Rosanna Hertz's 'Single By Chance' Named An Outstanding Book of the Year

For immediate release:
January 4, 2008

Contact: Arlie Corday,

Rosanna Hertz photo Single by Chance book cover photo
Rosanna Hertz's latest book has received recent acclaim from two prestigious academic groups.

WELLESLEY, Mass. — Wellesley College’s Rosanna Hertz, the Luella LaMer professor of sociology and chair of the women's studies department, has received prestigious honors for her book Single By Chance, Mothers By Choice: How Women are Choosing Parenthood Without Marriage and Creating the New American Family (Oxford, 2006). The book has been named an “Outstanding Book for 2007” in the January 2008 issue of Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, the premier source for reviews of academic books, electronic media and Internet resources of interest to those in higher education.

Choice “highly recommended” Hertz’s book in a September 2007 review, saying, “This book is a great addition to the existing literature, providing deep insights into the complexities of single-mother families and much needed information about middle-class single mothers and the role of fathers in those families. The study also informs the debate about the importance of blood ties versus social ties. Very well written and a pleasure to read, the book is a page-turner.”

Every year in the January issue, Choice publishes a list of “Outstanding Academic Titles” that were reviewed during the previous calendar year. The list reflects the best in scholarly titles reviewed by Choice and brings with it the extraordinary recognition of the academic library community.

The list is quite selective: It contains approximately 10 percent of some 7,000 works reviewed in Choice each year. This year's list includes 646 titles in 54 disciplines and subsections. Hertz’s book is one of only 24 sociology books appearing on the list.

In addition, Single by Chance was a finalist for the prestigious 2006 C. Wright Mills Award from the Society for the Study of Social Problems. The award honors writing that “critically addresses an issue of contemporary public importance.”

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Hertz is also the author of the widely acclaimed More Equal than Others: Women and Men in Dual-Career Marriages (University of California Press.) This work has received scholarly attention in sociology, psychology, economics and women's studies. Her edited and co-edited books include Studying Elites Using Qualitative Methods (Sage), Reflexivity and Voice (Sage), Qualitative Sociology as Everyday Life (Sage), Our Studies, Ourselves: Sociologists’ Lives and Work (Oxford University Press) and Working Families: The Transformation of the American Home (University of California Press).

She has also published articles on gender inequality in the kibbutz, the division of labor among shiftwork couples, negotiating dual careers and the American dream, the integration of women into the military, sexual identity of bisexual males, the importance of women's studies for women's education, and child-care decision-making.

Hertz has taught at Wellesley College for more than 20 years, offering courses on the changing family and social policy, the social construction of gender and changing work organizations and the economy. She has had a long-standing interest in social science methodology, which she has incorporated into two courses, “The Feminist Inquiry” and “Classics and New Conventions in Social Research.”

She received a B.A. at Brandeis University in sociology and philosophy and an M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from Northwestern University. In addition, she completed a two-year post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

Since 1875, Wellesley College has been a leader in providing an excellent liberal arts education for women who will make a difference in the world. Its 500-acre campus near Boston is home to 2,300 undergraduate students from all 50 states and 68 countries.