Education: University of Florida, Ph.D., 1976.
Office—Department of Sociology, Texas A&M University, 437 Academic, College Station, TX 77840. E-mail—[email protected]
Sociologist, educator, and writer. Texas A&M University, College Station, professor in the Department of Sociology and director of the Women's Studies Program. Also was a faculty member at the University of Florida, Gainesville.
(With Alan Agresti) Statistical Methods for the Social Sciences, Dellen Publishing (San Francisco, CA), 1986, 3rd edition, Prentice Hall (Upper Saddle River, NJ), 1997.
Facing the Stained Glass Ceiling: Gender in a Protestant Seminary, University Press of America (Lanham, MD), 2003.
George W. Bush and the War on Women: Turning Back the Clock on Progress, Zed Books (New York, NY), 2006.
Before the Second Wave: Gender in the Sociological Tradition, Pearson/Prentice Hall (Upper Saddle River, NJ), 2007.
Contributor of articles to professional journals, including the article "Masculinity Scores as an Artifact of Feminist Attitude: Evidence from a Study of Lesbians and College Women," written with Karen E. Scheltema and published in the Journal of Homosexuality.
Barbara Finlay is a sociologist and writer whose interests include theory, gender, and religion. Finlay has written several books focusing on women. For her book Facing the Stained Glass Ceiling: Gender in a Protestant Seminary, Finlay bases her analysis of gender differences in organized religion on an extensive study of one Presbyterian seminary in the mid-1990s. At the time of the study, the author was a student at the seminary.
In addition to her examination of gender differences in seminarians' goals, the author focuses on gender differences in religious practice and beliefs and the varied experiences that men and women ministers have. In discussing whether or not gender affects the experiences, beliefs, and practices of clergy members, the author found that numerous differences exist between men and women seminarians. For example, according to Finlay, women seminarians typically were more politically active, tended to be more feminist, and held both more theologically and socially liberal views. The author also details the many impediments that women clergy face in terms of developing a successful career in the clergy. She notes that far more women drop out of the pursuit of parish ministries than men, and that women clergy who do get parish assignments are often given less-desirable positions. Finlay writes about how more-favorable parish assignments continue to go to men, especially in light of the fact that male clergy tend to espouse more conservative positions both within the realm of theology and sociology. "This study and its results are well set in the context of other research done on clergy career choice," wrote Adair T. Lummis in the Sociology of Religion. Lummis added in the same review that "this book should stimulate lively discussion in both sociology of religion courses and women's studies programs."
In her 2006 book, George W. Bush and the War on Women: Turning Back the Clock on Progress, the author "draws attention to the distinctively patriarchal bent of the current White House," as noted by Arena Magazine contributor Annie Davis. George W. Bush and the War on Women presents the author's view that the actions and policies of the George W. Bush administration have had a negative effect on women's progress within the social and political arenas, both in the United States and abroad. Although Finlay addresses the Bush administration's antiabortion stance, the author writes primarily about less-publicized aspects of the Bush administration's agenda, such as reducing or eliminating funding for programs that assist women, opposition to global women's rights treaties, and even supporting antifeminist organizations.
The author details how the Bush administration worked to achieve their conservative agenda by following policies that often were against progress in civil rights for both women and minorities. To ensure that these policies would be instituted, they typically installed people whose ideologies were contrary to the missions of the very agencies that they were appointed to help run. In addition, Finlay examines how the administration's appointments of minorities and women was, in her view, a mere ploy. According to Finlay, by nominating minorities and women, the administration's goal was to make it extremely difficult for liberal Congress members to outwardly oppose these very conservative appointees. In her book, the author also examines how the Bush administration has manipulated data that has harmed women in various ways. For example, to support their antiabortion ideology, the administration had the National Cancer Institute Web site include unproven information linking abortion and breast cancer—information that was eventually removed.
"Sociology professor Barbara Finlay has done a thorough job of archiving the catalogue of horrors that have come out of the Bush White House, from assaults on reproductive and civil rights to budget cuts in health and education to the re-enslavement of women in Iraq," wrote Renee Loth in the Women's Review of Books, adding in the same review that "it is fairly breathtaking to read it all assembled in one place."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Arena Magazine, August 1, 2006, Annie Davis, review of George W. Bush and the War on Women: Turning Back the Clock on Progress, p. 53.
Australian Journal of Political Science, December, 2007, Marian Sawer, review of George W. Bush and the War on Women, p. 715.
Contemporary Sociology, March, 1991, Valentine M. Moghadam, review of The Women of Azua: Work and Family in the Rural Dominican Republic, p. 189.
Houston Chronicle, November 6, 2001, "A&M Resource Center on Women's Issues Opens," p. 16.
Journal of the American Statistical Association, September, 1987, Donald R. Ploch, review of Statistical Methods for the Social Sciences, p. 954.
Latin American Research Review, January 1, 1992, Judith Adler Hellman, review of The Women of Azua, p. 182.
Rural Sociology, fall, 1990, Cornelia B. Flora, review of The Women of Azua, p. 449.
Social Forces, March, 1991, Norma Williams, review of The Women of Azua, p. 952.
Sociology of Religion, summer, 2004, Adair T. Lummis, review of Facing the Stained Glass Ceiling: Gender in a Protestant Seminary, p. 180.
Women: A Cultural Review, December, 2006, Emily Jeremiah, review of George W. Bush and the War on Women, p. 407.
Women and Language, fall, 2000, "Masculinity Scores as an Artifact of Feminist Attitude: Evidence from a Study of Lesbians and College Women," p. 65.
Women's Review of Books, September 1, 2007, Renee Loth, "The Bush Countdown," review of George W. Bush and the War on Women, p. 8.
Texas A&M University— Sociology Department Web site,http://sociweb.tamu.edu/ (March 4, 2008), faculty profile of author.