Barbara Katz Rothman

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Barbara Katz Rothman
Alma materBrooklyn College, City University of New York
AwardsMentoring Award (Sociologists for Women in Society)
Lee Founders Award (Society for the Study of Social Problems)
Midwifing the Movement Award (Midwives Alliance of North America)
Scientific career
Food Science

Barbara Katz Rothman (born 1948) is Professor of Sociology at the City University of New York and the author of numerous books. Her work is interdisciplinary and international; its scope encompasses medical sociology, childbirth and midwifery issues, bioethics, race, disability, food science, the sociology of knowledge and the interactions between these factors. She was the President Elect of the Eastern Sociological Society for the 2016 presidential term.[1]



  • A Bun in the Oven: How the Food and Birth Movements Resist Industrialization (New York University Press, 2016)
  • Brave New World of Reproduction: Texts on Pregnancy, Birth and Genetic Diagnosis (Mabuse-Verlag, Germany, 2012) Translation to German by Hildburg Wegener, original collection
  • Race in an Era of Change: A Reader (Oxford University Press, 2010), co-authored with Heather Dalmage
  • In Labor (Norton, 1982 and 1991), paperback title Giving Birth, updated and rewritten as Laboring On with co-author Wendy Simonds (Routledge, 2007)
  • The Tentative Pregnancy, originally published in 1986 (Viking, Norton edition 1993) the first book length study of women’s experiences with prenatal testing, was published in Germany in 1991
  • Recreating Motherhood (Norton, 1989 and revised, Rutgers University Press 2000) was the 1991 recipient of the Jessie Bernard Award of the American Sociological Association
    • Recreating Motherhood emphasizes the social, political and technological implications of birthing and raising a child in a patriarchal society. She discusses the legal parental rights of the birth mother and child-care providers. Rothman argues for a shift in reproductive practices in order to reflect the collective experiences of women. [2]
  • Centuries of Solace: Expressions of Maternal Grief in Popular Literature (Temple University Press, 1992), co-authored with Wendy Simonds
  • The Encyclopedia of Childbearing (Oryx Press and Holt Publishers, 1993), named an Outstanding Reference Book by the American Library Association
  • The Book of Life (Beacon, 2001, originally titled Genetic Maps and Human Imaginations, Norton, 1998)
    • Rothman discusses the social, ethical and racial issues involved in the Human Genome Project. Some themes explored include the social constructions of race, the issues with studying genetic differences between races, how new genetic technologies alter the public’s understanding of health, and the ethics of prenatal screening for genetic diseases. She includes both evidence-based research and personal experience to support her arguments.[3]
  • Weaving a Family: Untangling Race and Adoption (Beacon, 2005)
  • Advances in Medical Sociology, series editor
  • Bioethical Issues, Sociological Perspectives (Elsevier, 2008), editor with Elizabeth Armstrong and Rebecca Tiger

Journals and Popular Media[edit]

Barbara Katz Rothman is widely published in both popular and scholarly sources, including Social Problems, Virtual Mentor of the AMA, MIDIRS Midwifery Digest, Annual Review of Health Sciences of Australia, The Japanese Midwifery Journal, The MT. Sinai Journal of Medicine, Gender & Society, Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy, NOVA Law Review, The Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, The Chronicle of Higher Education, MS., Glamour, European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, MAMM, Conscience, Midwifery Today, Legal Affairs.

International Work and Awards[edit]

Katz Rothman has lectured widely throughout the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands, where she was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Groningen, 1995. Her books have been translated into many languages, including Japanese and Finnish.

She was a visiting professor at the Universität Osnabrück, Germany, (2002), visiting professor in the International Masters in Health and Society at the Charite in Berlin, and a Leverhulme Professor at the University of Plymouth (2003) in the United Kingdom, where she has an ongoing visiting Professorship.

Katz Rothman is past president of two national sociological professional associations, Sociologists for Women in Society, from which she won the Mentoring Award, and the Society for the Study of Social Problems, which has awarded her the Lee Founders Award. She is also the recipient of an award for “Midwifing the Movement” from the Midwives Alliance of North America.[4]

Katz Rothman is the recipient of the Fulbright-Saastamoinen Foundation Distinguished Chair in Health Sciences 2018-2019.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Boulis, Ann (2002-01-01). "Recreating Motherhood (review)". Social Forces. 80 (4): 1416–1418. doi:10.1353/sof.2002.0022. ISSN 1534-7605.
  3. ^ Katz Rothman, Barbara (2001). The Book of Life: a personal and ethical guide to race, normality, and the implications of the human genome project. Boston, Massachusetts: Beacon Press. pp. ix–xv. ISBN 0807004510.
  4. ^

External links[edit]