FOOTNOTES NOVEMBER 2000
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Conferences
Publications
Meetings
Funding
Competitions
In the News
Awards
People
Caught in the Web
New Publications
Members' New Books
Policy and Practice
Obituaries

Conferences

Association for the Study of Nationalities (ASN). 6th Annual World Convention, International Affairs Building, Columbia University, NY, Sponsored by the Harriman Institute, April 5-7, 2001. Theme: “Nation-Making, Past and Present: Community, Economy, Security”. Papers or panels comparing cases of the post-Communist world with cases from other regions of the world are encouraged. Deadline for proposals: December 7, 2000. For information on panel and paper proposals: Dominique Arel, ASN Convention Program Chair, Watson Institute, Brown University, Box 1831, 130 Hope St., Providence, RI 02912; (401) 863-9296; fax (401) 863-2192; e-mail darel@brown.edu.

University of Bradford, UK. International Conference on “Law and Justice Under Fire: The Legal Lessons of the Yugoslav Wars,” April 7-11, 2001. The study of the Yugoslav crises can be extremely informative with respect to our understanding of the law. By bringing together in a single forum contributions from different disciplinary and professional backgrounds the proposed conference will make a real intellectual innovation, which may ignite further debate. Abstracts should reach the organizers by November 24, 2000. Contact John B. Allcock, j.b.allcock@bradford. ac.uk, Research Unit in S-E European Studies, University of Bradford, Bradford BD7 1DP UK; 44-1274 233993; fax 44-1274 720494.

Hawaii Sociological Association, 22nd Annual Meeting, February 17, 2001, Honolulu, HI. Theme: “Empowerment: Affiliation in an Age of Alienation.” Papers and proposals on all topics will be considered. Send papers or abstracts before December 10, 2000 by e-mail to Andrew Ovenden ovenden@hawaii.edu or barbaraj@hawaii.edu. Mail to Hawaii Sociological Association, c/o Sociology Department, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2424 Maile Way, Room 247, Honolulu, HI 96822; (808) 956-7291.

International Sociological Association Call for Papers 25th Annual Conference of the Political Economy of the World-System Section, Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, VA April 19-21, 2001 Theme: “The World-System in the 21st Century” The deadline for submission of papers or detailed abstracts is December 5, 2000. Include mailing address and e-mail address with your submission. Submit materials to: Wilma A. Dunaway, Department of Sociology, Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, VA 24061-0137; e-mail wdunaway@vt.edu. Consult the conference website for updated information. http://fbox.vt.edu/W/wdunaway/pews2001.htm.

International Sociological Association. Research Committee on Environment and Society (RC24), Conference on New Natures, New Cultures, New Technologies, Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge University, July 5-7, 2001. Abstracts (500 words) of papers should be submitted before December 1, 2000. After approval, full papers need to be sent in by May 15, 2001. Send abstracts and papers to: Peter Dickens, Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge University, Huntingdon Road, Cambridge CB3 0DG, UK.

John Jay College of Criminal Justice 2nd Biennial Conference on Street Youth, Social Control and Empowerment, May 2-5, 2001. The Street Organization Project is organizing a major international and inter-disciplinary conference entitled “Globalizing the Streets: Youth, Social Control and Empowerment in the New Millennium.” For further details on proposal submissions and registration see our website at: members.aol.com/streetresearch or contact David C. Brotherton, Department of Sociology, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 899 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10019; (212) 237-8694. Deadline for abstracts: December 1, 2000.

Social Science Research Council Eurasia Program invites applications for a dissertation workshop to be held in late March 2001. Graduate students in any social science discipline who are currently writing dissertations focusing on Central Asia and the Caucasus are eligible to apply. To be eligible, applicants must be US citizens or permanent residents, currently enrolled in an accredited PhD program, and at the writing stage of their dissertation projects. The deadline for the receipt of applications is December 15, 2000. Decisions regarding final participants will be announced by January 20, 2001. Please address all inquiries and correspondence, including applications to: Eurasia Program, Social Science Research Council, 810 Seventh Avenue, 31st Floor, New York, NY 10019; (212) 377-2700; fax (212) 377-2727; e-mail eurasia@ssrc.org; http://www.ssrc.org.

Publications

Sociological Practice, a journal of clinical and applied sociology, plans a special edition to be published March 2002. The focus of the edition is service learning and practicing sociology. Submissions that address theoretical, practical, pedagogical, and methodological understandings of this theme are encouraged. For more information contact Jeffrey R. Breese, Chair, Department of Sociology, Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, IN 46556; (219) 284-4514; fax (219) 284-4716.

Meetings

January 16-18, 2001. Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) Research Programs at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Department of Energy (DOE), conference in Bethesda, MD. Theme: “A Decade of ELSI Research.” An electronic brochure with a preliminary agenda is available on the website at http://www.tech-res-intl.com/ELSI/.

January 21-28, 2001. Italian Pugwash Group International School on Disarmament and Research on Conflicts (ISODARCO), 14th winter course. Theme: “From The Caucasus To The Atlas Mountains: Tensions On The Southern Flank Of Europe,” Andalo (Trento), Italy. Letters of application should arrive not later than December 5, 2000 and should be addressed to the Director of the School: Carlo Schaerf, Department of Physics, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Via della Ricerca Scientifica 1, I-00133 Rome, Italy; (+39) 06 72594560/1; fax (+39) 06 2040309; e-mail isodarco@roma2.infn.it.

Funding

University of Chicago. The Consortium on Chicago School Research seeks exceptional African-American and Latino/a candidates for the Spencer Postdoctoral Research Fellowship on Urban Education Reform. Fellows will conduct interdisciplinary research on urban schools, students, families and communities, with particular emphasis on policy and practice intended to improve the academic and social development of urban youth. Fellows will have access to the full range of university resources and receive an annual stipend of $45,000 plus health benefits. Applicants must have completed a doctoral degree in education, a social science discipline or related field, including dissertation defense, by the time of appointment. Appointments normally begin September 1, 2001. Preference will be given to scholars awarded doctoral degrees recently. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. The application deadline is January 5, 2001. Application materials are available on the Consortium’s website at http://www.consortium-chicago.org. For more information, contact Nikki Edgecombe, Consortium on Chicago School Research, 1313 East 60th Street, Chicago, IL, 60637; (773) 834-2302; fax (773) 702-2010; e-mail nedgecom@consortium-chicago.org.

Ford Foundation, U.S. Community Forestry Research Fellowship Program invites applications for dissertation, masters, and pre-dissertation fellowships in community forestry. The goal of the program is to advance community forestry in the United States by supporting graduate Participatory Research within rural and urban communities. The program awards up to $15,000 to dissertation fellows, up to $7,000 to masters fellows, and $2,000 to pre-dissertation fellows to support U.S. community research activities. The deadline for application is February 1, 2001. For more details about the program and information on how to apply contact: Carl Wilmsen, CFRF Program Coordinator, College of Natural Resources, 101 Giannini Hall #3100, University of California-Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720-3100; (510) 642-3431; e-mail cffellow@nature.berkeley.edu; http://www.cnr.berkeley.edu/community_forestry/.

International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX), in collaboration with the Kennan Institute/East European Studies Program of the Woodrow Wilson Center (WWC) will be administering a Symposium to bring together senior and junior US scholars to discuss a variety of political, economic, historical, and cultural topics related to the Black Sea Region. The Black Sea Regional Symposium is scheduled to take place March 29-April 2, 2001. The deadline for receipt of applications and all supporting documentation for this program is December 1, 2000. For more information on the Black Sea Regional Symposium please visit our web site at http://www.irex.org/programs/black-sea/index.htm.

International Research and Exchange Boards Announces Mongolia Programming 2001-2002. Application Deadlines: Mongolian Language Training Program Deadline: December 1, 2000, Mongolia Research Fellowship Program Deadline: January 31, 2001. Applications are available on-line at: Research Program: http://www.irex.org/programs/mongoliaprog/index.htm Language Program: http://www.irex.org/programs/mltp/index.htm. To obtain an application or request more information, please contact: IREX Mongolia Programs, 1616 H Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006; (202) 628-8188 x120; fax (202) 628-8189, e-mail mrf@irex.org.

University of Manchester, UK. Centre for Census and Survey Research. Marie Curie Fellowship. The Centre for Census and Survey Research has been designated a Marie-Curie Training Site, with fully funded fellowships for doctoral students (from European Union or Associated States) for periods of 3 months to one year. For further details, please check their web site http://les.man.ac.uk/ccsr/marie.htm or contact Ruth Durrell, Administrator, CCSR, University of Manchester, UK; 44-0161 275 4721; fax 44-0161 275 4722.

Princeton University. Center for the Study of Democratic Politics seeks up to five visitors for the 2001-2002 academic year. Applicants are invited to submit a vita, 2-3 page research proposal, and sample publication, manuscript, or dissertation chapter to Larry M. Bartels, Director, Center for the Study of Democratic Politics, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544-1013; e-mail to csdp@princeton.edu. Please include an e-mail address if available.

Remarque Institute of New York University invites applications for fellowships tenable in the academic year 2001-02. Applications are invited from candidates in the arts, humanities or social sciences with relevant interests in contemporary Europe. The one-year (post-doctoral) fellowship carries a stipend of $25,000, together with support for housing and travel. Senior fellowships are for one semester (non-stipendiary); assistance with travel and housing will be provided. For further information please write to Tony Judt, Director, Remarque Institute, New York University, 53 Washington Square South, New York, NY 10012; e-mail remarque.institute@nyu.edu. It would be helpful if applicants could specify for which fellowship they wish to apply. The deadline for applications is January 15, 2001.

Short-term Travel Grants Program provides support to U.S. Scholars for visits of up to two months to conduct postdoctoral research, present papers at conferences, or consult with colleagues in countries of Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Iran and Turkey. Short-term Grants are funded by the U.S. Department of State. For more information visit http://www.irex.org/programs/stg/index.htm.

Social Science Research Council announces new summer fellowships for innovative research on information technology (IT), international cooperation and global security. Deadline: January 12, 2001 (mailed from inside U.S.) and January 22 (all others) For more information and an application: e-mail Itcoop@ssrc.org. Program on Information Technology, International Cooperation and Global Security, Social Science Research Council, 810 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10019; (212) 377-2700; fax (212) 377-2727; www.ssrc.org.

Competitions

International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX) announces an open competition for the Contemporary Issues Fellowship Program. The program provides opportunities to qualified citizens of all twelve New Independent States to conduct research, write studies, gain experience and develop contacts in the United States with the goal of playing an active role in sustaining the transition to democracy, open markets, and civil society in their home country. Application Deadline: November 24, 2000. Contact your nearest IREX office or EIC for more information. In addition, the application can be downloaded from http://www.irex.org or http://www.irex.ru.

North Central Sociological Association. Call for nominations for the 2001 Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award. When making nominations send the following: a letter of nomination, a vita or listing of activities; documents supporting the nomination. The deadline is January 31, 2001. Send materials or address questions to Charles P. Gallmeir, Department of Sociology/Anthropology, Indiana University-Northwest, 3400 Broadway, Gary, IN 46408; (219) 981-4236; fax (219) 980-6972; e-mail cgallmei@iunhaw.iun.indiana.edu.

In the News

Paul Amato, Pennsylvania State University and Pepper Schwartz, University of Washington were guests on “To the Best of My Knowledge,” Pennsylvania State President, Graham Spanier’s monthly radio call-in show September 19.

Kevin Bales, University of Surrey Roehampton, UK was called to testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s hearing on trafficking and slavery, September 28.

Peter Dreier, Occidental College, co-authored an article with Jan Breidenbach, that appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Monday, September 25, 2000, “California’s Housing Crisis Affects Us All.”

Helen Fein, was cited in Chronicle of Higher Education, August 18, 2000 and interviewed on Moneyline (CNN) August 21, 2000 for her work regarding Armenian genocide.

Craig K. Harris, Michigan State University had work on agricultural biotechnology featured in a June 25 article in the Appleton, WI Sunday Post-Crescent.

Pepper Schwartz, University of Washington, appeared on the following; A&E Channel in August; “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in October, regularly on the Lifetime Channel, and “Dateline” in November.

William L. Smith, Georgia Southern University, was cited in an article by Chris Curry that appeared in the Bradenton (FL) Herald, July 29, 2000.

Gregory D. Squires, George Washington University, was quoted in Milwaukee Sentinel, September 10, article on insurance and lending discrimination.

Barrie Thorne, University of California-Berkeley, was quoted in a New York Times article, “Working Families Strain to Live Middle-Class Life”, September 10.

Frances Fox Piven, City University of New York, and William Julius Wilson, Kennedy School of Harvard University, were quoted in a New York Times article, “Not the Ordinary Kind, In Politics or at Harvard; A Flawed Social Scientist With a Political Agenda? Or a Politician Whose Insights Buttress His Science?”, September 9.

Lisa S. Rashotte, University of North Carolina-Charlotte, commented in the Charlotte Observer, August 24, and was interviewed on radio and two local television programs denouncing “Survivor.”

Awards

Cynthia Anderson, Iowa State University, received the ISU Foundation Award for Early Achievement in Teaching for 2000.

Kevin Bales, University of Surrey Roehampton, UK, won an Italian prize, the Premio Viareggio for his work on contemporary forms of slavery and for his book Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy (University of California Press, 1999).

Reuben A. Buford, University of Georgia, received the Sandy Beaver Teaching Award presented annually to faculty in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences.

James E. Coverdill, University of Georgia, received the Richard B. Russell Teaching Award, presented annually to three faculty at the University for excellence in teaching.

Patricia Yancey Martin, Florida State University, received the Katherine Jocher-Belle Boone Beard Distinguished Gender Award from the Southern Sociological Society and the Feminist Lectureship Award for 2001 from Sociologists for Women in Society.

Steve McDonald, Florida State University, won the 2000 James W. Prothro Student Paper Competition from the Southern Association for Public Opinion Research for his research on race/ethnicity and survey item wording.

Stephen J. Morewitz, Morewitz & Associates, had his research on ethnic differences in victims’ use of emergency medical care for domestic violence injuries selected as a Top Ten Injury Poster at the Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association in Boston.

Lori Parham, Florida State University, received the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) award from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), U.S. Department of Education.

Ana Prokos, Florida State University, received a dissertation fellowship from the Association for Institutional Research for 2000-2001.

Barry Schwartz, University of Georgia, received the William A. Owens Creative Research Medal.

Pepper Schwartz, University of Washington, received the Alpha Kappa Delta Distinguished Lecture award at ASA’s meeting, August 2000.

Kim Shuey, Florida State University, received the ASA’s Aging Section Graduate Student Paper Award 2000.

People

Jill Bystydzienski, Iowa State University, is President of the Association for Humanist Sociology for 2001.

Rand Conger, Iowa State University, was named to the Director’s Council of Scientific and Health Advisors, Iowa Department of Public Health, June 2000.

Harry Dahms, Florida State University, spent the summer academic term at the Georg August University Gottingen in Gottingen, Germany.

Brian Finch, will join the faculty at Florida State University upon completing a two-year, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation post-doctoral fellowship at the University of California.

Paula Goldsmid is the new Graduate Fellowships Coordinator at Pomona College.

Elizabeth Grieco, Florida State University, accepted a position with the U.S. Census Bureau.

Melonie Heron, Florida State University, will spend 2000 and 2001 at the Rand Corporation, while on leave from Florida State.

Larry Isaac, Florida State University, was elected vice-president of the Southern Sociological Society.

Patricia Yancey Martin, Florida State University, was Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Department of Sociology and Social Research at the University of Trento (Italy).

Irene Padavic, Florida State University, was awarded a fellowship at the Henry A. Murray Center at the Radclifffe Institute of Advanced Study for 2000-01.

Deborah Street, Purdue University, will spend the 2000-01 academic year at the Pepper Institute on Aging, Florida State University.

Caught in the Web

Bell & Howell’s Information and Learning and its newest division, XanEdu, have announced that eight of the most widely known college internet sites, learning management systems (LMS), and student services organizations will now offer the latest version of the XanEdu ReSearch Engine. Additional information is available on the division’s web site www.xanedu.com.

New Publications

Innovation: The European Journal of Social Sciences is launching a book review section in 2001. The book review section will cover five to eight books per issue. Additionally, all books received will be announced. Innovation is a social science journal with a focus on European policy and political developments (cross-sectorally). Please forward any related correspondence to Liana Giorgi, Book Review Editor, Innovation, Schotten-feldgasse 69/1, A-1070 Vienna; (43-1) 524 13 93 150; fax (43-1) 524 13 93 200; e-mail: l.giorgi@iccr-international.org.

Members’ New Books

Peter Beilharz (ed.), Latrobe University, Australia, The Bauman Reader: Dialectic of Modernity, (Sage Publication, 2000)

Dan Chekki (ed.), University of Winnipeg, Community Structure and Dynamics at the Dawn of the New Millennium, (JAI Press, 2000)

Glen H. Elder, Jr. and Rand D. Cogner, Iowa State University, Children of the Land: Adversity and Success in Rural America, (University of Chicago Press, 2000).

Anne S. Kasper, University of Chicago and Susan J. Ferguson, Grinnell College, Breast Cancer: Society Shapes an Epidemic, (St. Martin’s Press, 2000).

Graham Kinloch, Florida State University, African American Golfers During the Jim Crow Era (Praeger, 2000) and Ideology and the Social Sciences (Greenwood Press, 2000).

Richard Kendrick, State University of New York-Courtland, Social Statistics: An Introduction Using SPSS, (Mayfield Publishing, 2000).

Peter F. Korsching, Patricia C. Hipple and Eric A. Abbott, Iowa State University, Having all the Right Connections: Telecommunications and Rural Viability, (Praeger, 2000).

Laura Kramer, Montclair State University, The Sociology of Gender: A Brief Introduction (Roxbury Publishing, 2000).

Jacquelyn Litt, Iowa State University, Medicalized Motherhood: Perspectives from the Lives of African American and Jewish Women, (Rutgers University Press, 2000).

Alvin Rudoff and T.C. Esselstyn, Homicide in Fact and Fiction, (Wyndham Hall Press, 2000).

Pepper Schwartz, University of Washington, Everything You Know About Sex is Wrong, (Putnam, 2000).

Adam B. Seligman, Boston University, Modernity’s Wager: Authority, the Self and Transcendence, (Princeton University Press, 2000).

Dana Vannoy, University of Cincinnati, Gender Mosaics, (Roxbury Publishers, 2000).

Policy and Practice

l.giorgi@iccr-international.org, State University of New York-Courtland, is the project director for a $400,000, HUD Community Outreach Program Center Grant.

Obituaries

Leslie Kish
1910-2000

Leslie Kish, professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Michigan and research scientist emeritus of the university’s Institute for Social Research, died quietly on October 7, 2000. His death came after a long period of hospitalization, which he faced with characteristic energy and courage. Thus ended a long and productive life, marked by tremendous vitality, commitment to humanitarian values, and a bottomless curiosity about the world in all its aspects. A few months before his death, Leslie’s family, colleagues, former students and many friends had gathered to celebrate his 90th birthday and the creation of a university fund, in his honor, for the training of foreign students in population sampling.

Kish was born in 1910 in Poprad, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, now in Slovakia. In 1925 the family, parents and four children, migrated to the United States and settled in New York. In 1937 Leslie had less than one year of undergraduate college work to complete. Deeply concerned with the threat of a fascist sweep through Europe, however, he interrupted his studies and went to Spain as a volunteer in the International Brigade, to fight for the Spanish Loyalists. He returned to the United States in 1939 and graduated from the night City College of New York with a degree in mathematics (Phi Beta Kappa). He then moved to Washington, where he was first employed at the Bureau of the Census and then as a statistician at the Department of Agriculture. There he joined the group of social scientists who were creating a survey research facility within that department.

Again, his career was interrupted by war; from 1942 to 1945 he served in the U.S. Army Air Corps as a meteorologist. He rejoined his colleagues in the Department of Agriculture in 1945, and in 1947 moved with several of them to the University of Michigan, where together they founded the Institute for Social Research. During his early years at Michigan, Kish combined full-time statistical work with the completion of an MA in mathematical statistics (1948) and a PhD in sociology (1952). Throughout his long career at the university, Kish concentrated on the theory and practice of scientific sampling of populations. His 1965 book, Survey Sampling, a classic still in wide use, is referred to by students and faculty as the bible. In 1948 he initiated a summer program for training foreign statisticians in population sampling, which has generated a large international body of loyal alumni in more than 100 countries. Kish’s scholarly writing and innovative research in sampling continued undiminished after his formal retirement from the university in 1981. He was in great demand as an expert consultant throughout the world and in response traveled extensively and enthusiastically.

Among the many honors and awards that came to him during his long career were designation as the Russell lecturer, the University of Michigan’s highest mark of recognition for a faculty member; election to the presidency of the American Statistical Association, election as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Royal Statistical Society of England. To these were added, in his retirement years, election as an Honorary Fellow of the International Statistical Institute and as an Honorary Member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. He also received an honorary doctorate from the University of Bologna on the occasion of its 900th anniversary.

Dr. Kish is survived by Rhea, his loving wife of 53 years; his daughters, Carla and Andrea Kish; his son-in-law, Jon Stephens; his granddaughter, Nora Leslie Kish Stephens; and his sister, Magda Bondy.

Robert Kahn, University of Michigan (emeritus)<p> Ned Polsky
(1928-2000)

Ned Polsky, who died suddenly and unexpectedly this past June 13, is best known and will no doubt be remembered by sociologists for his ventures into the field of deviance. The five essays that make up his book Hustlers, Beats and Others, recently republished in an updated edition by Lyons Press, are both sociological and literary masterpieces indicative of the author’s ambitions and perspectives

Ned himself was a deviant in many ways. He surely did not fit into the conventional mold of a sociologist, which is exactly what endeared him to his many friends inside and outside our discipline. He loved books, of which he was an avid collector, had a passion for literature and the arts, had tried his hand at writing a serious novel, played pool well enough to have participated in several tournaments and to have qualified as a referee in the International 3-Cushion Billiards Tournament in Las Vegas in 1999, a sign of recognition he valued as much as praise from his sociological colleagues. He was a high-brow but hardly a prig. One conversed easily with him on just about any subject. Once he surprised me with his encyclopedic knowledge of wild mushrooms, of which he had not previously spoken.

Not surprisingly, Ned roved almost as widely in his professional activities as in his conversations. Having graduated from the Bronx High School of Science at the tender age of 16, he studied linguistics and literature at the University of Wisconsin, followed by graduate study in sociology at the University of Chicago, which he left without a degree. During his career, he was in and out of publishing, was the editor of several prestigious magazines, became professor at SUNY-Stony Brook and, after retiring, opened and ultimately sold an antiquarian book business specializing in biographies.

Although intellectually a cosmopolitan, Ned joined the world only as it suited him. He learned to drive rather late in life and, as far as I know, never made any serious attempt to exploit the capabilities of the computer for his sociological work. Information on events, persons, and works in all of the humanities, a mammoth project on which he had been working — on and off — for over thirty years, was kept on literally tens of thousands of 8 by 11 file cards. These files, so he hoped, would ultimately help scholars to develop and check interesting propositions about peaks and troughs of cultural achievement. One cannot help but wonder what will happen to the material he so painstakingly put together.

Most appreciated by those who knew him best was his cool judgment on just about everything and his warm personality. His often sharp criticisms were typically in a soft voice and he was always generous with help and advice. Above all, he was a friend on whose loyalty one could count when things got rough. He is survived by his adored and talented daughter Claudia, a very young granddaughter, both of Berkeley, California, and his companion, Sarah White, a recently retired college language teacher, of New York. A memorial was held for him on October 27 at the Ethical Culture Society in New York City.

Kurt Lang, University of Washington (emeritus)

John Useem
(1910-2000)

John Useem, Professor Emeritus, Department of Sociology, Michigan State University, died on July 16, 2000, at the age of 89. He was born in Erie County, New York 1910 but moved to Los Angeles as a young child. In the early 1930s he attended the University of California at Los Angeles, from which he received a BA with Phi Beta Kappa in 1934. He did graduate work at Harvard University from 1934 to 1936, then transferred to the University of Wisconsin, from which he was awarded the PhD in 1939. That same year, he became department chair at the University of South Dakota through fall semester 1942, when he entered military service. He served in the Navy as Civil Affairs/Military Government Officer in the South Pacific, 1943-1945. While he was on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin from 1946 to 1948, he returned twice to the Palau archipelago to do research which would assist in post-war reconstruction. He came to Michigan State University in 1949 and served there until his retirement in 1981, including being chair from 1959-1965.

Perhaps more than anything else, what marked John Useem’s long and distinguished career was his remarkable degree of professional service. He was a past president of the North Central Sociological Association and served on the Council of the ASA, as well as on its Committees on the Development of World Sociology, on Freedom of Research and Teaching, and on the Profession. For the Society for the Study of Social Problems, he served on the Committee on Unemployment in the Profession and was Co-chair (with Ruth Hill Useem, his career-long sociological partner) of the C. Wright Mills Award Committee, and was also chair of the Division of International Conflict and Cooperation. He also served on the Advisory Board of Sociological Abstracts. Furthermore, for a number of years he served the Council of Graduate Schools of the United States as a reviewer of and consultant to departments of sociology, and occasionally of sociology and anthropology, on their graduate programs.

His professional service, however, extended beyond the sociological world. His long and abiding interest in cross-cultural relations led him to service with the Council on the International Exchange of Students (Senior Fulbright-Hays Program), the East-West Center for Cultural and Technical Interchange, the International Society for Educational, Cultural and Scientific Interchange, the Council on International Educational Exchange, the Research Advisory Board of the Institute of International Education, and the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch-dienst (German Academic Exchange Service). He also served as a sociological consultant to the U.S. Department of State in the establishment of its Foreign Service Institute, and thereafter as a Special Lecturer in the Institute’s advanced programs for the training of mid-career Foreign Service officers, Information Agency officers, and technical service personnel for service in the Third World.

But John’s prolific professional service was not restricted to these alone. He also served as a sometimes consultant to the following: American Council of Education, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Academy of Science, U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs, Arctic Institute of North American, Philippine National Science Development Board, Institute of Philippine Culture of Ateneo de Manila University, Asian Foundation, Ford Foundation, Carnegie Corporation, Edward W. Hazen Foundation, and the Seminar for Members of Congress and the Executive Staff of the White House on American educational exchange programs and legislation.

John Useem was also a prolific writer of papers, chapters in books, and technical reports and monographs for various institutes and agencies, most of them co-written with others, especially with Ruth Hill Useem. Much of John’s published writings focused on comparative and cross-cultural studies that he and Ruth conceptualized as “third culture” communities and networks now embedded almost everywhere in an increasingly interdependent world. He and Ruth conducted fieldwork on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota and in India and the Philippines over a thirty-year period on a range of cross-cultural educational issues. A bibliography he prepared in 1987 listed some 44 such publications, which he stated were representative of a larger body of empirical studies and policy-oriented reports. These included a book (co-authored with Ruth Useem), The Western-Educated Man in India (Dryden Press, 1955), and articles in such familiar sociological and anthropological publications as American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology, Social Forces, Sociological Focus, The Journal of Social Issues, The Annals, American Anthropologist, Applied Anthropology, Human Organization, and Rural Sociology.

Noting this formal record of John Useem’s accomplishments, however, does not exhaust his exemplary record as a practicing sociologist. Besides the numerous instances of formal consulting John undertook, he also carried out a large amount of informal and unrecorded advising and consulting to fellow sociologists, particularly (though never exclusively) for colleagues and students in his own department or in his own university. There seemed to be a regular path from the campus to John and Ruth’s home by those seeking some helpful advice. In addition, John was a dedicated and accomplished teacher and academic advisor for many generations of graduate students at Michigan State University.

John’s involvement in advising and consulting over many years was a reflection of his deep commitment to the good standing of sociology and of his sociological colleagues. After 19 years of retirement, he was still deeply concerned about the welfare and future of his own department and equally so about the welfare and future of the discipline. Even in the last few weeks of his life, he worried aloud to me and to Ruth about problems and difficulties he saw for both the department and the discipline and was frustrated by the fact that his age and long retirement left him without the effective consultative voice he once had.

Besides his wife, Ruth, John leaves three sons—Michael, Howard, and Bert—their wives and seven grandchildren.

James B. McKee, Michigan State University (emeritus)