February 2011 Issue • Volume 39 • Issue 2

download pdfDownload full issue pdf



Peter Carter Dodd, American University of Beirut, passed away on November 25, 2010, at the age of 80. He spent his life, together with his wife Erica, encouraging understanding between Muslim cultures and the West.


Elise Boulding

Elise Boulding was a remarkable intellectual and organizational leader in both the public and academic spheres, within the United States and globally. She contributed greatly to women’s studies, futurism, environmental issues, and particularly to peace studies, helping to build organizations to nurture those fields and to foster their societal applications. Elise Boulding connected these different fields and arenas of activities so as to enhance each of them. She was an amazingly energetic and productive woman who led both by example and by encouraging and mentoring others to join in her undertakings.

Boulding was born in Oslo, Norway, and her parents brought her to the United States when she was three. After settling first in New Jersey, they moved to Syracuse, NY, where, in 1941, she met and married the economist Kenneth Boulding. She joined the religious order of Friends (Quakers) and met him at monthly meetings; her sense of being a Quaker influenced all her endeavours. She began her scholarly career after rearing five children, completing her PhD in sociology from the University of Michigan in 1969. In the early 1960s she was actively associated with the Center for Research on Conflict Resolution at the University of Michigan, the pioneering inter-disciplinary program doing research and theory building in peace and conflict resolution.

She taught in the sociology department at the University of Colorado and then chaired the department at Dartmouth College. She published a wide variety of influential books, including The Underside of History: A View of Women through Time (1976), Building a Global Civic Culture: Education for an Interdependent World (1988), and Cultures of Peace: The Hidden Side of History (2000). A theme in much of her work was to analyze the many ways peace was fostered and actually realized, rather than to focus on the horrors of human violence. She emphasized actors whose roles were often underestimated, such as women, non-governmental organizations, and peoples of the third world.

Elise Boulding was one of the founders of the International Peace Research Association (IPRA), established in 1964 and of the Consortium on Peace Research, Education and Development (COPRED), established in 1970. From 1967-1970, she served as International Chair of the Women’s International League of Peace and Freedom. In the 1970s she was an officer in the Working Group and then Research Section on Sex Roles in the International Sociological Association.

She played active roles in the ASA, including serving on the Council, 1976-79, and as Chair of the Committee on the Status of Women in the Profession, 1970-72. When a radical caucus was formed that proposed ASA resolutions calling for U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam, the ASA Council responded by establishing a Committee on the Sociology of World Conflicts in 1972. Elise Boulding was chosen to chair the committee, which led to the formation of the ASA section presently named Peace, War, and Social Conflict.

Elise helped establish the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), including participating in the campaign for a national peace academy. In 1979, Congress instituted a Commission on Proposals for the National Academy of Peace and Conflict Resolution. The Commission was chaired by Senator Spark Matsunaga and included Elise Boulding and another sociologist, James Laue, who both contributed greatly to the field and the campaign. The Commission held hearings around the country and in 1981 issued a report recommending creating a National Peace Academy. The law establishing the USIP was signed by President Ronald Reagan in 1984.

At the end of her life, Elise Boulding had Alzheimer’s disease and died of liver failure on June 24, 2010. She was pre-deceased by her husband, Kenneth, who died in 1993. She is survived by her five children and their spouses: Russell and Bonnie Boulding of Bloomington, IN, Mark and Pat Boulding of Englewood, CO, Christine Boulding and the late Gregory Graham of Wayland, MA, Philip and Pam Boulding of Olalla, WA, and William and Liz Boulding of Durham, NC, and 16 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren.

Elise Boulding leaves a wonderful legacy of ideas and information that continue to be built upon and of organizations that continue to function and change. Her life demonstrates how commitment to enhancing peoples’ well-being, attention to realities, and hard work can have enduring benefits.

Louis Kriesberg, Syracuse University

Back to Top of Page

Lewis M. Killian

Professor Lewis M. Killian, distinguished professor, mentor, and insightful analyst of U.S. race relations, passed away peacefully on November 20, 2010. Lewis Killian received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Georgia and his PhD from the University of Chicago, where he studied with many of the "greats"—Ernest Burgess, Herbert Blumer, Everett Hughes, and Louis Wirth. Killian was born in Darien, GA, and grew up in Macon, GA. Proud of his southern roots, Professor Killian was well known for his penetrating analyses of race relations—in the American South and beyond.

Lewis Killian retired from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in 1985, where he had been on the faculty since 1969. Prior to his appointment there, he was on the faculties of Florida State University, the University of Oklahoma, and the University of Connecticut. Following his retirement, he was a Faculty Associate at the University of West Florida. He also held numerous distinguished visiting appointments, including at the University of Hawaii, the University of Delaware, the University of California-Los Angeles, and Thames Polytechnic in London (with a Guggenheim Fellowship). He served as President of the Southern Sociological Society and was elected to that organization’s Roll of Honor in 1996. He was on active duty in the U.S. Army Reserve for four years during World War II, retiring from the military as Colonel, Military Police Corps.

His long history of significant work includes, Racial Crisis in America (co-authored with Charles Grigg), The Impossible Revolution? Black Power and the American Dream; White Southerners; and Black and White: Reflections of a White Southern Sociologist. His classic book, Collective Behavior (co-authored with Ralph Turner), has, for years, defined the fields of collective behavior and social movements. Killian seldom accepted even common sociological conclusions at face value. He was insistent that sociologists understand the importance of social constructions of reality—even the realities constructed in their own work.

Killian’s work on race provided a radical and critical perspective on race in America—yet one firmly grounded in the rigor of sociological thinking. His passion for racial justice often left him troubled about the future of U.S. race relations. Foreshadowing a now common understanding of the realities of white privilege, he concluded The Impossible Revolution by writing, "To subscribe to the general principle of racial equality is one thing; to pay the person al price in terms of sharing traditionally white-held advantages is quite another" (1968: 175).

Indeed, Killian was not optimistic about the future of U.S. race relations. Still, he remained ardently committed to an integrated society, a commitment reflected in his long record of community service. Early on, and reflecting his desire for interracial cooperation, he served as a consultant to the Southern Regional Council, the Attorney General of Florida, and the federal Community Relations Service. Later, after relocating to Florida and not content to retire, he served on the Florida Local Advocacy Council in Pensacola and the Statewide Human Rights Advocacy Committee, both appointments made by the governor. He also volunteered at West Florida Hospital.

Lew Killian was a mentor who prodded, never pushed. He made those of us who studied with him think for ourselves and question conclusions that he saw as too easily drawn or too neatly analyzed. He knew that the social world was full of contradictions, tensions, and elaborate systems of belief; he was insistent that simple-minded sociological analyses could not capture that complexity. William Julius Wilson, his colleague at the University of Massachusetts in the latter half of 1960 has said, "He was an excellent scholar and a brilliant mentor to graduate students. When I think of scholars who had the greatest influence on me in my development as a professional sociologist, Lew stands among those at the top. He encouraged me to pursue my ideas even when they went against the grain of conventional wisdom. To say that I am deeply indebted to him is putting it mildly."

Speaking about Lew Killian at his retirement celebration, Jay Demerath (for awhile his department chair at the University of Massachusetts) said, "Lew lacked all guile and pretense in an academic world that often teems with both. I don’t think I’ve ever known a star to spend so much time with meteorites or a colleague with a more variegated set of friends, all treated with the same elemental democratic decency. Nor have I known anyone so consistently honest about himself, his commitments, and his work."

Lewis Killian is survived by his loving wife, Kay Goold Killian, to whom he was married for 68 years, as well as his daughter Katharine Killian McHugh; two sons, Lewis M. Killian, Jr., and John Calhoun Killian; seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. He has left a long and vibrant legacy for all of us who have known him, learned from him, and loved him.

Margaret L. Andersen, University of Delaware

Back to Top of Page

John Stuart Western

John Western, Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of Queensland, died in Brisbane, Australia on January 6, 2011, at age 79.

Western was born in Adelaide in 1931, grew up in Melbourne and attended Trinity Grammar School and Melbourne University, where he received a BA in social studies and an MA in social psychology. His graduate study at Melbourne exposed him to the emerging discipline of sociology, and upon completing the degree he wrote to a small number of international scholars enquiring about opportunities for graduate study. He heard nothing for several months until a letter arrived from Columbia University. Robert Merton apologized for not replying earlier but explained that it had taken some time to sort out fellowship funding. Western began his PhD in sociology at Columbia in 1959, graduating in 1962 with a dissertation chaired by Paul Lazarsfeld. He returned to Australia that same year to the Department of Psychology at the Australian National University.

In 1965, Western moved to a Senior Lectureship in Government at the University of Queensland (UQ) in Brisbane, intending to stay there for a few years. In 1970 he was appointed the first Professor of Sociology at UQ in the then Department of Anthropology and Sociology. He remained at UQ until his retirement in 1996, serving as Head of Department for 13 of those years. Late in his career he worked against police and government corruption, serving as a Commissioner for the Queensland Criminal Justice Commission. He also established and directed UQ’s Social and Economic Research Centre. During retirement, Western continued full-time commitments to research, postgraduate supervision, and service contributions to the school and university until his death in January 2011. He was an elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia and the Swiss Academy of Development, and in 2009 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia for contributions to education and to sociology.

Western was a prolific contributor to basic and applied research, publishing over 50 books, monographs, and commissioned reports, 70 book chapters, and 120 journal articles. Among other areas, his research covered social stratification and inequality, political sociology, urban sociology, the sociology of crime and deviance, the sociology of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and social planning. He dealt with social structures of class, gender, race, ethnicity, and social status, and with institutions of family and household, education, the mass media, the state, the professions and work. He was a prodigious fundraiser for social research and built one of the largest and most successful sociology departments in Australia. He pioneered and led large-scale quantitative team-based projects, including longitudinal and sibling studies, which were vehicles not just for research, but for the training and professional development of postgraduate students and junior colleagues.

As one of the first chairs in sociology in Australia, he did much to institutionalize the discipline. He became President of the Sociological Association of Australia and New Zealand in 1975, and, when New Zealand Sociology split from the combined association, Western was prevailed upon to take up the inaugural presidency of the Australian Sociological Association (1989-91). He was joint editor of the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Sociology from (1982-85, 1989), and worked on organizing committees for the Australian association meetings at UQ as well as the 2002 World Congress of Sociology in Brisbane.

Although his research and professional achievements were substantial, Western’s largest contributions were perhaps as a teacher and mentor to graduate students and young faculty. He supervised some 75 PhD students, many of whom went on to senior positions in academia, government, and industry in Australia and overseas. His supervision was built on experiential learning tied to joint research and publication, involvement in team-based projects, careful mentoring, and professional training in the theories and methods of sociology, and in the practicalities of publishing, raising external funding, and working with others, including non-sociologists and non-academics.

He promoted interdisciplinary and applied work long before they were fashionable. Western’s collaborators included political scientists, geographers, planners, statisticians, anthropologists, epidemiologists, criminologists, engineers, environmental scientists, medical practitioners, and lawyers as well as sociologists. His early applied research examined economic behaviour for the Henderson Poverty Inquiry and the impact of the 1974 Brisbane Flood and Cyclone Tracy in Darwin. For the next 30 years he worked extensively with Queensland and Australian Governments in a range of areas relating to social policy, social and environmental impact and social measurement.

Finally, Western engaged extensively with Southeast Asia and the region. He conducted social impact and planning studies for the governments of Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka. He established the Master of Community Nutrition and the Master of Social Planning and Development at UQ, drawing large numbers of international students from the region into Australian universities. To promote academic exchange and interaction, he formed, with international colleagues, the Asia Pacific Sociological Association and served as its Foundation President, from 1996-1999.

He is survived by his wife Tasnee, his brother Timothy and his family, his sons Mark and Bruce, their wives Janeen and Jo, and his five granddaughters, Jessica, Kate, Lucy, Miriam, and Grace. For all his achievements as a sociologist, they will remember him as a loving husband, brother, father, father-in-law, and grandfather.

Mark Western, The University of Queensland, and Bruce Western, Harvard University

Back to Top of Page

Print this article discuss this article

Featured Advertiser:


Back to Front Page of Footnotes | Table of Contents