Barrie Thorne

Emerita Professor of Gender & Women's Studies and Sociology

Barrie Thorne joined the UC Berkeley faculty in 1995 with a joint appointment in Gender & Women's Studies and in Sociology. She previously taught at Michigan State University and the University of Southern California, where she was active in creating and rejuvenating interdisciplinary feminist studies programs. In 2002 she received the American Sociological Association Jessie Bernard Award in recognition of scholarly work that has enlarged the horizons of sociology to encompass the role of women in society. She has also received awards for teaching and mentoring.

Barrie Thorne's research and teaching focus on the sociology of gender; feminist theory; the sociology of age relations, childhood, and families; and ethnographic methods. She has been an editor of Childhood: A Global Journal of Child Research and has served as Vice President of the American Sociological Association and as Chair of the A.S.A. Sections on the Sociology of Children and Youth, and the Sociology of Sex and Gender. From 1998-2002 she co-directed the Berkeley Center for Working Families, helping to build a feminist intellectual community focused on the themes of "cultures of care" and the changing contours of family life in the context of global economic restructuring. Barrie Thorne is the author of Gender Play: Girls and Boys in School (Rutgers, 1993) and co-editor of Feminist Sociology: Life Histories of a Movement (Rutgers, 1997), Rethinking the Family: Some Feminist Questions (Northeastern University Press, 1992); Language, Gender and Society (Newbury House, 1983), and Language and Sex: Difference and Dominance (Newbury House, 1975).  Her current ethnographic writing focuses on girls and boys growing up, and parents raising children, in a mixed-income, ethnically diverse area of Oakland.

Research interests: 
  • Feminist theory
  • Sociology of gender, families and childhood