Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Biography & Current Status

Maxine Baca Zinn was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico on June 11, 1942. She is currently married to Alan Zinn her high school sweetheart who she married after her second year of college . Alan was an art student in Los Angeles. Maxine Baca Zinn left El Paso and transferred to California State College in Long Beach to be closer to him. From their relationship she gave birth to her only son Prentice, during her third year of college. In order to manage family life as well as her education, Maxine Baca Zinn and her husband Alan Zinn shared household responsibilities. Prosperously after her marriage and pregnancy, Maxine Baca Zinn continued to attend college part-time. Meanwhile Alan Zinn was still in school, Maxine Baca Zinn was working as a fourth grade teacher in a Catholic school, she did so for two years. In 1968 Maxine and her new family moved back to New Mexico in pursuit of her career in Sociology. At the University of New Mexico she received a fellowship to study. Consequently through her efforts she earned a Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Oregon, in 1978. She is currently teaching Sociology at Michigan State University.

Curriculum Vitae

How Maxine Baca Zinn Became an Academic

Maxine Baca Zinn attended California State College where she received a B.A. Sociology, in the year 1966. Preceding her B.A. she attended University of New Mexico, where she received an M.A. in Sociology, in 1970. Then went on to complete her Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Oregon, in 1978. She is currently teaching Sociology at Michigan State University.


Within the Sociology department Maxine Baca Zinn specializes in teaching the following courses: Sociology of the Family, Gender and Society, Race and Gender, Race and Ethnic Relations, Political Sociology, Qualitative Research Methods, Undergraduate Courses, Introduction to Sociology, Race and Ethnic Relations, Introduction to Women's Studies, Gender and Society, {Class, Race, and Gender}, Family and Society, Ethnicity in American Society, Sociology of the Barrio, Senior Seminar in Sociology, Social Structure and Diversity in the U.S., The Profession of Sociology, Graduate Courses, American Institutions, Ethnicity in American Society, Gender and Power, Intersections of Race, Class, and Gender, and Structural Inequalities and Families.
These topics/specialties have had a great impact in Maxine Baca Zinn's career. She has many publications in which these areas are evident. Primarily focusing in the family, race and gender issues. Within the realm of gender she is interested in gender coping strategies in racial ethnic families. Emphasizing in the structured factors of society which contribute to the diversity in families. She is currently working on research projects which are tied to areas of identity and gender inequality, colored women in social sciences, and home schooling in Mexican communities. Because of her focus and dedicated analysis to the Latino culture/society in Latino families in the US she is recognized nationally as a leading scholar in that area.
One of her most popular articles about education is Nurturing Graduate Students: Integrative Scholarship Through Textbook Projects, in which she talks about the controversy involving sociology books and how some professors opt to teach without them because they find them "simplistic" while others believe that they are effective for sociological knowledge. In the article she addresses both stand points, but encourages the use of textbooks because she believes they provide the opportunity for the students to undergo a mentoring process and later introduced to skills which would be beneficial to their exposure in the "academic marketplace". She believes that their use is important because it would aid the graduate students in the constant changes, new ideas, and research.


Major Works:

Maxine Baca Zinn has written and co-written many
publications, articles, books and reviews. Some of her articles include:
"Nurturing Graduate Students: Integrative Scholarship Through Textbook Projects,Feminism and Family Studies for a New Century,The Missing Safety Net and Families: A Progressive Critique of the New Welfare Legislation,Labor Force Participation Among Mexican and Mexican American Women in the Rural and Urban Southwest: A Comparative Study. "Feminism, Race, and The Politics of Family Values," "Family and Society in American History""Social Research on Chicanos: Its Development and Directions," among others.

The following are some of her book chapters:

Tradition and Transition in Mexican-Origin Families,in Minority Families in the United States: A Multicultural Perspective, Economic Restructuring and Systems of Inequality at Century's End. Her books include: Through The Prism of Difference: A Sex and Gender Reader, Race, Class, and Gender: Common Bonds, Different Voices, Women of Color in U.S. Society, and The Reshaping of America: Social Consequences of the Changing Economy.

Books include:
Through The Prism of Difference: A Sex and Gender Reader,Race, Class, a
nd Gender: Common Bonds, Different Voices. In Conflict and Order, Understanding Society. Social Consequences of the Changing Economy.

Maxine Baca Zinn was featured in the Feb. 27 issue of The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education in an article titled "Latina Feminism: Embracing Past and Future." Where she is described and incorporated as being part of a wave of feminism building on past strengths and embracing newfound empowerment.
Maxine Baca Zinn specializes in different topics such as the family, race and gender issues. Within these topics she explores the distinct aspects of societies structure and the impact on such issues. She has written about the structure of society and gender relations, and their impact particularly focusing in Chicano families. She believes that there should be a reconstruction of family (relationship) by utilizing race in a good way rather than a cultural difference that sets people apart. But more like another contributing factor of the way society is structured. She believes that racial preconceived notions establish a type of system in which the way the family is structured can be more or less acceptable for some members of the family and of society. Therefore, as those misconceptions or preconceived ideas diminish so does the acceptance of family members in different families into society. Particularly focusing on families of different ethnic backgrounds. As well as the distinct labor structures of men and women also within different communities. These are some of her many well known ideas, also incorporated into her writings.
Probably one of her most famous books is Diversity in Families, a book which awarded her a 2003 William Holmes McGuffey Award. The book touches up on race, class, gender, as well as sexuality and how these contribute to different familial relationships thus creating diversity in families. The book questions the family arrangement, as well as the structure and the way it works. By doing so, the book exposes all the notions, judgments, ideals, stereotypes etc...Also talks about the influences of society and its force/impact on the family shape "form".
Another one of her well known works is Gender Through the Prism of Difference, which is a book that presents a contemporary views of gender, emphasizing on race, class, age, diversity, globalization etc Includes topics such as: preconceived notions of masculinity, Islam/ Muslim women, perceptions of race and "blackness". It presents a contemporary view by incorporating articles about men and women, and analyzing and how gender is "socially constructed" and how these factors contribute to our experiences. Therefore, making a connection through the lived experience as something that affects the way we perceive things.


Maxine Baca Zinn, Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo, and Michael A. Messner (eds.), Through The Prism of Difference: A Sex and Gender Reader (Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1997, Second Edition Retitled Gender Through the Prism of Difference, 2000).

Maxine Baca Zinn and D. Stanley Eitzen, Diversity in American Families (New York: Harper and Row, 1987; Second Edition, retitled Diversity in Families, 1990; Third Edition, 1993, Fourth Edition, 1996; Fifth Edition, 1999). The fifth edition was published by Addison-Wesley-Longman; Sixth Edition 2002. The sixth edition is published by Allyn and Bacon.


Maxine Baca Zinn has been awarded numerous times for her contribution and dedication to Sociology and Women Studies. One of her most recent awards was the American Sociological Associations Jessie Barnard Award, which she was awarded for her scholarly work and contribution to Sociology and Women Studies. She has contributed to these studies by taking a step further and writing about disadvantaged people and social problems. Her focus is aimed towards women of color, as well as the family (structure, sociological influence). Needless to say, she has also contributed with ideas of sex and gender.
Other awards include the American Sociological Association Latino/a Section Distinguished Contributions to Scholarship and Research Award, Women of Achievement, and the Gale Research, Outstanding Alumnus Award, Department of Sociology, University of New Mexico. President, Western Social Science Association. Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, University of New Mexico. Ford Foundation Fellow, Dissertation Fellowship, University of Oregon. Michigan Association of Governing Boards, Distinguished Faculty Award.
Apart from being an honorable candidate and recipient of these awards, she is an ASA Council member specializing in the Family as well as Sex and Gender. She is President of the Western Social Science Association and member of other prestigious institutions and boards.
Special awards for her publications include the 2003 William Holmes McGuffey Award from the Text and Academic Authors Association for her book, Diversity in Families. She was a recipient of the 1997 "Gustavus Meyers Outstanding Book Award for the Study of Human Rights in North America". And was the co-recipient (with D. Stanley Eitzen of Colorado State University) of the 2000 William Holmes McGuffey Longevity Award, for the 8th edition of her book Social Problems.

Interesting Facts

-Maxine Baca Zinn was passionate about music in her earlier years, she played the clarinet as a child which later earned her a band scholarship to attend Texas Western College.
-She left Santa Fe in search for a non-discriminatory place and instead ended up in El Paso where she felt the discrimination was worse.
-She felt discrimination while trying to join sororities in College. Was told by a higher rank authority in a widely recognized University that Mexicans were just not accepted to sororities.

Maxine's Thoughts On The Future

Maxine Baca Zinn is involved in many different aspects of the study of Sociology and Feminism. She is dedicated to break through the boundaries, and bring forward the inner structure of the family and society. For future diciplines Maxine Baca Zinn would be interested in further research about minorities and different roles within the family, she is currently working on research projects that incorporate important aspects of society and Women's Studies. There is no doubt, that in the near future we should see great publications come out of her research.