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Maxine Baca Zinn: 1942—: Sociologist

Became A Leading Expert In Her Field

Baca Zinn has been very active in professional associations. She was elected to the council of the Western Social Science Association and then elected its president in 1985. She was the first Latino president of a regional professional association. From 1988 to 1991 she served on the board of directors for the Society for the Study of Social Problems. She has been an active member of the American Sociological Association, serving on the organization's council from 1992 to 1995. She has served on the executive council of the Sociology of the Family Section and the Sex and Gender Section of the American Sociological Association.

Because of her numerous publications as well as her other professional activities, Baca Zinn soon became recognized as an expert in her field. This led to invitations for visiting professorships by several prominent universities, including the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Connecticut, the Center for Research on Women at the University of Memphis, the Henry A. Murray Research Center at Radcliffe College, and the University of Delaware. She received a permanent job offer from the University of Delaware, but before she was able to accept this position she was invited to visit Michigan State University in Lansing, Michigan. Baca Zinn was impressed with the Julian Samora Research Institute at Michigan State, which was the first research institute on Latinos located in the Midwest, and she decided to accept a permanent position there as a senior research associate. Baca Zinn also received a joint position with the sociology department. In addition to her research, Baca Zinn continued to teach. She taught fewer undergraduate courses than she did at the University of Michigan at Flint, but supervised more doctoral students.

In 2000 the American Sociological Association recognized the work of Baca Zinn by giving her the Jessie Bernard Award for recognition of scholarly work that encompasses the role of women in society. "Her work on the intersection of race, class, and gender placed Professor Baca Zinn at the cutting edge of the discipline," wrote the American Sociological Association when announcing its selection. Baca Zinn planned to continue her work on multicultural feminism and she sees her work becoming more theoretical. Her goal was to map out a structural inequality model of family life and write a definitive book on the subject that will incorporate the experiences of both white families and families of color.

Selected writings


(Editor, with D. Stanley Eitzen) The Reshaping of America: Social Consequences of the Changing Economy, Prentice-Hall, 1989.

(Editor, with Bonnie Thornton Dill) Women of Color in U.S. Society, Temple University Press, 1994.

(Editor, with Esther Ngan Ling-Chow and Doris Wilkinson) Race, Class, and Gender: Common Bonds, Different Voices, Sage Publications, 1996.

(Editor, with Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo and Michael A. Messner) Gender Through the Prism of Difference, 2nd edition, Allyn and Bacon, 2000.

(With D. Stanley Eitzen) Social Problems, 8th edition, Allyn and Bacon, 2000.

(With D. Stanley Eitzen) In Conflict and Order, Understanding Society, 9th edition, Allyn and Bacon, 2001.

(With D. Stanley Eitzen) Diversity in Families, 2nd edition, Allyn and Bacon, 2002.


American Sociologist, Summer 1993.

Des Colores, Journal of Emerging Raza Philosophies, Winter 1975.

Feminist Studies, Summer 1996.

Gender and Society, March 1990.

Harvard Educational Review, February 1980.

Journal of Ethnic Studies, Summer 1982.

Latino Studies Journal, January 1995.

Michigan Family Review, Winter 1997.

Michigan Sociological Review, Fall 1992.

Pacific Sociological Review, April 1981.

Sage Race Relations Abstracts, August 1984; 1999.

Signs, Journal of Women in Culture and Society, Summer 1989.

Teaching Sociology, April 1988, October 2000.



Feagin, Joe R., and Hernán ,Vera, editors, Liberation Sociology, Westview Press, 2002.

Telgin, Diane, and Jim Camp, editors, Latina: Women of Achievement, Visible Ink Press, 1996.


Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education, February 27, 1998.

USA Today, January 2001.


Additional information for this profile was obtained from the American Sociological Association, 2002 Major Award Winners Announcement, and from a personal interview with Contemporary Hispanic Biography, May 20, 2002.

—Janet P. Stamatel

Additional topics

Brief BiographiesBiographies: Carlos Watson Biography - Was a Student Journalist to Stefan Zweig (1881–1942) BiographyMaxine Baca Zinn: 1942—: Sociologist Biography - Educational Experiences, Determined To Set The Record Straight, Challenged Mainstream Sociology, An Inspirational Teacher