Loyola University Chicago

Department of Sociology

Dr. Judith Wittner

Judith Wittner

Ph.D., Sociology
Northwester University, 1977
M.A., Political Science
Roosevelt University, 1971
B.A., Politics
Brandeis University, 1960

Coffey Hall 412

Email: jwittne@luc.edu

Curriculum Vitae 

I am a Professor of Sociology at Loyola University, Chicago and an ethnographer specializing in gender studies. I received my undergraduate degree from Brandeis University. I studied in the Anthropology Department at Columbia University for two years, but left after the birth of my first child. Drawn back to school by the student movements of the 60s, I enrolled in Roosevelt University where I received a Master's degree in Political Science in 1971 and taught some of the first women's studies courses offered in Chicago. In 1973 I entered the Ph.D. program in sociology at Northwestern University and received my Ph.D. in 1977. I helped to establish the Women's Studies Program at Loyola in 1979, the first such program at a Jesuit University, and directed the program for five years.

I teach courses in qualitative methods, families, gender, the sociology and politics of food at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. I have also worked with numerous community groups and agencies, including the Center for Impact Research, Women Employed, the Center for Cultural Understanding at the Field Museum, Hull House Feminist Advocates, Girls' Best Friend Foundation, the West Humboldt Park Family and Community Development Council, the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (UCSF), Women United for a Better Chicago, United Way of Chicago and the Illinois Council on Teenage Pregnancy. I have taught ethnography and gender workshops in Ile Ife, Nigeria, San Salvador, El Salvador, Kaunas, Lithuania, as well as in Chicago .


I study institutions "from the bottom up." My dissertation explored the foster care system from the standpoint of foster children. In the 80s I collected work-life histories of women who were employed in a small toy factory in Chicago from the 1950s to 1984, when the plant closed. I studied Chicago's specialized Domestic Violence Court by accompanying women and men complainants from the time they initiated charges to the final disposition of their cases. With sociologist of religion R. Steven Warner, I edited a volume of ethnographies about ethnically diverse immigrant congregations in the US, including Chinese Christians in Washington, D.C., Evangelical Koreans in suburban Boston, Maya Catholics and Mexican gang youth in Los Angeles, North African Muslims in New York, as well as Rastafarians, Hindus, Iranian Jews, and Haitians.

Selected publications

Judy Aulette and Judith Wittner.2011.  Gendered Worlds. Second Edition. NY: Oxford University Press.

Kathleen Odell Korgen, Jonathan M. White  and Shelley K. White, eds 2010. “Stand up and Speak Out” Sociologists in Action: Sociology, Social Change, and Social Justice.  Newbury Park, CA: Pine Forge  Press

Judy Aulette, Judith Wittner, and Kristin Blakely. 2009.  Gendered Worlds. Oxford University Press.

Christine George, Marilyn Krogh, Dennis Watson, and Judith Wittner. Loyola Univ 2008. Homeless Over 50: The Graying of Chicago’s
Homeless Population,
Final Technical Report (available on line).

Wittner, J. 2003. "Occupation Sociologist: Theory, Research, and Life Experience in the Work of Helena Lopata."Symbolic Interaction: Distinguished Voices in Symbolic Interaction.

Wittner J. and R.S. Warner. 1998. Gatherings in Diaspora: Religious Communities and the New Immigration. Philadelphia : Temple University Press.

Wittner, J. 1997 "Reconceptualizing Agency in Domestic Violence Court" in Community Activism and Feminist Politics: Organizing Across Race, Class, and Gender. Nancy Naples, editor. NY: Routledge,.

Wittner, J. and M. McCall. 1990 "The Good News About Life History" Symbolic Interaction and Cultural Studies . Edited by Howard Becker and Michal McCall. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Anderson, Kathryn, Susan Armitage, Dana Jack, and Judith Wittner. "Beginning Where We Are: Feminist Methodology in Oral History" Oral History Review , 14: Spring. Special Issue on Life History Research.

Wittner, J. 1985. "Steps Toward a Feminist Sociology" Working Papers Series Wellesley College Center For Research on Women.

Wittner, J. 1980. "Domestic Labor as Work Discipline: The Struggle over Housework in Foster Homes" in S. F. Berk, ed., Women and Household Labor . Sage Yearbook Series in Women's Policy Studies, Beverley Hills .

In Progress:

Wittner, J., D. Kuzimikaite, and Ruta Butkeviciene. Women Building Civil Society: A Report from Kaunas , Lithuania

Aulette, Judy, Judith Wittner, and Kristin Blakely. The Sociology of Gender (Roxbury Press)