Gary Alan Fine

Gary Alan Fine
Year Elected ALS Fellow: 
Highest Degree: 
Ph.D., Harvard University, 1976
Current Position: 
Professor, Department of Sociology, Northwestern University

Areas of interest include social psychology, sociology of culture, sociology of science, qualitative sociology, social theory, and collective behavior. Before coming to Northwestern, Fine was on the faculty of the University of Georgia and the University of Minnesota, and was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study in the Social Sciences, and the Russell Sage Foundation.

His current research has three distinct streams. First, he is interested in the development of reputations of individuals with "difficult reputations" by means of reputational entrepreneurs (Warren Harding, Benedict Arnold, John Brown, Henry Ford). This research was recently published in Difficult Reputations: Collective Memories of the Evil, Inept and Controversial (University of Chicago Press, 2001).

His current research on reputations deals with reputations and memories of the American left and right during the 1935-1955 period, including McCarthy era and the way that Adolf Hitler is remembered in the United States.

As an ethnographer, he is currently examining the multiple social worlds of chess as a leisure and competitive activity, examining the role of technological change and changes in global-political politics (e.g., the breakup of the Soviet Union) on chess as a community.

AWARDS: George Herbert Mead Award for Lifetime Contributions, Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction, 2003; Elected Fellow, Academy of Leisure Sciences, 2008; Department of Sociology Nominee, Clarence Ver Steeg Graduate Faculty Award for Student Mentoring, 2008.