- Comparative and Historical Sociology
- Economic Sociology and Organizations
- Family/Gender /Sexuality
- Global, Regional and Transnational Sociology
- Health, Medicine, and Biosocial Interactions
- Deviance, Crime and Law
- Political Sociology and Social Movements
- Race and Ethnicity
- Social Networks
- Social Stratification
Continued from Main History Page
Wendell Bell Memoir Includes Tale of Yale Sociology in '60s and '70s
Wendell Bell's recently published memoir Memories of the Future (Transaction Publishers 2012) is filled with stories from Bell’s life—growing up in California, serving as a navy pilot in WW2, going to college and graduate school after the war, becoming a sociologist and a futurist, learning the skills of horsemanship, and, of course, additional stories from his nearly 49 years at Yale (32 as professor and 17 as emeritus). Bell uses these stories partly as illustrations, showing how images of the future produce actions that, in turn, help shape the future, even though chance and circumstance, unexpected twists and turns, can enter in and sometimes create surprising results. He includes some of the history of Yale sociology, and, more generally, descriptions of the struggles to control Yale University’s future, especially during the late 1960s and 1970s.
It was a time of turmoil and contention, including, for example, protests against the Vietnam war; mass demonstrations during the trial in New Haven of Black Panther leader Bobby Seale; and battles within the Yale community about opening Yale College to women students, adding more racial diversity to the Yale student body, hiring more women and members of minority groups on the faculty, establishing a business school, starting new programs in African American Studies and Women’s Studies, increasing faculty research and student learning in foreign countries, and transforming Yale from a national to a global university.
It was an unsettling and worrisome time, a stressful and sometimes depressing time. It was a time when some timid souls always agreed with the powerful, and it was a time when some Yalies thought change would be the ruination of traditional Yale (“Oh my God,” one Yale historian wailed, “if women are admitted to Yale College, then instead of graduating a thousand potential national leaders a year, we will graduate only five hundred!”). It was a time when a few perennial rebels always pushed a verbal clenched fist into a dean’s face, and it was a time when a few faculty members revealed hidden talents for demagoguery.
Yet it was also an inspiring and hopeful time, a time when some administrators and faculty members, despite their exhaustion and sleeplessness and despite the resistance and criticism they faced, showed patience, persistence, and polite diplomacy as they worked to move Yale (or, as it sometimes seemed, “to drag Yale kicking and screaming”) into the twentieth century.
There is more, much more in the book, including the threat to Yale Sociology during the presidency of Benno Schmidt in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Finally, Bell is delighted that the cover image for the book is a painting, “Serendipity,” by his wife, Lora-Lee, because she is an essential part of so many of the events depicted in the book and, of course, shared his life’s journey.
“August B. Hollingshead’s “Four Factor Index of Social Status”: From Unpublished Paper to Citation Classic”
Julia Adams, Yale University
David L. Weakliem, University of Connecticut
In the 2011 Yale Journal of Sociology, Adams and Weakliem introduce the first published version of August Hollingshead’s “Four Factor Index of Social Status” (1975), probably the most-cited unpublished paper in American sociology. August de Belmont (“Sandy”) Hollingshead, who chaired the Yale department from 1959-65, was born in Lyman, Wyoming in 1907, and died in 1980. The son of a stockbreeder, he received his bachelor’s (1931) and master’s (1933) degrees from the University of California-Berkeley. Hollingshead became interested in the social structure of contemporary societies in the summer of 1931 when, he wrote, “I made a field trip to British Columbia, Canada, and observed...” [continued...]
The Secret History of Sociology at Yale: “Billy” Sumner’s Charisma And Its Problematic Institutionalization
By B. Nadya Jaworsky and Jeffrey C. Alexander
Prepared for “133 Years of Sociology at Yale and Today,” a departmental reunion held in April 2007 and attended by alumni from all over the world. One of the central themes for the weekend was a look back at the department’s origins. See also: “Sumner’s Tales: Reflections on 133 Years of Sociology at Yale,”Footnotes: Newsletter for the American Sociological Association. Vol 35, no. 7 (Sept-Oct 2007). Download PDF.