Videos: Faculty Interviews

The Berkeley history project began in 1984 when it became clear that an effort should be made to capture on tape the unusual and distinguished sociologists who had shaped the Berkeley department. Some had left, others had died but many remained in the department. The first series of interviews that you can view at this site were conducted by graduate students in their first semester at Berkeley. They are students who entered the department in the Fall of 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987 and 1991. The interviews were part of the introductory methods course. Since 1991 fourteen of the faculty we interviewed have sadly died, most notably Robert Bellah, Reinhard Bendix, Robert Blauner, John Clausen, Arlene Kaplan Daniels, Stanley Lieberson, Leo Lowenthal, David Matza, Franz Schurman, Philip Selznick, Neil Smelser, Harold Wilensky, Erik Wright and Dorothy Smith.

In the Spring of 2005 we began a new series of interviews to catch up with the new tenured faculty that had appeared over the previous 15 years. The interviewers, all participants in a course on Public Sociology, took as their inspiration Laurie Taylor’s BBC Program, Thinking Allowed. Our goal was to interview faculty in a way that would make their research, usually their latest book, accessible to a lay audience. The first five interviewees were: Sam Lucas, Raka Ray, Barrie Thorne, Kim Voss and Loic Wacquant. The interviews have been recomposed into a film, Public Sociologies at Berkeley, that is showing widely.

In the Falls of 2018, 2020, and 2022 we yet again enlisted first year students, this time enrolled in the required theory course to conduct interviews with 12 tenured faculty, concerning their views on the importance of social theory. They are: John Lie, Mara Loveman, Karen Barkey, David Harding, Laura Enriquez, Neil Fligstein, Marion Fourcade, Cristina Mora, and Tianna Paschel, Heather Haveman, Thomas Gold, and Irene Bloemraad.

View New Series

Heather Haveman, Thomas Gold, Irene Bloemraad, Karen Barkey, David Harding, Mara Loveman, John Lie, Sam Lucas, Raka Ray, Barrie Thorne, Kim Voss, Loic Wacquant, Laura Enriquez, Neil Fligstein, Cristina Mora, Tianna Paschel, and Marion Fourcade.

View Old Series

Robert Bellah, Reinhard Bendix, Bob Blauner, Victoria Bonnell, Michael Burawoy, Nancy Chodorow, John Clausen, Robert Cole, Troy Duster, Harry Edwards, Peter Evans, Claude Fischer, Todd Gitlin, Evelyn Nakano Glenn, Arlie Hochschild, Michael Hout, Stanley Lieberson, Leo Lowenthal, Kristen Luker, David Matza, Martin Sanchez-Jankowski, Philip Selznick, Franz Schurmann, Neil Smelser, Dorothy Smith and Arlene Kaplan Daniels, Ann Swidler, Harold Wilensky, and Erik Wright.