Joan Acker

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Joan Elise Robinson Acker (March 18, 1924 – June 22, 2016) was an American feminist sociologist, researcher, writer, and educator. She has been a part of the University of Oregon faculty since 1967. Acker is considered one of the leading analysts regarding gender and class within the second wave of feminism.


Acker was born in Illinois in 1924. She received her bachelors from Hunter College, her master's from the University of Chicago, and her Ph.D. from the University of Oregon.


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. Acker describes the need to think about race, class, and gender not as separate entities but as "intersecting systems of oppression. In 1973, Acker founded the Center for the Study of Women in Society at the University of Oregon. She successfully helped to raise pay wages for low-wage jobs in Oregon while serving on a state task force from 1981-1983. She received the American Sociological Association's Career of Distinguished Scholarship Award in 1993. In 1989, Acker was also awarded the Jessie Bernard Award for feminist scholarship. She died on June 22, 2016 at the age of 92.


  • 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
  • Acker, Joan (2006), "Women and social stratification: a case of intellectual sexism", in Levine, Rhonda, Social class and stratification: classic statements and theoretical debates (2nd ed.), Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, pp. 171–182, ISBN 9780742546325
  • Acker, Joan (January 1973). "Women and social stratification: a case of intellectual sexism". American Journal of Sociology, special issue – changing women in a changing society (The University of Chicago Press via JSTOR) 78 (4): 936–945. JSTOR 2776612.
  • Acker, Joan; van Houten, Donald R. (January 1974). "Differential recruitment and control: the sex structuring of organizations". Administrative Science Quarterly (Sage Publications via JSTOR) 19 (2): 152–163. doi:10.2307/2393886.
  • Acker, Joan (Winter 1975). "Introduction: women and work". International Journal of Sociology, special issue – women and work (M. E. Sharpe, Inc via JSTOR) 5 (4): 3–13. JSTOR 20629715.
  • Acker, Joan (November 1982). "Editorial introduction". Economic & Industrial Democracy (Sage) 3 (4): i–viii. doi:10.1177/0143831X8234001.
  • Acker, Joan; Barry, Kate; Esseveld, Joke (1983). "Objectivity and truth: problems in doing feminist research". Women's Studies International Forum (ScienceDirect) 6 (4): 423–435. doi:10.1016/0277-5395(83)90035-3.
  • Acker, Joan (June 1990). "Hierarchies, jobs, bodies: a theory of gendered organizations". Gender & Society (Sage) 4 (2): 139–158. doi:10.1177/089124390004002002.
  • Acker, Joan (March 1992). "The future of women and work: ending the Twentieth Century". Sociological Perspectives (Sage) 35 (1): 53–68. doi:10.2307/1389368.
  • Acker, Joan (February 1994). "Editorial introduction". Economic & Industrial Democracy, special issue – Women and global transformation (Sage) 15 (1): 5–9. doi:10.1177/0143831X94151001.
  • Acker, Joan (June 1994). "The gender regime of Swedish banks". Scandinavian Journal of Management, special issue – the construction of gender in organizations (Elsevier) 10 (2): 93–223. doi:10.1016/0956-5221(94)90015-9.
  • Acker, Joan (Winter 1994). "Book reviews". Signs (The University of Chicago Press via JSTOR) 19 (2): 504–506. JSTOR 3174811.

In the Way of Women: Men's Resistance to Sex Equality in Organizations by Cynthia Cockburn.

The Promise and the Price: The Struggle for Equal Opportunity in Women's Employment by Clare Burton.

  • Acker, Joan; Morgen, Sandra; Heath, Terri (14 January 2000). "Oregon families leaving TANF: self-sufficiency and family well-being outcomes: interim report". Dept of Human Services (Salem, Oregon: Adult and Family Services Division, Department of Human Services). OCLC 43583408.
  • Acker, Joan (October 2001). "Correspondence: response to Acker and Eisenstein". Monthly Review (Monthly Review Foundation) 53 (5).
  • Acker, Joan; Morgen, Sandra; Weigt, Jill; Barry, Kate; Gonzales, Lisa; Heath, Terri (2002). "Welfare restructuring, work & poverty: policy implications from Oregon". Policy matters: Center for the Study of Women in Society (Eugene, Oregon: University of Oregon). OCLC 51541965.
  • Acker, Joan (January 2004). "Gender, capitalism and globalization". Critical Sociology (Sage) 30 (1): 17–41. doi:10.1163/156916304322981668.
  • Acker, Joan (August 2006). "Inequality regimes: gender, class, and race in organizations". Gender & Society (Sage) 20 (4): 441–464. doi:10.1177/0891243206289499.
  • Acker, Joan (September 2006). "The gender regime of Swedish banks". Scandinavian Journal of Management, special issue – classics and bridges to the future (Elsevier) 22 (3): 195–209. doi:10.1016/j.scaman.2006.10.004.
  • Acker, Joan; Gonzales, Lisa; Hudson, Kenneth (2007). "Diverting dependency: the effects of diversion on the short term outcomes of TANF applicants". Journal of Poverty (Taylor and Francis) 11 (1): 83–105. doi:10.1300/J134v11n01_04.
  • Acker, Joan (April 2009). "From glass ceiling to inequality regimes". Sociologie du Travail (Elsevier) 51 (2): 199–217. doi:10.1016/j.soctra.2009.03.004.



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