About this site

Welcome to my site. My friends and I created this to share some of my work and - more importantly - to invite an exchange of ideas.


I've been a sociologist for a long time. and ventured into a number of different fields over the years: birth and midwifery (which I still think of as my home base); the new genetics and reproductive technologies; medical sociology; bioethics; issues in disability; adoption; race; and now I'm exploring food studies too. Some of you might know my work in one of these areas, others in a different area. What would be really interesting would be to have people talk, with each other and with me, across areas. I've tried, with some success over the years, to talk to midwives about genetics; to encourage people who do new reproductive technologies to think about home birth; to have bioethicists pay more attention to what medical sociology can offer; to get people in Food Studies thinking where midwifery issues overlap with their concerns. These are invariably the most fun and stimulating conversations I've ever been a part of. Connecting people, connecting ideas, weaving the webs that pull us together - nothing could make me happier. So this site, a gift from my friends, is my place to do this kind of weaving.


We've grouped my work by area - but please, if you're here because you have gotten anything useful out of my work in one area, do poke around for a minute in another. Bring your insights and wisdom and experience to a new place, a new issue. Let's see what we can weave together.


- Barbara Katz Rothman

Panel Discussion on Tightrope: A Racial Journey

Gail Garfield was one of my 'progeny,' a dissertation I was very pleased to have chaired many years back.  Her most recent book is TIGHTROPE: A RACIAL JOURNEY TO THE AGE OF OBAMA.  More than autobiography, it's a fine example of 'autoethnography,' of applying the sociological imagination to one's own life.  She's my colleague at CUNY now, at John Jay College and they invited me to participate in a panel to celebrate the publication of the book.  I'm just a ten minute bit of this one hour panel, but listening to this may well make you run out and read the book!  So it's well worth posting for that.

Click here to watch the video.