All Press Releases for September 05, 2017

Dr. Walter R. Gove Named a Lifetime Achiever by Marquis Who's Who

Walter Gove has been endorsed by Marquis Who's Who as a leader in the field of sociology education

    BOULDER, UT, September 05, 2017 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Marquis Who's Who, the world's premier publisher of biographical profiles, is proud to name Dr. Walter R. Gove a Lifetime Achiever. An accomplished listee, Dr. Gove celebrates many years' experience in his professional network, and has been noted for achievements, leadership qualities, and the credentials and successes he has accrued in his field. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.

Walter R. Gove is a native of Holden, Massachusetts. He received his B.S. in forestry from the New York State College of Forestry at Syracuse University in 1960. Working under S. Frank Miyamoto, he received a master's degree in 1967 and a Ph.D. in 1968 from the University of Washington. He started teaching as an assistant professor of sociology at Vanderbilt University and remained there 35 years, retiring in 2003. Professor Gove made substantial contributions to the discipline in the fields of family, social psychology, criminology, and sociological theory.

Dr. Gove's first major contribution in sociology was his critique of the labeling theory of mental illness. This line of work, which began with an article he published in the American Sociological Review in 1970, sparked an important and influential debate in sociology over the limits of the societal reaction perspective for understanding deviant behavior. The effect of this work was to alter the course of research in the sociology of mental illness and in the sociology of deviance generally.

Arguably, Dr. Gove's most influential work was on how gender and marital status influence the risk of mental disorder. Prior to his 1972 and 1973 papers in the American Journal of Sociology and Social Forces, most sociological work on the impact of social structure on mental disorder was confined to social class. Dr. Gove's research showed that gender and marital status structure men's and women's lives so that women, particularly married women, experience a serious disadvantage in their mental health. He theorized that the nature of people's roles affects their experiences and thus their risks of mental disorder and distress. Research on this problem by many sociologists has continued unabated since the 1970s.

Professor Gove's seminal work on sex, marital status, and mortality, published in the American Journal of Sociology in 1973, provided empirical evidence of a link between social integration and mortality. The theoretical argument linked gender and marital status differences to mental health outcomes that affect health behaviors and thus mortality. A primary mechanism in this process is the social control of health behavior. These ideas were extended in later work by Gove's students and have provided an important foundation for research across a number of disciplines that continue to demonstrate the important effects of social involvements on health and mortality.

In each of these areas, societal reactions to mental illness, gender and mental health, crowding, and social integration and control, Gove's work changed the way that sociologists think. His contributions to sociology were sometimes controversial, but these have been controversies that, over time, led to clarity and progress in the discipline. Gove was one of the first sociologist to emphasize the importance of biological factors and in a number of projects he focused on ways biological factors effect human social behavior.

Professor Gove's research has appeared in a wide variety of journals, including 32 papers in the top ranked journals in the field American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology, and Social Forces, which is more than any other person has published. Overall he had published nearly 100 papers, including articles, chapters, and refereed comments and replies. In addition, he is co-author of two books and has edited five volumes. According to Google Scholar, between 1969 and 2017, his work was cited 13,322 times.

Dr. Gove won the 1979 Reuben Hill Award (given by the National Council on Family Relations for the best theory and research paper of the year) for his work on crowding. He was elected to the Sociological Research Association in 1984 and elected as Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1992. In 1989 he was given an award by the Society for the Study of Social Problems to recognize his outstanding scholarship and service to psychiatric sociology, and, in 2003, Gove's lifetime achievements in medical sociology were recognized by the Leo G. Reeder Award for Distinguished Contributions in Medical Sociology. In 2014 the Southern Sociology Society added him to their Role of Honor.

Service to the discipline has been an important part of Dr. Gove's career. From 1992 to 1997, he served as President-Elect, President, and then Executive Committee member of the Southern Sociological Society. He has served on the boards of Social Forces, the American Journal of Sociology, Social Science Research, Social Psychology Quarterly, Women and Politics, Journal of Family Issues, and Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

From 1979 until his retirement, Professor Gove directed the dissertations of 19 doctoral students at Vanderbilt. Many of his students went on to have successful and productive careers as professional research sociologists. Students remember Dr. Gove for his openness, accessibility, and patience, and for treating them with the same respect and seriousness as he did his colleagues. In 2001, Gove received the Outstanding Graduate Teacher Award from Vanderbilt University.

In his adult life, Gove was not only interested in sociology. He was also a serious mountain climber. He made 32 climbing trips to Alaska, ascending a number of previously unclimbed peaks and pioneering new routes on a number of other major mountains. Many of these exploits were chronicled in articles that Gove published in the American Alpine Journal, the flagship journal of the American Alpine Club, which is the principal mountaineering organization in the United States.

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