UIC sociologist elected to international honorary

Barbara Risman

Barbara Risman, professor of sociology. Photo: Jenny Fontaine/UIC (Click image to download)

A University of Illinois at Chicago scholar of gender, sexuality, marriage and family has been elected to the prestigious Sociological Research Association.

Barbara Risman, a professor of sociology who recently completed a nine-year term as head of the UIC sociology department, is among a select group of scholars to join the honorary association. The group, established in 1936 to recognize and promote excellence in sociological research, includes 400 leading sociologists in the U.S. and Canada.

She will be inducted Aug. 23 during the American Sociological Association’s annual meeting in Chicago. She will also begin serving as vice president of the national organization, which has a membership of 13,000.

For more than 30 years, Risman has studied contemporary meanings of gender, sexuality, marriage and family. Her work explores topics such as gender politics in families, teen sexuality and feminist activism.

She is author of “Gender Vertigo: American Families in Transition” and co-editor of “Families As They Really Are,” a collection of essays on how families function in everyday life. Her work includes over two dozen journal articles in publications such as American Sociological Review, Gender & Society, and Journal of Marriage and the Family.

Risman is president of the board of directors of the Council on Contemporary Families, a national organization that brings new research and clinical findings to public attention. In 2011, she received the American Sociological Association’s award for public understanding of sociology.

She was recently awarded a fellowship at Stanford’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, where she will spend the 2015-16 academic year completing a book, “Where Will Millennials Take Us: Transforming the Gender Structure?” which is based on more than 100 life histories of contemporary young adults. Other projects during the fellowship will examine gender as a social framework for contemporary marriage, and intimacy among aging couples.

Before coming to UIC in 2006, Risman spent two decades at North Carolina State University, where she was an alumni distinguished research professor, founding director of the gender and women’s studies program, and director of graduate studies in sociology.

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