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Gary S. Becker, University of Chicago, economist who won a Nobel Prize for applying economic methods to shed light on sociological topics such as crime, education, and marriage, died on May 3 at the age of 83.
Donald J. Bogue, NORC and the University of Chicago, a widely regarded demographer, died of natural causes at the age of 96 on April 21, 2014, in the home of his daughter Gretchen Maguire in Dyer, IN.
Mary Cay Sengstock, Wayne State University, died on May 8, 2014, at the age of 78 after a nineteen year battle with cancer.
William Averette Anderson
William Averette Anderson’s passing on December 29, 2013, was the result of a bicycle accident while on vacation in Kauai, Hawaii.
Dr. William Averette Anderson—or Bill, to those who to knew him—had a career spanning over five decades, in which he significantly impacted the direction and growth of multiple scientific disciplines and enriched the scholarship of thousands of researchers throughout the world.
After completing his master’s degree in sociology at Kent State, Bill began his doctoral studies at The Ohio State University in 1962 in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. After his first year, however, several professors already had identified him as “top tier.” Three of these, Russ Dynes, Henry Quarantelli, and Gene Haas, received large-scale funding that established by the Disaster Research Center (DRC) in September 1963 and hired Bill. They began a journey that none could have envisioned.
This year marks the 50-year anniversary of the Alaskan earthquake. It became a focal point of study by Bill and several other DRC staff. This event also afforded Bill opportunity to interview officials in Crescent City, CA, who were impacted by the tsunami the quake triggered. Bill also had the opportunity to interview in Tasmania following the 1965 bushfire outbreak and after an earthquake in El Salvador. These events, and others, helped Bill conceptualize basic patterns of organizational change, functions of disaster subcultures, and gaps in disaster policy. These early analyses have withstood the test of time, and, equally important, they birthed his long career.
As civil unrest in numerous American cities became more frequent, so did DRC staff interviews in various locations. Bill believed that such events needed to be put into context so he and Russ Dynes explored the larger life cycle of disaster through trips in 1969, 1970, and 1971 to Curaςao, a Dutch territory of the Netherlands Antilles. They published a masterpiece documenting the origins and growth of social movements, This reflected an expanded vision wherein the notion of disaster, including riots, were placed into broader cultural and historical contexts.
In his oral history interview, an honor bestowed on him by the EERI, Bill stated, “The DRC and other researchers had to debunk a number of myths and counteract earlier social science perspectives that characterized social movements and other forms of non-institutionalized behavior as inherently negative or dangerous. Where would we be today if the civil rights movement had not developed in this country?”
In 1969, Bill accepted an Associate Professorship at Arizona State University (ASU). While there, he teamed with three others to publish Sociology and Social Issues. His analyses of collective behavior ranging from social movements, emergent groups, and yes, disasters, reveal another of his contributions to the profession. But Bill wanted to do more—much more.
In 1974, Bill, his wife Norma, and daughter Candice, left for Washington, DC, where Bill accepted a post with the American Sociological Association as the first full-time director of the Minority Fellowship Program. Today, this program celebrates 40 years of funding students of color pursuing graduate degrees—nearly 500 to date. After his one-year leave of absence from ASU, the family returned to Arizona where Bill had now been promoted to Full Professor. But a unique opportunity to impact research and nurture scholars throughout the world came the next year and they returned to Washington. Bill started at the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 1976, but he did not follow the typical pattern of quick departure—usually a year or two. Bill moved around within the NSF for over 20 years! During this time he also held concurrent assignments with other agencies, including the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President. Through these posts, his impact on disaster and hazards research surpassed that of any other single professional.
Bill participated in the founding of numerous groups that collectively and individually have provided the resources for scholars across a wide spectrum of disciplines. Mention of only a few illustrate the incredible contributions of this man: National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research (NCEER), National Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES); and Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI). These, of course, are in addition to his role of nurturing research and student support at the DRC (now at the University of Delaware), the Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center at the University of Colorado, the Hazards Reduction and Recovery Center at Texas A & M University, and numerous other institutions.
In 1999, Bill was seconded, to use to the World Bank’s Disaster Management Facility, and two years later Bill joined the National Academies of Science (NAS) as the Associate Executive Director in the Division of Earth and Life Sciences and Director of the Disaster Roundtable. Prior to his retirement in October 2008, he stimulated greater awareness of the risk that disasters and hazards reflect for both our nation and those in developing countries.
In recognition of his superior professional contributions, the Learning from Earthquakes (LFE) program within EERI, awarded Bill and his NSF colleague Chi Liu, the inaugural “Special Recognition Awards” in 2007. In 2010, at the annual meeting of the International Sociological Association, the International Research Committee on Disasters presented him the Charles E. Fritz Lifetime Achievement Award.
At the time of his untimely death, Bill was continuing his contributions after retirement through service on numerous advisory boards whereby his colleagues across the country could seek his advice. In this way, Bill had planned on continuing his contributions as an academic change agent. For you see, when you dealt with Bill, it was never about him, it always was about you. So Bill, know that we miss you, we are so grateful to have known you, and that your inspiration will motivate all of us to carry the vision forward.
Bill is survived by his wife of 45 years, Norma Doneghy Anderson, and their daughter Candice Anderson and her husband Dorian Butts. In understanding Bill’s passion to increase the number of persons of color and women in the hazard and disaster mitigation field, his wife Norma has established the William Averette Anderson Fund for Hazard and Disaster Mitigation Education and Research, fondly called the Bill Anderson Fund (billandersonfund.org/).
The obituary is based on remarks made by Thomas E. Drabek at the “Celebration of Life” for Dr. Anderson on March 22, 2014.
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Roderick Douglas Bush
Rod Bush, the epitome of the scholar-activist, was recognized as an internationalist, humanist, and Black revolutionary who devoted his life to fundamental social change. After a very brief illness, Rod passed on December 5, 2013, of cancer of the bile duct.
Rod was born on November 12, 1945, in Sanford, FL, in the then-Jim Crow South. His undergraduate years were spent at Howard University in Washington, DC, during its tumultuous/movement years, 1963–67. This was the period in which students demanded that Howard abandon its pursuit of imitating the “white Ivies” and become a Black university.
After completing his bachelor’s, Rod was accepted into the clinical psychology PhD program at the University of Kansas-Lawrence. During this time, he played a key role in the founding of the University’s Black Studies program. By 1972 he was ABD, and committed to the Black liberation struggle. He left the doctoral program to devote himself to community organizing and other efforts. While engaging in this movement activity, he was employed by several agencies in northeast Kansas and Kansas City, MO, area serving Black communities.
Rod relocated to San Francisco where he continued organizing and served as a research associate for the Institute for the Study of Labor and Economic Crisis for several years and a briefly with Oxfam America. It was with these agencies and the movement organizations that Rod demonstrated his commitment to a transformational justice. Rod’s life was grounded in love, community, and a profound belief in humanity. These values were also reflected when he moved to New York, where he served as the director of the prison education program for New York City Technical College’s Division of Continuing Education and as a coordinator for State University of New York Educational Opportunity Center.
As an activist, Rod was a member of some of the nation’s most progressive movement organizations—the Congress of African People, the Student Organization for Black Unity and the Youth Organization for Black Unity, the African Liberation Support Committee, and the Black Radical Congress—all Black nationalist and/or Marxist in their orientations. Rod’s participation and leadership in these organizations showed his commitment and dedication to producing fundamental change when it comes to combatting race and class oppression.
His research and writings prior to academia included a 1984 volume The New Black Vote: Politics and Power in Four American Cities. This work was developed within the context of a debate between a number of progressive organizations, activists, and intellectuals about the efficacy of Black electoral organizing as a means of social change. During this period, he also wrote a number of articles in which he attempted to understand the situation of the African American working class within the evolving structures of the capitalist world-economy, the changing political culture of the United States, and the restructuring of the division of labor. These works include his article “Racism and the Rise of the Right” written with a number of other scholars in Contemporary Marxism. In 1984 he further developed the analysis of race and class and social movements within a world-system in the article, “Racism and Changes in the International Division of Labor,” in Crime and Social Justice.
While attempting to deepen the theoretical analysis of the African American experience, he wrote a number of journalistic articles focusing on the general attack on labor, the impact of Reaganomics on Black people, and strategies for resisting the devastation of Black communities by these policies. By the mid-1980s it became increasingly clear that the strategies for change used over the last 150 years would not make the emancipatory and liberating changes that its militants had hoped. Immanuel Wallerstein had been calling for these movements to rethink their strategy. Rod had long agreed but found it difficult to implement. As organization after organization collapsed, he decided to return to academia to try to understand what had happened.
Rod completed his PhD work at SUNY-Binghamton, where he studeied under Wallerstein and Terence Hopkins, in 1992. His dissertation title was “Social Movements Among the Urban Poor: African Americans in the Twentieth Century.” It was this grounding that set the stage for his award-winning scholarship. His research agenda was dedicated to deepening our understanding of the dynamics of race and class.
His first major work, We are Not What We Seem: Black Nationalism and the Class Struggle in the American Century, an examination of the nexus of Black nationalism and the Marxist tradition in the struggle for Black liberation, won the 2000 Oliver Cromwell Cox Award of the ASA Section on Race and Ethnic Minorities. In 2000, The Black World Today named it one of the “10 Indispensable Books.” His next major work, The End of White World Supremacy: Black Internationalism and the Problem of the Color Line, was awarded the ASA Marxist section’s Paul Sweezy award (2010) for outstanding book. His analyses showed that racism was a constitutive component of capitalism; the struggle against racism must ultimately target the capitalist system. His final work, co-authored with his wife, Melanie. E. L. Bush and titled: Tensions in the “American” Dream: Rhetoric, Reverie or Reality, is forthcoming in fall 2014.
In addition to awards for scholarship, his teaching was highly recognized. At Seton Hall, he was the recipient of an “Excellence in Teaching Award” in 1996 and the “President’s Award for Outstanding Service to Students” in 1998. After moving to St. Johns in 1998, he was awarded the “Faculty Outstanding Achievement Award” in 2011. The lessons of his scholarship carried over into the classroom as did his compassion for colleagues, students, and community. Rod was loved by his students; many with whom he worked with on pursuing societal transformation. In him they saw a professor who was full of life, happiness, and a passion to pursue societal transformation with a goal toward economic and social justice.
At annual sociology meetings, Rod’s role was critical when it came to bringing race and class issues to the forefront. He served as editor of The Griot, the newsletter for the Association of Black Sociologists (ABS). In 2008, he was a major player in organizing an important conference on “Race and Labor.” Since the early 1990s, he has been central in organizing sessions on the critical issues of race and class.
Rod’s passing leaves a major void among radical scholars. He brought compassion, integrity, commitment to human rights, and a genuine respect for others. Students and friends alike often mentioned his nurturing character, his warmth, his smile, and his genuine laugh.
Rod leaves behind his soulmate and collaborating partner for over 30 years, Melanie E L Bush and their cherished daughter Sarafina F. Bush; beloved son and daughter Malik L. Bush and Thembi N. Bush Tillman (Betty Ann Penda Kane); adored granddaughter Tajalia, and four treasured grandsons Angelo, Orlando, Jedidiah, and Wisdom. He is also survived by his goddaughter Isabella and her parents; friends Arcee “Pete” James and Renzie Taylor, mother-in-law “Rozzie”, son-in-law Jamal Tillman, daughter-in-law Donna Bush; aunts, uncles, and a multitude of cousins, friends, and family. He was preceded in death by his beloved daughter Sojourner Truth Bush (Cynthia Arnetta Holliday).
On August 18, 2014, the Critical Sociology Conference will devote two sessions to the Life and Work of Rod Bush at the San Francisco Marriott.
Robert G. Newby, Central Michigan University
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Mary Cay Sengstock
Mary Cay Sengstock, Professor of Sociology at Wayne State University, died on May 8, 2014, at the age of 78, after a 19-year battle with cancer. Mary Cay was an active member of the Wayne State sociology faculty since 1966. She earned her AM at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and her PhD at Washington University-St. Louis. She was an applied sociologist, certified social worker, and clinical sociologist. Mary Cay is well known for her research on Chaldean Americans, multiculturalism, diversity, and elder abuse/neglect identification and intervention. At the time of her death, she was planning her next research project, which involved interviewing persons with multiple episodes of cancer.
She was a two-time winner of the Wayne State Board of Governors’ Faculty Recognition Award, in 1984 for her book, Chaldean Americans (Center for Migration Studies, 1982), and in 2010 for her book, Voices of Diversity: Multiculturalism in America (Springer Press, 2009). She was the recipient of the Lester F. Award from the Sociological Practice Association, the Marvin Olsen Distinguished Service Award from the Michigan Sociological Association, and the Cultural Award from the Chaldean Federation of America in recognition of her continuous support and dedication to the Chaldean Community. She was a public sociologist, presenting numerous lectures on elder abuse, diversity, and the Chaldean community to professional as well as lay audiences.
Mary Cay also loved to teach and her devotion to students was impressive. Her favorite courses were Violence in the Family, Law and Society, Society and Aging, and Social Inequality. She received the Excellence in Teaching Award from the Wayne State‘s College of Liberal Arts in 1999. She served as Director of Graduate Studies in Sociology for 12 years. Mary Cay supervised 16 doctoral dissertations and 25 MA essays and theses, and on her deathbed she wrote comments for a student who successfully defended his dissertation on the day she died. Mary Cay was committed to helping non-traditional students succeed in graduate programs, especially women and those from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups. Her strong record of advising minority graduate students is partially responsible for the fact that our department is one of the leading producers of minority PhD students outside of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
Mary Cay served Wayne State University in many other capacities, including chairing both the Departments of Sociology and Criminal Justice and mentoring junior faculty. She was Grievance Coordinator for the American Association of University Professors-American Federation of Teachers for 17 years during turbulent times. She also served tirelessly on the Academic Senate—including four years as President—for 41 years. At the national level she was a board member of the Commission on Applied Sociology and the Sociological Practice Association. She served as Secretary-Treasurer for the Sociological Practice Section of the ASA.
Her devotion to promoting the education of diverse students was manifest in 2010 when she anonymously created “The Endowed Scholarship for the Promotion of Diversity” for graduate students. Mary Cay wrote, “In view of the fact that sociologists must be keenly sensitive to the diversity of groups and cultures in modern society, this endowed scholarship is established to provide assistance to students who contribute to this diversity. Award recipients will be graduate students who contribute to the knowledge and promotion of social and cultural diversity.” Upon her death, the endowment was renamed “The Mary Cay Sengstock Diversity Scholarship.” She is survived by her husband, two sons and a daughter, two stepdaughters, and three grandchildren.
Mary Cay will be remembered for her sustained efforts to mentor women and minority group members. Not only did she produce significant research in the area of diversity and elder abuse, but she applied her knowledge and made a difference in the university community as well as the community at large.
Contributions to “The Mary Cay Sengstock Diversity Scholarship” can be made by mailing a check payable to Wayne State University to: Wayne State University Fund Office, 5475 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI 48202. The memo line should reflect #060589 Sengstock Sociology.
Janet Hankin and Heather Dillaway, Wayne State University
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Austin T. Turk
Professor Austin Turk passed away unexpectedly on February 1, 2014, suddenly ending a sociological career that spanned more than five decades. After receiving his PhD in sociology from the University of Wisconsin in 1962, Turk spent 12 years at Indiana University-Bloomington before moving to the University of Toronto in 1974 and then to the University of California,-Riverside in 1988.
Nationally and internationally, Turk was acknowledged as one of the leading conflict theorists. His book Criminality and Legal Order, published in 1969, is considered a classic in the study of criminology, deviance, and the sociology of law. He coined the definition of criminality as “that deviant status assigned by legal authorities,” a definition that continues to challenge and inform discussions of conflicts arising from power differentials. His much cited work, Political Criminality: The Defiance and Defense of Authority (1982), promoted scientific investigation of political criminality and policing as an alternative to more partisan treatments. Most recently, Austin’s research focused on political violence and terrorism, including an article “Sociology of Terrorism” in the Annual Review of Sociology (2004), and the recently published book Examining Political Violence: Studies of Terrorism, Counterterrorism and Internal War (2013), with David Lowe and Dilip K. Das.
In addition to producing a long stream of path-breaking publications, Turk contributed many services to the profession throughout his career. He was Past President of the American Society of Criminology and of the North Central Sociological Association, and a former Trustee of the Law and Society Association (LSA). He served on the Sociology of Law Committee of the LSA, and twice chaired the Section on Crime, Law and Deviance of the American Sociological Association. He also served on the Ad Hoc Committee on the Criminal Justice Reform Act, the Awards Committee, and the Committee on Committees of the ASA.
Turk also maintained an active international presence throughout his career. He was a Visiting Research Sociologist at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa, a Visiting Professor at the University of Natal in Durban, South Africa, a Scholar-Diplomat for Africa in the U.S. State Department, and an invited lecturer at a number of universities in Japan and China. Turk was also active in the International Sociological Association, serving for a decade on the Board of the Research Committee for the Sociology of Deviance and Control.
Since joining the sociology faculty at the University of California-Riverside in 1988, Turk’s contributions include years of service as Chair of the Department of Sociology and as Interim Director of the Robert Presley Institute for Crime and Justice Studies, numerous committee memberships and consultancies, and regular teaching of popular undergraduate classes and graduate seminars on deviance, criminology, juvenile delinquency, political criminality, and the sociology of law.
Turk worked as a policeman in Gainesville, GA, in the 1950s. This experience informed Turk’s later research on policing in such contexts as South Africa, and also qualified him to be deputized by local police when this could help him gain access to research sites. In Riverside, it helped Turk obtain the security clearances he needed to conduct research on policing of local gangs.
Turk’s lifetime of distinguished research, service, and teaching earned him many honors. These include election as a Fellow of the American Society of Criminology in 1978, earning the Paul Tappan Award given by the Western Society of Criminology in 1989, and receiving the President’s Award of the Western Society of Criminology in 1999.
Turk is survived by his spouse, Dr. Ruth-Ellen Grimes, who shared with him a lifelong interest in sociology and criminology. Turk was laid to rest in Vermont on May 17, in a private service and burial. Many former students and colleagues paid tribute to Turk at a symposium at UC-Riverside on June 5. Turk’s legacy will also be the subject of a two-part thematic panel at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Criminology in November 2014.
At UC-Riverside, we remember Austin Turk not only as a scholar of note, but also as an exceptionally warm human being, a generous friend and a caring mentor, a bon vivant, and a gracious host. He will be sorely missed.
Raymond Russell, University of California, Riverside
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