William Form Lecture

The William Form Lecture was established in tribute to the scholarly contributions and generous support of the Department's first and most accomplished Ph.D. recipient (1944).  The Form Lecture invites alumni from our graduate program back to campus each spring to give a presentation about their current research. 

To see a complete list of previous speakers, titles, and abstracts of the lectures, click here.

About Professor William Form

William Form was the department's first and most accomplished Ph.D. (1944).  He earned his B.A. degree (1938) and his M.A. degree (1940) at the University of Rochester.  His dissertation, "The Sociology of White-Collar Suburb: Greenbelt, Maryland," was directed by C. Wright Mills.  During his doctoral studies he taught at Hood College, American University, and here in the Sociology department.  When he completed his dissertation, he accepted a job at Stephens College (Missouri).  The following year he moved to Kent State University (Ohio), and then in 1947, he joined the faculty at Michigan State University.  From 1971-1984, he was a member of the faculty at the University of Illinois.  In 1984, he moved to Ohio State University, where he was a Professor Emeritus until his death on October 17, 2015. 

Form conducted research in Argentina, France, India, Italy, Korea, and Mexico.  He published extensively during his career.  He authored well over 100 books, monographs, and articles covering a wide range of topics including class, community disasters, community power, ideology, labor movements and unions, occupations and careers, politices, religion, sex stratificiation, social mobility, social psychology, social stratification, status, urbanism, work and much more.  The last two books he wrote were autobiographical, On the Shoulders of Immigrants: A Family Portrait (1999) and Work and Academic Politics: A Journeyman's Story (2001).  The latter book includes a comprehensive list of his publications. 

Form wrote three essays about his becoming a sociologist, his time at Maryland, and his study with Mills. 

  • "Mills at Maryland." The American Sociologist, (Fall, 1995), 40-67.
  • "Memories of C. Wright Mills: Social Structure and Biography." Work and Occupations, 34 (May, 2007), 148-173.
  • "An Accidental Journey: Becoming a Sociologist." The American Sociologist, (Winter, 1997), 31-54.