Claude S. Fischer is a Professor of the Graduate School in Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley, where he has taught since 1972. Most of his early research focused on urban studies, social networks, and economic inequality (The Urban Experience, Harcourt 1976; Fischer et al., Networks and Places, Free Press 1977; To Dwell Among Friends, University of Chicago Press 1982; Fischer et al., Inequality by Design, Princeton University Press 1996).
More recently, he has worked on American social history: adoption of the telephone (America Calling, University of California Press 1992); social change during the twentieth century (Fischer and Hout, Century of Difference, Russell Sage Foundation 2006); and a social history of American culture and character (Made in America, University of Chicago Press 2010).
In 2011, he published Still Connected: Family and Friends in America Since 1970 (Russell Sage Foundation 2011). Several of these books have won awards. His major current project, funded by the National Institute of Aging, is a five-year panel study of how personal ties and networks change. In 1996, Fischer won the Robert and Helen Lynd Award for lifetime contributions to urban studies. From 1999 to 2004, Fischer was founding editor of Contexts, the American Sociological Association’s magazine of sociology for the general reader. In 2011, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 2017 he was elected to the American Philosophical Society. Fischer contributed a bimonthly column to the Boston Review; a collection of his columns appeared in 2014 as Lurching Toward Happiness in America (The MIT Press 2014). Fischer blogs at Made in America.