Denise Bielby

Denise Bielby
Professor Emeritus


Culture, gender, work, and social psychology/life-course



Ph.D., University of Wisconsin



Denise Bielby is Distinguished Professor of Sociology, Emerita at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research focuses on cultural sociology and gender, work, and family.  The author of numerous scholarly publications, her work has appeared in journals that include American Sociological ReviewAmerican Journal of SociologyGender & SocietyJournal of Economic PerspectivesContextsAmerican Behavioral ScientistSociologie du TravailJournal of Family IssuesPoeticsJournal of Popular CultureJournal of Broadcasting & Electronic MediaTelevision & New MediaPopular Communication, and Communication, Culture & Critique.  She is co-author of Global TV: Exporting Television and Culture in the World Market (New York University Press, 2008) and Soap Fans: Pursuing Pleasure and Making Meaning in Everyday Life (Temple University Press, 1995) with C. Lee Harrington, and is co-editor of Brokerage and Production in the American and French Entertainment Industries:  Invisible Hands in Cultural Markets (Lexington Press, 2015) with Violaine Roussel, Aging, Media, and Culture (Lexington Press, 2014) with C. Lee Harrington and Anthony Bardo, and Popular Culture: Production and Consumption (Blackwell Publishers, 2000) with C. Lee Harrington.  A recipient of national awards for her research – the Reuben Hill Research and Theory Award from the National Council on Family Relations, and the Kathleen Gregory Klein Award for Excellence in Feminist Studies from the Popular and American Culture Associations – she has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Mental Health, and was statistical consultant to the Writers Guild of America, West.  She has served on National Science Foundation panels and the editorial boards of the discipline’s leading professional journals, including American Journal of SociologyGender & SocietyContextsRose Monographs, and American Sociological Review, where she was Deputy Editor.  In 1995, she received the University of California President’s Award for Excellence in Mentorship of Undergraduate Research and was a 2005 recipient of an Outstanding Faculty Award from the Office of Residential Life.  She was elected to the discipline’s distinguished research honorary, the Sociological Research Association, in 2000.  Upon receiving her B.S. in 1971 from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and her PhD from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1975, Professor Bielby was appointed NIMH Post-doctoral Fellow at Duke University in the Departments of Sociology and Psychiatry, where she was affiliated with the Research Training Program in Mental Health.  She joined the faculty of UC, Santa Barbara in 1977, and was recipient in 1978 of an Individual NIMH National Research Service Award for research she conducted at the University of California, Berkeley’s Institute of Human Development.  She was appointed a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University’s Institute for Research on Women and Gender in 1983-84, and a Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology and Women’s Studies at UCLA in 1985.  In 2009 she was Visiting Professor in the Department of Media and Communication at Erasmus University, Rotterdam, Netherlands.  Professor Bielby was a member of numerous Academic Senate committees at UC, Santa Barbara, and served as Chair of the Committee on Academic Personnel, the Executive Committee of the College of Letters & Science, and the Academic Program Review Panel.  Her campus participation also included administrative service as Assistant Dean of Honors & Special Programs and Acting Associate Vice-Chancellor of Academic Programs.