Mary Bernstein, PhD


Sociology, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Research Overview

Dr. Mary Bernstein is Professor of Sociology at the University of Connecticut. She has published numerous articles in the fields of sexualities, social movements, identity, gender, work and law and is co-editor of three books. Recent awards include the Outstanding Article Award from the American Sociological Association (ASA) Section on Collective Behavior and Social Movements (2009) for “Culture, Power, and Institutions: A Multi-Institutional Politics Approach to Social Movements.” Her research has been supported most recently by grants from the National Science Foundation and the Williams Institute of UCLA. Bernstein is the Past Chair of the ASA Section on the Sociology of Sexualities. She is currently deputy editor of the journal Gender & Society and president of the national organization Sociologists for Women in Society. Dr. Bernstein teaches courses in gender and sexualities, social movements, law, and quantitative methods. Her most recent research investigates why women, diagnosed with early stage (0-2) breast cancer increasingly choose mastectomy when it provides only small improvement over breast conserving surgery (except in women who are BRCA 1/2 positive) and whether or not there are systematic disparities in treatment based on race, economic status and sexual orientation. This research builds on her research in gender, social movements, and inequality within institutions.


Ph.D. Sociology, New York University
M.A. Mathematics, Middlebury College

Recent/Selected Publications

Research Gate


Featured Publications


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

Bernstein, Mary. 2013. “Perry and the LGBT Movement.” NYU Review of Law and Social Change. 73(1): 23-28.

Bernstein, Mary. 2013. “Politics and Social Movements: Beyond State- and Economy Centric Understandings of Power.” Politics, Groups, and Identities 1(1): 87-93.

Gurbuz, Mustafa and Mary Bernstein. 2012. “‘Thou Shall Not Protest!’: Multi-Institutional Politics, Strategic Non-Confrontation and Islamic Mobilizations in Turkey.” Research in Social Movements, Conflict and Change 34: 63-91.

Bernstein, Mary and Nancy A. Naples. 2010. “Sexual Citizenship and the Pursuit of Relationship Recognition Policies in Australia and the U.S.” Women’s Studies Quarterly 38(1&2): 132-156.

Bernstein, Mary and Marcie De la Cruz. 2009. “What Are You? Explaining Identity as a Goal of the Multiracial Hapa Movement.” Social Problems 56(4): 722-745.

Armstrong, Elizabeth A. and Mary Bernstein. 2008. “Culture, Power, and Institutions: A Multi-Institutional Politics Approach to Social Movements.” Sociological Theory 26:74-99.*

*Winner of the Outstanding Article Award, American Sociological Association Section on Collective Behavior and Social Movements, 2009.

Bernstein Mary. 2005. “Identity Politics.” Annual Review of Sociology 31: 47-74.

Bernstein, Mary. 2005. “Liberalism and Social Movement Success: The Case of the United States Sodomy Statutes.” Pp. 2-18 in Regulating Sex: The Politics of Intimacy and Identity, edited by Elizabeth Bernstein and Laurie Schaffner. New York: Routledge.

Bernstein Mary, Constance Kostelac, and Emily Gaarder. 2003. “Understanding ‘Heterosexism:’ Applying Theories of Racial Prejudice to Homophobia Using Data from a Southwestern Police Department.” Race, Gender & Class 10(4):54-74.

Bernstein, Mary. 2003. “Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained? Conceptualizing Social Movement ‘Success’ in the Lesbian and Gay Movement.” Sociological Perspectives 46(3):353-379.

Bernstein, Mary. 2002. “Identities and Politics: Toward a Historical Understanding of the Lesbian and Gay Movement.” Social Science History 26(3):531-581.

Bernstein, Mary. 1997. “Celebration and Suppression: The Strategic Uses of Identity by the Lesbian and Gay Movement.” American Journal of Sociology 103(Nov.):531-565.*

*Winner of the award for best graduate student paper, American Sociological Association Section on Collective Behavior and Social Movements 1996; Reprinted twice.


Contact Information
Phone(860) 486.3991
Mailing AddressDepartment of Sociology
344 Mansfield Road, Unit 1068
Storrs, CT 06269-1068