Featured Alumni

PhD's in Sociology of Gender, Political Sociology, and Medical Sociology

Sociology of Gender

Patricia Hill Collins '69 PhD 1984
Patricia Hills Collins served as the 100th President of the American Sociological Association in 2009.  Distinguished Professor of Sociology at University of Maryland, is a social theorist whose research and scholarship have examined issues of race, gender, social class, sexuality and/or nation. Black Sexual Politics: African Americans, Gender, and the New Racism (Routledge, 2004) received ASA’s 2007 Distinguished Publication Award. Her other books include Fighting Words: Black Women and the Search for Justice (University of Minnesota Press, 1998); and From Black Power to Hip Hop: Racism, Nationalism, and Feminism (Temple University Press in press for 2005). She has published many articles in professional journals such as Ethnic and Racial Studies, Signs, Sociological Theory, Social Problems, and Black Scholar, as well as in edited volumes.

Patricia Hill Collins

Fatima Mernissi, PhD 1974
Author of "Dreams of Trespass: Tales of a Harem Girlhood," Fatima Mernissi was a professor of sociology at the Mohammed V University in Rabat, Morocco, a leading authority on women in the Muslim world and a pioneering Islamic feminist. She passed away in Rabat on November 30, 2015. 

Fatima Mernissi

Barrie Thorne, PhD 1971
Professor of sociology, University of California, Berkeley. Barrie has written extensively on family and gender. She is the U.S. Editor of Childhood: A Global Journal of Child Research, a past chair of the ASA's section on the Sociology of Children and Youth. In 2002, she received the ASA's Jessie Bernard Award. Her recent books include "Feminist Sociology: Life Histories of a Movement," (ed. with Barbara Laslett), New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1997.

Barrie Thorne

Nancy Chodorow, PhD 1975
Nancy is a leading feminist sociologist and psychoanalytical theorist. She was a professor of sociology at the University of California, Berkeley and is presently a practicing analyst in Boston. Among her publications, her classic book, "The Reproduction of Mothering: Psychoanalysis and the Sociology of Gender" (1978), was derived from her doctoral dissertation.

Nancy Chodorow

Lynn Davidman, PhD 1985
Beren Distinguished Professor of Modern Jewish Studies, University of Kansas.
Lynn is a qualitative sociologist who works in the fields of gender studies and the sociology of religion. She has published three books: "Tradition in a Rootless World" (Univ. of California Press, 1991), which won a National Jewish book Award, "Motherloss," (Univ. of California Press, 2000), and "Feminist Perspectives in Jewish Studies" (Yale, 2004), co-edited with Shelly.

Lynn Davidman

Kay Jenkins, PhD 2002

Chair of the Sociology Department at the College of William and Mary. She is finishing her book manuscript, Sacred Divorce, based on five years of ethnographic research in seven religious traditions. A sociologist of religion and the family, Kay has published "Awesome Families: The Promise of Healing Relationships in the International Churches of Christ" (Rutgers University Press, 2005). She was recently chosen as an Engaged Scholar Fellow with the Congregational Studies.

Kay Jenkins

Henry Rubin, PhD 1996

Rubin earned his master's and Ph.D. from Brandeis University in 1996. His main focus is Sociology of Gender and Sexuality, Classical and Contemporary Social Theory, Sociology of Media & Culture, and Qualitative Methods. In fall 2011, Henry was appointed as the Dean of Liberal Arts at Quincy College. 

Political Sociology

Dimitri Rupel, PhD 1984
Doctoral Thesis: "Slovene Literature as an Instrument of National Liberation."
Prolific author and former professor of sociology at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, former Slovenia Ambassador to the United States, presently Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia and a key figure in the 2008 Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Dimitri Rupel

Rubén Rambaut, PhD 1978
Rubén is a leading sociologist of contemporary immigration in the United States and a professor of sociology at the University of California, Irvine. His book "Legacies: The Story of the Immigrant Second Generation, with Alejandro Portes" (Berkeley and New York: University of California Press and Russell Sage Foundation, 2001) won the 2002 Distinguished Book Award of the American Sociological Association and the 2002 Thomas and Znaniecki Award for best book in the immigration field.

Rub�n Rambaut

Johnny Williams, PhD 1993
A sociologist of race and religion in the United States, Johnny is an associate professor of sociology at Trinity College.

Johnny Williams

Lew Friedland, PhD 1985
Professor, journalism and mass communication, sociology at University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Sociology of Civic Engagement and Mass Communications. Lew has recently published, with Carmen Sirianni, "Civic Innovation in America: Community Empowerment, Public Policy, and the Movement for Civic Renewal" (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2001) and "Public Journalism: Past and Future" (Dayton, Ohio: Kettering Foundation, 2003).

Lew Friedland

Medical Sociology

Donald Light, PhD 1970
Medical and economic sociologist, Donald Light is a professor of comparative health care systems at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Founding fellow at the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, Light has also been a Fellow of the Netherlands Institute for the Advancement of Science. Among his many publications on medicine and healthcare, he is co-author of "Benchmarks of Fairness for Health Care Reform" (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996).

Donald Light

Victoria Pitts, PhD 1999
Professor and Chair of Women’s Studies at Wesleyan University, Victoria is the author of "Surgery Junkies: Wellness and Pathology in Cosmetic Culture" (Rutgers University Press, 2007) and "In the Flesh: the Cultural Politics of Body Modification" (2003, Palgrave), as well as many articles and book chapters on social and cultural aspects of the body. She has won an Advancement of the Discipline Award from the American Sociological Association.

Victoria Pitts

Valerie Leiter, PhD 2001
Professor and Chair, Department of Sociology at Simmons College. Valerie's research focuses on children and youth with disabilities, their families, and public programs that provide services to them. She received the Irving K. Zola award for Emerging Scholars in Disability Studies in 2004 for her work on "Parental Activism, Professional Dominance, and Early Childhood Disability." She is currently a William T. Grant Foundation Scholar, working on a five-year project examining the transition to adulthood among youth with disabilities.

Valerie Leiter

Susan E. Bell, PhD 1980

Susan is the Myrick Freeman Professor of Sociology and the Sociology Department Head at Drexel University. A nationally known scholar on women's health, Susan has appointments on the editorial boards of several top medical sociology journals and has served for many years as her department's chair. The author of numerous articles and chapters, her most recent book is "DES Daughters: Embodied Knowledge and the Transformation of Women's Health Politics" (Temple University Press, 2009).

Susan E. Bell

Phil Brown, PhD 1979

Phil is an esteemed professor of sociology at Northeastern University, specializing in medical and environmental sociology. He is the author or editor of scores of articles and nine books, including "Toxic Exposures: Contested Illnesses and the Environmental Health Movement" (Colombia University Press, 2007). He is also well-known for his research on Catskill Culture. He has served as chair of both the Medical Sociology and the Environment and Technology sections of ASA and recently received the Fred Buttel Award for Distinguished Contributions to Environmental Sociology.

Phil Brown