Yale Bulletin and Calendar

May 10, 2002Volume 30, Number 29Two-Week Issue

Roger V. Gould

Sociologist Roger Gould, a specialist
on conflict and violence, dies

Roger V. Gould, professor of sociology and political science, died on April 29 at the age of 39.

The cause of death was leukemia, according to a family spokesman.

Considered by many of his peers as "the best young historical sociologist in the country," Professor Gould was an authority on social conflict in a range of historical settings, who believed that studying a range of social clashes could lead to an overarching understanding of the roots of violence.

Professor Gould wrote widely about the relationship between social upheavals and interpersonal relationships. The New York Times said of his work: "Where many sociologists traded mostly in the currency of theory, Dr. Gould believed it was important to conduct research on the ground. For his first book, 'Insurgent Identities: Class, Community, and Protest in Paris from 1848 to the Commune,' (University of Chicago Press, 1995), he examined local archives before concluding that the traditional explanations for the turbulence of that period were wrong. It was not a class struggle, he argued, but a turf battle in which one's neighborhood and one's associates were more important than economic status." That book is considered seminal in the field.

In addition to his studies of mid-19th-century France, Professor Gould published work on the United States in the post-Revolutionary era and on Corsica from 1840 to 1893. He also did theoretical research on the phenomenon of violent conflict and the formation of social hierarchies across cultures.

Mr. Gould received his bachelor's and doctoral degrees from Harvard in 1984 and 1990, respectively. Before joining the Yale faculty in 2000, he served 10 years on the faculty of the University of Chicago. He was editor of The Journal of American Sociology 1997-2000.

Professor Gould was at Columbia University as a Russell Sage Foundation Visiting Scholar at the time of his death.

He is survived by his wife, Erin Graves Gould; his mother, Lois; and a brother, Anthony. Donations in his memory can be made to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.


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