Joan Acker Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joan_Acker

Joan Acker
Joan Elise Robinson

(1924-03-18)March 18, 1924
Illinois, United States
DiedJune 22, 2016(2016-06-22) (aged 92)
Known forgendered organizations, gender inequality as institutionalized
Martin Acker
(m. 1948; div. 1967)
Academic background
Alma materUniversity of Oregon
InfluencesDorothy E. Smith, Heidi Hartmann, Rosabeth Moss Kanter
Academic work
DisciplineSociology, organizational studies
Main interestsFeminism, race, class, gender

Joan Elise Robinson Acker[1] (March 18, 1924 – June 21, 2016) was an American sociologist, researcher, writer and educator. She joined the University of Oregon faculty in 1967.[2] Acker is considered one of the leading analysts regarding gender and class within the second wave of feminism.[3]


Acker was born in Illinois in 1924.[4] She received her bachelor's degree from Hunter College, her master's from the University of Chicago, and her Ph.D. from the University of Oregon.[5]


Acker is best known for her theories on the relationship between race, class, and gender. She discusses this relationship in several of her publications, including her 2006 book Class Questions: Feminist Answers.[6] Acker describes the need to think about race, class, and gender not as separate entities but as "intersecting systems of oppression."[7]

Acker was professor of sociology at the University of Oregon until her retirement in 1993.[8] In 1973, Acker founded the Center for the Study of Women in Society at the University of Oregon. She was also professor at The Swedish Center for Working Life.[9][8] She successfully helped to raise pay wages for low-wage jobs in Oregon while serving on a state task force from 1981-1983.[5] She also served as co-editor of the academic journals Gender & Society and Gender, Organisation and Work.[8] In recognition of her scholarship, Acker received the American Sociological Association's Career of Distinguished Scholarship Award in 1993 and the Jessie Bernard Award for feminist scholarship in 1989.[10][11]

Later life and legacy[edit]

She died on June 21, 2016 at the age of 92.[9]

Selected works[edit]


  • Acker, Joan; et al. (1980). Research in the interweave of social roles. Greenwich, Connecticut: JAI Press, Inc. ISBN 9780892321919.
  • Acker, Joan (1989). Doing comparable worth: gender, class, and pay equity. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. ISBN 9780877226215.
  • Acker, Joan (2006). Class questions: feminist answers. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. ISBN 9780742546301.
  • Acker, Joan; Morgen, Sandra; Weigt, Jill (2010). Stretched thin poor families, welfare work, and welfare reform. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. ISBN 9780801475108.

Chapters in books[edit]

  • Acker, Joan (2006), "Women and social stratification: a case of intellectual sexism", in Levine, Rhonda (ed.), Social class and stratification: classic statements and theoretical debates (2nd ed.), Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, pp. 171–182, ISBN 9780742546325

Journal articles[edit]

  • Acker, Joan (1990). "Hierarchies, Jobs, Bodies: A Theory of Gendered Organizations". Gender and Society. 4 (2): 139–158. ISSN 0891-2432.[12]
  • Acker, Joan (2006-08-01). "Inequality Regimes: Gender, Class, and Race in Organizations". Gender & Society. 20 (4): 441–464. doi:10.1177/0891243206289499. ISSN 0891-2432.


  1. ^ "Acker, Joan". Library of Congress. Retrieved 4 January 2015. (Joan Elise Robinson Acker) vita (b. 1924)
  2. ^ "Joan Acker | Department of Sociology". sociology.uoregon.edu. Archived from the original on 2017-05-01. Retrieved 2015-11-23.
  3. ^ Feminism, John Bellamy Foster Topics (June 2012). "Joan Acker's Feminist Historical-Materialist Theory of Class". Monthly Review. Retrieved 2015-11-23.
  4. ^ Kay, Ernest; Butcher, Diane (1989). International Who's Who of Professional and Business Women. ISBN 9780900332982.
  5. ^ a b Barbara J. Love (2006). Feminists who changed America, 1963-1975. University of Illinois Press. p. 4. ISBN 978-0-252-03189-2. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
  6. ^ Williams, Christine (April 2007). "Class Questions, Feminist Answers". Gender & Society. 21 (2): 302–304. doi:10.1177/0891243206295784. S2CID 144705375.
  7. ^ Anderson, Margaret (May 2007). "Class Questions: Feminist Answers". Contemporary Sociology. 36 (3): 234–235. doi:10.1177/009430610703600314. S2CID 144801987.
  8. ^ a b c "Prof. Joan Acker". www.sowi.rub.de. Retrieved 2021-05-22.
  9. ^ a b "Obituary of Joan Acker | Musgroves - Musgrove Mortuary". musgroves.com. Retrieved 2021-05-22.
  10. ^ "American Sociological Association: W.E.B. DuBois Career of Distinguished Scholarship Award". www.asanet.org. Archived from the original on 2015-11-20. Retrieved 2015-11-23.
  11. ^ "American Sociological Association: Jessie Bernard Award". www.asanet.org. 2009-05-29. Retrieved 2015-11-23.
  12. ^ Acker, Joan (1990). "Hierarchies, Jobs, Bodies: A Theory of Gendered Organizations". Gender and Society. 4 (2): 139–158. ISSN 0891-2432.

External links[edit]