Rosen, Bernard Carl 1922-

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Rosen, Bernard Carl 1922-

PERSONAL: Born July 1, 1922 in Philadelphia, PA; son of Morris and Sophie (Slaviter) Rosen; married Shirley Rosenbluth, September 10, 1950; children: Michele. Education: Temple University, B.A., 1948; Columbia University, M.A., 1950; Cornell University, Ph.D., 1952.

ADDRESSES: Home—895 Highland Rd., Ithaca, NY 14850.

CAREER: Yale University, New Haven, CT, instructor, 1952–53; University of Connecticut, Storrs, assistant professor, 1953–61; University of Nebraska, Lincoln, began as associate professor, became professor, 1961–66; Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, professor, 1966–93, professor emeritus, 1993–. Visiting professor at University of São Paulo, 1960–61; Escola Sociologia e Politica, São Paulo, Brazil, 1963–64; Harvard University, 1966; London School of Economics and Political Science, London, 1973–74; and University of Padua, Italy, 1983–84. National Committee for Visiting Scientists Program, member; consultant to National Science Foundation, National Institute of Health, and Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. Member of editorial board, Luso-Brazilian Review. Military service: U.S. Army, 1943–46; served in France and Germany; received two battle stars.

MEMBER: Midwest Sociological Society (past chair, Social Psychology Section).

AWARDS, HONORS: Grants grants from National Science Foundation and National Institute of Mental Health.


Adolescence and Religion, Schenkman Publishing Company (Cambridge, MA), 1965.

The Industrial Connection, Aldine Publishing (New York, NY), 1982.

(With A.M. Manganelli Rattazzi, A. Comucci Tajoli, and D. Capozza) Aspettative di istruzione e occupazione nei giovani, Patron Editore (Bologna, Italy), 1988.

Women, Work and Achievement: The Endless Revolution, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1989.

Winners and Losers of the Information Revolution: Psychosocial Change and Its Discontents, Praeger Publishers (Westport, CT), 1998.

Masks and Mirrors: Generation X and the Chameleon Personality, Praeger Publishers (Westport, CT), 2001.

Contributor to books, including Readings in Reference Group Theory and Research, edited by H. Hyman and E. Singer, Free Press (New York, NY), 1968; Adolescents and the High School, edited by R. Purnell, Holt, Rinehart & Winston (New York, NY), 1970; Sociological Observation: A Strategy for New Social Knowledge, edited by M. Riley and E. Nelson, Basic Books, 1974; Influences on Human Development, edited by U. Bronfenbrenner, Dryden Press, 1975; and Foundations of Sociology, edited by R.D. Shapiro, Rand-McNally (Chicago, IL), 1978. Contributor to numerous scholarly publications, including American Sociological Review, Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, Sociologica, Child Development, Sociological Inquiry, America Latina, Demography, Journal of Marriage and the Family, and Social Forces. Associate editor, Sociometry.

SIDELIGHTS: Sociologist Bernard Carl Rosen has focused in his work on what he considers the "quintessential American question: who is destined to be a winner, who a loser, and why?" From childhood Rosen felt destined to become a loser. Born in 1922 in Philadelphia, he was raised in a family that lacked the resources to send him to college, and he took several unskilled jobs after high school before becoming a skilled machinist. This experience with blue-collar work, he noted, served him well when he later began to write about the influence of class on values, personality, and achievement.

During World War II, Rosen enlisted in the army and saw active combat in France and Germany. He remembers entering the Dachau concentration camp soon after it was liberated by the Allies and taking care of some of the inmates. He said that "one of the more satisfying experiences" of his military career was his capture of a hidden Nazi prison guard, whom he turned over to the military police. After the war, Rosen took advantage of the G.I. Bill to attend university. He worked as a university professor until retirement in 1993.

Throughout his work Rosen has explored issues relating to minorities, class, and achievement—subjects of increasing interest and concern through the 1950s and 1960s as postwar demographic shifts caused great social change throughout the United States and other parts of the world. At Yale, Rosen became interested in David C. McClelland's work on achievement motivation, and began to research the possible effects group differences in motivation might have on individual achievement. Rosen traveled to Brazil, Italy, Portugal, and England to conduct field research. He enjoyed learning other languages and experiencing other cultures first-hand, especially that of Brazil, where he was suspected of being an agent of the Central Intelligence Agency, but which he found generally welcoming.

Rosen's overseas fieldwork was especially pertinent in his book, The Industrial Connection, a cross-cultural study of how the effects of industrialization on the family can influence individual achievement and personality. In this work, Rosen used Brazil as a model of transitional societies, and found that the Brazilian extended family was strengthened, rather than weakened, by urban-industrial conditions. Using a macro-sociological approach, Rosen compared his findings with data from other cities in Brazil and other developing cultures, as well as the United States. Critics considered the book well researched and convincingly argued. It received a respectful review in Choice, as well as praise from Robert C. Williamson in Social Forces. David O. Hansen, in Luso-Brazilian Review, called The Industrial Connection "a classic in the comparative family literature and a valuable source book on the Brazilian family."

Another cross-cultural study, Women, Work and Achievement: The Endless Revolution, dealt with the complex subject of the effect of industrialization effect on traditional sex roles. Using data from the United States, England, and Italy, Rosen presented an overview of adolescents' behavior and attitudes toward themselves, their parents, and their peers. He then developed his argument that industrialization and urbanization have effected changes in the traditional roles of men and women to the extent that equality between genders in the workplace is almost complete. Choice contributor M.M. Ferree found Rosen's data "impressive," but pointed out that his emphasis on theory weakened the book's effectiveness. "Points are selectively emphasized to give a picture of uniform linear change (progress)," wrote Ferree, "even when his asides suggest that he realizes there is more complexity." The reviewer noted that much of Rosen's research has been presented more thoroughly in journal articles.

Rosen once told CA: "It was my good fortune to study the linkages between race, gender, childrearing, personality and achievement just as international and national forces converged to heighten interest in these topics…. Field research is a social as well as an intellectual challenge. But writing is a private, uniquely absorbing task that isolates one from the world. It is this isolation that I have always found especially satisfying. (In addition, of course, there is the pleasure of lining up words and ideas in an intrinsically meaningful and esthetically pleasing way.) The isolation that writing brings was to some extent lessened by the public reception my work has received."



Choice, January, 1983, review of The Industrial Connection, p. 770; March, 1990, M.M. Ferree, review of Women, Work, and Achievement: The Endless Revolution, p. 1402; May, 1999, D.A. Chekki, review of Winners and Losers of the Information Revolution: Psychosocial Change and Its Discontents, p. 1696; March, 2002, M.Y. Rynn, review of Masks and Mirrors: Generation X and the Chameleon Personality, p. 1327.

Contemporary Sociology, November, 1990, Joyce McCarl Nielsen, review of Women, Work, and Achievement, p. 808; July, 2002, review of Masks and Mirrors, p. 502.

Current Contents, August 1, 1983, p. 22.

Journal of Marriage and the Family, August, 1983, review of The Industrial Connection, p. 713.

Luso-Brazilian Review, winter, 1983, David O. Hansen, review of The Industrial Connection, pp. 285-286.

Reference and Research Book News, February, 1990, review of Women, Work, and Achievement, p. 15; May, 1999, review of Winners and Losers of the Information Revolution, p. 105; November, 2001, review of Masks and Mirrors, p. 131.

Social Forces, September, 1984, Robert C. Williamson, review of The Industrial Connection, p. 298.

Sociology, August, 1990, Sara Delamont, review of Women, Work, and Achievement, p. 550.

Sociology: Reviews of New Books, February, 1983, review of The Industrial Connection, p. 18.