Eviatar Zerubavel (born 1948) is professor of sociology at Rutgers
University and a prolific and notable writer on the sociology of
cognition and everyday life, including topics such as time,
boundaries, and categorization.
Israel in 1948 to parents in diplomatic service, he spent much
of his childhood abroad. He studied first at the University of Tel
Aviv and then received his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of
Pennsylvania in 1976, where he studied under Erving Goffman. After
Columbia University and the State University of New York
at Stony Brook, he has spent the bulk of his career at Rutgers
University. In 2003 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, and in
2007 he was recognized as a Board of Governors and Distinguished
Professor of Sociology.
Zerubavel's first notable contributions were in the study of time,
particularly the sociology and standardization of time. His books in
this area were Patterns of
Time in Hospital Life (1979); Hidden
Rhythms (1981); The Seven Day Circle (1985); and
Time Maps (2003).
Later he turned his attention to what he has termed cognitive
sociology, pointing out how much society rather than human nature
shapes our mental lives, and how much the commonalities that mark out
social groups involve shared patterns of thinking. His work in this
vein includes The Fine Line (1991); Terra Cognita (1992); Social
Mindscapes (1997); The Elephant in the Room (2006); and Ancestors and
Zerubavel served for many years as director of the graduate program in
Rutgers University and mentor to many graduate students.
He became very interested in academic work habits and in time
management in writing. His book The Clockwork Muse (1999) gives
practical advice to writers across disciplines, and in particular
advice on time management to those finishing books and dissertations.
His own writing is notable for its use of multiple examples from
everyday life, an approach which one of his students, Wayne Brekhus,
has called "Zerubavelian" sociology.
Zerubavel is a grandson of the noted Zionist Ya'akov Zerubavel. He is
married to Yael Zerubavel, a scholar of Israeli history who also
teaches at Rutgers University.
Zerubavel's newest book is (2018) Taken for Granted: The Remarkable
Power of the Unremarkable. Princeton University Press.
^ (2007) Wayne Brekhus, "The Rutgers School: A Zerubavelian
Culturalist Cognitive Sociology," European Journal of Social Theory,
August 2007, vol. 10 no. 3, 448-464, doi: 10.1177/1368431007080705
Zerubavel's website at Rutgers
ISNI: 0000 0001 2021 0185
BNF: cb12045733c (data)