August 11th, 2006

ASA Awards Ceremony and Presidential Address (2006)


LYNN SMITH-LOVIN: Hello! If I could have your attention and have you settle so that we can begin this celebration. I’m Lynn Smith-Lovin of Duke University and Vice President of this association this
year, and we have two purposes here today. I welcome you to the 2006 Presidential Plenary Session, and we are here to celebrate the award winners for the Association and to hear from our president.
But, before we begin that celebration, I would like to start with a moment of remembrance – a moment of silence – to celebrate the lives of our members that have passed this year. Please join me
in a moment of remembrance for them. Thank you. To begin the ceremony today, I would like to introduce my colleague at Duke, Nan Lin, who was chair of the awards committee. He is the Oscar L. Tang
Family Professor of Sociology at Duke, and he will be handling the awards for the first part of our session today. Nan! NAN LIN: Every year, the American Sociological Association honors some of its
distinguished peers, and this year it is very appropriate because the awards are very diverse and cross cultural. It so happens that we are holding our meeting here in a different country, slightly
different culture even though we do share a lot of common backgrounds. I am very pleased to introduce some of the awards that we are honoring our colleagues. I will start with the first award, the ASA
Dissertation Award, and this is one of the most important awards that represent really the future of our society and our profession. The dissertation award honors the best Ph.D. dissertations for
calendar year from among those submitted by advisors and mentors in the discipline. Let us welcome the presenter of this award, David Brunsma. David Brunsma: Thank you. On behalf of the ASA
Dissertation Awards Committee, it is my distinct pleasure to present this year’s dissertation award to two fine young scholars, Jason Beckfield and Amy Hanser. Jason Beckfield is Assistant Professor
of Sociology at the University of Chicago and will be a visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology at Harvard University for the 2006-2007 school year. He completed his Ph.D. at Indiana University in
2005. His dissertation, “The Consequences of Regional, Political and Economic Integration for Inequality and the Welfare State in Western Europe”, reflects his interest in stratification, politics
and international social forms. A paper taken from his dissertation called, “European Integration and Income Inequality”, has been accepted for publication in the American Sociological Review, and
is now forthcoming. His other work includes ongoing projects on the structure of the world polity and the relationship between income and equality and population health. His continuing collaborative
research with Art Alderson on the “World City System” and with David Brady and Martin Seeleib-Kaiser on “Globalization and the Welfare State” has appeared in the American Journal of Sociology
and the American Sociological Review. Amy Hanser is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of British Columbia. The primary focus of her research has been and continues to be, “The
Consequences of Social Change in Contemporary China.” After several years living in Mainland China, where she observed first hand the dramatic pace of changes, Hanser enrolled in the Graduate
Program in Sociology at the University of California, Berkley. Under the guidance of Thomas Gold, Hanser’s dissertation, “Counter Strategies, Service Work and the Production of Distinction in
Urban China”, involved ethnographic study of three market settings in Urban China that explored the social inequalities found in an increasingly stratified consumer’s sphere. Her current and
future research will focus upon the stratification of consumer strategies and the risk of a consumer right’s discourse in China. So let us, as an Association, recognize this outstanding
accomplishment for Jason Beckfield and Amy Hanser. Amy Hanser: So, originally I had a plan, but a minute is not enough time to do it. So, I will just say, perhaps you are like me and the one thing you
turn to are the acknowledgment pages. I do that because I like to see the sort of social relationships that sustained somebody’s research project, and I hope to write my own acknowledgment pages
someday. But, I will just take this moment to thank my chair, Tom Gold, my committee and especially my graduate school writing group who both read me and fed me. I’m really honored to receive this
award. Jason Beckfield: Well, good evening. It’s a real honor to receive this award, and as we all know, a dissertation is not a solitary thing but a very social thing, so I have a whole list of
people here to thank. And, I want to start by thanking the ASA and acknowledging the efforts of the Dissertation Award Committee for their service. And, I had the privilege to do my doctoral work at
Indiana University, which is a very special place to do sociology, and I owe everyone at Indiana many thanks. Of course, I don’t have time to single everyone out, but I do want to single out a few
people. First of all, Arthur S. Alderson for his mentorship, his encouragement and his challenge that he has given me since 1998 – I’m grateful. Also, Clem Brooks, Patricia McManus and Rob
Robinson who served on the Dissertation Committee, and Brian Powell, who was not on the committee but his boundless energy and his generous wisdom were sustaining over my 7 years in Indiana. Really,
all the Indiana Faculty – they’ve truly build a very, very special place. Finally, I want to thank the graduate students at Indiana for fellowship and friendship, really and truly wonderful bunch
of people and Jocelyn Paterna (sp) for an intellectual push and for emotional support. Thank you all very much. Nan Lin: The next award is the Jessie Bernard Award. The Jessie Bernard Award is given
annually in recognition of a body of scholar’s work that has enlarged the horizons of sociology to encompass fully the role of women in society. To present this award, let’s welcome Ann Gooding
(sp). Ann Gooding (sp): Margaret Andersen, Professor of Sociology and Women’s Studies at the University of Delaware is the 2006 recipient of ASA's Jessie Bernard Career Award. Professor Anderson is
situation at the forefront of cutting-edge gender scholarship. She is one of the early gender scholars to recognize that gender is not a stand-alone concept but rather one that intersects with race,
class and ethnicity. Her prolific work about those intersections is capstoned by her immensely influential text, Thinking About Women, Sociological Perspectives on Sex and Gender, now in its seventh
edition 2006. Professor Anderson is also recognized for her promotion of women’s interests in the ASA and other learned societies where, among other honors, she has served as editor and editorship
of Gender in Society, 1990 – 1995 as recipient of the SWS Feminist’s Lecture Award in 2004 and as president of the Eastern Sociological Society, 1998-1999. She is a model for current and future
gender scholars. Please welcome Professor Margaret Anderson. Margaret Andersen: Well, thank you very, very much. This is especially poignant for me because I knew Jessie Bernard. She was a visiting
distinguished professor at the University of Delaware in the early 1980s when she herself was already in her late 70s, one of the most prolific periods of her life. She had just published The Female
World, and during the time she was on our campus in one of the freshman student residence halls surrounded by all the usual clamor, noise and activity of undergraduate students, she would show up in
my office and tell me about the book she had read the night before – a different book every single night. She’d tell me the book’s methodology, its conclusions, its theoretical orientation, its
sociological insights, and her own thoughts about it. And, when I asked her, ‘How do you manage to read a book every night in the midst of all that partying?’ she said that at her age she just
didn’t need anymore sleep. As I now approach my 60s, still younger than she was when I knew her, first of all I still need 8 hours of sleep a night; there is never enough time to read. But she does
continue to inspire me; from her written work to the sit-ins that she used to conduct at the ASA meetings – one-woman sit-ins at the bars at the ASA because women were not allowed to go in
unaccompanied by men – she paved the way for many of us who are here today, and we all thank her. I also have to thank a number of people, and I’ll be very brief. First of all, I appreciate the
nomination and the support of the committee; my deep thanks to all of you. Unlike many of the women in my generation, I also had men as strong and supportive mentors. And I have never had the chance
to publically thank them, so I thank Lewis Killian, Bill Wilson and Michael Lewis for encouraging me from the start and putting up with the obnoxious questions of a budding feminist in their summit
from the early 1970s. I am also very lucky to come of age in sociology during a very vibrant women’s movement and to live and work with colleagues and friends who support questions about gender and
about race and class and their relationships. I am very lucky to live in a progressive feminist community of friends and colleagues. And no one of us achieves our work without such communities, and
though I can’t name you all I know you know who you are. So, thank you very, very much. And I can’t stand up here without thanking my dear husband; some of you know him as Captain Ricardo. His
name is Richard Rosenfeld. He keeps me on a steady course. Thank you very much. Nan Lin: The next award is the DuBois-Johnson-Frazier Award. This annual award honors the intellectual traditions of the
W.E.B. DuBois, Charles S. Johnson, and E. Franklin Frazier. The award is given for either a lifetime of research, teaching and service to the community or to an academic institution for its work in
assisting the development of scholarly efforts in this tradition. Let us welcome Mary Romero who will present this award this year. Mary Romero: Professor Rutledge Dennis’ contribution to teaching,
scholarship and service exemplify the very best of the DuBois-Johnson-Frazier tradition. As an exceptional teacher and critical thinking on the Black family, Black intellectuals and Black political
thought, his publication W.E.B. The Scholar Activist, “Intellectuals and the Double Consciousness”, W.E.B DuBois and the “Tradition of Black Intellectual Thought” and “The Black Middle
Class”, his scholar activism evident in “The Politics of Annexation” and his work with the Richmond Re-development and Housing Authority, Human Relations Council and School System as well as his
service as the President of the Association of Black Sociologists, Education Association and Committee Chair of other sociological associations. Please joint me in congratulating Professor Dennis.
Rutledge Dennis: Thank you very much. I want to thank the committee for this award but also to say that I’m very pleased because we are honoring three outstanding sociologists. Also of note is the
fact that this is the last year you’ll have the DuBois-Johnson-Frazier Award; the next year it will be the Cox-Johnson Award. I would like to also note that when looking at awards, we must see these
awards as cooperative ventures, and, for this reason, I would like to thank the people who’ve made it possible for me to be here. First, I want to dedicate this award in memory of my deceased
parents and godparents, David and Laura Boucher Dennis, and Joseph and Rebecca Rutledge Weathers. I would also like to dedicate this award to my Susan, my beloved Susan, my friend and helper; also to
my sons and daughters, Shea (sp), Mallon (sp), Kenya (sp), and Zouri (sp), to my grandsons and granddaughters, Shea(sp), Joshua, Justin Desiree (sp), Chafonne (sp) and Sierra (sp). I also wish to
dedicate the award to the people of New Orleans for what they have gone through, particularly our friend and colleague, James Blackwell. I also wish to thank the people of my City, my Community of
Charleston, South Carolina, Eastside, an area we called growing up “Little Mexico” for their encouragement in my elementary school, my high school. They told me, they taught me that segregation
would never be a reason not to excel. They pushed me, they told me to shoot for the stars, and I am so thankful they did so at those moments in my life. I also wish to thank my undergrad and graduate
professors at South Carolina State University, Marguerite Howie and Ernestine Walker and in graduate school, Dick Ogles, Joe Montague (sp), James Short, Louie Gray and a host of others who assisted me
on my way. Lastly, I would like to say a word to the young sociologists out there that you are the future. We belong to a very noble and ennobling profession. We are looking to you to bring forth
those creative juices so that in the 21st Century, you will construct a sociology that is vibrant, creative and useful for our times. Thank you very much. Nan Lin: The next award is the Public
Understanding of Sociology Award. This award is given annually to a person or persons who have made exemplary contributions to advance the public understanding of sociology, sociological research and
scholarship among the general public. The award will recognize a contribution in the preceding year or for a longer career of such contributions. Let us welcome the presenter of this award, Alice
Fothergill. Alice Fothergill: It is my pleasure to present the Public Understanding of Sociology Award to Diane Vaughan. Professor Vaughan has had an exceptional influence as a public intellectual for
the past several decades. Most notably, her work on the NASA’s Challenger and Columbia disasters changed the way the U.S. Space Program addressed internal issues. Vaughan’s thesis that NASA’s
culture had normalized risks in ways that created a catastrophe received considerable national attention, challenged conventional wisdom and prompted the agency itself to seek out her expertise. She
steered public debates toward the recognition that accidents in the Space Program are, and in fact, social problems and helped an important government agency revamp its understanding of and procedures
for dealing with risk. Professor Vaughan’s career has been a model of how thorough research, intellectual efforts and personal dedication can lead to a greater public understanding and appreciation
of sociology. Please joint me in congratulating Diane Vaughan. Diane Vaughan: Thank you very much. I think my experience demonstrates three things. First, that professional sociology and public
sociology are not separate enterprises but are interdependent. It’s always been my research and writing that has led to public sociology and then that has in turn fed back into my research and
writing. Second, it demonstrates the strength and power of our theories and concepts to resonate with multiple publics including policymakers. And, finally, if you’re sitting there thinking that
public sociology is not something you could do or would do and it’s not for you, think again. Research makes us all vulnerable. At any moment, current events could turn in such a way to make
research that you have done suddenly the subject of public discourse and you, too, will be swept into public sociology. I want to give my special thanks to the committee for the honor of this award.
Also, I want to thank my good colleagues and former ASA Presidents, Herb Gans and Michael Burawoy who have done so much to improve work in public sociology. I thank the task force – the ASA – task
force on the institutionalization of public sociology for all their good work and my privilege at working with them this past year. And I would like to accept this award in honor of all of those
people who do the invisible work of organic public sociology, spend their careers with little recognition and never get their names in the paper. Thank you very much. Nan Lin: The next award is the
Distinguished Career Award for the Practice of Sociology. This annual award honors outstanding contributions to sociological practice. The award may recognize work that has facilitated or served as a
model for the work of others, work that has significantly advanced the utility of one or more specialty areas in sociology and, by so doing, has elevated the profession status or public image of the
field as a whole, or work that has been honored or widely recognized outside the discipline for its significant impacts, particularly in advancing human welfare. To introduce the winner, let us
welcome Jose Calderon. Jose Calderon: On behalf of the Distinguished Career award for the Practice of Sociology Committee, it is my pleasure to present this year’s award to Drexel University
Professor, Arthur Shostak. Professor Shostak has dedicated his professional life to practicing and demonstrating the value of using sociology and as an applied sociologist, Professor Shostak has been
a futurist consultant for various levels of government, labor unions and companies. He has pioneered the study of labor’s use of computer power coining the term CyberUnion and written the major book
to date on this subject. Further, Professor Shostak is the principal author of the only book promoting reforms in the ways in which waiting room males are treated in abortion clinics. Professor
Shostak is the author, co-author or editor of 31 books and 146 articles, which are all in one form or another related to the craft of applied sociology. Finally, Professor Shostak is honored for his
43 years as a teacher, as a mentor and advisor to so many students. Please join me in honoring Professor Arthur Shostak. Arthur Shostak: Professor Dennis closed by sharing a message for the younger
men and women in the audience, and I’d like to pick up from that point. We’re marking the 100th anniversary now of the first meeting of our organization last year and the presidency – 100th
anniversary of the presidency – of the remarkable person who some of us don’t pay enough attention to and who I am going to commend to the younger sociologists as a model; it was Lester Frank
Ward. In 1906 he did a book called Applied Sociology, and I urge you to pay attention to it because in the book he set our profession a challenge 100 years ago, a challenge to take the kinds of work
that we do and the learning that we do and to share it in that public sociology vein that we have just heard about but to share it in action fashion, so read Ward. Second, pay attention to a new
organization, the Association of Applied and Clinical Sociologists, many of the members of whom I’m proud to regard as peers and colleagues and friends and whom I would like publically now to thank
for everything over 40 years they’ve helped me learn in practice. And then, finally, for all us, I would like to offer a bumper sticker, the definition of what applied sociology is about. Over 2000
years ago, Lao Tzu had this to offer. He suggested, “The sage is self-effacing and scanty with words. When the project is completed, the people have good cause to believe they have accomplished
it.” Thank you. Nan Lin: The next award is the Distinguished Contributions to Teaching award. This award is given annually to honor outstanding contributions to the undergraduate and/or graduate
teaching and learning of sociology that improves the quality of teaching. The award may recognize either a career contribution or a specific product. To introduce the winner, please welcome Anne
Eisenberg. Anne Eisenberg: On behalf of the Committee on Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award, it is with great pleasure that I present this award. Dr. Kathleen McKinney Cross Endowed Chair
in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning at Illinois State University and former Carnegie Scholar on the Scholarship of Teaching epitomizes all aspects of the criteria for this award. She has made
a significant impact on improving the teaching of sociology at all levels of education while in the classroom as a teacher and mentor and through the ASA workshops she offers. Dr. McKinney has also
contributed to the literature on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning as evidenced by her astonishing publication record. Finally, Dr. McKinney’s mentoring of numerous scholars and teachers has
literally created a new generation of dedicated teachers and researchers through her work in the ASA Departmental Resources Group, her editorship and continued involvement with the Journal of Teaching
Sociology and through her varied publications. Please join me in welcoming Dr. McKinney. Dr. Kathleen McKinney: Bonjour, merci. Awards such as those presented today do not belong to an individual;
they are community property. There are many individuals who contributed to my work and to name just a few, Carla Howery of the American Sociological Association, John DeLamater of the University of
Wisconsin – Madison, many colleagues and friends at Illinois State University and my family, including my husband Bob and daughter Claire who are here with me today. And, of course, most
importantly, all of my students over the many years. As an amateur equestrian who has come to horseback riding rather late in life, I’m constantly reminded of the joys and struggles of learning and
teaching, the importance of partnership, balance, taking risks, patience and challenge, clarity and consistency, the individuality of the learner, respect and caring, and of how any situation is,
intentional or not, a teaching-learning opportunity. We all teach whether in a traditional classroom, working with student organizations, advising, supervising dissertations, mentoring colleagues or
assisting clients in applied work, we all teach. Teaching and learning are the primary ways we keep our discipline alive, nurture the heart and soul of sociology. And, teaching is how we pass on our
discipline to the next generation. I urge everyone in this room to raise the priority of teaching and learning in their professional lives, to become scholarly teachers and to consider engaging in the
scholarship of teaching and learning. I urge you all to join the section on teaching and learning in sociology. Our current motto is, “If you teach, you belong,” meaning, of course, that all of us
do belong to a community of teachers and should belong to the section on teaching and learning. Finally, let us always ask the following question in every decision we make in our professional lives.
“What is the impact from student learning?” Merci beaucoup. Nan Lin: The next award is the Distinguished Book Award. The award is presented annually for a single book or monograph published in the
three preceding calendar years. Please welcome Margaret Andersen as she presents this year’s recipients. Margaret Andersen: It is my great pleasure on behalf of the Selection Committee for the
Distinguished Book Award for this year to award the Distinguished Book Award to Professor Edward Telles, and I will describe his book in just a minute. We also have a second award winner whom the
committee decided to give honorable mention to, and that is Professor Vivek Chibber. Let me first comment on Professor Telles’ book. Many have compared Brazilian and U.S. race relations typically
arguing that there is less racial segregation in Brazil because of the blurring of the color line there. The assumption has been that in Brazil class – not race – is more important than shaping
Brazilian race relations. But in his book, Race in Another America: The Significance of Skin Color in Brazil, Edward Telles changes this common view by distinguishing vertical and horizontal racial
integration; vertical referring to the level of economic inclusion in society and horizontal referring to the level of social inclusion. Using historical analysis as well as detailed census and survey
analysis and ethnographic observations, Telles provides a persuasive and important analysis of the dynamics of racial exclusion in democratic societies. It is with great pleasure that the committee
selected his book for the Distinguished Book Award. We have also given honorable mention, as I said, to Vivek Chibber. Bringing in an analysis of state and class formation, Chibber in his book, Locked
in Place: State-Building and Late Industrialization in India, examines the strong role of elite entrepreneurs in class development. Using the cases of India and Korea, his book shows the significant
role of industrialists in either resisting or facilitating state development. The argument, based on detailed comparative histories shows the central role of capital and state formation while also
revealing the structural forces that shape class and state relations. It is my great honor to award this year’s Distinguished Book Award to Professor Edward Telles and Honorable Mention for the same
award to Professor Vivek Chibber. Vivek Chibber: Thank you very much for this award. First a story and then on my thanks to people. If I weren’t here today, I would have been in my high school
buddy’s 50-year birthday party. Upon letting his wife know why I could not attend, the word got around that I won this award. I soon received a couple of heartwarming e-mails from long lost friends
who didn’t seem to know what sociology was. One of them congratulated me on my literary award and another said, ‘what a trip’ and noted that I should get some free drinks in my honor. So, there
you go! Their e-mails and their advancing age made me recall my high school years and think about what social factors produced this outcome for this working-class kid. I thought of the variables as a
social demographer of unionization, Catholic schools and affirmative action. I thank these institutions for being there for me, but my N=1 problem gave me very little certainty of their influence. I
felt more confident of the contributions of particular individuals by including my parents who sacrificed to send me and my siblings to Catholic schools and drilling into us the importance of
education and a freshman teacher who convinced me that I shouldn’t be content to be just an average student. Between then and now, I have had many more people to thank; my professors and fellow
students at the University of Texas for passing on their serious interest in Latin America; many of my colleagues at UCLA also for their support and giving me a keen appreciation of good methodology;
to my many ASA friends and colleagues who are here – and many who could not attend – who have been sources of inspiration and camaraderie. I would especially like to thank my wife Anna Maria for
putting up with me after all these years and consolidating my interest in Brazil, to our daughter Julia who made us learn about the most important things in life and challenged us in ways we could
never have imagined. Finally, I would like to deeply thank the awards committee for their hard work and wisdom. Thank you. Edward Telles: This book grew out of a Ph.D. dissertation that I completed at
the University of Wisconsin. It’s a book that argues for the central place of class power, especially capitalist class power and explaining state action and state development. And, it is hard to
imagine a more congenial environment to have written that dissertation than at the University of Wisconsin and, in particular, I would like to mention Eric Olin Wright who I worked with who virtually
single-handedly has kept a space open for about 30 years now for a class analysis at the University of Wisconsin through the program of Class Analysis and Historical Change. Eric knows very little
about development and even less about India. And, well, I can’t imagine having worked with anybody else on this dissertation, so this is in part, I would like to declare a tribute to him. I also
want to thank my colleagues at NYU, which has been a tremendous place and a very congenial place for a freak like me, and I want to thank them for supporting me all these years. Nan Lin: Finally, the
career of Distinguished Scholarship Award. This annual award honors scholars who have shown outstanding commitment to the profession of sociology and whose cumulative work has contributed in important
ways to the advancement of the discipline. The body of life-time work may include theoretical and/or mythological contributions, particularly work that substantively reorients the field in general or
in a particular sub-field. To honor this year’s winner, let us welcome Donald Cunningham who will introduce the recipient. Donald Cunningham: In an age of specialization, Herbert Gans stands apart
because his many contributions are known throughout sociology. He has made similar contributions and written classic works in a remarkable number of different fields; urban sociology, mass media,
culture, inequality and poverty, democracy, immigration, race and ethnicity. His influence on the discipline as a whole has come also from his distinct sensibility, which combines scholarship
satisfyingly to the most professional sociologist with writing that speaks to much broader publics, rigorous application of ethnographic and other methodologies with a Catholic appreciation of good
evidence whatever the source, and deeply felt democratic egalitarianism with tough-minded social scientific analysis of explanations and proposed remedies for poverty and inequality. He has been a
trailblazer for the cause of public sociology, the subject of his 1988 ASA presidential address. It is a distinct pleasure and privilege to present the award to Professor Herbert Gans. Herbert Gans:
Thank you very much. I am very honored by this award, obviously; I’m very pleased. I thank all those who chose me and will consider it another incentive to keep on with my career. That career has
been somewhat unorthodox, and Richard Alba’s statement, the one he drafted for this committee, has summarized my career perfectly even if somewhat extravagantly. I have a minute, so I want to
describe the start of that career in a slightly different way as a way of thanking four people who made it possible. I graduated from high school as a hopeful writer who could write on many subjects
– a freelance writer, I guess it would be called today – who could write about many topics of interest. However, I discovered in college that all the things I had been writing about since
elementary school were called sociology; this was before sociology was taught in high school. And so I knew very early in my undergraduate career that I was going to be a sociologist, at least in my
thinking. And I also knew that I would be a sociologist with a number of fields of interest because I had been writing about these things already. And I also wanted – having come from Nazi Germany,
as terrible a society as ever existed – I also wanted to be a socially-useful sociologist. The first of my features was Earl Johnson, a fervent advocate of socially-useful sociology; a student of
Robert Park and of John Dewey. And he believed as I do in a single social science or the unified social science, which is a social movement of sorts when I was a graduate student. He encouraged me to
take courses across the social sciences. The second was Everett Hughes, also of the University of Chicago; these were all at the University of Chicago. Everett Hughes was the founder of post-World War
II participant of observation who trained someone with a primitive journalistic empirical background – that was me – to become a participant observer. The third was David Riesman, another
supporter of socially useful social science. He is known best as the author of The Lonely Crown, but he was all over the place. He was a – like me – an obsessive correspondent, and I hope someday
somebody will collect all those thousands of pounds of letters, which went all the way up to the White House and were answered by the White House; a role model that was very impressive. He supported
my interest especially in topics that were still inappropriate by some mainstream professors. And the fourth is Martin Meyerson who was a professor of planning whose work spanned most of the social
sciences and who later was president of the University of Pennsylvania. He mentored me both at Chicago and at Pennsylvania, supervising my AMA thesis and my dissertation, and he trained me especially
as a planner and he showed me how to meld social research and social policy. If I had time, I would name many more; as old as I am, I could go on all day. Fellow Chicago students also, including
incidentally, our president elect Fran Piven, also my own students who have helped keep me on my toes and my wife Louise who has kept me on my toes in other ways. Thank you. Nan Lin: Now I would like
to turn the podium back to our Vice President, Lynn Smith-Lovin. Lynn Smith-Lovin: I would like to congratulate both personally and on behalf of the Association all of the award winners for their
extraordinary research, teaching and service to the discipline. We appreciate them. And, I would like to invite all of you to join us at a reception next to greet them and to congratulate them
yourselves after this Presidential Plenary Session. I now have the pleasure of introducing the president. We have heard a great deal about public sociology in the last few years. Today we will hear
from a woman who’s contributed important scholarly research and important political action seamlessly throughout her career. To understand how she made this contribution and how major a contribution
it was, it helps to remember a past that we would sometimes rather forget. Epstein’s upbringing exposed her to idealistic egalitarian principles, but the rest of the country was marching to a
different drummer those days. These were the days of McCarthyism, the category of “other” was big and it was dangerous. She attended Antioch College, but once she graduated in 1955 she ran
straight into the sexism of that era. Remember, this was the time when Sandra Day-O’Connor ended up with a job as a legal secretary. Epstein, too, spent several frustrating years in a dead-end job;
then she put her intelligence to the task of figuring out why talented women were viewed as lacking the ability to run a business or a government. Epstein went to the New School for Social Research at
night. She received her masters in 1960. She went to Columbia University where she received a Ph.D. in 1968. At Columbia, Epstein worked with Psi Goode on a family project. She saw not just how much
women’s roles differed across cultures but also how women’s so called intrinsic nature, always used to explain those different behaviors. Women were entering the labor force but were limited to
jobs that were viewed as their natural choices. She eventually chose women’s access to the legal profession as a strategic case in the role of binary distinctions in social life. The Ph.D. research
began as a dissertation under Robert Merton and took on a life of its own. It became her first book, Women’s place. Before shifting to the public sociology side of the story, I want to emphasize to
younger sociologists and to those who are perhaps old enough to be forgetful, just how remarkable this topic, this book, and this research program were. There was no thing as gender. Even 10 years
later, when I taught my first course, we still called it sex roles. There were no women on the graduate faculties of any of the institutions that Cynthia attended. It was still perfectly legal to
discriminate against women and hiring, firing, pay or anything else. Studying women in the 1950s and 60s meant studying the family, pure and simple – except for Epstein. Since Women’s Place was
published in a time of rapid social change, the project could not end with research. While she was working on her dissertation, she met Betty Friedan, author of The Feminine mystique. In 1966, Epstein
joined Friedan and others to form the National Organization for Women. It was the first of many women’s groups, including the Professional Women’s Caucus and the SWS that she would instigate and
nurture over the years. As an activist and a scholar, Epstein participated in policy making on gender discrimination. She testified at the newly formed EEOC pointing out some of the down sides of
grouping help wanted ads by sex. She was a consultant for the White House under two administrations and to the National Academy of Sciences. She was a consultant to major businesses that were trying
to do the right thing, and she was an expert witness against those that weren’t. At the same time that she was doing public sociology before it became fashionable, Epstein continued to research
women’s positions within the male professions. Her second book, Women in Law received the 1981 Scribes Book Award and the Merit Award of the American Bar Association. In all, Cynthia has published
six books and more than 70 articles. There is no way for me to truly give you the scope of her scholarly contribution. So I will mention just a few of my personal favorites. Her studies of
professional women eventually led Cynthia to explore the dynamics of stereotyping generally. Focusing on the social construction of boundaries, especially those that resulted in binary distinctions,
Cynthia published the book she called Deceptive Distinctions, which I have used in many courses. Decades progressed and so did women’s problems. Intellectual competence was less of an issue; network
connections and time pressures were. Cynthia worked with the Sloan Foundation to study part-time and flex-time work as a possible solution to the time problem resulting in her 1999 book, The Part-time
Paradox. Her newest work analyses the social meaning of time and the ways that it’s used to maintain gender and other status boundaries. Her newest book, Fighting for time and a forthcoming book,
The Anxious American develop this insight. Well, speaking of the importance of time, I can’t do justice to Cynthia’s contributions in our discipline and our lives, but I need to wrap up so that
she will have time to talk. Cynthia Fuchs Epstein is the distinguished Professor of Sociology at the City University of New York Graduate Center since 1990. She has visited the Russell Sage
Foundation, the Stanford Center for Advanced Study and the Stanford and Columbia Law Schools. She has been a Guggenheim Fellow, President of the Eastern Sociological Society and Chair of three
American Sociological Association sections. She has received the Jessie Bernard Award, the first sex and gender Distinguished Career Award, and the Eastern Society’s Merit Award. Tonight, Cynthia
will continue her insightful analysis of Deceptive Distinctions with a talk entitled, “Cognitive Boundaries: The Social Basis of the Global Subjugation of Women.” Please joint me in applauding the
distinguished career of Cynthia Fuchs Epstein, the 2006 President of the American Sociological Association. Cynthia FUCHS Epstein: Well, we all got here! Thank you so much. I am so pleased to have
Lynn introduce me and to serve with me on the council and program committee of these meetings. Her award-winning scholarship is so complementary to mine, and she has represented the best tradition of
outstanding social science on salient social issues. And thanks, too, to the incredible staff of the ASA headed by our extraordinary executive officer, Sally Hillsman, my graduate school fellow and to
Carla Howery and Lee Herring who this year guided ASA’s swift response to the tragedy caused by Hurricane Katrina; so thanks to them. And, of course, as every president knows in this association,
thanks to Janet Asner who’s stalwartly managed the broad negotiations and infinite details of moving the ASA meetings twice and now the third time here because of the possible threat of labor
strike. As you are experiencing, we lucked out in finding alternative space and a most hospitable tourist bureau in the beautiful City of Montreal, which inspired us to work with our Canadian
colleagues who have brought to this program a rich intellectual agenda and some delightful introductions to the cultural life of this city. Culture here at every level is not unknown to me since my
son Alex, a resident of this city, has been the beneficiary of Canadian grants and awards for his film and TV work. So allo viva Quebec and the Canadian people. Now, bear with me as I speak today of
matters less uplifting but highly representative of this meeting’s theme, “Great Divides: Transgressing Boundaries.” Much of what I have to say today will be not news to many of you here, and
that is to the good. But, I will take advantage of this platform to suggest – modestly – a new priority for our profession, and I hope one that may affect and possibly transform the entire
research agenda building on the work of many of you here today. Today I shall speak of the great divide that veils on the body and veils of the mind create and reinforce. It is the divide of sex. It
is the most persistent and arguably the deepest divide in the world today. Of course, the world is made up of many great divides: divides of nations, of wealth, of race, of class, education, of
religion and ethnicity. All are constructs created by human agency. We find these categories are always symbolic and be physical and social boundaries as well. Boundaries mark the territories of human
relations. They are created by cultural entrepreneurs who translate the concepts into practice, rulers behind the closed doors of palaces and executive offices, judges in courtrooms, priests, rabbis
and mullahs, leaders and members of unions and clubs, by teachers, parents and by the people on the street and the person sitting next to you. The great divides of society and their boundaries are
enforced by the persuasion, barter, custom and by force or the threat of force and from the frown on a close person’ intimate face. The extent to which boundaries are permeable is the function of a
society’s or an institution’s stability and capacity to change. The ways in which boundaries may be transgressed is the story of social change and its limits. But of all socially created divides,
the sex divide is the most basic and the most resistant to change. Differentiation on the base of biological sex, I note not gender but biological sex like other dichotomous distinctions everywhere is
invidious. As I have suggested before, dichotomous categories such as those that distinguish between blacks and whites, free persons and slaves, and men and women are particularly powerful in
maintaining the advantage of the privileged category. With regard to the sex divide, the male sex is everywhere privileged. In some places, the gap is wide and in others, narrow. Some individuals and
small clusters of women may succeed in bypassing the negative consequences of categorization, but in every society world wide, women as a category are subordinated to men. Today, I shall argue further
that the sex divide supports boundary maintenance in all major institutions of society, the family, the local and global labor force, political entities, religious systems, and nation states,
educational institutions, professional institutions with the possible exception of sections of the ASA. The concepts of female and male are imbued with cultural meanings containing attributions of
character and competence that support assignment to particular social and symbolic roles in these institutions. Female’s bodies are even used to mark the division between the sacred and the profane.
Of course, biological sex prescribes reproductive roles, but short of that all gender roles are socially prescribed and ranked and locked into institutions. Therefore, attention to the mechanisms and
processes of sex differentiation, its role in group maintenance and stratification should be focused on all – not segregated – sociological inquiries. The place of women in the world is a subject
I focused on, as you have heard, for most of my sociological career. Although I have written about the consequences of dichotomous distinction for girls and women for the past 35 years, it’s only
recently that I have understood its primary and pivotal importance in social analysis, as a seedbed for group formation, and for boundary maintenance. The use of gender differentiation is not, of
course, always the same; but I offered this thesis: all societies and most institutions are rooted in the differentiation and in the subordination of females. And further, that the more group
solidarities are in question, either internally within a society or with respect to global issues, the stronger the differentiation between males and females the more severe is women’s
subordination. Enforcement of the distinction is achieved through cultural and ideological mean justifying and enforcing the differentiation. This is despite the fact that unlike every other
dichotomous category of people, females and males are necessarily bound together sharing the same domiciles and the same racial and class status. There is, of course, variation in societies and the
sub groups within them, and a continuum exists in the severity of subordination. It is not a static process and it varies from almost complete subordination to very little. The process is dynamic in
shape and degree. Women gain or lose depending on many elements: the state of an economy, identity politics of groups or nations, the election of a conservative or liberal government, the need for
women’s labor in the public and private sectors, the extent of a woman’s education or her ability to collaborate in social movements – and I must make note – the support of the men in their
intimate lives of whom I must say, my husband is a model. But even in the most egalitarian societies and groups, the invidious divide is always a lurking presence; and it can easily become salient. I
have made a theoretical journey to arrive at this thesis. For many years, I have engaged in research and theoretical exploration to explain the structural and cultural reasons for gender inequality. I
first saw women’s inequality as a case in point of other social inequalities, but I did not propose as I do today that societies and strategic sub groups within them, such as political and work
institutions maintain their boundaries. They are very social organizations resting on invidious distinctions made between males and females. We see this process at work most dramatically today in the
parts of the world controls of female dress and use of public space have been made representations of orthodoxies and confrontation with modernism, urbanism and secular society. But, even in the most
egalitarian societies like the United States and Canada, women’s autonomy over their bodies, their time, and their ability to decide their destinies is constantly at risk when it intrudes on male
authority and power. The gender divide, as I said, is not determined by biological forces. No society or sub group within it leaves social sorting to natural processes. It is through social and
cultural mechanisms and their impact on cognitive processes that social sorting by sex occurs and is kept in place, kept in place, as I said, by the excess of force and the threat of force by law, by
persuasion, and by imbedded cultural schemas that are internalized by individuals and all societies. Everywhere, local cultures support invidious distinctions by sex. I cannot stress this strongly
enough. As Jerome Bruner pointed out in his thoughtful book, Acts of Meaning, normatively oriented institutions, the law, educational institutions and family structures serve to enforce folk
psychology, and folk psychology in turn serves to justify such enforcement. Let me explore with you the pattern ups and downs in social life regarding these processes of boundary maintenance and
permeability. First and up, I shall start here at the 101st meeting of the American Sociological Association. You have honored me by electing me president of this organization, the ninth woman
president in its 101 years of existence. It took half a century for the first woman president, Dorothy Swaine Thomas, to be elected in 1952. The second was Mirra Komarovsky almost 20 years later, and
the seven others have been chosen in the 23 years since. We nine women are symbolic of the positive changes in the position of women in the United States, though in truth we are situated at the high
end of the continuum of women’s access to equality. Similarly, our profession has devoted much attention to women’s position in society, though the research findings are often ghettoized and not
integrated with the profession’s major theoretical and empirical foci. Many of the most radical voices in our discipline refer to it only ritualistically. This is so even though sociological
research on gender is one of the major examples of public sociology of the past 40 years. When I was a sociology graduate student at Columbia University in the 1960s, there were no women on the
faculty as was the case in most other major universities. The entire bibliography on women in the workplace assembled from my thesis on women’s exclusion from the legal profession was limited to a
few pages, however, included Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique with its attack on Talcott Parson’s Perspective on the Functions of a Nuclear Family and its observation that women’s role
assignment in the home prevented competition with their husbands – that to say it was a functional good – and her attack on Freud’s theory of women’s feelings of biological inferiority.
Friedan died February 4th of this year, and I want today to acknowledge her contribution to social science and to advances in the status of women. In my lifetime, Friedan did more than any other
person to change our cognitive perceptions of women and their place in the world. While not first to identify the dimensions of women’s equality, there were notable theorists whose work preceded
hers, Friedan put into practice building on the attention she received when The Feminine Mystique was published in 1963. At a moment made right by the sensibilities of the Civil Rights Movement and
the growing participation of women in the labor force, she took up a challenge posed to her by Pauli Murray, the African-American lawyer and civil rights activist to create an NAAC for women – I bet
a lot of you didn’t know that – with the encouragement and participation of a small but highly motivated group of women in government, union offices and professional life, white women,
African-American women and women from Latin American backgrounds – a fact that has gone unnoticed for too long – and the participation of ASAs third women woman president, Alice Rossi, who was in
that initial group in Washington. Friedan founded the National Organization for Women in 1966. Working through now, Friedan set out to provide political support for implementation of Title IX of the
Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex as well as race, color, religion and national origin. The changes accomplished by the organizational work of Friedan and the
number of other activists and scholars including Gloria Steinem, who’ll be speaking at a major plenary at these meetings on Monday, were nothing short of a social revolution. It is a revolution of
interest to sociologists, not only for its creation of women’s rights in employment and education, but because – and I can’t emphasize this enough – it became a natural field experiment
establishing that there was no natural order of things relegating women to women’s work and men to men’s work. Yet, like most revolutions, it was limited in accomplishment of its stated goals, and
its principles are constantly under attack. But, the revolution did motivate research. There has been an explosion of scholarship on the extent of sex divides on macro and micro levels. Social
scientists, mostly women social scientists with some very notable exceptions, have documented in hundreds of thousands of pages of research the existence and consequences of subtle and over
discrimination against women of all stratums. We have noted the institutionalization of sexism. We have pointed to women’s and girl’s vulnerabilities in the home and the workplace, the disdain
directed toward them, their exploitation in times of war and other group conflicts, and we have shown the conditions under which an ethos of hypermasculinity in nations and the sub groups within them
controls women’s lives. Some of our work and of our colleagues in related disciplines has persuaded legislators and judges in many countries to acknowledge the inequalities and harsh treatment that
women and girls face in the world. Our first plenary speaker, Pierre Sané of UNESCO, opened these meetings by noting the synergy between social research and human rights activities and stressing that
international meetings have declared that women’s rights must be regarded as human rights and enforced by law. Let us remember that the woman question is a serious point of inquiry for the social
science is relatively new. In the past, wisdom on this subject came namely from armchair ideologists, philosophers, legislators, judges and religious leaders. With few exceptions, these theorists
asserted that women’s subordinate position was for good reason – Divine Design – or for those not religiously inclined, nature mandated it. Today a new species of theorists holds to this theory,
fundamentalist leaders in many nations, churches and religious sects in particular, but all scholars – some in the United States in fields such as sociobiology or evolutionary psychology. These last
paradigms were perhaps predictable if my thesis is correct because women had started to intrude into male’s ideological and physical turf in the academy and elsewhere in the society upsetting the
practices of male affiliation. The prejudices which passes everyday common sense also support this ideology, often with backing from sophisticated individuals responsible for making policies that
effect girls and women, such as girls only leadership academies. And support comes as well from well-meaning women’s social scientists, a few possessing iconic status who appear on all gender
sociologist’s curricula and in many required theory texts who have confirmed stereotypes about women’s nature, of course, with a positive slant on the basis of poor or no data. Today, to
illustrate my thesis about the persistence of the worldwide subordination of the female sex, I have no pictures to show you on these grand screens, no graphs or charts. Today, I must ask you to
imagine for yourselves some of the phenomena that illustrate my thesis of women’s systematic subordination. Imagine most women’s lifetimes of everyday drudgery in households and factories, of
their struggles for survival without access to decent jobs; imagine the horror of mass rapes by armed men in ethnic and other conflicts; of women’s isolation and confinement behind walls and veils.
Some example of the subordination and negative evaluation of women, are hidden from view and, therefore, harder to imagine. For example, the one-hundred-million women missing in the world first
brought to our attention by the economist Amartya Sen who alerted us to the bizarre sex ratios in South Asia, West Asia and China, especially pointing to the abandonment and systematic
undernourishment of girls and women and the poor medical care they receive even where it is available to males. International human rights groups have also alerted us to the selective destruction of
female fetuses. It is estimated in china and India alone 10 million were aborted between 1978 and 1998. Also hidden are the child brides who live basically as servants in alien environments and who,
should their husbands die, are abandoned to live in poverty and isolation. And there are the millions of girls and women lured or forced into sex work at risk to their health and survival or the sex
work in marriages in which the burden of unwanted pregnancies and dangerous childbirth procedures are common. Out of the view is the persistent segregation of the workplace in which girls and women in
sex labor in jobs that are tedious, mind-numbing and highly supervised even in the most sophisticated societies. Unseen, too, are the countless beatings, slights and defamations women and girls endure
from men, including intimates every day all over the world. Explore with me the question of how and why the master narrative, the narrative holding that natural differences or even early socialization
determine the division of the sexes and the invidious distinctions between them. Listen to this, Larry Summers. Let’s dismiss this theory at once. The systematic research of social scientist has
proved that males and females show almost no difference or shifting differences in measures of cognitive abilities and emotions. And, in spite of the fact that under conditions of equality, girls and
women perform and achieve at test levels that are the same or similar to males. The American Psychological Association has reported officially that males and females are more alike than different on
most psychological variables. The APA’s finding is based on Janet Hyde 2005 analysis of 46 meta-analyses conducted recently in the United States. They conclude the gender roles in social context
lead to the few differences. Further, they report that sex differences, though believed to be immutable, fluctuate with age and location. Women manifest similar aggressive feelings, although the
expression of them is obliged to take different forms. Sociologists, too, have found women to be similarly ambitions and find fulfillment from similar sources. Like men, women want respect and love
and work. Social and economic changes in other parts of the West and in parts of the underdeveloped world provide natural field experiments to confirm this data from the United States. So given
similar traits, do women prefer dead-end and limited opportunity jobs? Do they wish to work without pay in the home or to be always subject to the authority of men. Some economists think so. The noble
Laureate, Gary Becker, has proposed that make women make rational choices to work in the home to free their husbands for paid labor. But, history has proven this is neither rational nor a choice. The
real truth is that most men prevented the incursion of women into their spheres except when they needed their labor power, proving that they were indeed a reserve army of labor. My research and those
of others shows when windows of opportunity presented themselves, women fought to joint the paid labor force at every level from manual craft work to the elite professions. Men resisted seeking to
preserve the boundaries of their work domains except when dual incomes became necessary to achieve a desired lifestyle or simply survival. In the West, whereas elsewhere, women have always been
employed unpaid in the family work force. A revolution in women’s interests and participation in the paid work place spiraled after the First World War. In the United States, from 1930 to 1970, the
participation of married women age 35 to 44 in the labor force moved from 10% to 46% today it is 76%. The opening of the lead colleges and universities to women students after the 1960s led
progressively to their increased participation in employment in the professions and in other top jobs. This was the direct result of a growing consciousness about the possibility of change and a
concerted effort to use the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to force opening of the labor economy to them. It was people like Ruth Bader-Ginsburg and her associates in the Women’s Rights Projects or the
ACLU who, in a series of landmark cases fought and won important battles in the Supreme Court, and Judge Constance Baker Motley, the first African-American woman to become a federal judge who ruled
that the large law firms had to recruit women on the same basis of men to comply with the equal treatment promised by the Civil Rights Act providing somewhat of a domino effect in medicine and
financial services. Stable governments, ideologies of equality and a new prosperity led to something of a revolution in women’s statuses in the United States and other countries of the West, notably
in Canada with its new charter prohibiting discrimination. Variously, ideologies of equality were operative in countries of the Middle East, the East, and the Global South, and women began to have
representation in political spheres, the professions and commerce. But their percentage remains quite small. I want to underline my thesis here, again. Women’s lot rises or falls as a result of
regime change, stability or instability and is always at severe risk. And though there are world-wide cultural gains in that most governments have signed on to commitments to women’s rights, they
are almost meaningless in the regimes which most egregiously define them in practice. Ninety percent of Countries in the United Nations have signed on to the convention on the elimination of all forms
of discrimination against women – 183 countries. They include Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and other countries we know full well women have quite inferior human rights. The United States
never ratified this convention, but you can see the great meaning it’s had in any case. However, they did sign them, that’s a good thought. In no society have women had clear access to the best
jobs in the workplace or have they anywhere achieved economic parity with men. As Charles and Grusky have documented in their recent book, Occupational Ghettos: The Worldwide segregation of Women and
Men, sex segregation in employment persists all over the world, including in the United States and Canada. Women workers get less than men even in the most gender egalitarian societies like Sweden.
Charles and Grusky suggest that the disadvantage in employment is partly because they are clustered in women’s jobs; jobs that in the low-paying service economy, white-collar jobs that do not offer
autonomy. These are typically occupational ghettos world wide. The reason, claim Charles and Grusky, is that women are crowded into the non-manual sector. But, they miss the women who do work in the
manufacturing economy increasingly globalized. For example, in assembly-line production that supplies the world with components for computers or in the clothing sweat shops in Chinatown in the United
States and in Mainland China, India, Malaysia, Egypt, Mexico and other countries. Many women in the newly industrializing countries experience a benefit from employment created by transnational
corporations in the 1980s and 1990s since they received income and some limited independence from families; but they remained in the sex segregated, low-wage work field subject to cut-backs when
corporations seek cheaper labor markets. As for their suitability for heavy labor and the law protecting women from it, it is common to see women hauling rocks and stones in building sites in many
third-world countries, throughout the world where water is a scarce commodity, it is women who carry heavy buckets and vessels of water, usually on foot and over long distances. The guiding principle
of essentialism labels as women’s jobs those that are not physically easier necessarily but rather those that are avoided by men, pay little or are under the yoke of intense supervision. Even the
good jobs in the semi-professions such as nursing, all are paired with superordinate male-labeled jobs. Of course, women have moved into some male-labeled jobs. As I noted in my 1988 book, Deceptive
Distinctions, on the consequences of sex boundaries, the amazing decade of the 1970s and 1980s showed that women could do men’s work that no one including themselves often thought that they could.
They would develop interest no one thought they had. My research showed that women make cross-gender boundaries into the elite professions that retain their male definition, such as medicine and law,
when there is legal support giving the access to training and equal recruitment and a shortage of personnel. Women made their most dramatic gains during a time of rapid economic growth in the United
States and the Western World when their labor power was drawn on. I first started research on women in the legal profession – as you’ve heard – in the 1960s when women constituted only 3% of the
practitioners. When I recently assessed their achievements and those of you heard with Ginsberg, women are today about 30% of practicing lawyers and about half of all law students. The same striking
changes were happening in medicine, and women were moving into specialties once thought to be beyond their interest or aptitudes such as corporate law and surgery. Yet even with such advances, they
face multiple glass ceilings. Only small percentages have achieved high rank, and it should come as no surprise that men of high rank, the popular media and right-wing commentators insist that this is
because of women’s own choice to limit their aspirations and even to drop out of the labor force. But dropping out has not been women’s pattern. Most educated women have continuous work histories.
It is true, however, that many women’s ambitions to reach the very top of their profession are undermined. For one thing, they face unrelieved burdens of care work in society, they face norms that
this work demands their personal attention, a female’s attention. For another, they face inhospitable environments in male dominated work setting in which co-workers are not only wary of a women’s
ability but visibly disapprove of their presumed neglect of their families. Even in the most egalitarian societies there are a myriad of subtle prejudices and practices that men in gate-keeping
positions employed to limit women’s access to the better male-labeled jobs and ladders of success, for example, as I have noted in my own research, partnership tracks in large law firms. Alternative
work – roots for women – mommy tracks have been institutionalized seen as a benefit but usually resulting in stalled careers. And husbands of working wives who wish to limit their own hours to
assist working wives usually encounter severe discrimination as well. Individual men who practice equality and thereby are undermining the system of male advantage often finds themselves disciplined.
So when the currently best of all possible worlds, ideologies of difference, and to use Charles Tilley’s concept, exploitation and opportunity hoarding by men in control keep the stratum of law and
other professions virtually sex segregated. Gate keepers today don’t necessarily limit entry, acts that would place them in violation of sex discrimination laws in the United States or place them in
an uncomfortable position given modern Western ideologies of equality, but powerful men move only a very small percentage of the able women they hire, often in equal numbers with men, upwards in the
path toward leadership and decision making, especially now in professions that are characterized by slow growth. Most rationalize with the approval of conventional wisdom that it is women’s
decisions that determine their poor potential for achieving power. Inequality in the workplace is created and reinforced by inequality in education. Don’t be fooled by newspaper headlines reporting
that more women in the United States today than men get BA’s, for example. The increase is because of older women going back to school trying to reenter the labor market, often going to community
colleges with degrees in typically women’s fields. When you look at the elite universities and colleges, men still are holding on to their advantage. But, of course, women’s education in the
Western world in general is the good news; consider the rest of the world. In many places in the world, girls are denied any education. Consider the case in Afghanistan where the Taliban are
attempting to resume power, and Pakistan where a good number of the millions of Afghans who fled there did so to prevent the education of their daughters. Most recently in July, last month, the
Taliban issued warnings to parents that girls going to school may get acid thrown in their faces or be murdered. Consider that in Southern Asia 23½ million girls do not attend school, and in Central
and West Africa virtually half of all girls are also excluded. The sex segregation of labor as measured by sophisticated sociologists and economist do not even acknowledge women’s labor outside the
wage-earning structure. Tens of millions of women and girls labor behind the walls of their homes producing goods such as the carpets that cover our floors that provide income to their families,
income they have no control over. Thus girls and women, tens of millions of them, are not counted to be in the labor force at all although they perform essential work in the economy. Where are they in
the workplace studies? In addition, women are regarded as a commodity themselves. I imagine most people here do not think of girls and women as goods of trade, but they are computed as a means of
barter as tribal families which give their girls often before puberty to men outside their tribe or clan who want them as wives to produce goods and children. Or men trade their daughters to men of
other tribes as a form of appeasement for killing a member. Harmony is re-equilibrated in the bodies of females. There is much more here to say about the roles of women and girls in the labor force
world wide, my life’s work, but there are other spheres in which women everywhere are mired in subordinate roles. Chief among them is in the family and the social and cultural practices that keep
women both segregated and in a state of symbolic and actual otherness undermining their autonomy and dignity. Elsewhere I have called this cognitive Diasporas, a concept I adopted from Jude Blau’s
theme of Diaspora for the southern sociology meetings this year. Most everywhere women are regarded as others, structural and cultural institutions enforce this idea. In many societies girls and women
are required to leave their birth homes and enter as virtual strangers into the homes of their husbands and their husband’s kin. Because of the practice of patrilocality, they usually have few or no
resources, human or monetary. They enters these families with the lowest rank and no social supports, and they marry very young. About one in seven girls in the developing world gets married before
her 15th birthday, according to the Population Council and international research groups. Attempts locally and internationally to prevent this practice have been largely unsuccessful. And then there
is Utah and Kansas. In exploring the actual and symbolic segregation of women, I have been inspired by the work of Mounira Charrad and her recent prize-winning book, States and Women’s Rights: The
Making of Postcolonial Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco; the work of Val Moghadam and Roger Friedland also informs this analysis. Writing of the relative status of women, Charrad points to the iron grip
of patrilineal kin groups and their societies. She notes how Islamic family wall legitimizes the extended male-centered patrilineage that serves as the building block of kin-based solidarities with in
tribal groups so that state politics and tribal politics converge. It supports the patriarchal power not only of husbands but of all male kin over women so that the clan defines its boundaries through
a family law that rests on the exploitation of women. Her study shows how Islamic family law provides a meaningful symbol of national unity in the countries of the Maghreb, but if this is, of course,
the case for other countries in the Middle East and elsewhere. As Val Moghadam has pointed out, the gender dimension of the Afghan conflict is prototypical of other conflicts today. During periods of
contestation, section and subordination of women becomes the sign of cultural identity. We see clearly in the ideologies of Hamas and Hezbollah in Iran, Chechnya, groups and societies. Representations
of women are deployed during processes of revolution and state building, and when power is being reproduced linking with women either to modernization and progress or to cultural rejuvenation and
religious orthodoxy. Not many social scientists have pain attention to the role of kin structures and their accompanying conceptual structures in the minds of players in national and international
politics. But today I suspect this negligence persists at our peril as we experience ever new conflicts between kin-based groups and fearcratic actors all over the world. Of course, human sexuality
has much to do with the cultural sex divide. The fact that men desire women sexually and that women also desire men means that they are destined to live together no matter what the culture and family
structures in which they live. And sexuality could and can create equality through bonds of connection and affection. As William Goode pointed out in an important but perhaps forgotten paper, “The
Theoretical Importance of Love: Love is a Universal Emotion,” but as such, he said, it threatened social structures because the ties between men and women could be stronger than the bonds between
men. So, as he pointed out, everywhere the affiliations made possible by heterosexual love are contained in various ways. In societies in which marriage is imbedded in a larger kin-structure beyond
the nuclear family, the practices and rules of domicile and the conventions around that have the potential to undermine the possibility of a truly effective marital tie, one that could integrate women
in any society. The couple may face a wall of separation – apartheid – in the home, in separate parts of the compound or house, women are further segregated. They may be community bound or home
bound in fundamentalist groups even in the Western world in groups such as the Satmar Community in New York where, like in Saudi Arabia, they are also not permitted to drive; or Christian
fundamentalist communities in the United States where women are required to home school their children. Lack of childcare in the United States and in other societies also tether women to the home or
undermines their workforce attachments or the ability to become public political actors contributing sex segregation in all these spheres as Rose Coser pointed out many years ago. Even in Germany
today where a woman is chancellor, there is very little childcare available. And children complete their school day at lunch time making it extraordinarily difficult for mothers to work at the
demanding jobs that supply power and money to men. I shall now jump to some particular symbolic uses of sex distinctions that facilitate their unequal treatment. Females are designated as carriers of
honor in many societies. Their virtue is a symbolic marker of men’s group boundaries. The ideas that girls must remain virgins until they marry or their entire family will suffer dishonor is used as
a mechanism for women’s segregation and subordination in many parts of the world. It is also used as a justification for the murder of many girls and young women by family members claiming to
cleanse the girl’s supposed dishonor from the family. In particular, we see this at play in the Middle East and Muslim communities in the Diaspora, so that when a woman strays from her prescribed
roles, seeks autonomy or is believed to have had sex with a man outside of marriage, killing her is regarded as a reasonable response by her very own relatives, often a father or brother. This has
happened in immigrant communities in Britain and Germany as well as in the Middle East. In Iraq at last count since the beginning of the present war, there were two thousand honor killings. Five
thousand a year worldwide is the count of United Nations officials, more than many places in the world where there is armed conflict. A few weeks ago the New York Times reported that in Turkey a
society seeking a partnership in the European union, girls were regarded as errant because out of control of their parents or choose a boyfriend casting dishonor on the family are put in situations
where they’re expected and pressured to commit suicide to avoid having to murder them and face prosecution by the police. Elsewhere such murders are barely noted by the authorities. Another practice
motivated by preservation of a woman’s honor is female circumcision. In many areas of the African Continent, girls are subjected to genital cutting as a prelude to marriage and as a technique to
keep them from having pleasure in sex, which it is reasoned, may lead them to independent choice of mate. Conferring on women the symbolism of purity as a basis of honor contributes to their
vulnerability. In today’s genocidal warfare, the mass rape of women by marauding forces is not just because of the sexual availability of conquered women: rape is used as a mechanism of degradation
to opposing groups. If the men involved in the Bosnian and Darfur Massacres regarded rape as an atrocity, a dishonor to their cause, it could not have been used so successfully as a tool of war.
Further, we know that the Bosnian and Sudanese rape victims like women who have been raped in Pakistan, India and other places are regarded as defiled and then are shunned as are the babies that may
be born of such rapes. The chador and veil are tools men use to symbolize women’s honor, although men, with few exceptions, wear Western dress, In much of the world, women’s clothing is used
symbolically to symbolize their cultures confrontation with modernity and secularism. In addition to its symbolic roles, presumably to assure modesty and to protect women’s honor, the clothing
prescribed even cultural relativists must admit serves to restrict women’s mobility; hot and uncomfortable, women cannot perform the tasks that require speed and mobility in them and prevent women
from using motor bikes and bicycles, the means of transportation in poor societies and prevent them when need be from running. How can we speak of the otherness and subordination of women without
noting the power of the variables of time and space in the analysis? In every society, the norms governing the use of time and space are gendered. People have feelings about the proper use of time and
space and cognitive structures instruct them on it. The boundaries of time and space world wide are constructed to offer men freedom and to restrict women’s choices. In most of the world, women eat
at times men don’t. They rise earlier than men and start food preparation. Further sex segregation of work in and outside the home means a couple’s only contact is in the bedroom. If women intrude
on men’s space, then they violate a taboo and be punished similarly men who enter into women’s spaces do so only at designated times and places. The taboo elements undermine the possibility of
easy interaction and opportunity to forge friendships, to connect, to create similar competencies. Rules in every society specify when and where women may go and whether they make these journeys alone
or must appear with a male relative. Men overwhelmingly are allotted more space and territorialize public space. A common variable in time prescription for women is surveillance. Women are constrained
to operate within what I’m calling role zones. In these, their time is accounted for and prescribed. They have less free time. In our Western society, women know that the first thing to go when they
attempt to work and have children is free time. Free time is something typically enjoyed by the powerful and gives them the opportunity to bond and to engage in politics – the stuff of power. Most
people who work at a subsistence level, who are refugees, who labor in jobs not protected by the authority of the dominant group don’t have free time either. Slave owners own the time of their
slaves, and employers all over the developing world push for work time beyond the norms we in the West regard as civilized. All of this leads me to ask a basic sociologic question: Why does the
subordination of women and girls persist no matter how societies in other ways? How does half the world’s population manage to retain power over the other half? And what are we to make of women who
comply? The answers lie in many of the practices I mentioned earlier. But taking a global perspective, I propose an even more basic explanation for the persistence of inequality and the reversion to
inequality when equality often seems to be possible. In Deceptive Distinctions, I proposed the theory (that nobody noticed!) that the division of labor in society assigns women the most important
survival tasks, reproduction and gathering and preparation of food. All over the world women do much of the reproductive work insuring continuity of society. They do this both in physical terms and in
symbolic terms, physically through childbirth and childcare. They do much of the daily work any social group needs for survival, food production for example. Half the world’s food is produced by
women and up to 80% in the developing society. They also prepare the food at home and in the supermarkets, behind the counters and on the conveyor belts that package it. In their homes and in schools,
they produce most pre-school and primary school education. They take care of the elderly and the infirm. They socialize their children in the social skills that make interpersonal communication
possible. They are either the slaves or support staffs for men. Women constitute the support staff of all major institutions in society. This is a good deal, no, a great deal for men. Controlling
women’s labor and behavior is a mechanism for male governance and territoriality. Let me review the mechanisms moving toward conclusion. We know about men’s use and threat of force. We know as
well about the role of law and justice systems that do not afford women the same rights to protection, property, wealth or even education enjoyed by men. We know that men control and own guns and
means of transport, and they lock women out of membership and leadership of trade unions, political parties, religious institutions and other powerful organizations. We know, too, that huge numbers of
men feel justified in threatening and punishing females who deviate from male mandated rules in public and private spaces. That’s the strong-arm stuff. But everywhere in the West as well as in the
rest of the world, women’s segregation and subordination is also done culturally and through cognitive mechanisms, which reinforce existing divisions of rights and labor and award males authority
over women. Internalized cultural schemas reinforce men’s views that their behavior is legitimate and persuade women that their lot is just. Bourdieu reminds us that dominated groups often
contribute to their own subordination because of perceptions shaped by the conditions of their existence, the dominant system made of binary oppositions. As Avatar’s Zerubbabel posed the term
‘mindscapes,’ set the stage for household authorities and heads of clans, tribes and communities to separate and segregate women in the belief that the practice is inevitable and right. Such
mindscapes also persuade the females in their midst to accept the legitimacy and inevitability of their subjugation and even to defend it as we have seen lately in some academic discourses. The
mindscapes that legitimate women’s segregation are the cognitive translations of ideologies that range the spectrum from radical fundamentalism to difference in feminism. All are grounded in
cultural, religious or pseudoscientific views that women have different emotions, brains, aptitudes, ways of thinking, conversing and imagining. Such mindsets are legitimated everyday in conventional
understandings expressed from pulpits, boardrooms and in departments of universities. They are what the psychologists call schemas; culturally set definitions that people internalize. Basic to all
societies are schemas that define femaleness and maleness. Schemas also define insiders and outsiders and provide definitions of justice and of equality. In popular speech and philosophical musings,
in cultural expressions, in the banter of everyday conversation, people tend to accept the notion of difference, to accept its inevitability and to be persuaded of the legitimacy of segregation,
actual or symbolic. Thus, acceptance of difference perspectives, the ideas that women have little to offer to the group may result in rules, for example, that women not be permitted to speak in the
company of men in a society governed by the Taliban or may result in and senior academics selective deafness to the contribution of a female colleague in a university committee room. In final
conclusion, I want to reiterate certain observations. Intrinsic qualities are attributed to women that have little or nothing to do with their actual characteristics or behavior. Because those
attributions are linked to assigned roles, their legitimation is an ongoing project. Changing these ideas would create possibilities for changing the status quo, and threats to the social institutions
in which men have the greatest stake and which some women believe they benefit. Is women’s situation different from that of men who by fortune, color of skin or accident of birth also suffer from
exploitation by the powerful. I am claiming yes. Because they carry not only the hardships, sometimes relative hardships, but the ideological and cognitive overlay that defines their subordination as
normal. In no country, political group or community are men defined as lesser human beings that their female counterparts. Why is this acceptable? So many resources are directed to legitimating
women’s lower place in society, and so many women and girls in a display of pluralistic ignorance accept the Orwellian notions that restriction is freedom but suffering is pleasure and silence is
power. Of course, this in not a static condition nor, I hope, an inevitable one. Thirty-five years ago I noted how few women thought law school was a possibility for them and how the few who managed
to gain entrance to the profession were excluded from the informal networks that made mobility within it possible. Now, noticeable numbers have ventured over the boundaries. It happened relatively
swiftly. Women in the legal profession today didn’t develop larger brains nor did their reasoning jump from left brain to right brain or the reverse, nor did they leave Venus for Mars. Rather they
learned that the opportunity structure had opened, and they were exposed to an ideology of equality that competed with that which claimed their essential differences and ability. Yet, the idea of
essentialism, a master narrative remains strong even among those whose own lives belie the ideology. Stories and master narratives are accepted by untold millions of people that have no basis in what
social scientists would regard as evidence. An example is the creation story of Adam and Eve in the Bible. I have other examples, but I’m afraid of being killed for giving them. But there are also
society-wide beliefs of other kinds, and those which are untrue but good stories often capture the greatest numbers of believers. We in the social sciences have opened the gates to better
understanding of the processes by which subordinated groups suffer because, as Brubaker and Wacom put it, the use of categories such as race and ethnicity rank human beings so as to subordinate,
exclude and exploit them. They did not extend this insight to the category of gender or sex. The sexual divide so defines social life and so many people in the world have a stake in upholding it that
it is the most resistant of all categories to change. Today, Hall and Lamont are proposing that the most productive societies are those with porous boundaries between categories of people. Perhaps
understanding this might be an incentive to leaders. Most of you here in this audience are, I am sure, already committed to social change to achieve greater equality in the world in your private
lives. But today I challenge our profession collectively to take responsibility to reveal and to strike down the conceptual and cultural walls that justify inequality on the basis of sex in all
societies and institutions, to transgress this ever present boundary for the sake of knowledge and for the sake of justice. Thank you.