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Arlene Kaplan Daniels, Professor Emeritus at University of California-Berkeley, died of heart failure. on January 29.
Charles Phillip (“Phil”) Bosserman died on September 7, 2011 in Delmar, Delaware. He was Professor of Sociology and Peace Studies, founder of the Center for Conflict Resolution at Salisbury University (Maryland), and a lifelong peace activist. Prior to getting his PhD in sociology and social ethics at Boston University, he did graduate training in theology at Boston University and was a classmate of Martin Luther King, Jr.
October 9, 1931, Phil’s interest in French sociology took him to Paris where he not only studied with the noted Georges Gurvitch at the Sorbonne, but wrote his dissertation on him, which was eventually published as Dialectical Sociology: An Analysis of the Sociology of Georges Gurvitch (1968). Phil was active in both the International Association of French-Speaking Sociologists (AISLF)—the first American to join it—and in the Research Committee on Work and Leisure in the International Sociological Association. He successfully mixed academic appointments at Boston University, the University of South Florida, and chair for nearly 20 years of the Sociology and AnthropologyDepartment (1975-1994) at Salisbury University with equally rewarding work, first as clergyman, then as a civil rights worker, and later as Director of Peace Corps training programs appointed by Sargent Shriver. In one of his programs in Gabon (Equatorial Africa), he became ill and came into contact with the noted Albert Schweitzer at the latter’s hospital in Lambarané; the Schweitzer’s “reverence of life” philosophy became part of Phil’s own code of living.
Phil Bosserman was an intellectual with a heart and a keen gusto for life. He sponsored my membership in AISLF, which has opened many doors for me in francophone sociology. In 1978, he was a participant in the six-week NEH interdisciplinary seminar for college teachers that I organized at Duke University, and he was a major factor in making that a sociological “community.” Visiting him subsequently at Florida and at Salisbury, I witnessed his dedication to teaching students a love for sociology, and the reciprocal admiration of his students.
Beloved by his family, students, and colleagues wherever he went, Phil Bosserman lived well the life of a “complete sociologist.”
Edward A. Tiryakian, Duke UniversityBack to Top of Page
April Brayfield, Tulane Associate Professor of Sociology, died on December 13, 2011, following a long battle with cancer. She leaves behind a rich legacy of scholarship and mentorship of numerous students. In her own words, her “core identity” was as a teacher-scholar.
April began her journey as a sociologist at a young age. As the daughter of a military family, she traveled widely during her childhood and quickly recognized patterns of interaction and inequality in everyday life. When she was no longer an officer’s daughter because her father was demoted after the Vietnam War, she experienced first-hand how stratification shapes our social world. She completed a BS in sociology at the University of California-Riverside in 1981 and received her PhD in sociology from the University of Maryland-College Park in 1990. Upon completing her doctoral studies, she was a post-doctoral research associate at The Urban Institute in Washington, DC. April began her career as an Assistant Professor at Tulane University in 1992. She was also a Newcomb Fellow and Women’s Studies/Gender & Sexuality Studies faculty associate at Tulane University.
April was an accomplished scholar in her field. Her areas of specialization included gender, work-family nexus, sociology of childhood, and cross-national research. Her widely published research investigated critical questions on changes in the domestic and work spheres in the United States and internationally. She made important contributions to the academic and applied policy literatures on gender roles, childhood, and child-care policy. Much of her international scholarship focused on gender ideology and work in Germany (along with her long-time co-author Marina Adler). April’s recent research was on childrearing in Hungary (with Márta Korintus), a country she regularly visited to conduct research on the lives of children in Hungary.
April was deeply committed to her students and her passion to teaching and mentoring was immeasurable. April trained and advised hundreds of Tulane undergraduates and dozens of graduate students in research analysis, the sociology of childhood, gender, and the family. It is no exaggeration to say that each and every student was important to April and that she worked hard to give each one the best education possible. Through the lens of sociology, she regularly taught a writing proficiency course for first-year undergraduates. April also recognized that graduate students needed better preparation to become teachers and created a pedagogy class for Sociology PhD students.
April was honored for this dedication and commitment to students on numerous occasions that date back to graduate school. Before finishing her doctorate, the University of Maryland recognized her qualities with its Excellence in Teaching Award. At Tulane, she received the 1997 Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award, the 1997-1998 Mortar Board Salute for Excellence in Academics, the 1999 Sociology Graduate Student Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching, the 1999-2000 Mortar Board Salute for Outstanding Teaching, the 2001-02 Distinguished Newcomb Fellow of the Year, the 2003 President’s Recognition Certificate for Innovative Use of Technology in Teaching, the 2003 R.C. Read Award for Excellence in Teaching, the 2004 President’s Medal for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, the 2008-09 John Stibbs Award for Outstanding Faculty Member, and the 2010 Outstanding Teaching Award.In the words of one of her colleagues, Carl Bankston, “If there was a teaching award she did not win, she must not have been eligible for it.”
April was extremely active in the university at large, in her profession, and in her department. She will be remembered by her colleagues for her unstinting service efforts and active engagement on the Tulane campus. April was also a member of the American Sociological Association, European Sociological Association, International Sociological Association, and other regional U.S. sociology organizations. She was a long-time member of the Sociologists for Women in Society. Through her active engagement with this organization and as a feminist sociologist, April was instrumental in mentoring many students to become feminists and feminist sociologists. She also created a unique space to mentor Tulane graduate students who were studying different aspects of gender. The “Gender Krewe” met monthly to discuss gender-related academic readings, peer reviews of krewe members’ work, and overall professional development.
April was a longstanding board member of the Tulane University Women’s Association. She was also the founder of Crafty Ladies, a women’s service organization dedicated to raising funds for various charities through the production and sale of their artwork and crafts. She led a project called “Stitches of Hope,” where Crafty Ladies knit scarves and “chemo caps” for patients at the Tulane Cancer Center. She also taught knitting at “Fridays at Newcomb,” a series of gatherings for campus women at the Newcomb College Institute.
To many of her colleagues and former students, she was also well-known for her love of good food, traveling, Jazz Fest, and Mardi Gras. She embraced life with zest! Her friends and colleagues remember her as a valuable person in their lives and as a model of a university professor. She is survived by her husband, Sandor Furedi and her mother, Joan Brayfield. April will be deeply missed by her many colleagues and friends.
There will be a session at the upcoming Southern Sociological Society meetings to honor and recognize April’s scholarly contributions to sociology.
Krista M. Brumley, Wayne State UniversityBack to Top of Page
Lawrence Carter was a sociologist, a demographer, and a statistician. He was a deeply scholarly man who loved ideas. His academic career was spent at the University of Oregon in the Sociology Department, which he chaired from 1998 to 2002.
His life and interests were multidimensional, with his family at the center. He was a life-changing mentor to many, a community mediator, and an inspiration to graduate students and young faculty. He had a close circle of friends. He loved fishing. But the life of the mind was especially important for him, and he was a brilliant researcher whose work has affected the lives of many people in the United States and around the world.
Lawrence Carter worked on many research topics in social demography, including population dynamics and age structure, marriage and fertility, migration, and mortality. Work on marriage and fertility in the 1980s led to a new way of looking at the way these interacted over time. He used this new approach to forecast U.S. marriages and births.
This was followed by the work for which he was best known: a long series of path-breaking studies on mortality. These studies changed the way that demographers, statisticians, government agencies and insurance companies forecast mortality. While this may seem to be an esoteric topic, in fact it has very important implications for all of us on a day-to-day basis. For example, the Social Security Administration prepares long-run projections of the finances of the system over a 75-year horizon. A key component of these is how long retirees will live in the future. The same is true of long-term projections of Medicare and Medicaid finances. These are the largest and most important federal entitlement programs. The long-run projections show that the current taxes and benefits for Social Security are unsustainable, and that the costs of Medicare and Medicaid will rise dramatically and probably unsustainably in the 21st century. Projections like these are affecting today’s efforts to balance the federal budget and therefore affect our tax rates and budget cuts today, at both the federal and state levels. Larry Carter’s work has shaped these projections. Studies have found that official government projections have systematically underestimated future gains in life expectancy, particularly at older ages. The methods that Larry Carter developed led to higher projections of life expectancy, helping to remove the downward bias.
The first and most fundamental of these studies was published in 1992. It developed a new way to analyze historical trends in death rates by age and to project them into the future. As a natural byproduct of the approach, the method also gave probabilities that different levels of mortality would occur in the future. This method quickly caught on, and is now viewed as the leading approach, and sometimes is referred to as the “gold standard” for mortality projections. The article has been cited more than a thousand times, and dozens of extensions and modifications of the original method have been suggested.
Larry Carter went on to publish many additional studies of mortality, mainly building on this original article. He analyzed mortality by race and by sex. He experimented with more complex statistical methods for forecasting. He developed methods for combining subjective forecasts with those based on historical trends. He worked on ways to make the forecasts more stable. He studied structural shifts in mortality and how they could be recognized and used in forecasts.
Larry also worked on the demography of local areas, including Oregon, using quite different methods.
During his career, in addition to many articles published solo, Larry often collaborated with other researchers. From the early 1980s through the mid-1990s, he collaborated with demographer Ronald Lee, with whom he developed the original method for forecasting mortality, which came to be known as the Lee-Carter method, and on an earlier method for modeling and forecasting births and marriages. He spent two sabbaticals at the University of California-Berkeley working with Lee on these projects; together they jointly published five articles. He also collaborated with the mathematical biologist and demographer Shripad Tuljapurkar, with Ed Shafer on local demography, and with the Austrian economist Alexia Prskawetz, as well as others.
Ronald Lee, University of California-BerkeleyBack to Top of Page
James C. Kimberly, Professor Emeritus at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and former Chair of the Department of Sociology, passed away in Beaverton, OR, on November 3, 2011. He was 84. Known to his family as Carlton and to friends and professional colleagues as Jim, Kimberly is survived by his wife of 62 years, Barbara Scheeler Kimberly; his daughter and son-in-law, Elizabeth S. Kimberly and Dan Franks, two sisters and several nieces and nephews.
Jim served in the U.S. Army from 1945 to 1947, during which time he was stationed in the Pacific near Bikini Atoll during the first atomic bomb test. He graduated from Armstrong Junior College in Savannah, the city of his birth, in 1948, and earned his BA in social sciences from Emory University in 1950, his Master’s in sociology from Emory in 1955, and his PhD in sociology from Duke University in 1963. During his academic career, Kimberly taught at Stanford University, Emory University, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he served as Chair of the Department of Sociology during the 1970s. In the early 1970s, he was Program Director for Basic Research in Sociology at the National Science Foundation.
Throughout his academic career, Kimberly conducted basic research in social psychology, small groups, and inequality, publishing numerous articles in professional journals. After his retirement in 1989, he produced a book, Group Processes and Structures: A Theoretical Integration (1996), which sought to integrate what was then known about group processes and the structures they produce. It examined group development, group stability, orderly change in the group, and group disintegration. The processes and structures considered are attraction, consensus, prestige, power, authority, influence, trust, and justice in the allocation of tasks and economic rewards to members. The theory Kimberly developed is related to conformity, deviance, and social control. Social-psychological theories of individual behavior are used in formulating the integration of processes and structures. Cognitive balance, reinforcement, exchange, and external status theories are used in developing the formulation.
Kimberly was a lifelong advocate for social justice, something he often attributed to growing up in the South during the Great Depression. He expressed his passion for justice through his involvement in a number of organizations in the community, a barrage of letters to the editors of local newspapers, and in his work in multiple capacities in his church—the Unitarian Church of Lincoln.
Jim maintained a number of interests and hobbies throughout his lifetime. He continued to paint and write poetry until the last year of his life. His paintings have been shown in a number of regional juried art shows in the Midwest. In his poetry, he wrote about his observations and reflections on nature and science. Two of his poems were published in The Mid-America Poetry Review.
Throughout his life, Jim was a serious student of American Civil War history and the sciences of physics and astronomy, reading widely in those areas during most of his teaching and research career and continuing in retirement. His professional work was highly abstract and largely theoretical, and he always said that physics and astronomy informed his development of sociological and social psychological theory.
Jim was a deeply loving and caring man, in all ways a true gentleman and a gentle man, though he was always willing to fight tenaciously for his principles. As Chair, he not infrequently took on the administration in defense of the best interests of the department, and he worked tirelessly to ensure that his family would be able to follow their dreams and aspirations, particularly in academics and lifelong learning. His stories, often told and always enjoyed by family, friends, and professional colleagues, will be missed.
Hugh P. Whitt, University of Nebraska-LincolnBack to Top of Page
Gert Harald Mueller, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at American University, died at the age of 89 on October 23, in Washington, DC.
Mueller was born in Dresden, Germany, on July 20, 1922. After WWII, he was admitted to the Freie Universität of West Berlin. He received his PhD from the University of Munich in 1954. The title of his dissertation was “The Structure of Pure Dialectics.”
He subsequently returned to Berlin to pass his first state examination, which entitled him to teach history, philosophy, and French in the German gymnasia system, where he taught from 1954 to 1962. After spending four years as a private scholar, he accepted a position as assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh, where he taught sociology from 1968 to 1972.
In 1973, he became an assistant professor at American University, where he taught sociology until his retirement in 1991 and advanced to full professor. As an emeritus professor, he remained active in pursuing his research and writing on sociological theory up to the time of his death.
Mueller’s work in analytical sociological theory was the fruit of more than 50 years of scholarly research. His work in theory was the product of a painstaking curiosity leading to exhaustive studies in religion, philosophy, history, and sociology. The body of Mueller’s work bears witness to a lifelong passion for uncompromising scholarship and intellectual craftsmanship in the pursuit of sociology as a rigorous science.
He was a scholar in the classical mold whose breadth of knowledge reflected a singular dedication to thinkers who came before him, theorists like Aristotle, Comte, Hegel, Marx, Weber, Husserl, and Wittgenstein. He argued that reality (physical, biological, social, moral, and cultural) could be conceived most fruitfully as forming a hierarchy of founding and controlling relationships that condition social reality rather than determine it. Mueller tested the hierarchical relationships posited in his theory by applying the tools of mathematical logic and, more specifically, the “foundational truth function,” which he constructed to map and test the relationships between what he called “emergent and dominant superstructures.”
Mueller left a substantial body of original work in analytical sociological theory, much of which remains unpublished. But a selection of these manuscripts can be found on the American University Sociology Department website (www.american.edu/cas/sociology/ast/index.cfm). He published more than 75 journal articles and one book, Sociology and Ontology: The Analytical Foundations of Sociological Theory (1989).
Mueller is survived by his first cousin, Solveig Woelfel of Frankfurt, Germany. In his trust he wrote, “I have no children, living or deceased. My friends have been family to me.” He will be greatly missed by his students and those who knew and loved him.
Jurg Siegenthaler, American UniversityBack to Top of Page
Joseph T. Mullan, PhD, 62, died at home December 23, 2011, after a long battle with colon cancer. He was Associate Professor in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Associate Adjunct Professor in the School of Nursing, both at the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF), where he had worked in various capacities since 1985. Much of Mullan’s research used a life-course perspective to understand how adults marshal social and psychological resources to adapt to stressful life circumstances, including chronic illness, disability, institutionalization, bereavement, and role strain.
Mullan had methodological expertise in the organization and conduct of complex multi-wave studies; the study of change in individuals under stress; causal modeling; and the development and testing of multivariate models using longitudinal data to assess change over time. His work often involved both qualitative and quantitative methods to develop, refine, and evaluate survey measures. He was involved in numerous studies, including the experiences of family and friends caring for and grieving loved ones with Alzheimer’s or AIDS/HIV; measurement of nursing home quality; and diabetes disease management.
Mullan was a valued co-investigator and collaborator on a diverse group of projects, to which he brought demanding standards, a broad intellectual perspective, and a distinctive thoughtfulness. He was a mentor to many students and was highly regarded as a teacher.
Mullan earned a BA in Social Relations from Harvard University and his MA and PhD in Human Development from The University of Chicago; he also completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Social Gerontology at UCSF. He was a member of the American Sociological Association, American Diabetes Association, American Psychological Association, and the Gerontological Society of America.
Joseph Mullan is survived by his wife, Sandra Grayson, and their son, Jamie Mullan.
Sandra Grayson and Lisa Canin