Professor of Sociology
Professor of Sociology
PhD New York University, 1997
Mary Bernstein is professor of sociology at the University of Connecticut. She publishes broadly in the fields of social movements, politics, race, gender, and law with a focus on LGBTQ social movements and on gun violence prevention advocacy. She is winner of several national awards from the American Sociological Association, including the Simon and Gagnon Lifetime Achievement Award from the Section on the Sociology of Sexualities, the Outstanding Article Award from theSection on Collective Behavior and Social Movementsfor “Culture, Power, and Institutions: A Multi-Institutional Politics Approach to Social Movements” (Sociological Theory26:74-99, co-authored with Elizabeth Armstrong), and the award for best graduate student paper fromthe Section on Collective Behavior and Social Movementsfor “Celebration and Suppression: The Strategic Uses of Identity by the Lesbian and Gay Movement” (American Journal of Sociology103(Nov.):531-565). She has co-edited three books and her articles appear in numerous journals. Professor Bernstein continues to write about sexuality, race, gender, gun violence prevention, and social movements.
Professor Bernstein’s research on gun violence prevention advocacy has been supported by a grant from the Bennett Fund for Innovative Education in Health and Society. She has been appointed a member of the Regional Gun Violence Research Consortium at the Rockefeller Institute of Government. Over the past year, she co-organized a conference on the “Correlates, Causes, and Solutions for Firearm Violence in America” which took place at The Hartford Club in Hartford CT. The first paper from this project “Once in Parkland, A Year in Hartford, A Weekend in Chicago: Race and Resistance in the Gun Violence Prevention Movement” is forthcoming in the journal Sociological Forum and is co-authored with graduate student Jordan McMillan and UConn honors alum Elizabeth Charash. As a result of her research on gun violence prevention efforts, Professor Bernstein has been active in the world of public sociology, serving as a guest speaker for various events, including, the Humanities Institute, Humility and Conviction in Public Life, UConn, the Unitarian Society of New Haven, the Collaboratory on School and Child Health, UConn, and GVPedia, Gun Violence Research, Connecting Advocates with Academicsheld in Denver, Colorado.
Her recent work on social movements and sexualities includes guest editing a special issue of the Journal of Homosexualityon “The Impact of Same-sex Marriage on LGBT Activism, Politics, and Communities” and the book chapter “The Movement Towards Marriage Equality in Advanced Industrial Nations” in Handbook on Gender and Social Policy, edited by Sheila Shaver. Cheltenham UK: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd. Professor Bernstein continues to be active on the speaker circuit, giving a keynote speech on “The Impact of Same-sex Marriage on LGBT Activism, Politics, and Communities” at the Intersections: Social Policy & Sexuality Workshopheld at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, a talk on “Gender in the Gun Violence Prevention Movement” at the FemSem (Feminist Seminar) at the University of Wisconsin, and a talk on “Remembering Stonewall Riots After 50 Years” sponsored by the Human Rights Commission of West Hartford CT.
Professor Bernstein continues to direct the Early College Experience (ECE) program for Sociology. Now in its second year of existence, students in six high schools across Connecticut can take introduction to sociology and receive UConn credit. Nationally, Professor Bernstein serves as an elected member of the American Sociological Association’s Publications Committee.
Selected Presentations and Publications on Gun Violence Prevention:
Bernstein, Mary, Jordan McMillan, and Elizabeth Charash. In Press. “Once in Parkland, A Year in Hartford, A Weekend in Chicago: Race and Resistance in the Gun Violence Prevention Movement.” Sociological Forum.
2018 “Intersectionality and Social Movements: Understanding Differences between Urban and Suburban Gun Violence Prevention Movements.” Paper presented at 1968-2018, fifty years after: where is the social movements field going?, Scuola Normale Superiore, Florence, Italy, May 23-25 (with Elizabeth Charash).
2018 Expert at “Encounters, the Conference: Structured Dialog Workshop on Gun Control.” Sponsored by the Humanities Institute, Humility and Conviction In Public Life, UConn. 8:30 – 5:30, Nov. 17.
2019 “Gender in the Gun Violence Prevention Movement.” FemSem (Feminist Seminar), University of Wisconsin. January 25.
2019 Guest Speaker. “Bridging the Gap: Turning Research and Loss into Successful Advocacy.” GVPedia, Gun Violence Research, Connecting Advocates with Academics. Denver, Colorado, April 5-7.
2019 Guest Speaker. “Community Action and Gun Violence Prevention.” Collaboratory on School and Child Health, UConn. April 2.
2019 “Risk and Framing: Implications of Movement Actors’ Understandings of Gun Violence.” Paper presented at the conference on “Correlates, Causes, and Solutions for Firearm Violence in America.” April 4-5, The Hartford Club, Hartford CT (with Jordan McMillan).
2019 Organizer and Moderator. “Gun Violence: A Public Health Crisis.” Unitarian Society of New Haven Preventing Firearm Violence Task Force. March 24.
2019 Organizer (with Blair Johnson and Kerri Raissian), Conference on “Correlates, Causes, and Solutions for Firearm Violence in America.”April 4-5, The Hartford Club, Hartford CT.
Selected Publications in Social Movements and Sexualities
Books and Special Issues:
Bernstein, Mary. 2018. Guest Editor, Special Issue, “The Impact of Same-sex Marriage on LGBT Activism, Politics, and Communities.” Journal of Homosexuality.
Bernstein Mary and Verta Taylor (eds.). 2013. The Marrying Kind? Debating Same-Sex Marriage Within the Lesbian and Gay Movement. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Barclay, Scott, Mary Bernstein, and Anna-Maria Marshall (eds.). 2009. Queer Mobilizations: LGBT Activists Confront the Law. New York: NYU Press.
Bernstein, Mary and Renate Reimann (eds.). 2001. Queer Families, Queer Politics: Challenging Culture and the State. New York: Columbia University Press.
Selected Articles and Book Chapters
Taylor, Malaena and Mary Bernstein. 2019. “Denying, Deflecting, and Distracting: Color-Blind Ideology as Techniques of Neutralization in the Tea Party Movement.” Mobilization24(2):17-156. DOI 10.17813/1086-671X-24-2-137.
Bernstein, Mary. 2018. “Same-Sex Marriage and the Assimilationist Dilemma: A Research Agenda on Marriage Equality and the Future of LGBTQ Activism, Politics, Communities, and Identities” Journal of Homosexuality1-16. DOI: 10.1080/00918369.2017.1423211
Bernstein, Mary, Brenna Harvey and Nancy A. Naples. 2018. “The Final Frontier? Same-sex Marriage and the Future of the LGBT Movement.” Sociological Forum33(1): 30-52.
Bernstein, Mary, Nancy A. Naples, and Brenna Harvey. 2016. “The Meaning of Marriage to Same-sex Families: Formal Partnership, Gender, and the Welfare State in International Perspective.” Social Politics. 23(1): 3-39.
Bernstein, Mary and Nancy A. Naples. 2015. “Altared States: Legal Structuring and Relationship Recognition in the United States, Canada, and Australia.” American Sociological Review80(6): 1226-1249.
Bernstein, Mary. 2015. “Same-Sex Marriage and the Future of the LGBT Movement.” Gender & Society29(3): 321-337.
Armstrong, Elizabeth A. and Mary Bernstein. 2008. “Culture, Power, and Institutions: A Multi-Institutional Politics Approach to Social Movements.” Sociological Theory26:74-99.
Bernstein, Mary. 1997. “Celebration and Suppression: The Strategic Uses of Identity by the Lesbian and Gay Movement.” American Journal of Sociology103(Nov.):531-565.
Recent Media Coverage:
2019, on Stonewall + 50
2019, UConn Today on GVP:
2019, Yale School of Public Health on GVP:
2017 Simon & Gagnon Lifetime Achievement Award in the Sociology of Sexualities
2014 President, Sociologists for Women in Society