March 2008 Issue • Volume 36 • Issue 3

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T. Quentin Evans, professor emeritus of sociology and social work at Manchester College, died on November 18 at the age of 85 in North Manchester, IN.

Karol Krotki, a demographer and distinguished professor at the University of Alberta, died on May 15, 2007, at the age of 85.

Chet Meeks, formerly of Georgia State University, died from complications from colon cancer on January 11. He spent his last evening with his parents, who have been by his side almost continually over the past few months. He was 34.

Harold Orlans died peacefully at home in Bethesda, MD, on December 12, 2007. Harold had a productive career as a scholar and writer, especially on public policy issues related to scientific research and higher education.

Joel Tortenson, Augsburg College, died on October 18 at the age of 94 in Minneapolis, MN.


Herbert Reese Barringer

Herbert Reese Barringer, University of Hawai`i at Manoa, died December 15, 2007. He was 76.

Barringer was born in Billings, MT. At San Diego State College, he earned a BA with high honors and distinction in Sociology in 1959, and completed an MA at Northwestern University with a Comparative Politics Fellowship in 1961. He earned a PhD in 1964 in Sociology. In his graduate work, he received University Fellowship and Comparative Politics Fellowship support at Northwestern University.

During his 44 years of scholarship, Barringer made significant contributions to social science research on the Sociology of Asian Societies, with special attention to Korea and the Sociology of Social Stratification and Ethnicity and the Racialization of Native Hawaiians and Koreans. He explored the details of given settings, processes, and populations with a fine sense of the local within a comparative social science framework with superb mixedmethod analyses. As Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Delaware, he received Summer Fellowships to continue to research Asian societies and Korea. He served as Fulbright Lecturer at Seoul National University in Korea (1966-67) and in 1967, he was appointed Associate Professor Sociology at the University of Hawai`i at Manoa (UH). At the UH Social Science Research Institute from1967-70, he was supported while pursuing comparative research involving Korea in and around the Pacific Basin. He served on national and international committees on the Social Science Research Committee (1971-75), the Editorial Board of Korean Forum (1977) and Korean Studies (1978), and as occasional reader for the American Sociology Review and the American Journal of Sociology. He received numerous research grants to pursue studies involving Korea and Korean and Native Hawaiian populations in and around Hawai`i. These include Fulbright, IL CORK SSRC, SSRC-Russell Sage, UH Intramural and Center for Korean Studies grants, and ALU LIKE grants to examine the status of Native Hawaiians in educational and employment levels.

These led to papers being presented at professional meetings of a multitude of academic and social science organizations and associations. These papers covered topics such as the Korean experience in Korea and around the Pacific Basin and the Asian Rim; development of Korean social science; urbanization in Japan and Korea; urbanization, migration, stratification, mobility, and family changes in Korea; and Korean friendship networks. Publications included Selected Studies in Marriage and the Family with Robert F. Winch and Robert M. McGinnis, Social Change in Developing Areas: A Reinterpretation of Evolutionary Theory with Raymond W. Mack and George W. Blanksten, A City in Transition,: Urbanization in Taegu, Korea with Man-Gap Lee, and Asian and Pacific Americans in the U.S. with Peter C. Xenos, Robert W. Gardner, and Michael Levin. He wrote numerous articles with a focus on social stratification in the Philippines, Korea, and the U.S. with colleagues and graduate students. As a generalist, he wrote about behavioral theory for the Journal of the Theory of Social Behavior.

Over 40 years, Barringer contributed to the education of more than 3,000 undergraduates at Hawai`i in the Honors courses, in courses in the Sociology of Deviance and Social Control, Racial and Ethnic Relations, Racism and Ethnicity in Hawai`i, Principles of Sociological Inquiry, and Social Statistics. Student evaluations were positive and students were challenged to do their best in these classes. Where students needed timely counsel in and out of the classroom, they received such aid in and ways suited their level and backgrounds. In the required Sociological Inquiry and Statistics courses, the brightest and the best were most affirmative. As an informed advisor of students in the Arts and Sciences Liberal Studies Program, he fostered work in and around the colleges and schools in interdisciplinary work and experiences not afforded by narrower coverage within disciplines.

Barringer also demanded work of the highest order in graduate studies. Through sponsorship and mentorship of the highest order, he pressed for the best in scholarly endeavors in required methodology, theoretical perspectives, and structural analyses in race relations and race and cultural contacts in Hawai`i. He pressed for substantive grounding in the social demography and policy research in Asian societies and in the flow of populations from Asia, the Pacific, and American and European settings in around Hawai`i. He fostered the development of careers in the discipline and social sciences on Asian-American health and mental health status, risks, and prevention-amelioration, in survey and policy research, and in law-related fields with impact on political developments. Barringer was an outstanding academic citizen who well served l in the standing and ad-hoc departmental, college, and campus-wide program and personnel review committees. In the public sociology domain, well-grounded in both field work and statistical analyses, such disciplined knowledge enabled Barringer to speak openly and directly on the sources and consequences of racial, ethnic, and socio-economic conditions and events. Within the University itself and in the larger community, he challenged those who were privileged and powerful to reduce overt and subtle discriminatory conduct and practices which lead to continuing disparities and at-risk outcomes involving the indigenous Native Hawaiians in Hawai`i and in the United States as a whole.

Barringer is survived by sister, Nancy Parker.

Kiyoshi Ikeda, University of Hawai`i at Manoa

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Ronald Freedman

Dr. Ronald Freedman, a preeminent international demographer, the University of Michigan Roderick McKenzie Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Sociology, and founder of the Population Studies Center, died November 21, 2007, in Ann Arbor, MI. He was 90.

Freedman helped to shape the field of demography in the late 1940s by advocating for a broader sociological perspective to the study of fertility and family planning. One of the first demographers to use sample surveys in his research, he was also among the first to ask women direct questions about their childbearing intentions and preferences, and to recognize that preferences and intentions often differed from actual behavior.

During the 1950s, Freedman was instrumental in developing the Growth of American Families survey, the precursor to the U.S. National Survey of Family Growth, data from which were key in developing population projections during a time of concern about a declining U.S. population.

In the early 1960s, Freedman shifted his interest to the developing world. His landmark experimental study of fertility in Taiwan greatly influenced family planning movements there and in other developing countries. The Taichung Experiment provided insights on both the diffusion and acceptance of information on family planning. Freedman subsequently worked with other Asian nations, including Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and the People’s Republic of China, on fertility and family planning research and programs. He also made important contributions to the World Fertility Survey, the first centralized international survey research program and the largest social science research project in history.

As in the United States, Freedman’s work in Asia underlined the importance of viewing childbearing and contraception behavior within a broad sociological framework, influenced by the values of society and the social and economic conditions faced by each family.

In 1961, with support from the Ford Foundation, Freedman founded the Population Studies Center (PSC) at the University of Michigan. Under his leadership, PSC established an apprenticeship system for training graduate students in demography and population study methods.

During Freedman’s 50-year career, he was the recipient of many honors and awards. He was a Guggenheim Fellow, a Fulbright Fellow, President of the Population Association of America, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, winner of the Irene B. Taeuber Award from the Population Association of America and the Office of Population Research, and a Laureate of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population.

"Ronald Freedman was one of the leading social scientists of the last half of the 20th century," said sociologist Arland Thornton, director of the Population Studies Center.

Born in Winnipeg, Canada, Freedman grew up in Waukegan, IL. He received a BA in history and economics from the University of Michigan in 1939, and a master’s degree in sociology from UM in 1940. At the University of Chicago he completed prelims for his PhD in sociology before joining the U.S. Army in 1942 to serve in the Air Corps Weather Service. Four decades later, he remarked, "When I talk about demography, I always apply what I learned as a weather forecaster—that is, don’t look out the window when you’re making a weather forecast. Short-run trends are not the significant thing."

In a 1989 interview, Freedman said: "I think that, overall, whatever I may have contributed to the field is not so much in the substantive research I have done. The field changes... I have been fortunate enough to be in a position to take some initiatives that I think will have a lasting impact in that they influenced what other people were doing and opened whole areas of work."

The Ronald and Deborah Freedman Fund for International Population Activities has been established at the Population Studies Center (PSC) with the intent of enriching demographic research on fertility and promoting ties between PSC and overseas scholars and institutions.

Freedman’s wife Deborah and his daughter Jane Davidson predeceased him. He is survived by his loving companion Virginia Selin, his son Joseph, daughter-in-law Maria, and son-in-law Jeff Davidson, and by grandchildren Lily, Michael, and Anna, as well as by his brother Chuck (Lila), and many nieces and nephews. A memorial service in celebration of Ron Freedman will be held Friday, May 2, 2008.

This obituary originally appeared on the Population Studies Center website at html?ID=31.

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Chet Meeks

Chet Meeks, assistant professor of sociology at Georgia State University, passed away January 11, 2008, at age 34 after a two year battle with colon cancer.

Chet received his undergraduate degree from University of Wyoming in 1995 and his PhD from SUNY-Albany in 2003. He worked at Northern Illinois University prior to joining the faculty at Georgia State in 2006. Chet was a queer theorist and taught courses in Sociology of Sexuality and Social Theory. He researched sexuality and sexual politics, and was side-splittingly funny and sarcastic on matters concerning sex, politics and contemporary American culture. His published works include Civil Society and the Sexual Politics of Difference (published in Sociological Theory) and he edited Introducing the New Sexuality Studies: Original Essays and Interviews with Steven Seidman and Nancy Fischer. A sociologist, thinker, and scholar to the very end, throughout his last days Chet continued to read vigorously and to contemplate the role of culture in social movement activity, a topic that he planned to pursue in greater detail in a book-length project. With his caustic wit, searing intelligence, and deep kindness, Chet touched many people and is greatly missed by his friends, family and colleagues.

A memorial fund in Chet’s honor has been established at the University of Wyoming (Chet’s undergrad alma mater) to provide summer research funding for graduate students in sociology. To contribute to this fund, contact Brett Walter at or send contributions directly to: University of Wyoming Foundation, Chet Meeks Endowment Fund in Sociology, 1200 East Ivinson Ave., Laramie, WY 82070. Checks should be made out to the University of Wyoming Foundation.

A website celebrating Chet’s life has been set up at www.westga. edu/~awalter/chet/.

Nancy Fischer and Adia Harvey, Georgia State University

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Stanton Wheeler

Yale Law School Professor Stanton Wheeler died Friday, December 7, 2007, in New Haven. He was 77. Wheeler was the Ford Foundation Professor Emeritus of Law and the Social Sciences and Professorial Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School. He died of complications related to a cardiovascular condition.

Wheeler was a prolific scholar known for his leadership in the integration of law and social science, teaching at both Yale Law School and in the sociology department at Yale University. The subjects he taught included administration of criminal justice, white collar crime, sociology of law, sports and the law, and music and the law. He was a longtime master of Morse College, one of Yale’s undergraduate residence halls, and had strong ties to the athletic and music departments at Yale. He had a passion for jazz and the trumpet from his youth in Los Angeles and continued to play trumpet, cornet, and flugelhorn with jazz bands throughout most of his life.

"Stan Wheeler helped to create the field of sociology of law. For decades, he immeasurably enriched Yale’s community as a scholar, teacher, college master, musician, sportsman, and friend," said Yale Law School Dean Harold Hongju Koh.

Wheeler was born in Pomona, CA, on September 27, 1930. He graduated from Pomona College in 1952 and earned both a Master’s and Doctorate in sociology from the University of Washington in 1956 and 1958 respectively.

He began his teaching career at the University of Washington in 1956. In 1958, he joined the Department of Social Relations at Harvard University. In 1960, he took leave as an Assistant Professor at Harvard to become a Fulbright Research Scholar at the Institutes of Sociology and Criminology at the University of Oslo, Norway. In 1961, he resumed teaching in the Department of Social Relations at Harvard. He left Harvard in 1963 to become an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Washington. He joined the Russell Sage Foundation as a sociologist in 1964, serving there until 1968. From 1966 to 1968, he also served as Adjunct Associate Professor in Law and Sociology at Yale University. He joined Yale Law School in 1968 as Professor of Law and Sociology. From 1970 to 1971, he was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. From 1985 to 1987, he took leave from Yale to serve as president of the Amateur Athletic Foundation of Los Angeles.

At the time of his death, he was a member of the Board of Senior Editors, Law and Society Review; the Research Committee of the American Bar Foundation; and the editorial board of the Journal of Law, Economics and Organization. He was also a member of the trumpet section of the Yale Jazz Ensemble, an undergraduate band.

Wheeler was the author of 10 books, including Social Science in the Making: Essays on the Russell Sage Foundation, 1907-1972 (with David C. Hammack, 1994); Crimes of the Middle Classes: White Collar Offenders in the Federal Courts (with David Weisburd, E. Waring and N. Bode, 1991); and Sitting in Judgment: The Sentencing of White Collar Criminals (with Kenneth Mann and Austin Sarat, 1988). His dozens of articles included "Rethinking Amateurism and the NCAA," "Sentencing Matters," and "The Problem of White Collar Crime Motivation."

In 2004, Wheeler was recipient of The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation Outstanding Scholar Award, presented annually to an individual who has engaged in outstanding scholarship in the law or in government.

Wheeler is survived by his wife Marcia Chambers, a former reporter for the New York Times; sons Kenneth, Steven and wife Pat, and Warren and his Jeannine; brother Alvin (Bud) Wheeler; sister Nancy Dayton; and grandchildren Jeffrey, Emily, Lauren, Gwendolyn, and Owen.

The Wheeler family and the Law School have established the Professor Stan Wheeler Fund, which will support Yale Law School faculty and student research and activities related to Stan’s areas of interest, which included, but were not limited to, sociology and the law, white collar crime, and sports, entertainment, and the law.

This obituary originally appeared on the Yale Law School website at

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