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Lopata, Helena Znaniecka 1925-2003

LOPATA, Helena Znaniecka 1925-2003

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born October 1, 1925, in Poznan, Poland; died of an abdominal aortic aneurysm February 12, 2003, in Milwaukee, WI. Sociologist, educator, and author. Though Lopata published sociology books on a variety of topics, she was best known for her research on the lives of American homemakers. Growing up in Poland, she and her mother fled the country when Germany invaded and moved to the United States, where her father, famous sociologist Florian Znaniecka, was teaching at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Lopata decided to become a student there, and she received a B.A. in 1946 and an M.A. in 1947 from the University of Illinois; she later continued her education at the University of Chicago, earning a Ph.D. in 1965. During the 1950s Lopata lectured in sociology at the University of Virginia and DePaul University. She joined the Roosevelt University faculty in 1960, remaining until 1969 when she moved to Loyola University as a professor of sociology. She retired in 1997. A variety of topics interested Lopata as a sociologist, including the role of Polish Americans in society, the dynamics of working parents within families, and issues involving the loss of a spouse and aging. However, she was most renowned for her research on women homemakers, receiving acclaim for her groundbreaking 1971 book Occupation: Housewife. Lopata went on to write other books, such as Widowhood in an American City (1973) and Circles and Settings: Role Changes of American Women (1994), as well as editing numerous publications.



Chicago Sun-Times, February 27, 2003.

Chicago Tribune, March 8, 2003, section 2, p. 11.

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