Parijs and the economist John Roemer. They pioneered “Analytical Marxism.” known more colloquially as “no bullshit Marxism,” clarifying the foundations of Marxism in a no-holds barred grilling of each other’s work.  Over the last four decades the composition of the group has changed and drifted from its Marxist moorings, but Erik remained, a stalwart Marxist in its midst. It became a second intellectual home for Erik, and one source of inspiration for his subsequent turn to the moral foundations of Marxism.

A second inspiration was rooted in the changing historical context. Even before the collapse of Soviet communism, the Marxist resurgence within academia had begun to subside. As Erik’s class analysis became part of mainstream sociological orthodoxy, marked by its required presence on prelim reading lists, his work attracted a bevy of critics who announced the end of class (reminiscent of the “end of ideology” in the 1950s) and the plurality of identities. Sociology took a neo-institutional and cultural turn; conservative readings of Durkheim and Weber overshadowed the radical Marx. The issue was no longer capitalism vs. socialism, but the varieties of capitalism. With the extinction of really existing socialism and the ascendancy of neoliberalism, alternatives to capitalism were discredited. Indeed, as Fredric Jameson has said, it was easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism. From its beginning Marxism had an allergy to utopian thinking, but now the political conjuncture called for just that. Erik took up the challenge. Directly contesting the pathos of the new conservatism he advanced a socialist agenda by laying out alternatives to capitalism, but discovering their nuclei within capitalist society.             


The new project began in 1991, the very year the Soviet Union collapsed.  Erik inaugurated a series of conferences to discuss “real utopias” – not some speculative ideal world but real alternatives that can be found within actually existing societies. Held at the Havens Center at Madison, each conference assembled scholars from various disciplines to respond to specific proposals. Over the years, conference topics included associative democracy, market socialism, participatory democracy, universal incomes grant, and gender equality. The conference papers were published in a book series that Erik assembled and often introduced, culminating in his own magnum opus, Envisioning Real Utopias (2009).

That book starts out by examining a series of pathologies of capitalism:  the suffering it creates, the destructiveness it guarantees, the freedom it denies, the communities it corrodes, the inefficiencies it promotes, the inequalities it generates. Socialism is necessary to mitigate those structurally produced deficits of capitalism. But the originality of the analytical project lies elsewhere – in the restoration of the social in socialism. If early Marxisms were constructed around the collapse of the capitalist economy, and subsequent Marxisms revolved around the creation and critique of some form of state socialism, today’s socialism would be built around the reconstruction and revitalization of civil society, understood as distinct from economy and state. This elevation of the social has its roots in the early writings of Marx, but most notably in Antonio Gramsci’s prison writings. But there was also a convergence with sociology that underscores the standpoint of civil society.

This led him to specify three strategies in the transformation of capitalism: ruptural strategies involving the smashing of the state (which he now largely rejected), interstitial strategies building alternatives outside the state, and symbiotic strategies that engaged the state through struggles on its terrain.  Ultimately, his own answer was to combine interstitial and symbiotic strategies, creating spaces against the state and then transforming those spaces in collaboration with the state.

In 2012 Erik would become President of the American Sociological Association and his annual meeting became a platform for real utopias – featuring 20 special panels devoted to specific real utopia proposals, 50 thematic panels on broad topics connected to real utopias and social justice, and 3 plenaries focused on real utopias in the areas of environment, equality and democracy. He also took to the road with “real utopias”, visiting Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and Gallaudet University (where he learned to appreciate the rich dimensions of sign language). Never one to dodge a difficult issue, Erik had deliberately set himself up for questions about the inclusion of race or the Deaf in real utopias. Sociology was, temporarily, awash with real utopias.

Erik was returning sociology to its founders – Marx, Durkheim and Weber – who had been less squeamish about building their theoretical architectures on moral values than the professionals of today. Erik was explicit in defining sociology’s project as understanding the institutional possibilities for realizing those values. What institutions might advance equality, freedom, and community? What are the distinctive attributes of those institutions? What are the conditions of their reproduction and dissemination? What are their contradictions and dynamics?

Erik scoured the earth in search of budding real utopias, putting each of them under his analytical microscope and, on that basis, elaborating more general designs. Some of his favorite examples were participatory budgeting in Porto Alegre, Brazil; the cooperatives of Mondragon in the Basque Country; and the collective self-organization of Wikipedia. Erik became an archeologist, digging up institutions, organizations and social movements with potential to challenge capitalism, placing them in their historical context, translating them into a common language, and thereby linking them to one another across the world. By virtue of its dynamism and its ideologies the dialectic of capitalism inescapably generates alternatives to itself; we just have to grasp them, run with them, disseminate them and enact them.  

On one occasion, unable to find an adequate example in the real world, he turned to a comic strip. In one of the episodes of the Li’l Abner comic strips from the late 1940s, Li’l Abner, a resident of the hill-billy community of Dogpatch, discovers a wonderful creature called the “shmoo” whose virtue lies in providing all the material things human beings need, not luxuries just the basic necessities of life. The story starts with employers competing with one another for profit, driving up hours and lowering wages. When the shmoo appears – read Universal Incomes Grant – capitalist relations are turned upsides down and the workers of Dogpatch get their revenge, thumbing their noses to their erstwhile exploiters. Erik turns the story of the shmoo into a disquisition on the capitalist class structure and its contradictions.  Knowing Erik’s love for the shmoo, his former students presented him with a video that begins with Erik lecturing, followed by their hilarious reading of the comic strip.  

In the last years of his life Erik discovered that these real utopias were very appealing to activists. He spent much time traversing the world talking to groups keenly interested in hitching his ideological-intellectual framework to their own projects. So he set about rendering Envisioning Real Utopias in an abbreviated and accessible form, removing the clutter of academic chatter, creating a handbook of anti-capitalism. He fittingly called it, How to be an Anti-Capitalist in the 21s Century (forthcoming with Verso). He gets right down to business: what’s wrong with capitalism today? It corrodes the foundational values of equality/fairness, freedom/democracy; community/solidarity. How to reverse this process?  Capitalism can be smashed, dismantled, tamed, resisted, or escaped. He dismisses the first as incompatible with his three foundational values and argues for a combination of the remaining four, what he calls eroding capitalism, a form of evolutionary socialism – the gradual displacement of capitalism by economic democracy. One appealing feature of this last book is the way each chapter begins by dismantling the capitalist common sense that what exists is natural and inevitable. 

His critics will attack him, as they have done before, for being Panglossian. But Erik would respond by saying that today we need not just optimism of the will, but also optimism of the intellect. “It’s easy to be pessimistic,” it’s hard work to be optimistic and realistic under the crushing sinews of capitalism. Those in the trenches of civil society were enthusiastic to hear this positive message but surprised that it should come from the pen and the mouth of an academic. Here was an intellectual paying tribute to their largely invisible labors, contesting capitalism against all odds, enduring insults and reprisals.


Erik leaves us with both a way of thinking and a way of being. Let me be blunt. I know of no one who thought more lucidly, more cogently, more speedily, more effortlessly than Erik; no one who so effectively cut to the chase as to what was at stake in any issue, any paper, any book. Gentle and cogent though he was, exposure to him was both elevating and intimidating. He took your own claims, arguments, facts more seriously than you did yourself.  When he argued with others he never resorted to exaggeration, distortion, or over-simplification. Instead, he zeroed in on the best in his opponents’ arguments, often better than what they could offer themselves. He brought all these gifts to the legions of students he taught, calling on them, too, to be logical, rigorous and imaginative, but no less important, to be decent and honest, to give others the benefit of the doubt. We can’t be like him, but we can be inspired by what he has laid down, to follow in his footsteps, guided by his map, refashioning it as we move forward. 

His way of thinking bled into his way of being. There was something remarkably innocent about his engagement with the world. That’s why he loved to be with children, to entertain them with his magical stories. It made him a great theorist – like a child he was able to get to the root of things, to call into question what the rest of us, inured to the world, take for granted.  He didn’t just read stories to his children, he created a world in which children created their own stories and even played them out. He loved to distort old games, like his animated version of class struggle on the chessboard. He had no cookbook, he followed no recipes except his own, manufacturing low-cholesterol fantasy dishes. It was that inventiveness that defined his existence; it was also the principle behind real utopias.   

The values he espoused – equality, freedom and community – were not only the substrata of a new society, they were moral principles to follow. We can’t wait for the future, we must demonstrate our faith by our actions in the here and now. Erik sought to be supremely egalitarian in his dealings with those below him as well as those alongside and above him. There was not an evil bone in his body, nor a jealous fiber in his soul. I never heard him swear – he wondered how anyone could turn the most beautiful act of love into a curse. The rapidity and clarity of his mind gave him an enormous advantage in any deliberative process, and so he recognized the importance of constraints on individual participation. You could call him on his blindness and he would try to make amends – not always successfully.

Still, he was a sort of Modern Prince, a permanent persuader, an indefatigable builder of community that enabled people to flourish or, as Marx would say, to develop their rich and varied abilities. As one former student wrote to Erik: “You are always yourself in a way that invites all of us to be ourselves too.” He was a great conductor not only in life but in music. But he didn’t go solo, at the end of every party he’d get out his fiddle and have us all square dancing together in unison. And I’ve no doubt, wherever he is, that’s what he’s doing right now – a sparkling stardust in the heavens.    



During my time as a graduate student in Sociology at Berkeley from 1971 to 1976 the Berkeley department provided a setting for free-wheeling exploration of politically-charged social theory through student-initiated seminars and study groups, many of which included students from throughout the Bay Area. While there were faculty involved in these things and their encouragement was important, the impulse and intellectual vigor came almost entirely from students. We ran a multi-semester seminar on current controversies in Marxist theory, organized the publication of new radical journals, ran conferences of academics and activists in the Sierra foothills. The intellectual agenda that I have followed since that time, as well as my academic style as a teacher, were forged through these activities. The central preoccupation of my intellectual work has been the reconstruction of the Marxist tradition of social theory and research, trying to give it more coherent analytical foundations and greater relevance for rigorous sociological research. My empirical work linked to the agenda of reconstructing Marxism has mainly revolved around the problem of analyzing class structure and its transformation in developed capitalism. More recently I have directed the Real Utopias Project, exploring the normative and practical properties of designs for alternatives to existing institutions. At the University of Wisconsin, where I have taught since 1976, I teach a course called 'Class, State and Ideology' which is a direct descendent of the seminar on current controversies I helped run at Berkeley, and I organize an annual conference called RadFest: a weekend conversation between activists and academics, which is the descendent of the conference of the Union of Marxist Social Scientists held every spring in the early 1970s near Nevada City, California. I continue to believe that the Marxist tradition provides essential intellectual tools for grounding a critique of capitalism, but also feel that for a variety of historical reasons Marxism has lost much of his compelling theoretical and political power. My hope is that my writing and teaching have contributed to sustaining -- and, perhaps, strengthening the relevance of Marxism both in the academy and in the world at large.

Bobby Neeley


Bobby Joe Neeley, 74, died on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2012. Dr. Neeley was born in Vallejo, Calif. He was a former resident of Oakland and Berkeley, eventually making his home in Mount Shasta, where he resided for 20-plus years.

After serving time in the U.S. Navy, Bobby Joe enjoyed an extensive professional career, which included working for Valley Medical Center and Standard Oil, as well as teaching at several Bay Area colleges. He dedicated most of his life to his academic endeavors, which continued until just days before he left this world. He received both a Master's of Sociology and a Ph.D in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley.

He traveled the world in his quest for answers and to validate his hypothesis on the origins and migration of African peoples across the globe.

Bobby Joe Neeley was greatly honored to be a member of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

Bobby Joe Neeley is survived by his daughters, Mechele Neeley-Scholis of Monterey, Calif., and Isis Neeley of Sacramento, Calif.; four grandchildren, Micheal A. Scholis, Ingeleiq Neeley, Louisa Neeley and Amoni Hudson-Neeley; nieces, LaTonya, Lawana and Letieca; many other family members; and several friends.

With his passing, ends the first generation of Katherine and George Neeley's offspring.

A private burial ceremony will be held at Skyview Memorial Lawn, Vallejo. A celebration of life will be held in Mount Shasta in June.

Published in TimesHeraldOnline on Jan. 12, 2012



David Milton

Sociology has been a second career for me. Before I enrolled for graduate work at Berkeley, I sailed as a merchant seaman during World War II, then worked for more than fifteen years as a union activist in the steel, meat packing, electrical and construction industries. During the mid-sixties, I spent five years in China teaching American Studies and English to students under the Foreign Ministry.

When I entered the sociology graduate program, I worked closely with Professor Franz Schurmann, one of the leading China scholars in the country. During this period I co-edited the Random House China Reader - People's China - with Franz Schurmann and Nancy Milton and was co-author with my wife Nancy Dall Milton of The Wind Will Not Subside: Years in Revolutionary China 1964-1969. This was an eye-witness description and political analysis of Mao's Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. My dissertation was on the birth of the CIO and the relation of the American labor movement to Roosevelt's New Deal. A revision appeared as a book: The Politics of U.S. Labor: From the Great Depression to the New Deal.

I learned a great deal about macro historical analysis from Professors Reinhard Bendix, Neil Smelser, and Visiting Professor Gertrude Lenzer. The Berkeley sociology department proved to be very congenial for a person who had spent many years outside academic life.

I was hired by the University of Oregon in 1978 and spent nearly twenty years teaching there. The sociology department at Oregon was unique in its emphasis on work, organized labor, social movements and environmental studies and I established many close friendships with my faculty colleagues. In the early eighties, I was chair of the university Asian Studies Committee and over the years taught a wide range of graduate and undergraduate courses, specializing in modern China, American society, the U.S. labor movement, sociological theory and international relations.

During my retirement I have renewed my interest in history and have just published a book on international aspects of the American Civil War: Lincoln's Spymaster: Thomas Haines Dudley and the Liverpool Network.

As for the influence of sociology on society ... At a time when the United States is emerging in the world as the new Rome and the current government is hard at work constructing a police state at home, I would suggest that the discipline has a challenging future.

Kathleen Gerson

Although my experiences at Berkeley were a mix of exhilaration and struggle, I can't imagine a more intellectually invigorating place to develop a sociological imagination. Like others, I drew great support and inspiration from my fellow students and the environment of engagement they provided. Working on large research projects, most notably Hal Wilensky's comparative study of modern welfare states and Claude Fischer's study of urban social networks, allowed me to learn the craft of sociology by doing it. These apprenticeships taught me how to discover and develop large ideas through careful research. They also gave me faith that sociology mattered. All of my professors, including Arlie Hochschild (who inspired me to be creative and brave in the search for knowledge that is not only accurate but true) as well as Hal and Claude, gave me the room to find my own sociological voice.

My research has sought to combine the deep understandings developed throughqualitative interviews with the rigor of systematically collected samples andcarefully situated comparisons. At both Berkeley and my subsequent home, the NYU Sociology Department, my main focus has been on understanding the link between processes of social and individual change, with a special focus on how the conflicts and contradictions between social institutions and individual lives prompt innovative strategies of action, belief, and discourse. All of my books have investigated the rapidly changing intersections among gender, work, and family life, including Hard Choices (1985), about women's efforts to resolve the conflicts between work and family in the context of institutional contradiction and flux; No Man's Land (1993), about the transformation in men's family and work choices in the wake of the women's revolution; The Time Divide (with Jerry A. Jacobs, 2004), about the rise of new social inequalities rooted in the changing dynamics of work and family time; and The Unfinished Revolution (2010), about how a new generation of young women and men are fashioning innovative gender, work, and family strategies as they respond to blurring gender boundaries, shifting domestic arrangements, and persisting work-family conflicts.

My books on women, men, and the children of the gender revolution seem to form a kind of trilogy, and they have provided the opportunity to participate in the public debate on these critical issues. As important, interviewing hundreds of people about their public and private lives has given me a great appreciation for my own good fortune. I have been able to combine meaningful work with a gratifying family life, and I still wake up every day eager to do sociology and make sense of the puzzles of 21st century social life.

Juan Oliverez

When I first attended Berkeley in 1971, I was teaching part-time in Sociology at San Jose State University. Later I became the Head Counselor in the Chicano EOP. In 1975, I was hired by the Chicano Studies Program to direct the Raza Recruitment Program. I was honored to work with Tomás Almaguer, Mario Barrera and Carlos Muñoz. In 1980, I was hired by Hartnell College to teach Chicano Studies but in my nearly 22 years, I have also taught Sociology, History, Political Science and Ethnic Studies. Since the spring of 1996, I have also taught at Califoirnia State University, Monterey Bay in the Social and Behavioral Science Center.

Berkeley's Sociology program helped me see the interconnectedness of the individual and society. For me the professors who influenced me most were Robert Blauner, Troy Duster and Herbert Blumer. I also want to thank Neil Smelser and Kenneth Bock from whom I gained an appreciation for the big picture.

Since arriving in Salinas in 1980, I have been involved in the civil rights and social justice struggles of the community. I served five and one half years as a city council member to empower my community and to address social problems such as the large number of youthful homicides in our community, housing and jobs. My proudest effort was using my sociological knowledge and skills in the redistricting movement in the Salinas Valley. Today most school districts, city councils and even the Monterey County Board of Supervisors are redistricted. Now Chicanos are represented politically throughout the Salinas Valley where for many years they were not. I hope that I have proved I can be an activist/scholar.


Charlene Harrington

Charlene Harrington graduated with a joint Ph.D. from the Department of Sociology and the Department of Higher Education in 1975. Her specialty areas were medical sociology, work, and education and her dissertation was entitled: Ideologies of Physician Groups Contenting for Power Within the Medical Professor. She grew up on a farm in Kansas and received the Bachelor's degree in nursing from the University of Kansas, the Masters degree in public health nursing from the University of Washington.

After receiving her doctoral degree at UCB, she was appointed deputy director of the California Licensing and Certification program, where she was instrumental in strengthening the legislation and regulation of nursing homes and hospitals in California under Governor Jerry Brown in 1975. In l980, she joined the faculty of School of Nursing in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of California and focused her teaching and research on long term care, nursing homes, managed care, and home and community services. She later served as Chair of the Department and Associate Director of the Institute for Health and Aging.

She served on the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Committee on Nursing Home Regulation whose l986 report led to the passage of the Nursing Home Reform Act of l987, and she was elected to the IOM in 1996, where she has served on three IOM committees that examined the nursing workforce, long term care quality, and patient safety (1996, 2001, 2003). She and a team of researchers designed a model California consumer information system website for nursing homes funded by the California Health Care Foundation (launched in October 2002) that she continues to maintain and expand. Since 1994, she has been collecting and analyzing trend data on Medicaid home and community based service programs and policies, currently funded by the Kaiser Family Foundation. In 2003, she became the principal investigator of a five-year $4.5 million national Center for Personal Assistance Services funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, which was refunded for (2008-2013). She has conducted many research projects on nursing home enforcement systems and has published those in peer-reviewed journals. She has testified before the US Senate Special Committee on Aging, and has written more than 200 articles and chapters and co-edited five books while lecturing widely in the U.S. and the U.K.

She is currently Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Nursing at UCSF where she directs two large research projects and is working on an international study of long term care in 6 countries including the US and Canada. She continues to serve on a number of national committees related to long term care policies and to be active in professional organizations and teaching.

Anthony Soto

In January, 1996, the Center for Employment Training mourned the loss, and celebrated the life, of Dr. Anthony Soto. He co-founded CET in 1967, and served as its first Chairman of the Board, a position he held until 1990. In addition to his accomplishments at CET, Dr. Soto was a man of many interests who held a variety of careers. He was a Professor at the School of Social Services at San Jose State University, a published author, a Catholic priest for twenty five years, and a community activist for over thirty years.

Dr. Soto was born in Tucson, Arizona on October 22, 1921. In 1935, he left Arizona and entered a Franciscan seminary in California. He received his Master's degree in sociology from the Catholic University in 1950. Between 1950 and 1961, he served at the order's main seminary at San Luis Rey, where he was a professor of philosophy and the social sciences.

In 1962, he became the first Chicano pastor in the history of Santa Clara County (after the war between the United States and Mexico in 1946-48, the church replaced all the priests of Hispanic descent with European-Americans). He helped organize the first program of Chicano deacons in California.

Dr. Soto was the founding pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in East San Jose. Before Dr. Soto came to the parish, Our Lady of Guadalupe was a small chapel, but under his leadership, parishioners organized themselves into construction groups and raised the church building. This church became an important site in the war against poverty. It was here that Robert Kennedy attended the first "Misa Folklorica" (Folkloric Mass) in 1968, only a few weeks before he was assassinated.

The historic 1965 Farm Workers' March from Delano to Sacramento included Dr. Soto and a group from San Jose. In 1967, as a result of his interest in helping people become economically self-sufficient, he teamed with Russell Tershy to found the Center for Employment Training. Dr. Soto served as the first Chairman of the Board, a position he held until 1991.

In the late 1960's, during the construction of the Center for the Performing Arts in San Jose, Dr. Soto engaged in civil disobedience protests. These demonstrations were organized because management of the construction company had not hired any minority workers for this important project. Along with thirty other protesters, Dr. Soto was arrested. However, the increase in community awareness that resulted from their actions led the City of San Jose to adopt an ordinance requiring Affirmative Action clauses in all City contracts.

In 1974, he married Phyllis Armas at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in San Jos←. They devoted their lives to education, community service and institutional reform. In 1978, he received his doctorate in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley.

He spent his life teaching and devoting his time to community and leadership development, especially among minorities. He concluded that "the positive energy out there far outweighs the evil, but it is not often publicized. We need more role models for our young people." We are left to wonder if he ever realized that he was exactly the role.

David Plotke

I first entered Sociology at Berkeley in 1972. From 1975 to 1980 I taught at community colleges, worked for a left-wing journal, and did other things. I returned in 1980 and finished my dissertation in 1985.

My first permanent job after graduation was in Political Science, at Yale. My second job was also in Political Science, at the New School for Social Research. That is where I am today. I was Chair of my Department for a long time and am able to focus more on research and writing.

My experience at UCB was very positive. I probably got better training about how to study politics and why in the Sociology program than I would have received in Political Science at the time. That's debatable, of course, and it is sad that the person with whom it would have been especially interesting to discuss this, Michael Rogin, is no longer with us.

The intellectual breadth, historical awareness, and theoretical ambition of the UCB Sociology program made it possible for me to leave Sociology credibly for Political Science. If most of Sociology were like the UC program, this might have been a pointless move. It was not easy to change disciplines right after graduate school, but it was the right move.

Since 1985 I have stayed close to the lines of inquiry I was pursuing as a graduate student, in American politics and political theory. I am now trying to finish a linked group of articles and book manuscripts on American politics in the 1960s and later.

As an institution, NSSR was deeply affected by the battles in the1980s and early 1990s that resulted in the end of Communism in most of the places it had existed. This happy outcome was of course not uncomplicated. I have had the opportunity to observe the process and its results, including efforts toward democracy, in a number of countries, via NSSR projects and related initiatives. This long engagement made me more of a comparativist than I had been before, and a better political theorist.

I think my UCB Sociology training remains invaluable in convincing me that it is a good idea to try to address interesting questions and problems without worrying too much about boundaries between disciplines and fields within them.


Phillip Gonzales

I became a Berkeley graduate student at a time when the sociology department was admitting large groups of students at a time. Many of us found the place bewilderingly impersonal, super competitive, and alienating. But stick it out most of did, and in my case, an important reason was the support provided by a large cohort of Chicano and Chicana graduate students on campus from different disciplines. Still, for a working-class Chicano it was a great opportunity just being at Berkeley studying sociology full-time, learning so much from the Duster, Glock, Kornhauser, Blauner, Fischer, and Selznick seminars.

I went to Berkeley knowing I would focus on Mexican Americans, although I had no idea what kind of sociologist I would become. One time I wrote a paper on a historical topic, and that set me on a path toward historical sociology of a sort. It's been rewarding, thus far authoring one book, co-authoring another, doing the articles.

In 1987, a year after finishing my dissertation, I was appointed assistant professor in sociology at the University of New Mexico where I have been ever since and where I teach in the race-ethnic track and a course called the Sociology of Mexican Americans. For the last seven of the years I was also director of the Southwest Hispanic Research Institute. In collaboration with many colleagues from throughout the university, the work of the Institute involved quite varied administrative and research activities. I am most proud of the research which produced not only academics, but assisted the current-day heirs of the old Spanish and Mexican community land grants in their efforts to gain political recognition and resources so as to realize to the extent possible their own cultural and economic sustainability in New Mexico.

Joseph Palacios

Joseph Palacios (Ph.D. 2001, Sociology, University of California, Berkeley) teaches in Georgetown University's Liberal Studies Program, Sociology Department, and the School of Foreign Service's Latin American Studies Program.  Dr. Palacios brings to his academic career a wide experience in corporate diversity management, community organizing, and religious pastoral work among minorities and immigrants in the United States, Mexico, and Chile.  He is an internationally recognized leader in the development of community-based learning and research programs.

Dr. Palacios is a sociologist of political culture and expert in the area of faith-based community organizing and community service initiatives.  His research interests include: Latin American and Latino Sociology, Sociology of Religion, Political Culture, Civil Society, Social Theory, and Social Justice Analysis.  In the spring of 2007 the University of Chicago Press published his book on faith-based community initiatives, The Catholic Social Imagination: Activism and the Just Society in Mexico and the United States.  In 2005 he was invited to write on "Morality Battles" in Contemporary Sociology and contributed an article entitled "Reconfiguring American Civil Religion: The Triumph of Values."

In 2009 he was awarded a 2009 Fulbright Fellowship for Chile and began working on a book entitled Chilifornia: Chile, Vanguard Latin Nation which highlights Chile's leading role in education, democratic institutions, and economics in Latin America.  He taught a doctoral seminar on "Culture, Religion and Politics in the United States" at the Universidad de Santiago's Institute for Advanced Studies from March through July 2009.  From 2005 to 2009 Dr. Palacios served as the Director of the Georgetown Community-Based Learning Summer Program at the Universidad Alberto Hurtado in Santiago, Chile. 

Dr. Palacios is a consultant to a variety of human and civil rights organizations. He is on the Board of Directors of The DC Center, the DC Steering Committee and Board of Governors of the Human Rights Campaign, and Director of Catholics for Equality.  He has been a commentator on the Voice of America, C-Span, Univision, Catholic New Service, National Public Radio, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and Washington Blade.

Dr. Palacios has been awarded research and teaching fellowships from the University of California, Andrew W. Merrill Foundation, Pew Trust, Georgetown University, and the Fulbright Foundation.  He has been a visiting scholar at El Colegio de Mexico, the Center for Religion and Civic Culture of the University of Southern California, and the Institute of Advanced Studies of the Universidad de Santiago, Chile.  In 2009 he received a Presidential Appointment to serve on the Board of Visitors of the Western Hemispheric Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), the U.S. training facility of Latin American military officers at Fort Benning, GA, that is also known as the School of the Americas.

Mary Ruggie

I find myself telling students all the time that my graduate work at Berkeley gave me the tools for learning. I never took courses in what later became my fields of specialization, but my academic roots are clearly reflected in my approach to each of them. After my dissertation was published in 1984 as The State and Working Women: A Comparative Study of Britain and Sweden, I turned to a newly evolving interest in health care. It took me several years to learn the field and to place myself in it. My second book, Realignments in the Welfare State: Health Policy in the United, States, Britain and Canada was published in 1996. The book I have just finished came more quickly, even though I once again became immersed in totally new areas of social thought. From Quackery to Legitimacy: Mainstreaming Alternative Medicine (or something like this'the title is still tentative) should see the light of print in 2003.

I have moved from coast to coast a few times (Barnard College, UCSD, Columbia University, and now the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University), teaching courses on social theory, gender, comparative welfare states, health care and health policy. I'm still married to John, my high school sweetheart, and our son Andreas has been a joy to us both.

Barbara Worthing-Jones

Barbara Worthing Jones died on  June 20, 2013. Born in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania in 1948, she died peacefully in her sleep in Richmond California. A graduate of UC Berkeley with a BS in psychology, a MS in Criminology and PhD in Sociology she worked for many years in data analysis and database management. Disabled in 1995 she spent the subsequent years struggling valiantly with severe chronic pain.She was an incredible person with a mind unlike any other. She spent her latter years comforted by her two dogs, Mr. Darcy and Miss Sophie and her husband Larry Jones. Her mother joined the household in March of 2012. Before disability robbed her of most of the use of her hands she was a supremely talented horsewoman, painter, crocheter, knitter and an innovative and creative cook. She loved good mysteries, science fiction and World War II history. She leaves behind her husband, Larry M. Jones, her son Avery Worthing-Jones, his wife Jamie and her grandson Christopher Michael Worthing-Jones, her mother Norma J. Worthing, her brother Michael Worthing, his wife Maxine and as well as grieving family and friends. Donations in her memory can be made to the ASPCA. May she rest in the peace that eluded her for so many years. A memorial service will be held later.

Published in East Bay Times on June 27, 2013

Daniel Finnegan

The Berkeley Sociology Department gave me the freedom to do almost anything I wanted. I wrote my dissertation on the history of physics, studied statistics and the philosophy of science, and ignored mainstream sociology. After graduation I pursued a career as a statistician with minimal links to sociology. I have directed over 250 research projects with total budgets of over a $100 million.
After completing my PhD I moved to Washington D.C. and served as director of statistical services for the US Treasury and as a senior advisor to the Office of the President. 
In 1985 I returned to the Bay Area and founded Quality Planning Corporation. Quality Planning provides risk assessment services to the insurance industry. I took a leave from Quality Planning in 1989 to serve on the US Senate staff assisting with passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. 
I have conducted a wide variety of major disability rights related studies for the Senate, the Office for Civil Rights, Department of Labor, National Science Foundation, and the Department of Health and Human Services. Collectively these studies have helped advanced this important movement. I have developed cost management and fraud control systems for the Department of Treasury, Medicare, Medicaid, the Department of Education, Social Security and numerous insurance companies.  These systems have produced audited savings of many billions of dollars.
In 2008 I sold Quality Planning and retired to Provence and New York City.
Showing true diversity, the Berkeley Sociology Department even produced a capitalist.

Gail Kligman

Berkeley marked the beginning of an intellectual and professional odyssey that has resonated positively and negatively in all aspects of my life. I transferred to Berkeley from Reed in 1968 for an unforgettable sophomore year, the sociological lessons of which were learned more in the streets than in classrooms. That year and my subsequent years in the department undoubtedly shaped my commitment to studying social change and how people made sense of it in their everyday lives. A summer trip through the Balkans motivated by political and cultural interests cemented my research trajectory in graduate school. Geo-political constraints, however, compelled me to pursue dissertation research in Romania rather than in the former Yugoslavia. Since then, I have done extensive ethnographic research on topics ranging from ritual traditions during state socialism to an ethnography of the state analyzed through the Ceausescu regime's reproductive politics, to comparative research on the politics of gender and of poverty since the collapse of communism in Central East Europe. In consequence of such research, my academic identity has often been questioned: am I a sociologist? An anthropologist? The rhetorical celebration of interdisciplinary studies notwithstanding, transgressing borders (international or disciplinary) has repeatedly proven problematic. Not surprisingly, much of my research focuses on the relationship between discourse and practice in socialist and postsocialist states, and on gender and political cultures. My experiences at Berkeley as a student and thereafter have also contributed importantly to my dedication to teaching students and mentoring junior colleagues here and abroad.

Mary Colwell

I was an older student with an M.A. in Interdisciplinary Social Science from San Francisco State when I arrived at Berkeley. As a married woman, with a big family, and many years of experience in volunteer work and paid work, I was not in sync with the other students who came in at my time. While I was there, I also worked part-time as the Executive Director of a small philanthropic fund which gave money away both locally and nationally to nonprofit activist organizations working on civil rights, environmental issues, peace, women's issue, and other social justice causes. That introduced me to the many organizations founded by the radical students of the 1960s who had gone on to try to do something worthwhile with their ideals. The faculty were all bemoaning the lack of activism on campus without really knowing anything about all these groups. For that, and other reasons I was not really in sync with the faculty, either. However, I struggled through and finally finished.

I will never forget two experiences. My first interview with a faculty person I explained that a lot of my interests arose from my work in the civil rights movement and research I had done on white ethnic groups and the backlash to the poverty program. This distinguished professor literally looked down his nose at me and said being at Berkeley would cause me to have a broader perspective. And when the time came to do my dissertation on philanthropic foundations my first, logical, choice for an advisor told me to read a set of expose articles in Ramparts magazine about the Rockefellers and if I agreed with their political analysis and approach he would be willing to be on the dissertation committee but not otherwise! I did not continue that effort.

The book which resulted, Private Foundations and Public Policy: The Political Role of Philanthropy, was published in 1991, 10 years after the dissertation. Since Berkeley, I have continued to be involved in the nonprofit world - as foundation staff, consultant to donors, fund raiser, interim director of an activist organization sending volunteers to Nicaragua in the 1980s. I did major research on the peace movement in the 1980s and many articles and some student dissertations have been written using the unique data I gathered. I taught several courses at the Nonprofit Organization Management Institute at the University of San Francisco. I still serve as senior faculty adviser for the M.A. thesis work of a few students at the same USF program. Over these years I have taught one course at a time (social psychology, social movements, peace movements) at three UC campuses: Santa Cruz, Davis, and Berkeley. My last teaching at Cal was in the Peace and Conflict Studies Department. I am now essentially retired, although I have had a small research project focusing on environmental activists in the Arcata region of Humboldt County underway for several years. My husband died in the second year of this effort which caused a hiatus in that work. I have recently moved to a retirement community in Oakland and hope to at least finish that project.

Addition: While doing graduate work in Sociology at UCB I worked in the philanthropic foundation world and the topic of my dissertation was public policy and philanthropy. Garland published a revised version of that in1993. After the PhD I continued to work for a few years as a consultant to donors and small foundations and as a fundraiser for the Sierra Club Foundation for a short time. In the late 80s I did a survey of peace movement organizations nationally, with a lot of help from graduate sociology students at Catholic University of America, when John McCarthy was chair of the department, and colleagues like Sam Marullo at Georgetown University and published several articles growing from this research. The data were quite rich and many of those who worked on the project also published articles based on them. I also taught one or more courses at UCB, UCSC, UCD, and USF during the 1980s and early 1990s. I started a new research effort on nonprofits working on environmental issues in the later part of the 90s but gave up this work after my husband died in 1999 since we had planned it as a joint project. I now serve as a volunteer advisor to the Data Center, a social justice research group in Oakland, live in a very active community, St. Paul Towers and have served as a Resident Representative to the Episcopal Senior Communities Board and am currently in my second term as a board member of the Aging Services of California Board

Robert Bell

My graduate school application said something to the effect that I was interested in the relationship between knowledge and ideas, on the one hand, and power and authority, on the other. Berkeley didn't change that, but it helped me get it to the level of researchable problems. Philip Selznick and Philippe Nonet showed me that law was a logical focus for someone interested in culture in action and the role of rationality in modern life. Though I came to Berkeley prepared to acquire marketable skills and make my peace with positivist sociology, both my teachers and my student colleagues tempted me to continue my liberal education instead, and I succumbed.

I taught for thirteen years, first at Northwestern and then at Georgetown. I published a book (The Culture of Policy Deliberations) about the social conditions affecting intellectual integrity in a government organization. When I left academia, through some complex mixture of choice and circumstance, I was ready to risk being an intellectual in the world of action rather than a pragmatist in the world of thought. I got a job in NSF's Office of Inspector General (OIG).

Of course, bureaucracy, even in an office of inspector general (the OIG is a federal agency's internal cop), and not just at NSF, is a world of thought, as I knew from my academic research. Far from being an ethereal, professorial issue, intellectual integrity turned out to be the most practical possible organizational concern, and my sociological knowledge and perspective were constantly in play. Whether in working to construct a legal order adequate to investigating crimes against science or in elucidating the dilemmas of purposive action in NSF-funded organizations, I found myself translating sociology into ordinary action and ordinary English.

Organizational cultures are fragile (venerable sociological wisdom), and I was fortunate to leave the OIG as a new IG was moving to dumb it down. I am now redesigning NSF's survey on public attitudes toward and understanding of science and technology, experiencing new variations on the ironic interplays of pragmatism and positivism, thought and action, liberal education and technical skill, and (always) knowledge and ideas, on the one hand, and power and authority, on the other.


Michael Kimmel

I came to Berkeley in 1974 to study how multinational corporate investment had transformed cultures and identities in French West Africa. I left in 1981 with a dissertation on revolutions in 17th century France and England. Since finishing, I've developed an expertise in the Sociology of Gender, and have been instrumental in developing the subfield of Men and Masculinities.

While this may strike one as a textbook case of sociological dilettantism, I prefer to see the ways in which Berkeley sociology with its emphasis on being theoretically informed, comparative and historically grounded, and politically engaged underlies each of these moves. In the first case, I was captivated in the late 1970s by the new synthetic works that sought to explain the rise of modern society (Moore, Tilly, Wallerstein, Skocpol, Bendix, Anderson) that seemed to return to original sociological questions raised by the classical theorists.

By the time I arrived at Rutgers in 1982, I had split my interests, and worked on both gender and comparative social movements. I've sustained those interests both separately and together since arriving at Stony Brook, my home since 1987. (I returned to Berkeley in 1992-3 as a Visiting Professor, and was voted 'Best Professor' on campus that year by the Daily Cal.) My work on the history of American manhood has been coupled with books and articles that represent my intellectual and political engagement with various issues raised by feminism: pornography, the 'men's movements,' homophobia and aggression. That distinctly Berkeley sensibility a sociology that brings together history, theory, and political commitment - has, I believe, guided all my work.

My Berkeley years also committed me to public education, and I have spent my entire career at large, public universities, educating the next generation of Americans, who have little sense of entitlement.

A New Yorker by both birth and temperament, I could not be happier than living in a turn of the century brownstone in Park Slope, Brooklyn -- a community that is rivaled, perhaps, only by Lake Merritt for the vitality of multiculturalism.

Richard Morales

I discovered sociology at San Diego State University, inspired by Nicos Mouratides' stories of the Greek resistance and how a sociological perspective might offer a way of engaging in the world with purpose and clarity. After graduation, and a two-year stint in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve with an honorable discharge and conscientious objector status, I arrived in Berkeley. To be honest my interest was as much about having an adventure and finding myself, as it was about pursuing a particular intellectual focus or academic direction. My father had arrived at CAL as a grad student in 1939 to demonstrations against Hitler; I arrived just weeks after Nixon's resignation when everyone seemed to be searching for Patty Hearst. I was searching too.

I began to find my way with the support of new friends both within and outside the University. Berkeley's critical and historical approach to sociological issues provided me a framework to explore my interests, vague as they were in that first year.

It was a true privilege to work with David Matza, Bob Blauner, Troy Duster and Harry Edwards throughout my graduate experience. Their research and teaching pointed me toward studies of outsiders, race, ethnicity, social change, and power. David Montejano's course on the political economy of the Southwest planted a seed that would later sprout into my dissertation topic. It was clear that my fellow Chicano / Latino students and me had an opportunity to add new stories to the obra sociologica.

Apart from my graduate student life, I also worked as a waiter in Lafayette and Walnut Creek where the tips were abundant. One night I heard some Mexican ranchera music coming from a kitchen radio and discovered my dissertation topic - undocumented immigrants in the restaurant industry. I returned to San Diego, found work in a restaurant, plugged into the local immigrant networks and began my fieldwork. Soon afterward I joined a team of energized researchers at the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at UCSD, exploring the labor market impact of immigrants on the California economy. It was relevant work with a policy focus on a hot topic. Post-graduate work followed in the form of more research and lecture positions at UCSD and San Diego State.

By the late 1980's I was married with a young daughter and at a career crossroads; gratified by my foray into sociology but not happy with my options, and not interested in whining about it. As luck would have it I was asked to join the faculty of the Center for Creative Leadership, a unique research and training not-for-profit. For eight years I designed and delivered leadership development experiences for people from every field. A sort of praxis began to emerge.

Fifteen years ago I started an organizational development consulting business. I love being my own boss and helping decision makers facilitate change, find their focus and, sometimes, re-discover their purpose. Especially gratifying has been the opportunity to apply my background and experience to working with people of color in diversity/ inclusion and cross-cultural development initiatives. A book on Latino leadership is in the works.

I look back on my time at Berkeley with gratitude for the people and experiences that shaped my journey, and helped me gain the confidence to define success on my own terms - with perhaps just a bit of sociological imagination.

Yiannis Gabriel

Whenever I look back at my years as a graduate student at Berkeley, I feel a surge of excitement along with a liberal dose of nostalgia. For me, like for so many others, these were years of discovery, exploration and hope, years in which I met some of my best friends, I developed some of the ideas that have stayed with me longest, and experienced some of the moments of greatest emotional happiness and intellectual exhilaration that I have ever experienced.

Many of the professors left a lasting impact on me -- Neil Smelser, David Matza, Gertrude Jaeger, Robert Blauner and not least the late Paul Feyerabend, whose philosophy of science classes were among the most stimulating experiences of my life. Yet, a great deal of the learning was initiated by fellow-students who organized a variety of cutting-edge courses in Marxist controversies, Freudian theory and others. I will not forget working on the Berkeley Journal of Sociology in 1974, a life-enhancing group experience. Much of my work at the time focused on labor process and psychoanalytic theories, although I found myself becoming familiar with a wide range of ideas. Apart from making a great number of friends with extraordinary people, I remember my second year at Berkeley for a mad escapade to Reno, Nevada, where I got married with Jane, my companion since then.

My years at Berkeley were followed by a year in the Greek military -- a mind-destroying experience, as Berkeley had been a mind-expanding one. There followed years of teaching in a variety of British universities, in which the birth and first steps of my two children offered much more significant memory landmarks than my expanding research interests in the sociology of organizations and psychoanalysis. Those were years when, under the influence of Margaret Thatcher's 'There is no such thing as society,' sociology became almost a pariah in British universities. Very few job and research opportunities. Like many other social scientists, I found myself working for a number of business schools, with my research focusing increasingly on work organizations and the labor process.

In 1989, I moved to Bath University which had and continues to have a very vibrant Management School. Surrounded by several unusual thinkers (mostly of a social constructionist hue), I developed two areas of research interests. One was in storytelling and narratives. I came to view these as elements of an 'unmanaged organization,' and used them to study some aspects of organizations which had not been adequately recognized -- fantasy, emotion, dream. The study of stories and narratives allowed me, at last, to bring together the two core research interests that had stayed apart in my thinking, psychoanalysis and labour process. I realized that many stories could be analysed as though they were dreams, without losing sight of their political and cultural dimensions. This also allowed me to exorcise my experience in the military by allowing me to interpret and finally resolve many of the stories that I had picked up there. The other new area of interest has been in studying the consumer, something very important for the study of organizations, but also indispensable in understanding contemporary higher education, as students come to view themselves through the prism of consumerism.

Three years ago, I had the great privilege of being appointed Professor of Organizational Theory at Imperial College London, the university where I had started my studies as an undergraduate 30 years earlier. I have continued to research storytelling and narratives, but have also developed a critique of the dissemination of management ideas and concepts as fads and fashions, and more generally a critique of what I call 'the hubris of management', the belief that everything can be forecast and controlled by management.

I am currently teaching courses on leadership, organizational theory and psychoanalysis of organizations. I am associate editor of 'Human Relations' and editor emeritus of 'Management Learning.'

When people ask me what I am, I rarely say 'Sociologist' these days. I am more likely to call myself 'social psychologist' or 'organizational theorist'. All the same, my years at Berkeley were the basis on which much of my thinking, and maybe even my identity, are based. They are a part of my past that I particularly cherish.

Todd Gitlin

Lucky me: I had no sooner landed my Ph. D. than Berkeley decided to create an undergraduate Mass Communications program and Sociology decided to house it. I got the job, doubling up, and stayed at Berkeley 1978-1994. After an interim year in Paris, I moved to New York original home was calling and taught for seven years at NYU, chiefly in the departments of Culture and Communication (media studies) and journalism. In September 2002 I moved to Columbia, where I profess journalism and sociology. In journalism, my prime responsibility is a new Ph. D. program in communication. As always, I write in all sorts of venues books (most recently Media Unlimited: How the Torrent of Images and Sounds Overwhelms Our Lives, Metropolitan, 2002, and the forthcoming Letters to a Young Activist, Basic, 2003), articles mostly for the popular press and magazines, and increasingly on-line (mostly, a remarkable experiment in cross-national disputation, which I serve as North America editor).

Berkeley taught me theory and the limits of theory. Arlie Hochschild's thinking about emotion came back to me years later, and entered into my last book. I lurched into graduate school in 1974 with grand historical-theoretical ambitions, and was not unhappy to see them drift away. The department renewed my respect for rigor a renewal I hope to relay to students now.

I don't see that sociology, mine or anyone else's, is succeeding in shaping the world nowadays, but as ever, consider that every piece of writing, every talk, every act of teaching is a prayer in behalf of reason in a world that needs all it can get.

Helena Hershel

Since my first reading of Freud at age eleven something inside of me said that I was destined to be a psychotherapist. But psychology alone was not enough - so where could one study race, alienation or phenomenology, not to speak of psychoanalytic theory? Sociology at Berkeley permitted all these fields to be subsumed under the title "the sociology of..." and the Department became a good home to me.

Grad school at Berkeley was a time of high excitement. Some of us thought we could affect the world by understanding grand theory and ideas and passion became inextricably bound. My dissertation led me to worked with patients at mental institutions in France and in the Bay Area to gather research on cross-cultural contrasts between French and American psychiatric wards and their treatment of patients. Postdoctoral fellowships at the Schools of Medicine in Hawaii and at UCSF in medical anthropology continued to widen my interests in ethnopsychiatry.

A professorship at an Ivy League college (Dartmouth) offered me a position that held promise for a few years. However, living in an isolated New England town was culturally challenging for my family and me. Moreover, I missed the immediacy of working with people not just from the head but also from the heart. So, I returned to the Bay Area, got additional clinical training and licensing and put out a shingle as a psychotherapist in Oakland.

I have had the good fortune to have a full and rewarding practice. My work incorporates a cross-cultural sensitivity with insights gained as a student of human nature across many disciplines. I also teach and mentor graduate students in clinical and cross-cultural psychology. When I have a sociological imagination, it finds expression in my writings on internalized oppression, biracial identity formation, and developmental issues.

Carol Silverman

I came to Berkeley's department of Sociology to learn a sociologically sophisticated way of theorizing the role of the spatial environment in human social life.

Unfortunately, I entered graduate school too soon. The current large post-modern and Marxist relevant literature had not been translated or even written. I changed emphasis, studying the then current urban literature with Claude Fischer. I also began studying the theoretical assumptions behind the use of various methodologies - in practice this means that I took or audited every methodology, theory of methodology and statistics course that I could.

While that had not been my initial intent, it proved to help shape my work career since my graduate degree. I have worked as a full-time researcher since that time. After the degree, I extended my doctoral work on how cultural understandings of private property help shape how people organize community by studying common interest developments. Because of what happened to a family member, I changed research interests and worked for a number of years as the Research Director and Co-Principal Investigator for The Center for Self-Help Research. Steve Segal, the Principal Investigator, and I worked collaboratively with some of the major figures in the mental health consumer rights movement to understand the effectiveness of consumer run organizations for people with mental health and substance abuse problems.

I currently am the Research Director at the Institute for Nonprofit Organization Management at the University of San Francisco. We do applied research in service to nonprofit sector.

While I continued teaching for several years after my degree at Berkeley, I have not taught there for some time. Instead, I have taught on an adjunct basis at USF, San Francisco State and at one of the few remaining local alternative colleges: New College of California.

Is this the career I envisioned for myself when I entered Berkeley? No. I don't get to engage in the critical theoretical perspective that Berkeley teaches, except in my own teaching. There are, however, a number of personal rewards in doing applied and policy based research.


Anne Lawrence

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. I have carved out a role for myself as the resident expert on 'social issues,' teaching popular undergraduate courses in business and society, labor relations, managing environmental issues, and global business and human rights. I have twice been named outstanding undergraduate instructor at the college. My McGraw-Hill textbook, Business and Society: Corporate Strategy, Public Policy, Ethics, is the market-leader in its field. I am also active as a writer of teaching cases for use in business schools, and my cases have been widely used in management education. Last year, I served as president of the North American Case Research Association, and I am a member of the board of the Social Issues in Management division of the Academy of Management. Although I no longer participate in the professional community of sociologists, I feel that my training at Berkeley profoundly influenced my approach to the issues I study.

Susan Takata

I have been here at the University of Wisconsin, Parkside since Fall 1984. I Moved up the ranks from assistant to associate to full professor. I spearheaded the creation of a Criminal Justice Department on campus and moved from the Department of Sociology/Anthropology to the Criminal Justice Department in 1999.

My research is well integrated with my teaching and service; for example, in the mid-1980s, I had several teams of undergraduate students researching the local gang problems in Kenosha and Racine. I replicated the undergraduate student operated research center here at UWP (originally

a part of the Cal State Dominguez Hills student research center, which was recognized by Hans Mauksch as one of the innovative ASA teaching projects). Since my undergrad days at CSUDH, I've kept in touch with Professor Jeanne Curran and we continue to experiment with teaching/learning approaches (check out our Dear Habermas website: We team teach long distance and our students work on various projects together and then we meet at conferences to present out work.

While at Berkeley, I worked with wonderful people like Troy Duster, David Matza, Herbert Blumer, Harry Edwards, and Bob Blauner. While a grad student, I was associated with the Institute for the Study of Social Change with my National Institute of Corrections grant to examine alternatives to jail incarceration. I was given the freedom and yet gentle guidance, to think "outside the box."

I share with my students, the community and colleagues my excitement for interactive process of teaching/learning. I challenge student to think about real world problems and issues and how they relate to "theory, policy, and practice" and to come up with creative answers/solutions. We did this with the Racine Gang Project. And this semester, I have a small group of students examining alternatives to jail incarceration and the jail overcrowding problems in Racine. (In September, I was appointed to the Racine County Citizens Criminal Justice Task Force). On a much broader level, we are doing this with the Dear Habermas website focusing on issues of social justice and peace.

Timothy McDaniel

Timothy McDaniel, Professor of Sociology at UC San Diego, died on March 10, 2009, after a brave fight against colon cancer. He was one of the leading comparative-historical sociologists of his generation, an inspiring teacher, and a man of unwavering probity and extraordinary erudition. A dedicated scholar, he contributed greatly to the growth of the university during his three decades on the faculty.

Tim was born in San Francisco on October 11, 1947. He received his undergraduate education at Yale and at UC Santa Cruz. He began his graduate studies at the University of North Carolina planning to specialize in the study of Latin America, but his growing interest in the comparative study of revolutions prompted him to transfer to Berkeley. At Berkeley, he set about learning the Russian language and read omnivorously, primarily under the guidance of the historian Reginald Zelnik. Having lived in Chile during the Allende revolution and the US-inspired coup, Tim turned his attentions to a revolution of much greater notoriety and world-historical consequence. He was soon busy with a thesis on the Russian labor movement and its connections to the Russian Revolution. Completing his dissertation in 1979, he joined the department at UCSD, a place that would be his intellectual home throughout the remainder of his career.

Tim spent three years heading the UC program in the USSR and Russia. Working under often extraordinarily difficult and even dangerous conditions he served as a mentor and guide to a generation of students, many of whom became lifelong friends. In addition, he acquired an extensive first hand acquaintance with Russian culture and society that deepened and enriched his scholarship. On campus, he played a major role in the foundation of Eleanor Roosevelt College, was very active in the Academic Senate, and served five years as chair of his department. His courses were always demanding, but they were packed with enthusiastic students. When the campus instituted an award for its finest teachers, Tim deservedly won the award in its very first year. As he developed an increasing interest in the Islamic world, a still broader array of students flocked to take his classes.

Tim's enduring reputation rests on three remarkable books. The first displays his immense learning, his deep knowledge of archival sources used by few other Western scholars, and his remarkable originality. Autocracy, Capitalism, and Revolution in Russia (1988) is one of the most outstanding discussions of the revolutionary process in Russia to appear in the past quarter century. After the outbreak of the Iranian revolution, Tim became fascinated with its similarities and differences with its Russian counterpart, and the upshot was Autocracy, Modernization and Revolution in Russia and Iran (1991), an incisive and carefully considered book that immediately took its place as one of a handful of seminal studies of comparative revolutions. The Agony of the Russian Idea (1996) is an extended essay in cultural analysis that draws upon a dazzling range of sources to examine all aspects of Russian society and its culture from Peter the Great to the first years of Yeltsin, and to demonstrate some remarkably stable features that have distinguished Russia under both the Tsars and Communism, and have consistently undermined its failed attempts to modernize. An intellectual tour de force written by a major scholar at the height of his powers, it was deeply admired (among others) by George Kennan, and by Khrushchev's granddaughter, Nina. At his death, Tim was at work on a fourth major book, a close interrogation of the relationship between Islam and modernity, an aspect of his growing engagement with the problematic relationships between religion and social change. That manuscript, sadly, remains incomplete.

Tim is survived by his mother, Eloise McDaniel; his twin brother Patrick, his wife Debbie and their son, Ryan; and by his sister Cheryl Erickson and her husband, Jim. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him. A memorial to celebrate his life was held at UCSD on Monday, April 13, 2009.

The department has established an annual prize for an outstanding Eleanor Roosevelt college undergraduate. Those wishing to contribute to this fund should send a check to UCSD Department of Sociology, 9500 Gilman Drive MC 0533, La Jolla, CA 92093.

by Andrew Skull, Department of Sociology, University of California, San Diego

Linda Fuller

Going to graduate school was something I'd never really planned to do, but after getting my degree in 1985 I got a job at University of Southern California. Another sociology graduate student (Greg McLauchlan) and I were together by then, and so began our 5-year saga looking for two tenure-track jobs in the same place. With the help and counsel of literally about 70 people, we finally landed two jobs at the University of Oregon, where we've been since 1989.

I've taught 20+ courses ranging from theory to philosophy and epistemology of social research to courses on development in the South and alternatives to it. Teaching has been the major way my sociology has shaped the world. I've written two books on Cuba and the German Democratic Republic, but I'm not especially pleased with the impact these academic studies have had on the world. So, a principal goal of my next project on luxury products and global inequalities is to write something accessible to a wider audience.

The Berkeley department, in particular Michael Burawoy and my fellow graduate students, influenced my sociology a lot. Had I not gone to Berkeley, I don't think I'd have connected sociology and activism nearly as well. (It may not even have occurred to me to do so.) I recall Claude Fischer once warning graduate students that, coming out of the Berkeley department we wouldn't have a clue what sociology was really like. I remember being puzzled. I thought I was learning sociology at Berkeley! But now I know Claude was right. And I'm convinced there should be more Berkeleys among the US sociology programs.

Ruth Milkman

For me, becoming a sociologist was from the outset linked to a commitment to social change. I was attracted to the Berkeley department because I presumed that it would be hospitable to that orientation, and that indeed proved to be the case, if not always in exactly the ways I had expected. As a student my intellectual agenda was driven by feminism and Marxism; only much later did I develop an appreciation of sociology as a discipline. In fact, despite a very privileged employment history - at UCLA from 1988 to 2009, and before and after that at CUNY (from 1982 to 1988 and again since January 2010), for many years I felt deeply alienated from the profession. That began to change in the late 1990s, thanks to the revival of labor sociology, which has long been the focus of my own research and writing. I started off studying job segregation by gender and U.S. women's labor history; later turned to examine the transformation of factory work and industrial unionism in the late twentieth century, and more recently have written about contemporary labor organizing among Latino immigrants. From 2000 to 2008 I directed the UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (and for the first few years led a similar UC statewide unit as well), which seeks to link the university and the labor movement. Since returning to New York in early 2010, I have been affiliated with CUNY's Murphy Labor Institute (along with a faculty appointment in Sociology at the CUNY Graduate Center). These positions have provided me with extraordinary opportunities to pursue the intellectual and political concerns that have engaged me ever since I was a student at Berkeley.

Alison Woodward

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. Doing field work for the dissertation in Sweden, I went native, and worked as a researcher on policy projects in housing and energy for the government and the Royal Institute of Technology before finally finishing the dissertation. Berkeley continued to affect me however, as it was the Swedish arm of E.O. Wright:s International Class Project of that got me interested in gender and class.

Gender became my claim to fame upon moving to Belgium where I am now Professor at the Free University of Brussels, teaching comparative politics, policy and sociology. I helped start women's studies in Belgium and write mostly on gender issues, doing consulting for the European Union, the Belgian government and the Council of Europe. The focus has been on elites in the EU and in Belgium and policies to engender and diversify the elite. Doing policy research and advocacy probably only indirectly shapes the world, but thanks to Claude Fischer, my knowledge of networks helps keep my expectations realistic.

Anita Weiss

Anita M. Weiss received her doctorate in sociology from UC Berkeley in 1983 and is now professor and head of the Department of International Studies at the University of Oregon. She has published extensively on social development, gender issues, and political Islam in Pakistan. Her books include Pathways to Power: the Domestic Politics of South Asia (co-edited with Arjun Guneratne, Rowman & Littlefield, forthcoming 2014); Development Challenges Confronting Pakistan (co-edited with Saba Gul Khattak, Kumarian Press, 2013); Power and Civil Society in Pakistan (co-edited with Zulfiqar Gilani); Walls Within Walls: Life Histories of Working Women in the Old City of Lahore; and Culture, Class, and Development in Pakistan: The Emergence of an Industrial Bourgeoisie in Punjab. Recent publications include “Crisis and Reconciliation in Swat through the Eyes of Women” in Beyond Swat: History, Society and Economy along the Afghanistan-Pakistan Frontier (edited by Magnus Marsden and Ben Hopkins); Moving Forward with the Legal Empowerment of Women in Pakistan (USIP Special Report 305, 2012); and “Population Growth, Urbanization and Female Literacy” in The Future of Pakistan, edited by Stephen P. Cohen and others. Her current project, Interpreting Islam, Modernity and Women’s Rights in Pakistan (in preparation; Palgrave Macmillan 2014) analyses how distinct constituencies in Pakistan, including the state, are grappling with articulating their views on women’s rights. Professor Weiss is a member of the editorial boards of Citizenship Studies and Globalizations, is on the editorial advisory board of Kumarian Press, has been s a member of the Research Advisory Board of the Pakistan National Commission on the Status of Women, and is just concluding her term as vice president of the American Institute of Pakistan Studies (AIPS).

Jeffrey Haydu

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.

I have retained my interest in the history of labor relations, slowly writing what will eventually be a trilogy. The first part focused on the role of trade union institutions in shaping factory politics (Between Craft and Class, 1988) and the second on the role of the state (Making American Industry Safe for Democracy, 1997). My current project takes on employers. In different ways, each of these applies my Berkeley-bred conviction that the best sociology is comparative history.

Hanging out in archives studying dead workers, bureaucrats, and employers keeps me some distance from contemporary labor struggles. Over the last several years, however, I have tried to follow the good example set by more activist mentors, colleagues, and family members. My modest participation in campus organizing efforts and in San Diego's Labor Academic Network has contributed more to my own education than to worker rights, but it rests the soul -- and helps me keep my head up as a Berkeley alumnus.


Ronald Weitzer

In the past 20 years, I have done field research on the topic of police-minority relations in various contexts--Northern Ireland, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and the United States. Although I took no criminology courses at Berkeley (none were offered in the Sociology Dept!), it is fair to say that my interest in this topic originated at Berkeley. First and foremost, I am interested in "conditions of transformation", i.e., the conditions under which racialized and repressive policing in America can be changed.  For instance, racial profiling is not inevitable, and already some progress has been made in reducing it in various states and cities.  I have recently been involved in both city-specific and nationwide studies examining various policing problems, and I expect to continue working on these issues.

A secondary research interest centers on the sex industry, which resulted in my book, Sex For Sale (Routledge).  Other recent books include Current Controversies in Criminology and Deviance & Social Control.

Annette Lareau

My first graduate seminar, in the fall of 1976, was in the area of Sociology of Education. The course examined the influence parents' social origins have on children's academic outcomes. At the time, while the pattern was incontrovertible, the mechanisms through which these patterns were sustained were very unclear. I found this question engaging and ultimately pursued it in my dissertation. This work, a revised version of which was published as a book, Home Advantage: Social Class and Parental Intervention in Elementary Education, examined the social processes though which social class shapes parents' relationship to school.

When I finished my dissertation I became a post-doctoral fellow in1984 in the Sociology Department at Stanford University. The contrast helped me see the distinctive aspects of the training at UC Berkeley: at Berkeley the training was more theoretical, longer in duration, less statistical, and more laissez faire. After Stanford I spent four years as a faculty member at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale Illinois (a tremendous cultural shift from the Bay Area) before coming to Temple University in Philadelphia in 1990. I also worked at University of Maryland before joining the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania in the fall of 2008.

Though it is over 20 years since I left Berkeley, I believe that my research continues to reflect the distinctive nature of my graduate training. For example, my 2003 book, Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life (University of California Press), attempts to ask a big picture question (i.e., how does social class influence daily routines of family life) using ethnographic methods. It would have been much more expedient to break my research into smaller and narrower questions. My hope is that, in keeping with the Berkeley tradition, my focus on more theoretical broad-minded” questions using ethnographic methods will be seen as more worthwhile.

Susan Phillips

When I arrived at U.C. Berkeley I came with a desire to learn, and no clear idea about career. Studying with Ed Swanson, John Clausen, Bob Bellah, Gertrude Jaeger, Michael Burawoy, Burt Dreyfus, Dick Lazarus, Arlie Hochschild, and others at Cal was a privilege beyond measure. Working and studying in both the sociology and psychology departments, dabbling in philosophy and theology, participating in the NIMH Fellowship group on Personality and Social Structure, and volunteering with the "northside" Amnesty International chapter gave full vent to my multiple passions and interests. Focusing all those passions into a single career, while at the same time, with my husband, raising two sons with disabilities, has been the challenge.

Following a few years as Academic Dean, I've now served for 8 years as Executive Director of New College Berkeley, an institute of the Graduate Theological Union, offering programs for those eager to integrate their faith with their daily lives. I teach there and as a regular adjunct at seminaries in the U.S. and Canada, in the areas of caring ethics and practices, and spirituality. I'm also on the clinical faculty of U.C.S.F.'s nursing school. A book I edited, The Crisis of Care: Affirming and Restoring Caring Practices in the Helping Professions (with Patricia Benner, and the recipient of the CHOICE award for best academic book of 1994) reflects the unusual way in which my faith, sociological imagination, and commitment to caring practices come together. I remain grateful to learn, and never quite sure about career.

Jorge Chapa


From the News-Gazette, Urbana.

Jorge Chapa, 62, of Urbana passed away at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana on Monday evening (Oct. 19, 2015).Jorge was born in Monterrey, Mexico, on Aug. 10, 1953, the son of Juan and Olga Chapa. He married Belinda De La Rosa on Sept. 4, 1982, in San Francisco, Calif.Jorge is survived by his mother; his wife; two sons, Juan and Roberto Chapa; one brother, Juan Chapa; and four sisters, Olga Chesser, Mercedes Robertson, Rosalinda Dussault and Elizabeth Chapa.

Jorge had a Ph.D. and M.A. in sociology as well as an M.A. in demography, all from the University of California at Berkeley. His B.S. was from the University of Chicago in biology (honors) with a minor in sociology. Jorge began his distinguished academic career at the Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, where he rose to the rank of tenured professor and associate dean in the Graduate School.  His research interests focused on Latino educational achievement and access into higher education. Much of Jorge's research and policy work was driven by a desire to make positive change in the world. He was an expert witness for 10 redistricting legal cases in Texas, Illinois and Arizona. He spent one year at Michigan State University as interim director of the Julian Zamora Institute, and was the founding director of the Latino/a Studies Program at Indiana University. Jorge joined the University of Illinois in the fall of 2006, where taught in Latina/o studies and sociology; served at the Institute of Government and Public Affairs and Women and Gender in Global Perspectives Program; and became director of the Center on Democracy in a Multiracial Society.

He was a prolific scholar. He was widely published on the subjects of Latino policy issues and demographic trends and their political implications. His seminal 2004 book on Latino immigration to the Midwest, "Apple Pie and Enchiladas" (co-authored with Ann V. Millard on the University of Texas Press), is the standard treatment of one of the most important political and demographic changes to the region in the past generation. He was the author, editor, co-author or co-editor of 12 books, and he published 15 refereed journal articles and 18 book chapters. Jorge was incredibly involved in the scholarship of public engagement, writing for and speaking to a wide range of non-academic audiences in Illinois and around the country. In particular, he worked on many voting rights court cases and spoke frequently about the use of data in these cases.

His legacy will live on in his work, mentorship of students and faculty, and love of family and friends. He touched the lives of many people, and will be missed by all who knew and loved him.

Andrew Treno

Andrew J. Treno is a Research Scientist at the Prevention Reseach Center in Berkeley, CA, a National Alcohol Research Center. He has worked in the area of environmental prevention for the past 12 years. During that period he has worked on two major projects, the Community Trials Project (Harold D. Holder, Principal Investigator) and the Sacramento Neighborhood Alcohol Prevention Project, a project designed to reduce alcohol access, drinking, and related problems in two low income largely minority neighborhoods in Sacramento, California (Paul J. Gruenewald, Principal Investigator). As a member of the research team on the Community Trials Project he assumed responsibility for the evaluation of community mobilization and media advocacy and developed a surrogate measure for alcohol involved injury. He currently serves as project director on the SNAPP project and maintains management, budgetary, and scientific responsibility for the daily conduct of the project. Additionally, he has served as Project Director on a project funded by the National Institutes of Health investigating the effects of Alcohol Advertising on Youth (Joel Grube, Principal Investigator), which has involved conducting both focus groups and self-administered questionnaires in school settings and has published using those data. His c.v. lists over 35 publications primarily in the areas of environmental interventions, community evaluation, and alcohol-involvement in injury.


Kathleen Barry

Kathleen Barry is Professor Emerita of the Pennsylvania State University and an internationally known feminist and sociologist. She is the author of the landmark book Female Sexual Slavery (1979) which has been translated into six languages and launched an international movement against sexual exploitation. She is the founder of the United Nations NonGovernmental Organization, The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, and collaborated with UNESCO to develop new international law that makes sexual exploitation a violation of human rights which is the subject of her 1995 book, Prostitution of Sexuality: Global Exploitation of Women, (New York University Press). It has been translated and published in Chinese and Korean.

She is a biographer and author of Susan B. Anthony: A Biography of a Singular Feminist (1st Books, Ballantine, 1989) and was featured in the movie for television "One Woman, One Vote." She appeared in the 1999 Ken Burns PBS special "Not For Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony." She was the editor of Feminist Crosscurrents, a book series for New York University Press.

Kathleen Barry's international work led her to Vietnam in 1991. She developed a project on women and the family with the Institute of Social Science in Ho Chi Minh City in 1993 which led to her edited volume, Vietnamese Women in Transition (Macmillan and St. Martins Press, 1996). This book is recognized as the first published social science collaboration between the Americans and Vietnamese since the war in Vietnam.

Kathleen Barry lectures widely in the U.S. and abroad. She has appeared on OPRAH WINFREY, LARRY KING LIVE, and numerous other national and local talk shows for over two decades. In 1995, Dr. Barry was honored with a ten-city lecture tour in France on Susan B. Anthony and the Womans Rights Movement at the invitation of the U.S. Embassy in Paris. She previously held positions at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifque and L'Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales as well as various visiting professorships in the US and in Dublin and Belfast. She was awarded a Fulbright in Ireland to launch the subject of her next book based on interviews with mothers, daughters and grandmothers, over three generations living through the Northern Ireland "Troubles." She is writing Viola, a fictionalized memoir, and Sociology of Spirit, a book that combines social theory and spirituality. 

Elaine Kaplan

I grew up in Harlem, or as it was called at that time, The Ghetto. By the time I was 15, I was a mother and a school dropout. After spending a few years working in factories and offices, I decided to return to school. I arrived at Berkeley in the summer of 1979, eager to learn more about people like me and to learn from people like Blumer and Blauner. There were so few students and faculty of color in the sociology department that I began to feel lonely and frustrated. That sense of alienation forced me to become actively involved in organizing the Women of Color Collective study group (our resolve to bring about change was strengthened by the activist environment at Berkeley). I also read, and was moved by, the works of Sennet and Cobb, Rubin, Goffman, and especially by Mills' Sociological Imagination. I learned from Hochshild, Duster, Edwards, Blauner and Burawoy. All of these experiences helped shape my ideas about race, class and gender inequalities. I left there in 1988 to work at Temple University. While at Temple, I began working to turn my dissertation that examines black teenage motherhood using a race, gender and class analysis, into an ethnography. After two years, I moved onto San Jose State University, finally landing at USC where I teach social justice issues including social inequality and race/ethnic relations from both American and global perspectives. Currently, I am teaching and researching in the area of Visual sociology, with a focus on the inner-city experiences of minority teenagers. Hochschild's mentorship and her work on the sociology of emotion have greatly influenced my thinking about how people experience their environment. What I learned from the Berkeley experience (and lessons I try to pass on to my students), is to appreciate the complexity of people's lived experiences and to present only the most thoughtful and nuanced analysis of those lives.

Susan Toliver

Susan D. Toliver, Ph.D., CFLE, is Professor of Sociology and Department Chair at Iona College in New Rochelle, New York, where she previously held the positions of Associate Dean of the School of Arts and Science, Director of Women’s Studies, and Coordinator of Peace and Justice Education. She holds a doctoral degree in Sociology from the University of California at Berkeley, and a master’s degree in higher education administration from the University of Maryland, College Park. Her areas of specialization include multicultural diversity, family especially work-family intersections, race and ethnic relations, sociological theory, and sex and gender studies. She has written about and researched U.S. families, particularly African American families, multicultural organizational development, and other subjects. She is a member of several professional associations and is a past president of the New York State Council on Family Relations. At present, she serves as a member of the Advisory Council of the Connecticut Permanent Commission on the Status of Women, and a member of the Board of Directors of the National Visionary Leadership Project. She has done extensive work in multiculturalism, directing faculty as well as corporate employee development activities; leading workshops; conducting seminars; and evaluating departmental, multi-institutional, and state-wide multicultural diversity projects. She is an AIDS activist and has conducted seminars and workshops on the subject as well as developed AIDS educational outreach materials for African American women.

Dr. Toliver has worked as a consultant for and/or has given presentations to such organizations as the New York City Board of Education, the New Jersey Department of Higher Education, the Metropolitan Area Minority Employees (MAME) organization and the Black Women’s Leadership Council of Xerox Corporation, IBM, and Bayer Diagnostics.

Dr. Toliver is the author of BLACK FAMILIES IN CORPORATE AMERICA, Sage Publications, 1998.

Roy Xavier

Like all sociologists, my occupational history has a context. It began with my entrance to Berkeley. Looking back, my acceptance as a graduate student was one of the few times I remember feeling that a world of possibilities had suddenly opened before me. Those possibilities began first and foremost with the friendships I made with fellow students and faculty during my first year on campus.

I can't help but smile when I recall the graduate student orientation in the Barrows lounge in September 1977. During the course of the evening I was welcomed as a member of the Department "family", then met my new "brothers" and "sisters" who would make up my cohort and became fellow editors on BJS. They included Jon Cruz, Theresa Cordova, Elaine Kaplan, Susan Toliver, Andrea Press, and Gary Delgado, and later Brian Rich, Margarita Decierdo, Dana Takagi, and Andrew Treno. I also remember the generosity of several veteran grad students in the Department who calmed our fears and encouraged our research interests, including Michael Kimmel, Jerry Himmelstein, Tomas Almaguer, Greg McLauchlan, Lisa Heilbronn, Jorge Chapa, Ken Tucker, Elaine Draper, and Ken Chew.

I also have fond memories of several faculty members who shared their time and infinite patience over the years, including Troy Duster, Todd Gitlin, Russell Ellis (Architecture), Arlie Hochshield, Vicky Bonnell, David Montejano, Leo Lowenthal, Ron Takaki (Ethnic Studies), Herbert Blumer, Phillip Selznick, Henry Glock, and visits by Perry Anderson and Talcott Parsons.

To each of them, and several others who entered the Department after me, I owe a debt of gratitude for opening my eyes to the possibilities of a truly public sociology.

Despite their influence, I chose a non-traditional approach to sociology in general, and communications in particular. During the research phase of my dissertation on the history of cable television in the United States, I was hired by a state funded non-profit organization in San Francisco to manage a fundraising and grants program. My charge was to invest state money in innovative educational and community groups using cable technology to improve curriculum and employment development. A few years later I began working with municipal governments as an advisor and manager (in both Northern and Southern California) developing television stations, web sites, and other technology ventures.

Most of those ventures were start-ups, during which I attempted to test theoretical models and ideas based on my studies of communications at Berkeley. I also was given the opportunity to evaluate those models empirically during operational phases over several years under varying conditions involving different populations. Looking back, I remember thinking how fortunate I was to have access to what, in effect, were social laboratories when communications and technology were having such profound effects on what was rapidly becoming a global culture.

But nothing lasts forever, especially during fiscal crises. Beginning in 2000 I founded a consulting firm to advise community colleges, local governments, and commercial clients on technology issues. More recently my career has come full circle. In 2004 I was appointed Associate Dean of the School of Film and Television at Loyola-Marymount University in Los Angeles. I view this new position as an opportunity to reconnect with many of my colleagues and their students who share an interest in communications, culture and technology.

I could go on, but I've already exceeded my word limit. Let me conclude by saying that it's great to be back in the academic world, and I encourage anyone who reads this meandering account of my time since graduation to contact me at or at

Peace and Solidarity.

Nicole Biggart

I came to Berkeley in the 1970s totally unhip. I had worked in 'management' for six years and wanted to study organizations. After feeling the power of corporations to shape lives, and having lived through a massive reorganization, I wanted to learn more and take a break from wearing suits. Todd Gitlin told me one day that I looked 'suburban,' and it wasn't a compliment. It was also true. But Berkeley couldn't have been a better place to develop the skills I have used for the last 25 years studying Asian business groups, working class women involved in direct selling organizations, and most recently, the commercial building industry and its failure to embrace energy-efficient technologies. Although the topics have varied widely, I have always been concerned with the intersection of power, interests, and meaning in economic organization, lessons I learned from Philip Selznick and Reinhard Bendix.

I have spent my entire career at UC Davis with a joint appointment in the Graduate School of Management and in Sociology. It has been a perfect situation for me. I typically teach classical theory to Sociology graduate students and organization and technology classes to MBAs. We have a very activist MBA cohort at UCD and I am the advisor to the pro-bono consulting program we run for non-profit organizations. We're helping a coffee cooperative in Nicaragua now.

Professionally, I have been active in promoting Economic Sociology as an alternative to neoclassical accounts of markets and economic action. I've had the good fortune to travel around the world promoting an institutional and historical understanding of economies.

Teresa Cordova

Teresa Cordova is Chair and Associate Professor of The Community and Regional Planning Program at The University of New Mexico. She received her Master's and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley and her undergraduate degree from the University of Denver. Among her awards and fellowships, she was a National Research Council Fellow and a National Science Foundation trainee.

Professor Cordova teaches Foundations of Community Development, The Political Economy of Urban Development, Community Economics for Planners, and Introduction to Community and Regional Planning.

Professor Cordova is currently a member of the Board of Directors of The Praxis Project, a national, nonprofit organization that provides research, technical assistance and financial support to tackle issues impacting the well being of communities.

Dr. Cordova is founder and former Director of the Resource Center for Raza Planning, a Center within the School of Architecture and Planning whose mission is to promote the sustainability and survivability of traditional communities in New Mexico. Dr. Cordova and her students were instrumental in the development of the South Valley Economic Development Center. While Director, The Center engaged students in research, policy writing and analysis, public participation, design, strategic and sector planning, and curriculum development related to economic development, infrastructure (water, sewer, drainage, road improvement), land use, neighborhood development, agricultural preservation, and youth development. Students involved in the Center have gone on to become successful professionals in the field of community development.

Professor Cordova is a Former Bernalillo County Commissioner, when she also served on the Bernalillo County Board of Finance, The Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority, The Albuquerque Bernalillo County Government Commission and the Mid-Region Council of Government Metropolitan Transportation Board. While an elected commissioner she brought needed infrastructure projects and improvements, economic development, amenities such as open space, parks, a medical clinic, youth facilities, and services to her district. She initiated several long range planning projects.

She has sat on numerous national and local boards and steering committees of community development corporations, planning organizations, policy groups, and campus committees. Teresa served for several years as President of the Board of the Rio Grande Community Development Corporation, which serves the South Valley. She was a also member of the New Mexico Endowment for the Humanities,

Professor Cordova is an invited speaker and participant at numerous universities, policy meetings, and conferences. For several months in 2009, as a panelist on KNME TV (PBS) New Mexico in Focus, she discussed current local, regional, and national issues. Her research interests include community-based practice, university- community partnerships and service learning, economic development, local governance, global/local dynamics and public infrastructure. She publishes in the fields of Community Development and Chicano and Chicana Studies.

She is a recent recipient of the Sarah Belle Brown Community Service Award for Faculty and The Mid-Region Council of Government Leadership Award. In 2003, she was awarded the YWCA Women on The Move Award and was also awarded the Outstanding South Valley Citizen Award. In 2000 she received the Student Service Award for Faculty, and in 1999 was awarded the Hyde Chair of Excellence from the University of Nebraska.

Andrea Press

I came to Berkeley after being inspired in my undergraduate education (at Haverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges) by some brilliant sociologists and dedicated teachers in sociology and anthropology. The Berkeley program was sufficiently interdisciplinary, and permitted such a degree of intellectual freedom, that it enabled me to learn enough about critical thinking (and a basic amount about research) to allow me to pursue projects that I hope will make a difference in people's lives. I think the program is tough but also more rewarding than most (if you survive), precisely because of the demanding degree of freedom students have, and because the emphasis on innovative scholarship that matters places an enormous responsibility on students to produce work that is not only politically meaningful but also methodologically innovative, challenging categories accepted in the profession. After teaching and mentoring graduate students at several other universities (University of Michigan, University of Illinois, and now University of Virginia) I see that most graduate programs are extremely different in precisely these respects, and I've come to value my experience at Berkeley enormously.

In my own work I have used ethnographic and interpretive methods to study media and culture in the U.S., and comparatively, from a feminist perspective. Studying with Todd Gitlin, Michael Burawoy, Arlie Hochschild, and Robin Lakoff, and taking courses in several other fields, allowed by the flexibility of our program (philosophy, anthropology, comp lit, French, German), prepared me to use this kind of methodology in an interdisciplinary way. I am now employed 75% in a new “Media Studies” Department, a new department I was privileged to “found,” while retaining a 25% appointment in Sociology where I continue to mentor graduate students. My work focuses on examining communities of women and how they use popular culture to make sense of their lives.  My dissertation book, Women Watching Television, looked at media in women's lives generally, and my next book, Speaking of Abortion, examined their interpretive practices around the issue of abortion; I’m currently planning a follow-up to ideas developed there about politically conservative women consulting “alternative” scientific authorities. Both emphasize social class and generational comparisons. Recently I looked at adolescents and the media they use, with an emphasis on internet practices (The New Media Environment), and also at sexuality and social class in Hollywood film (my collection Media and Class).  I continue to write on media audience research (Feminist Reception Studies in a Post Audience Age) and on feminism from an interdisciplinary perspective (The Handbook of Contemporary Feminism, Media Ready Feminism and Everyday Sexism).  At Virginia I have been Executive Director of the Virginia Film Festival and at Illinois Producer of the Roger Ebert Festival of Overlooked Films. I don’t think any other sociology department would have given me the flexibility to learn film as part of my studies, and I am profoundly grateful to Berkeley Sociology for that, and for its unusual openness to interdisciplinarity.


Shigeru Kojima

I have been engaged in teaching, research, creating, and beyond at University of Shizuoka in Japan since 1987. I owe a lot to Berkeley, so that I have contributed donations to I-House and UC Alumni Association almost every year. I am most grateful to late Professor John A. Clausen, my thesis advisor as well as ex-head of the Institute of Human Development. I translated his book, Sociology of the Lifecourse, into Japanese in 1987, and it is now the sixth printing. I visited him at home or in his office whenever I visited Berkeley and we had a good time. I also invited him to Japan in 1989 and we had lecture campaigns together in Tokyo, Shizuoka, and Kyoto. I am also grateful to other faculty members including Bob Blauner, Claude Fisher, and Ann Swidler. Bob Blauner was helpful as one of my thesis committee members; Claude Fisher taught us how to make papers stronger; Ann Swidler's seminar at Stanford was most impressive. My experiences at Berkeley were quite valuable and I am proud that I studied there for several years to obtain a Ph.D. I hope the Department of Sociology will continue to prosper.

Steve Gold

Doing graduate work at Berkeley was a positive experience for a number of reasons, including the cultural richness of the Bay Area, the brilliant and dedicated students, the renowned faculty, and a policy that encouraged students to develop their own intellectual agendas. In addition to taking courses in sociology, I spent a lot of time outside of the Department. I worked as a research assistant for five years at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory and took courses in the Department of Anthropology where, during the early 1980s, students and faculty interested in international migration congregated.

Since completing my Ph.D., I have taught sociology and done research --involving international migration, ethnic economies and qualitative methods -- at a liberal arts college in Los Angeles and currently, at a Big Ten University. My years at Cal provided with me a sound education, the ability to work independently, and a basis on which to establish relations with Berkeley alums.

Linda Blum

1978: I arrive at Berkeley, 21 years old, with little cultural capital, some political idealism, and the shakiest hopes of succeeding in graduate school. I relied throughout on Michael Burawoy and Arlie Hochschild and my warm, funny, brilliant fellow students for the recognition to reimagine myself. I became set on showing that the social world too could be reimagined.

Breathtaking moments: Gertrude Jaeger's last seminar on Freud; Habermas' seminar on Weber. Picketing to name and sanction sexual harassment. The incredible privileges of TAing for Jim Stockinger, twice, of discussing Michael's early drafts of 'Painting Socialism' and Arlie's early fieldwork for The Second Shift. Fighting among our dissertation group over Habits of the Heart, listening to women of color find their voices in Arlie's gender seminar.

Since leaving, I have written two books, moved around, survived some pretty cynical days, finally learned how to teach, and now am wrestling with a new project. I try to use the critical qualitative methods I felt so inspired by to puzzle out issues of changing gender and class relations. I've chosen issues I was ambivalent about, and then worked hard to decenter myself and learn from those I interview. I also work hard at writing accessibly following what an ex-senior colleague once snidely labeled, 'the Berkeley School of Pop Sociology.' A breathtakingly ironic moment: a Christian memoirist's suggested reading list starts with my At the Breast: 'It's a work of sociology, but it's so well written you won't mind! (Debra Reinstra, Great With Child.)

Thomas Janoski

I received my Ph.D. in sociology of Berkeley in 1986 working with Harold Wilensky, the late Reinhard Bendix, Neil Smelser, Claude Fischer and Michael Wiseman (economics). I was a post-doctoral fellow at Michigan State University, served on the faculty of Duke University for nine years, and have been at the University of Kentucky for the last fifteen years. 

My work is at the intersection of work and politics with what I call a left or optimistic Weberian approach to political economy. My dissertation was published as The Political Economy of Unemployment: Active Labor market Policy in West Germany and the United States (1990, University of California Press). It won the "Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship" award of the political sociology section of the ASA. Other books include Citizenship and Civil Society: A Framework of Rights and Obligations in Liberal, Traditional, and Social Democratic Regimes (1998, Cambridge University Press), and The Comparative Political Economy of the Welfare State (co-edited 1994 with Alexander Hicks and also published by Cambridge).  

Since moving to the University of Kentucky, I have continued my interest in political sociology and work.  I co-edited  "A Handbook of Political Sociology" (Cambridge, 2005) with Alexander Hicks, Mildred Schwartz and our fellow Berkeley colleague Robert Alford (who passed away during the project and to whom the handbook is dedicated).  My NSF project "Strangers into Citizens: A Comparative/Historical Analysis of Naturalization Processes in 18 Countries," has finally reached the press stage with The Ironies of Citizenship:  Naturalization and Integration in Industrialized Countries (August 2010, Cambridge).  

I am currently working on an NSF projects comparing lean production and teamwork at six automobile factories (three Japanese transplants and three American companies).  A book is in press with Darina Lepadatu called Diversity at Kaizen Motors, and I am working on a project called the "Vortex of Work: Integrating Globalization, Lean production, and the Web."  I have also published a number of articles on the processes of volunteering that integrates social network analysis with opinion leaders and Jeffrey Alexander's theory of civil society (Comparative Social Research 2009, Journal of Civil Society 2010).  The intent is to bring activism and everyday volunteering into one theory.

While our cohort was at Berkeley in the late 1970s and mid-1980s, the sociology department was in a transition from the faculty who had built its excellent reputation over the years to its present reincarnation. During our cohort's time at Berkeley, we saw many retirements and a few hires. We had many good times from WOASH (Women against sexual harassment) demonstrations to parties at the old church near the Albany BART station. And we had many battles. Having traveled around the world for two years, going through military service, and working in numerous factories, Berkeley was a unique and special experience. 

Jeffrey Alexander

When I came to Berkeley in 1969, I was one of two or three students NOT given any financial assistance -- my academic record at Harvard was that bad! In fact, I was fortunate simply to have been admitted. My first two years at Berkeley revolved mainly around becoming a true Marxist intellectual, learning as much from Fred Block and the journal then called "Socialist Revolution" (later "Socialist Review") as from my courses. As my politics moved from revolutionary to democratic socialist (and eventually to left liberal), however, I became aware that I had, in fact, experienced several key intellectual episodes during those first years -- these were the courses from Neil Smelser, Robert Bellah, and Leo Lowenthal. I managed to corral all three to work with me on my grandiose dissertation, which became even more so in the four years after its completion, and have kept closely in touch with Smelser and Bellah ever since.

So, my Berkeley years were an intense education in high theory, starting from the culture of classical and New Left Marxism and moving from there into the classical and modern more strictly sociological domain. It was an experience that formed me, and removed me from "mainstream" sociology, for the rest of my academic life.

After leaving Berkeley, I spent 25 years as an assistant to full Professor at UCLA. I published lots of theory there, tried to start an intellectual movement or two, learned a great deal at the beginning from the microsociology that flourished there, and helped to build up, through my years of administration, one of our discipline's better, and certainly most balanced departments. Two years ago I moved to Yale, where I have reluctantly become a Chair once again, resuming institution building in a very interesting academic and disciplinary milieu.

In the more recent decades, the half life of the Berkeley "bomb" have continued to illuminate and charge my intellectual life. I've been trying to elaborate a cultural sociology, which has started off from Bellah's "symbolic realism," and I have been trying to develop a performative turn, which continues to be influenced by unyielding resistances to structural logics of Herbert Blumer, who was a kind of negative pole for me during my graduate student years. I have just completed editing a festschrift for Neil Smelser (with other Berkeley graduates, Christine Williams and Gary Marx). Neil and I worked closely together even over the last five years, developing at CASBS at Stanford, where he was Director, a collaborative theory of cultural trauma and collective identity.

So, "Berkeley" continues to be formative in my life, even as I have moved away from the notions of anti-capitalism and public intellectualism that formed my graduate life in the early 70s. There was a burning intensity to political, ethical, historical, and above all theoretical questions that made an indelible impression me, and that I hope continues to inform my work and intellectual identity today.



Michael Messner

I arrived in Berkeley in 1979 as part of a very large cohort of graduate students, many of whom are leaders and important researchers today. We were immediately immersed in a quirky and exciting seminar, co-taught by Michael Burawoy and Neil Smelser. In retrospect, I can see that my main experience as a grad student was benign neglect; I received little direction with my work, and almost no professional socialization. In some ways, this laissez-faire context ended up serving me well; I connected with several talented grad students, learned a great deal from them, and was mostly free to pursue my interests.

Radical sociology drew me to the UCB sociology department. By the late 70s, I had become involved in networks of men who were grappling with questions related to the theory and practice of feminism. I wasn't sure if anybody at the University was doing that sort of work, but I did know that some men in the Berkeley community were doing anti-rape organizing. Hooking up with Bob Blauner aided me in getting in the ground floor of what eventually developed into a multidisciplinary network of scholars who study the social construction of gender and men. A highlight of grad school for me was being a TA in Bob's course on men and masculinity one of the first such courses taught in the nation. Bob was a brilliant discussion facilitator even in a very large class. His course became the template from which I developed my own course. The interests that I developed at UCB on men and feminist politics, and on gender and sports provided a foundation for much of my subsequent work on these topics.

James Jasper

I am a moralist and a hedonist, and went to Berkeley in 1979 because it promised serious political analysis and a luxurious environment (the Bay Area, not Barrows Hall). I was attracted to the Frankfurt tradition's combination of politics and culture, the same intersection that all of my books have explored in one way or another. At the same time, observing Leo Lowenthal at close range helped me see the underside of that tradition. The authoritarian personality in the flesh!

Friends from that period Judy Auerbach, Vicki Smith, Mary Waters, Chris Williams and many others remain the central reason I attend the ASA meetings (almost) every year.

I had a fairly normal junior-faculty career at NYU until the tenure process, the breathtaking pathologies of which persuaded me to leave the academy altogether. Being a writer is a lot like being unemployed, except it doesn't pay as well. I also spent the late nineties doing some consulting for nonprofit theaters, speculating in the fevered stock market, joining the rentier class and digging for buried treasure near Palmyra.

Currently I am at work on a sociological theory of strategic interaction, a kind of cultural and institutional answer to game theory. I am also trying my hand at writing fiction and doing stand-up comedy. (I get easy laughs just from announcing I am a sociologist.)

Judith Auerbach

I decided to do my graduate sociology work at UC Berkeley because Michael Burawoy told me I'd never get in! I got my undergraduate degree in sociology at Cal, and was much inspired by Michael, notwithstanding his assessment of me. I thought I'd be focusing on social theory and culture studies, but instead, got caught up in early feminist scholarship and found it more compelling. My dissertation work landed me in the realm of social policy, and at the time, it was difficult to find anyone on the faculty specializing in this area, so I didn't have a real mentor. Also, being totally self-supporting, I spent much of my time working at multiple jobs each semester (I used to joke that I didn't work 'with' any faculty members, but I worked 'for' plenty of them). Indeed, one of my proudest moments came when, fighting to unionize the graduate student employees at Cal, I was called to testify before the board that was adjudicating the unionization drive, and discovered I had the unique distinction of having held nearly every graduate student job category at the university! Anyway, my policy interests led me away from academia after teaching for a couple of years. Through a circuitous path, I entered the realm of federal science policy, and now work at the NIH in social and behavioral research on HIV/AIDS. On this pathway, I had a stint at the White House science office, which, for a while, made me the ASA's poster child for non-academic careers! The critical sociology training I had at Berkeley (chiefly acquired from my classmates) has allowed me to be more of a public intellectual than a mere bureaucrat. I get to help shape a science agenda, defend sociology to the biomedical crowd, and direct lots of money to where it belongs!

Elisa Facio

I arrived at Berkeley in 1979 anxious and eager to become a sociologist. However, the department was not quite prepared for a dark-skinned Chicana raised by working class parents. There were no safe spaces for my language, values, experiences, or transformations. Working with Michael Burawoy, Arlie Hochschild, Bob Blauner, Tomas Almaguer, Troy Duster and a core group of Chicanas in the department provided me with valuable skills, as I experienced unpredictable states of self-doubt and confidence, to negotiate a relatively safe space to develop critical race and gender perspectives on Chicana feminism and older Mexican women.

After graduating, I received a post-doctoral fellowship in medical sociology at UCSF then I was off to Boulder, where I joined the sociology faculty at the University of Colorado. However, I moved tot he Department of Ethnic Studies where critical studies of anti-racist discourse and Chicana feminisms were welcomed. During my transition, I completed my first book Understanding Older Chicanas (SAGE, 1996). My teaching, research, and activism continue to focus on age and aging in the Chicana community. Being a student of Berkeley sociology, the commitment to social change or desalinization, lead me to Cuba where I've conducted research on Women and the Revolution during the last several years. I'm currently completing my second book on Cuban sex workers.

Despite the alienation experienced at Berkeley, I developed an identity as a Chicana sociologist, not a sociologist who happens to be Chicana. I have taken skills and values learned at Berkeley into interdisciplinary areas of research, teaching, and community activism in the Denver/Boulder area.

Mary Waters

I came to graduate school to get a PhD so I could get a job as a professor, but I soon learned that most of the students who were finishing their PhDs could not find jobs and were very bitter about it. Barrows Hall was deserted; the faculty almost all seemed either sad or angry, and they were profoundly alienated from the discipline they were supposedly teaching us about. The grad students were left alone mostly to socialize each other, with some rather bizarre results. I decided to get an extra masters degree in demography so that I would at least be able to get a job as a consultant. In the demography department I found the kind of pre-professional training in research I was looking for. Ironically, it also led me to appreciate the huge void that was the sociology department. The culture of the sociology department supported an intellectual freedom to chart your own course in a bold direction. This was both exhilarating and frightening. I went to demography whenever I wanted straightforward direction, I went to sociology when I wanted to think big thoughts. The fusion of the two has defined my academic work.

There were some bright spots in what I now remember as an unusually stressful time in my life. Stan Lieberson, Ken Bock, Neil Smelser and Michael Burawoy taught me a lot.. Carol Hatch provided the kind of useful feedback on ideas and the encouragement that many of us craved from the faculty. Mostly though I learned from, and had fun with, my fellow graduate students, most especially Chris Williams, Judy Auerbach, Jim Jasper, Bob Freeland, Mike Messner, Laurie Wermuth, Terry Strathman, and Kwok-Kian Woon. Their accomplishments define the positive Berkeley experience for me.

I did get a job as a professor when I finished my PhD in 1986 in the Harvard Sociology Department and I have been here ever since. My research is in the areas of immigration and race and ethnicity.

Suava Salameh

The clear sign of changes in socialist Poland of 1970s was the reopening of sociology departments, dismantled in the earlier, socialist phase. Staggering numbers of students, myself among them, flocked to analyze what type of society we lived in. Study there failed to provide me with insightful answers to that question, nor prepared me for such sociological exploration. For that I had to tap into Western Sociology, rendered by the Berkeley Sociology Department.

While in Berkeley, I was undergoing simultaneous adaptations -- to graduate studies, to marriage and double parenthood, to an immigrant life in the American society. In my first year there, I encountered a young Michael Burawoy who was intensely pondering on the very questions at the center of my interest'the nature of real existing socialism, its future and their theoretical implications for Marxism. Throughout many, long years he had tremendous patience, commitment and intellect to nurture my own answers to these questions. I was also very fortunate to learn doing sociology from Neil Smelser, David Matza, Bob Blauner, Vicky Bonnell Jerry Karabel and Neil Fligstein. These long years in the graduate program rewarded me with dear friendships, (many of them lasting), most especially, with Bob Freeland, Judy Auerbach, Terry Arendell, Gay Seidman, Steve Stoltenberg, Charlie Kurzman, Lynne Haney, Huyn Ok Park. They sustained me both emotionally and intellectually.

After graduation, I joined Sociology Department at Haverford College. Drawing on the training from Berkeley's Western Sociology, I now reach back to post-socialist Eastern Europe to explore how these systemic transformations modify our classical sociology's conceptions of the origin and nature of capitalism, property and agency.

Alessandro Ferrara

I came to Berkeley in 1977 on a Harkness Fellowship. Initially I circled around the Philosophy Department, much too analytical for my European background at the time, and in 1979 I got on the Ph.D. program offered by the Department of Sociology. This has been the best educational experience of my life: I still remember with great nostalgia the passionate climate of discussion in the theory class taught by Michael Burawoy for us incoming graduate students. There I met my friends and companions of my graduate studies: Brian Powers, Chuck Stephen, Neal Aponte, Luciano Costa Neto and many others. And later the intellectual encounters with Neil Smelser, my thesis supervisor, Ken Bock, and Jürgen Habermas – who was visiting professor in 1980 – shaped my professional life. On Habermas’s invitation, I finished writing my dissertation on Rousseau’s ethics of authenticity in Frankfurt, in 1984. The same year I returned to Italy and got my first teaching position in Rome. I kept writing my books in English  – Modernity and Authenticity (1993), Reflective Authenticity (1998), Justice and Judgment (1999), The Force of the Example (2008), The Democratic Horizon (2014) – ever since. After a 4 year parenthesis of teaching in Parma, since November 2002 I’m a professor of political philosophy (but I also continue teaching social theory) at the University of Rome Tor Vergata.

Berkeley has nourished my own inclination for theory (where else is sociological theory so much cherished?) but above all has given me a mental habitus and a set of standards that I regard as the most preciousresource for salvaging what one of my friends used to call “a sense of purpose” amidst the less edifying aspects of academic life and professional involvement.

As for the impact of my thoughts, I’m happy enough if my ideas somehow have been shaped by the world around me, as opposed to being totally idyosyncratic. I’m happy to see that in contemporary developments in social and political theory corroboration can be found of the basic idea I got from Berkeley, namely that the source of normativity is ultimately to be located in identity. 

Victoria Smith

I arrived at Berkeley in 1979, at a time when many graduate students were intellectuals and political activists and few were getting good academic jobs. People were inspired by the possibility of using academic skills to study power and inequality in the service of social change. This spirit seems to me to be the defining essence of Berkeley sociology. From what I know of Berkeley today, that spirit remains quite lively, with the added bonus that now Berkeley students routinely get hired by leading sociology departments and are able to spread it around the country.

I went to Berkeley with the goal of doing research on the family but historical timing set me off in a different direction. 1979 was the year that Burawoy published Manufacturing Consent. Harry Braverman's Labor and Monopoly Capital had been published recently. In my first term of graduate school I was introduced to and inspired by both these books; from Braverman and Burawoy it was off to my own research, publishing two books and various articles on the labor process, corporate restructuring, power and inequality.

I am now a full professor at UC Davis. Professionally, I've been involved in the Labor Studies Division of the SSSP and the Organizations, Occupations and Work Section of the ASA (chairing the latter last year). I endeavor to teach 'Berkeley sociology' by presenting a critical perspective on the world and by trying to get students to consider how they can use their university knowledge to change the world post-graduation.


Ron Rothbart

If I use translation, web presence, awards, and purchase price as measures of influence, my most influential works pre-date and post-date my brief, ten-year sojourn in sociology. "Economic Law and Class Struggle", authored in my early, Marxist period has been translated into French, Italian, and German and appears on two web sites. Getting Started with Workspace, a product of my later, corporate period, was translated into German, French, and Swedish, garnered an award for excellence in technical communication, and was available only with the purchase of a software system that cost approximately $200,000.

By contrast, my dissertation remains unpublished; the article derived from it, "Homes Are What Any Strike Is About" (The Journal of Social History, 1989), is merely listed on the web; and my post-doctoral "The Ethnic Saloon as a Form of Immigrant Enterprise" (International Migration Review, 1992) is only summarized. 

Actually, my personal favorite is "Venturing on Your Own" (Oakland Tribune, 1985), an account of trekking in the Himalayas during a brief respite between sociology courses and orals. As for how my "sociology shaped the world", that would have to be the articles I wrote in the early 90s for the Trail Guardian, a newsletter I founded to spearhead local hikers' class struggle against mountain bikers who were lobbying for access to narrow trails on Mt. Tamalpais.

Sociology did not become a career for me, or even a pastime. If I had to choose between an ASA conference and backpacking in the Sierras, you'd find me at that mountain lake. To make a living, I took up technical writing, became a manager of technical writers for a while, and rode the high tech boom up and down and around. Now I'm working at a small software firm in Berkeley within walking distance of campus. 

I certainly learned a hell of a lot during my sojourn in sociology at UC Berkeley. But by far the greatest benefit came from meeting my wife, Anne Machung, fellow refugee from sociology and hiking and backpacking partner for life.


Anita Garey

Anita Garey passed away on September 24,  2014

As a second-generation immigrant and the first person in my family to go to college, I entered the doctoral program in Sociology in 1981 with very little idea of what graduate school was all about. My interests in the sociology of motherhood and in work/family issues were encouraged and furthered by working with Arlie Hochschild and Nancy Chodorow, and in 1991 I taught a senior seminar on the sociology of motherhood, a topic I still teach.

Berkeley influenced my development as a sociologist is many ways, but perhaps most importantly in the strong grounding I received in qualitative methods and interpretive analysis. A few years ago, one of my graduate students told me that what was noticeable about my approach to qualitative research was that I was not apologetic about it and I like to think that is one way that I take Berkeley Sociology out into the world.

After finishing my dissertation (later revised and published as Weaving Work and Motherhood), I spent a year conducting fieldwork on women's employment and kinship-based patterns of childcare in a village in Botswana. From 1995 to 2000, I was a faculty member in the Sociology Department at the University of New Hampshire, and am now an Associate Professor in the School of Family Studies at the University of Connecticut. In 1999, I spent a wonderful year at the Berkeley Center for Working Families and found myself again immersed in and inspired by the Berkeley intellectual tradition at the lively weekly seminars facilitated by Arlie Hochschild and Barrie Thorne. My work continues to focus on families and their interconnections with other social institutions. With Karen V. Hansen, another Berkeley alumna, I co-edited Families in the U.S.: Kinship and Domestic Politics, an interdisciplinary collection of core readings that reflects our Berkeley Sociology roots.12.30.23

Jennifer Pierce

Feminist pioneers in Sociology have described their experiences in graduate school as a time of intense isolation, as the lone woman scholar who faced intellectual uncertainty and professional exclusion. By the time I entered graduate school in early 1980s, the numbers of women graduate students had increased dramatically ­ one-half of my entering cohort of 20 students were women. Although there were only two women on the faculty when I entered the program, by the time I left in 1991, there were six women among the 24 faculty members, including a number of prominent feminist scholars. Far from feeling isolated, I was an active participant in many feminist study groups, on the editorial board for the Berkeley Journal of Sociology, and in the graduate student union that organized teaching assistants in the 1980s.

Berkeley Sociology's critical mass of feminist (and feminist-friendly) faculty and graduate students helped support my early research interests in gender, work, and ethnography which are, in turn, reflected in my first book Gender Trials: Emotional Lives in Contemporay Law Firms (U of California 1995). After landing a tenure track professor position in a Sociology Department that did not value feminism or ethnography, I moved to my current academic home in the Department of American Studies at the University of Minnesota, an interdisciplinary, intellectually intense, and feminist-friendly space. Most recently, I have become the director of the Center for Advanced Feminist Studies at the University of Minnesota where I am working to develop funding for faculty, graduate student and community partnership research projects on gender, work, and immigration in the Twin Cities.

Eloise Dunlap

Eloise Dunlap, Ph.D. is a sociologist and graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. She has extensive qualitative experience in research and analysis with African-American families, drug users, drug dealers, distressed households, sex workers, and with drug-abusing families. Her work is rooted in an attempt to understand violence, drug use and markets, male-female and family relations and whether and how these relationships contribute to African-American family instability. Dr. Dunlap has conducted survey research, focus groups, intensive ethnographic studies, including lengthy in-depth interview and detailed observations in many African-American households, communities, drug settings, and a variety of inner city social context. Her research has been focused upon the nature of family interaction patterns and how the presence of drug users/sellers affects family life.

Some of her research includes: Director of first large scale crack for crime study entitled Careers in Crack, Drug Use, Distribution, and Non-drug Criminality; Co-Investigator of large scale ethnographic study entitled Natural History of Crack Distribution/Abuse; an ethnographic examination of sex for crack in New York City as part of a seven major cities study administered for NIDA by Birch and Davis; an examination of drug dealers family life and violence entitled Violence in Crack User/Seller Households: An Ethnography; a focus upon co-occurring factors entitled Co-Occurring Drugs And Violence In Distressed Households; and Males in Distressed Households: Co-occurring Drugs and Violence. Dr. Dunlap has observed numerous times over the years the restructuring and reformulation of family relationships based on drug use and/or sales. She has numerous publications analyzing various issues related to drug use and or sales, violence and other social phenomenon. At the present time, Dr. Eloise Dunlap is Principal Investigator of a NIDA grant entitled Marijuana/Blunts: Use, Subcultures and Markets designed to investigate blunts consumption among youths; use practices, social settings and markets.

Dr. Dunlap's long-term career goal is to increase public understanding and uncovering social processes by which behavioral patterns of aggression and violence are practiced, as well as learned and passed on from one generation to another, and drug use and co-occurring factors among inner city distressed families. She is working to develop a more accurate and precise conceptual and empirical understanding of the nature, types, and severity of aggression and violence within African-American families when one or more members participates in crack and other drug consumption and/or sales. A relevant sub theme of such a research agenda involves understanding the progression or its lack from alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana to hard drug (cocaine, crack, and heroin) use and/or sales as well as violence in various social contexts especially within the family.

Johnson Makoba

Originally from Uganda, I became a graduate student in the Sociology Department at UC Berkeley in 1981. I received my M.A. in 1983 and a doctorate in 1991. I joined the University of Nevada as Assistant Professor in 1990 and was tenured to Associate Professor in 1995. I have been chair of the Sociology Department since 2001.

Since coming to the United States to study at UC Berkeley, my dream has been to help other Ugandans who have not been as fortunate as I have. In 1993, I founded the Foundation for Credit and Community Assistance (FOCCAS), a non-profit organization providing financial and educational services to families in eastern Uganda. As of December 2002, there were 17,500 families benefiting with a projected 33,000 by 2005.

The sociological experience at UC Berkeley has had a profound influence on both my personality and professional career. This experience has not only inspired me to pursue an academic career, but more importantly, to realize that education is the key to self-empowerment and to helping others to help themselves. I remain deeply indebted to Professors Franz Schurmann, Troy Duster and Kenneth Bock who influenced my intellectual development and continue to serve as my academic role models.

Tom Wells

I have been a writer and editor since earning my Ph.D. at Berkeley.  I’ve written three books: The War Within: America’s Battle over Vietnam, Wild Man: The Life and Times of Daniel Ellsberg, and (with Richard Leo) The Wrong Guys: Murder, False Confessions, and the Norfolk Four.  I’m currently finishing a book on the innocence revolution in the justice system with Richard Leo.  I’ve edited books on a diversity of topics, though it’s a poor way to make a living….  I’ve received fellowships and grants from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, and the Open Society Institute, among other institutions.  I live in Boulder, Colorado.

Pedro Noguera

My professional goal and desire has been to use the knowledge and skills I have acquired to have an impact upon the issues I care most deeply about - racism, inequality and social justice, in the US and throughout the world. For the past fourteen years I have served as a Professor in Schools of Education; for eleven years at Berkeley and now for three years at Harvard University. In addition to teaching and doing research at the university my quest to have an impact has led me to take on a number of roles in public life. I served as the Assistant to the Mayor of Berkeley (1986-'88), an elected member of the Berkeley School Board (1990-1994), a member of the Centers for Disease Control Task Force on Youth Violence (1994-1996), and as a consultant to numerous NGOs, community based organizations, local and state governments. Though I have not taught in a sociology department since graduating in 1988, the skills and insights I acquired during my years of graduate study at Berkeley have profoundly shaped the questions that motivate my work and the approach that I take as I attempt to intervene in the social world.


John Foran

I came to Berkeley in 1982, M.A. from UCSB in hand. I spent six years getting my Ph.D., learning Persian, participating with wonderful characters on the BJS, hardly taking any sociology courses, benefiting enormously from a dissertation writing fellowship my last two years (the first time this program was tried I was in the right place at the right time), and going through lots of personal and political changes and adventures. Great years in an otherwise alienating place. My professors Vicki Bonnell, Tom Gold, and Ira Lapidus in History supported my obsession, leaving me alone to do a too-long dissertation on social change in Iran from 1500 to the revolution.

By great good fortune I landed in an even better place, UCSB, in 1988, and have been learning the arts of teaching and writing here happily ever since. I have been part of making UCSB the place to be in the areas of global and international studies, race/ethnicity/nation, culture, and feminist studies, all of which I dabble in. I've had great colleagues and students, and met a wonderful partner, Kum-Kum Bhavnani, on the job. Books on revolution have been produced, and latterly delayed by the arrival of two wonderful children, Amal and Cerina. We also spent two marvelous years as visitors at Smith College . I wish everyone could have such an interlude in the middle of their careers.

Sociology has been by tuns fun, meaningful, exasperating, challenging, rewarding much the same can be said for being at Berkeley in the 1980s.

Lois West

Berkeley was the natural place for me after a decade: first as radical community organizer Colorado and Iowa; then as a teacher in an African-American inner city public school in Los Angeles, finally, as an early women's studies graduate and women's public policy wonk in Washington, D.C. We published the first study on military family violence at the Center for Women Policy Studies thanks to support from the Carter Administration.

Berkeley in the 1980s offered a good antidote to the Reagan Administration. There was the sense of intellectual excellence, maintaining high standards, and creating social change. This was the height of political organizing for various causes: against apartheid in South Africa, for the U.N. Women's Decade, and the graduate student union. University funding and support from faculty gave me the cultural capital to pursue studies on militant labor in the Philippines in the 1980s (Militant Labor in the Philippines, Temple University Press 1997), and cross-cultural feminist social movement organizations (Feminist Nationalism Ed. Routledge 1997.

The Berkeley state of mind is also a bubble: a center of intellectual narcissism, radical parochialism, and social hypocrisies. A male sociologist told me to forget about pursuing family life because to dedicate oneself to the sociologists calling was a full-time endeavor (unless, of course, one had a wife). Later, in the early 1990s, I was proud to have sociologist Jim Stockinger as my son's pre-school teacher, demonstrating the effects of Berkeley sociology even on small children!

The world outside Berkeley is another story. In my present position, Florida's salary compression means I am an associate professor making less than a beginning assistant professor at most universities Sabbaticals are competitions among a privileged few so I have never had one. Governor Bush dismantled the state Board of Regents and now they fight over which businessmen at what level will run the schools. I daily dream of switching careers. However, I was privileged to be a part of the Berkeley Experience, and am very grateful to everyone I knew while there.

David Jernigan

I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Health, Behavior and Society at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and the Director of the CDC-funded Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth. I teach courses on social and behavioral aspects of health, media advocacy, and alcohol policy. Previously I co-founded and worked at the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at Georgetown University. I have also taught at Mills College in Oakland. I co-founded the Marin Institute for the Prevention of Alcohol and Other Drug Problems, and worked there for 13 years.

I am the author of Thirsting for Markets: The Global Impact of Corporate Alcohol, was principal author of the World Health Organization's recent Global Status Report on Alcohol and Global Status Report on Alcohol and Youth, and co-authored Media Advocacy and Public Health: Power for Prevention, and Alcohol in the Developing World: A Public Health Perspective, published by WHO and the Finnish Foundation for Alcohol Studies and winner of the Addiction Book Prize. I served as a member of the WHO Director-General's Alcohol Policy Strategy Advisory Committee, and have worked as an expert advisor to both WHO and the World Bank. I have consulted with and trained thousands of public health advocates, and authored numerous peer-reviewedarticles and training curricula on environmental approaches to prevention, media advocacy, and the prevention of alcohol-related problems.

Although my current work is more in public health than sociology, I view it as a natural extension of the worldview of Berkeley sociology, as I have contributed to a paradigm shift away from an understanding of alcohol issues as private and individual, and towards a view of the problems and their solutions as public and systemic. I have always valued thinking and asking questions sociologically, and I appreciate Berkeley for encouraging that.


Steve Derne

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.

David Allen


Dr. David Allen had several careers, all of which were motivated by his politics and passion. At age 16, David Allen became an activist after the assassinations of MLK and Robert Kennedy. He actively opposed the war in Vietnam and was sympathetic to the Black Power movement. Dr. Allen got his Bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1974 and his Master’s degree in Sociology from the University of California at Berkeley in 1986. He got his PhD in 1995 from the University of California at Berkeley, writing his dissertation on a topic he loved: the New Left.

Dr. Allen began his academic career as an adjunct instructor of sociology at the University of California at Santa Cruz and then the University of California at Berkeley. He then became an assistant professor of sociology at Phillips University and an assistant professor of sociology at Georgia Southern University in 1998. After that, he took several visiting assistant professor positions at Drexel and Montgomery County Community College. He joined the faculty at Temple first as a visiting assistant professor of sociology in August 2004 and later became an assistant and then associate professor of teaching instruction. 

Dr. Allen’s intellectual interests concerned the turbulent politics and organizing of the sixties and the aftermath of the movements of that decade.  Some of his recent talks have had provocative titles such as “McLuhan as prophet of the sixties, 68ers as harbingers of the Global Village,” “May ’68: The student revolt that changed the history of revolution,” and “Conflating the cultural and political in social movement theory today.” He has published on philosophy and politics in the classroom and on the disappearance of childhood, and has presented a creative multi-media work called “Imagination is seeking power” at the Fourth International Social Theory Consortium. He was working on a manuscript asking the question: “Is it possible to reinvent Communism in the 21st Century and if so in what forms?”  and had intended to use his upcoming sabbatical to finish the work.

Dr. Allen will be remembered by his colleagues at Temple and the many students who loved his classes. Dr. Allen taught such diverse courses as Development of Sociological Thought, American Ethnicity and Comparative Societal Development, Honors Introduction to Sociology, Social Inequality, Social Movements and Social Change, Race and Ethnicity, Ethnicity and Immigration in America, and The History of Race in America. He was a valuable department citizen, teaching the courses that needed to be taught without hesitation.  He was an active participant in meetings and sought to make the department a better and more intellectually stimulating place. When he regularly brought in outside speakers to talk about Berkeley in the 1960s, students were completely engrossed and full of questions. 

His colleagues describe him as a “sensitive, kind humanitarian,” “generous, kind, warm, interested in and knowledgeable about many subjects and devoted to his family,” “a good soul,” “ a vibrant thinker,” “a wonderful and dedicated teacher and a good department citizen,” and  will remember his “amazing wit and his deep, deep love for deep, deep thinkers.” Many of his students were genuinely devoted to him and had the following to say about him and his classes: “He was open to all viewpoints and even encouraged people to speak up with what they were thinking;” “Very genuinely kind and caring. Cares a lot about the topics discussed in class. He is very open and personable. The class feels like a book club almost- somewhere where we are all able and willing to speak and take in information;” “He is very enthusiastic and passionate about the material, which makes it easier to feel the same way;” “He was open with his students about a range of different topics. We learned from him and he also learned from us;” and, simply, “He is an amazing professor.” I think that sums up how many of us feel about David Allen: We learned from him, and he was indeed amazing.

Kim Hays

My dissertation compared ethical behavior at two different types of boarding schools. As soon as my fieldwork at the schools was finished, I married a Swiss mathematician, Peter Stucker, and moved to Bern and here we still are, together with our son Thomas (born 1993). I wrote my dissertation in Bern and then turned it into a book, Practicing Virtues: Moral Traditions at Quaker and Military Boarding Schools, while working as a teaching assistant at the University of Bern sociology institute. To my amazement, eight years after its publication the book continues to interest people who work at boarding schools. Soon after it came out I was asked to speak to Quaker educators, and during the past year (2001-2002) I've spoken twice at St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire, and once at The Hill School outside Philadelphia.

This recent attention to my book has been especially surprising (not to mention fun) because I no longer consider myself a sociologist. I left the Bern sociology institute when it became clear that I had no future there, took a few required education courses, and spent five years teaching English-as-a foreign-language to bright, university-bound teenagers at Literargymnasium. While I was teaching English, I began freelancing for an English-language newspaper and website based in Switzerland, and eventually I quit teaching to concentrate on writing. Today I have two regular columns in Swiss News, a monthly newspaper. I still teach one English class a week to adults, and I also freelance for a company called Cendant, which organizes cultural orientation sessions. They hire me on a regular basis to prepare either English-speakers for a move to Bern or German-speakers for a move to the US.

Although I don't 'do' sociology anymore, my work as a journalist and an inter-cultural consultant for Cendant uses all kinds of skills I acquired during my graduate-school days, particularly as an interviewer. Something else I still have from those days is an abiding affection for a number of the people who taught me, especially Robert Bellah, Neil Smelser, Ann Swidler, and Victoria Bonnell, and for the Berkeley friends I made, especially Lyn Spillman, Marty Gilens and his wife Janet Felton, Davida Weinberg, Elsa Tranter, and Claudius Ohder.

Orville Lee

None stated

Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo

My research, teaching and activism have addressed how immigration brings about dramatic changes in people's lives, looking particularly at the realm of gender and work, and now, at movements for social change. I was a graduate student in the 1980s. Berkeley was a wonderful place to live. The campus offered so much, and I liked the radical mystique of it all, but truthfully, as a graduate student I was quite alienated from the Department of Sociology. There was a lot of posturing in seminars and benign neglect from professors. Since I'd never before been a PhD student, I didn't know to expect anything better. Now, I wish I had acted more assertively and with less anxiety. Still, seminars exposed me to big debates and books, and I was lucky to participate in several supportive study groups with other graduate students. Back then, there wasn't much sociological research on immigration, so I was able to read broadly in fields like history, anthropology, and ethnic studies. When I began working with Michael Burawoy, he gave prompt, challenging feedback, and really pushed me to develop analysis of my ethnographic and interview material. He helped me understand the intersections of the macro and the micro in my study of Mexican undocumented migration, gender and settlement. My work on that topic, and on the resurgence of paid domestic work strives to hit a balance between sociological analysis and social advocacy.

Arlene Stein

I arrived at Berkeley in the early 1980s, when many of us wanted to be writers, teachers, and activists rather than "professional sociologists."   The department offered a friendly home for the ambivalent and the eccentric. I entered wondering where the program would take me, and ended up becoming socialized into the academic milieu, or at least Berkeley's version of it.

The Department nurtured a vision of sociology that was publicly engaged, writerly, and theoretically sophisticated.  For me, Nancy Chodorow, Robert Bellah, and some wonderful graduate student colleagues kept this vision alive. I was involved in a number of study groups in the department, as well as in intellectual and activist worlds beyond the university. 

It was a rude shock to eventually find out that American sociology is not, on the whole, dedicated to the same ideals I learned at Berkeley.  Nonetheless, I seem to have found my place within it. Upon graduation, I taught for two years in England at the University of Essex.  I then took a position at the University of Oregon, where I taught for seven years. I'm now Associate Professor of Sociology at Rutgers University, where I'm also on the Graduate Faculty of Women's Studies. 

How has my sociological work shaped the world? In small ways, perhaps. I've been active building a presence for sexuality studies in sociology. I take mentoring grad students very seriously, and gain much from these relationships. And most recently, galvanized by world events, I've become a frequent op-ed writer, producing bite-sized sociology for mass consumption.

Larry Shinagawa

Larry Hajime Shinagawa received his doctorate in 1994 from the University of California at Berkeley in Sociology. He is the Director of the Center for the Study of Culture, Race, and Ethnicity at Ithaca College. Formerly, he was the longstanding Chair of the Department of American Multi-Cultural Studies and the Departments of Ethnic Studies at Sonoma State University. He is an acknowledged authority on research and methodology in race relations and Asian American Studies and a former director of the California State University Census Information Center. In the past six years, he has worked on numerous federal and non-profit research projects to study racial classification, intermarriage, health delivery systems, redistricting, and political behavior. He has authored numerous articles and publications on applied research and social policy topics regarding multi-cultural studies. He has been featured on the Donahue Show, All Things Considered, CNN, and various radio programs and newspapers. He currently teaches in ethnic studies and American multi-cultural studies, develops curricula in such programs, serves on boards and projects among ethnic minority community organizations, works on many research projects involving race and ethnic issues, and is currently the managing editor of the journal Ethnic Studies and a board member of the National Association of Ethnic Studies (NAES).

Paul Johnston

I became a freshman college dropout on the occasion of Kent and Jackson State in 1970, worked for the UFW, was drafted by & then expelled from the US army, then worked for SEIU for 9 years. All this left me strangely fascinated with Habermas, strikes, & the difference between public & private sectors. Fired for recalcitrance by SEIU in 1982, I hurriedly earned a PhD in sociology at Berkeley in 1988, then joined the faculty @ Yale in 1989. My big regret re: Berkeley was my failure to stay & feast at length upon that sumptuous sociological smorgasbord.

At Yale I directed the organizational behavior program, finished my book Success While Others Fail, studied urban, organizational, educational & political sociology, and worked in the administration of John Daniels, New Haven's first African-American mayor. After the passage of Proposition 187 in CA I took another leave, this time to study labor union response to the attack on immigrants. One year turned into two and then to resignation from Yale, as my family decided to stay here in our native California.

Now I enjoy the luxury of working part-time as director of the Salinas-based Citizenship Project (a labor-led immigrant community-based workers' center in Salinas CA), and part-time as a grant-funded associate researcher at UC Santa Cruz. I'm wrapping up my study of the convergence of the new labor movement and the emergence of citizenship among Mexican immigrants in California (tentatively, Citizens of the Future)' and don't know what comes next.

Karen Hansen

In the Berkeley sociology department, I found my intellectual home. I was drawn to Berkeley in part because it was teaming with smart, creative colleagues from the editorial collective of Socialist Review, and in part because it was far and away the best place to study historical sociology from a feminist perspective.

My interest in women's history, class inequality, and contemporary families deepened at Berkeley and continues to motivate my teaching and scholarship. Berkeley gave me analytic tools, the courage to be creative and independent in my choice of topics and methodological approaches, and role models. If I close my eyes, I can easily see Arlie Hochschild's long hands sculpting a thought or hear Carol Hatch wryly skewering a sloppy argument.

With that Berkeley stamp of methodological innovation (quirkiness?), my new book, Encounter on the Great Plains: Scandinavian Settlers and the Dispossession of Dakota Indians, 1890-1930, uses historical maps, photographs, and oral histories to explore racial-ethnic inequality and coexistence on an Indian reservation.

In 1999-2000, I was a fellow at the Berkeley Center for Working Families. To the delight of my contemporary sociologist friends, I was finally doing research squarely in the present! With Barrie Thorne and Arlie providing leadership and inspiration, the center proved the ideal forum for analyzing inequalities and kinship, profoundly shaping my book, Not-So-Nuclear Families: Class, Gender, and Networks of Care.

I have co-edited three anthologies with colleagues who have Berkeley ties: At the Heart of Work and Family: Engaging the Ideas of Arlie Hochschild, and Families in the U.S.: Kinship and Domestic Politics, with Anita Ilta Garey; and Women, Class, and the Feminist Imagination, with Ilene J. Philipson.

Tomoji Nishikawa

Tomoji Nishikawa, Ph.D. (aka Tomoji Ishi), our dear friend, colleague, husband, father, son, and a co-founder of Japan Pacific Resource Network, died at home on Tuesday, 26 August 2003, following his courageous ten-year battle with brain tumor.

Tomoji was born in 1946 in Shiga Prefecture in Japan, the only child of Mrs. Kiyoko Nishikawa and the late Mr. Tomokazu Nishikawa. Tomoji and his wife Virginia Louie moved to San Francisco in 1978. He became an active member of the Japanese American community, volunteering at Nobiru-kai Japanese Immigrant Services in San Francisco, and was employed with Asian Manpower Services in Oakland. Soon after they moved to Los Angeles as Tomoji entered a master's program at UCLA to study Asian American Studies in 1980. He went on to receive a Ph.D. degree in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley in 1995.

Tomoji graduated from prestigious Tokyo University majoring in Sociology in 1971. He refused, however, to follow the expected path which would have led him to the Japanese power elite. Instead, he eventually left Japan to become a world traveler. Experiencing multi-cultural societies abroad, he came to develop a critical perspective on Japan, and published a number of articles in Japanese. Along with the activities with the Japan Pacific Resource Network (JPRN), Tomoji devoted himself to educational activities focusing on American multicultural society, and the corporate social accountability of Japanese corporations.

Tomoji co-founded the Japan Pacific Resource Network in 1985. JPRN is a public interest and educational nonprofit organization promoting civil rights, corporate social responsibility and community empowerment in the context of U.S.-Japan relations. Along with United Methodist Church ministers, he also co-founded in 1990, the African/Asian American Roundtable (AAART), an interracial support group fostering dialogue between African American and Asian American communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. He taught Asian American Studies and Sociology at the City College of San Francisco from 1996 until May of this year.

Tomoji's areas of teaching and research expertise included: political sociology, race and ethnic relations and international migration, modernization and development, sociology of contemporary Japan, Asian American Studies, community economic development, globalization, sociological methods, and social problems, business and society. His doctoral dissertation, submitted to the Sociology Department at U.C. Berkeley, was entitled, Diversifying the State: American Grassroots Groups and Japanese Companies. This project investigated the unexplored relationships between American grassroots groups and Japanese multinationals in the U.S., and revealed how such groups were able to make gains within the American political process.

In 1992 his brain tumor was discovered, and thus started Tomoji's long, courageous battle with the condition. Throughout the course of his ten-year struggle, Tomoji continued to play an active role as a community activist, educator, lecturer, researcher and writer. He never failed to make his family laugh, even at times of great difficulty. He passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his family.

Tomoji is survived by his wife Virginia, his daughter Emi, his son Ken, and his mother Kiyoko. After cremation, Tomoji's remains are scattered in the Pacific waters between the United States and Japan. Tomoji's family requests that contributions be made to the National Brain Tumor Foundation ( or the Wellness Community of the East Bay ( in his honor. We would like to thank all of the staff of the Kaiser Hospice Care program and the members of the Wellness Community Brain Tumor Support Group for their help and support.

A number of papers and articles by Tomoji in both English and Japanese can be found at During the two and a half months that Tomoji was under hospice care, his friends and colleagues formed a support group via e-mail ( Contributions of shared memories are welcomed.

There are many special qualities by which we remember Tomoji, but the very first thing many of us recall is his smile. We pray for Tomoji that his soul may rest in peace, and believe that his dream for racial equality and international social justice shall be remembered. We thank Tomoji for his courage, smile and love for all of us. Tomoji's spirit and dream will live on.

~ Family and friends of Tomoji


Arvind Rajagopal

I came to the U.S. to do a master's degree in electrical engineering in 1981, and eventually ended up at Berkeley in 1984. My first formative experience at Berkeley, like for so many, was the first year methods course with Michael Burawoy, and TA-ing for him. Berkeley was my first experience of a relatively cosmopolitan environment in the U.S. and in addition to grad school, I was also tasting the pleasures of civilized friendship. Todd Gitlin and Bob Bellah were my advisers, and they were very tolerant with me. This was part of the freewheeling, pluralistic spirit of Berkeley sociology, which I valued. But I think that the theoretical understanding of western modernity that I absorbed was historically limited, and this was clearest when studying non-western societies.

My dissertation was a reception study of a Hindu epic serialized on Indian television in the late 'eighties. The movement that grew in the serial's wake became the largest in post-independence history in India. In effect, I was able to study a historical conjuncture in formation; the movement went onto reshape Indian politics and culture. My book on this, Politics After Television (Cambridge, 2001) has won a couple of prizes. Since then, I've studied questions of religion and secularism, the cultural politics of emerging markets, and specifically, of late, urban politics in Bombay. I now teach at New York University in media studies. I enjoy working here. And I've found that New York City is an easy place to get used to.