Barbara Risman

Professor of Sociology, University of Illinois at Chicago and Executive Officer, Council on Contemporary Families

Barbara Risman is professor and Head of the Department of Sociology at the University of Illinois Chicago and Executive Officer of the Council on Contemporary Families. She was previously Alumni Distinguished Research Professor, as well as the Founding Director of the Gender and Women’s Studies Program at North Carolina State University. Barbara Risman is the author of Gender Vertigo: American Families in Transition (Yale, 1998), Families As They Really Are (Norton, 2010), over two dozen journal articles, and has edited both a flagship journal of the American Sociological Association, and currently edits a book series, The Gender Lens, a feminist transformation project for the discipline of sociology. She is also the Executive Officer of The Council on Contemporary Families, a national organization whose mission is to bring new research findings and clinical expertise to public attention. Professor Risman’s awards include the Katherine Jocher Belle Boone Award from the Southern Sociological Society for lifetime contributions to the study of gender, the Feminist Lecturer by the Sociologists for Women in Society, recently she was honored by the American Sociological Association with the Award for the Public Understanding of Sociology. Dr. Risman’s research focuses on gender politics in intimate relationships, including books and articles on single fathers, feminist families, kid’s gender and sexual attitudes, and sexuality among young people. Professor Risman is currently on leave for the Academic year 2011-2012 working on a book of feminist theory. Professor Risman believes that sociologists have a responsibility to both do good research and teach about it, both inside the classroom and to the public at large. This blog is one attempt to leave the ivory tower. To learn more about Professor Risman, go to her website,