Emeriti Publications


    Marcia Millman

  • The Perfect Sister (2005)

    The Perfect Sister by Marcia MillmanSisterhood is one of the most complicated relationships a woman can have. Marcia Millman spent hundreds of hours interviewing sisters to examine how these complex bonds are formed and how they keep changing throughout life. 

    Millman talked to sisters who were always close and sisters who became friends later; she talked to sisters who shared their childhoods but developed painful rifts as adults. She found that even those who are at odds often feel deeply attached-perhaps because the sister bond is inseparable from a woman's connection to her mother. Ultimately, Millman shows that sisters have the power to transform their relationships, as long as they relate to the sister in the present, and not just to the sister of the past.

    In The Perfect Sister we learn about our sisters, our families, and ourselves as the book offers us the key to understanding, appreciating, and enriching the lifelong and incomparable bond of sisterhood. 
  • The Seven Stories of Love: And How to Choose Your Happy Ending (2001)

    The Seven Stories of Love: And How to Choose Your Happy Ending

    In this groundbreaking work, Marcia Millman reveals that women's romantic relationships are enacted through seven basic love stories. Based on her popular course The Sociology of Love at the University of California at Santa Cruz, a decade's worth of research, more than one hundred interviews, and examples from movies, novels, and memoirs, Millman identifies the seven love scenarios as reenactments of early experiences and efforts to change past defeats into victories. She also shows how the success or failure of each is determined by unconscious choices. Explaining the hidden needs and emotions that come into play in these love stories, Millman creates a tool for relationship guidance that women and men can use to reach the fall potential of any partnership.

    Over time, most of us play out a repertoire of these seven romantic plots, but we always return to our primary love story. By learning to recognize our own pattern of love, we can understand its hidden meanings and source and avoid potential heartache. Women and men who are otherwise strong and perceptive frequently get into the wrong relationships because they don't understand the love stories they are enacting. Shattering the popular myth that most romantic problems are caused by pervasive low self-esteem or miscommunication, this essential book can help anyone succeed in finding a satisfying, lasting relationship.

    Using examples from timeless and popular romantic movies such as Casablanca, Fatal Attraction, Pretty woman, and Dirty Dancing, and novels such as Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, Melissa Banks's The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing, Scott Spencer's Endless Love, and Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca, Millman clarifies the difficulties that can arise in these love stories and explains how they can be remedied.

    Discovering which story we are reenacting helps us to avoid potential pitfalls and allows us to make choices that bring greater happiness. Love and relationships, in their many manifestations, can be elusive even to those in the midst of them. This book is a first step on the road to romantic fulfillment.

  • Warm Hearts and Cold Cash: The Intimate Dynamics of Families and Money (1991)

    Warm Hearts and Cold Cash: The Intimate Dynamics of Families and MoneyMarcia Millman questions the belief that the family is a haven in a heartless world, and argues that it is characterized by many of the hard traits of the market, expressed in the ways in which we use money. By focusing attention on money and the way it works within the intimate economy of the family, she cuts through the sentimentality that obscures this important aspect of familial relationships.
  • Such a Pretty Face: Being Fat in America (1980)

    Such a Pretty Face: Being Fat in America by Marcia Millman

    We are a fat-obsessed society. Four out of every ten Americans are clinically overweight. Being fat, especially for American women, holds a special significance and is laden with symbolism. Low-fat foods, dieting programs, and diet books, few of which make a lasting difference, are the basis of a multibillion-dollar industry.

    Yet, despite this obsession with weight control, there is little serious discussion of the deeper meaning of obesity. In a way, obesity is as powerful a taboo as sexuality was for the Victorians.

    This book argues that the effort to lose weight should be secondary to an understanding of the mythology of fat. Being fat is seen as much more than a physical condition. Fat women are stereotypically viewed as unfeminine, either in flight from sexuality or sexual in some forbidden way, intentionally antisocial, out of control, hostile, aggressive.

    Using case studies, moving, sometimes painful, autobiographical accounts, and observing such organizations as a fat rights society, Overeaters Anonymous, and a children's diet camp, Marcia Millman reveals how people live with the burden of these stereotypes and explores the truth or falsity of them.

    This book proves the humanness, the defiance, vulnerability, self-doubt, courage, and even the beauty of those who violate our arbitrary standards of physical beauty. It sees them as whole people, to whom attention must be paid.


  • Craig Reinarman

  • Crack in America: Demon Drugs and Social Justice (1997)

    Crack in America: Demon Drugs and Social JusticeCrack in America is the definitive book on crack cocaine. In reinterpreting the crack story, it offers new understandings of both drug addiction and drug prohibition. It shows how crack use arose in the face of growing unemployment, poverty, racism, and shrinking social services. It places crack in its historical context—as the latest in a long line of demonized drugs—and it examines the crack scare as a phenomenon in its own right. Most important, it uses crack and the crack scare as windows onto America's larger drug and drug policy problems.

    Written by a team of veteran drug researchers in medicine, law, and the social sciences, this book provides the most comprehensive, penetrating, and original analysis of the crack problem to date. It reviews the social pharmacology of crack and offers rich ethnographic case studies of crack binging, addiction, and sales. It explores crack's different impacts on whites, blacks, the middle class, and the poor, and explains why crack was always much less of a problem in other countries such as Canada, Australia, and The Netherlands.

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  • Candace West

  • Doing Gender, Doing Difference Inequality, Power, and Institutional Change (2002)

    Doing Gender, Doing Difference Inequality, Power, and Institutional Change

    For the first time the anthologized works of Sarah Fenstermaker and Candace West have been collected along with new essays to provide a complete understanding of this topic of tremendous importance to scholars in social science.