Claude S. Fischer is Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley.
Fischer arrived at Berkeley in 1972 with degrees from UCLA and Harvard. Most of his early research focused on the social psychology of urban life—how and why rural and urban experiences differ—and on social networks, both interests coming together in three early books: The Urban Experience (1976, 1984); Networks and Places: Social Relations in the Urban Setting (1977), and To Dwell Among Friends: Personal Networks in Town and City (1982). His most recent research monograph, on social networks, was published in 2011: Still Connected: Family and Friends in America Since 1970.
In recent years, he has conducted research on American social history, beginning with a study of the early telephone’s place in social life, America Calling: A Social History of the Telephone to 1940 (1992); moving on to a statistical study, with Michael Hout, of transformations in American society over the twentieth century, Century of Difference: How America Changed in the Last One Hundred Years (2006); and culminating with Made in America: A Social History of American Culture and Character (2010), which analyzes social, cultural, and psychological developments since the colonial era.
Along the way, Fischer has worked on other topics, including writing a book on inequality with five Berkeley colleagues, Inequality by Design: Cracking the Bell Curve Myth (1996). A collection of essays from his Boston Review columns appeared in 2014 as Lurching Toward Happiness in America (MIT Press).
Fischer was the founding editor of Contexts, the American Sociological Association’s magazine of sociology for the general reader, and edited it through 2004. In 2011, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2015, he was made a David Riesman Fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Science.
Fischer lives in Berkeley with his wife, Ann Swidler, also a Professor of Sociology at U.C. Berkeley and a member of the AAAS.
========= A FEW OTHER BOOKS ==============
Fischer, STILL CONNECTED: FAMILY AND FRIENDS IN AMERICA SINCE 1970. Russell Sage Foundation, 2011.
Fischer and Hout, CENTURY OF DIFFERENCE: HOW AMERICA CHANGED IN THE LAST ONE HUNDRED YEARS. Russell Sage Foundation, 2006.
Co-winner, Otis Dudley Duncan Prize, Population Section, American Sociological Association, 2007
Fischer et al, INEQUALITY BY DESIGN: CRACKING THE BELL CURVE MYTH. Princeton University Press, 1996
Winner, “Outstanding Book” on Human Rights, Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Human Rights in North America, 1998
Fischer, AMERICA CALLING: A SOCIAL HISTORY THE TELEPHONE TO 1940. University of California Press, 1992.
Winner, Dexter Book Prize, Society for the History of Technology, 1995
Fischer, TO DWELL AMONG FRIENDS: PERSONAL NETWORKS IN TOWN AND CITY. University of Chicago Press, 1982.
Winner, Distinguished Scholarship Award, Pacific Sociological Association, 1986.