Feminization, the New University Environment, and the Quest for a Sociology for People

  • Stephen Turner
Part of the Sociology Transformed book series (SOTR)


The university changed during the 1960s and 1970s as a result of the demand for Black studies programs: the idea of an academic program that openly took sides in a cause or for a group became accepted. Women followed suit: the organization Sociologists for Women in Society grew out of protests at the ASA. The SWS was successful in achieving its goals of raising the proportion of women on sociology faculties and of faculty studying gender and inequality issues, and the organization provided a model of a less hierarchical and closed sociology. But gender studies remained largely outside the key journals and lacked acknowledgment by older male sociologists. These changes were accompanied by rapidly increasing number and proportion of women graduate students.


American Sociological Association caste system elite sociology sociology enrollments Washington University Sociology 


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  1. 1.
    For the flavor of Leftist politics of the era, see the 1976 statement expelling Nicolaus from the ‘October League’, a Maoist product of a fraction that had developed out of the previous split of Students for a Democratic Society, the main student organization of the 1960s.
  2. 2.
    Ironically, Jessie Bernard’s contemporary Academic Women (1964) made the opposite claim: that ‘compliant young women may be maneuvered into graduate study even against her own basic wishes’ and accedes ‘not because she purposively and plainly aspires to an academic career but because, at the moment, nothing more attractive offers itself’ (p. 60).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    For examples from teaching materials, see Lucal, 1996; Pence and Fields, 1999.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Stephen Turner 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen Turner
    • 1
  1. 1.University of South FloridaUS

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