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Norman Goodman


Distinguished Teaching and Service Professor
Ph.D. 1963, NYU

Areas of Interest

Social psychology; Courtship and marriage; Socialization of children and youth; Identity formation and maintenance; communication processes; Sociology of emotions.


Norman Goodman received his Ph.D. in 1963 from New York University. He is a sociologically-oriented social psychologist who studies identity, emotions, and the nature of intimate relationships such as dating and marriage. His current research interest centers around how people cope with failure to achieve or be successful in realizing a central identity in adulthood, which is typically tied to their occupational role. Drawing primarily on the perspective of symbolic interaction and the work of scholars such as Erving Goffman, Morris Rosenberg, and Sheldon Stryker in sociology-1 and Daniel Levinson, Hazel Markus, and Glynis Breakwell in psychology, he explores this issue in terms of the interaction among the social context of failure, the coping mechanisms adopted, and the social and personal characteristics of the person. Ultimately, he is interested in how this perceived failure affects the person's sense of self and self-esteem. In addition to published articles in a number of professional journals, Goodman is the author/co-author/co-editor of 10 books (including 4 textbooks or readers in Introductory Sociology and 2 textbooks in Marriage and the Family). 

Norman Goodman was Department Chair from 1973 to 1989, and again from 2000 to 2004. He was President of the Senate of the College of Arts and Sciences and twice President of the University Faculty Senate.

Selected Publications

Extending Self-Esteem Theory and Research: Sociological and Psycholgical Currents. Timothy J. Owens, Sheldon Stryker and Norman Goodman, eds. 2001. NY: Cambridge University Press. 

Marriage and the Family. 1993: HarperCollins.

Introduction to Sociology. 1993: HarperCollins.

Social Roles and Social Institutions: Essays in Honor of Rose Laub Coser. Judith R. Blau and Norman Goodman, eds. 1991. Boulder, CO: Westview