Reuben Lorenzo Hill Jr. (July 4, 1912 – September 26, 1985) was an American sociologist. He specialized in the sociology of the family. He was the seventh president of the International Sociological Association (1970–1974). He has been called "the founding father of family sociology".
Hill was born on July 4, 1912 in Utah. In his youth he served as a missionary in Europe. He received his PhD in 1938 from the University of Wisconsin. He later taught at the University of South Dakota (1924–1945), Iowa State University (1945-1949), University of North Carolina (1949–1957) and University of Minnesota (1957–1983). At Minnesota, he held the title of the Regents’ Professor of family sociology from 1973. He was also a visiting professor at the University of Puerto Rico (1953–1954), University of Louvain (1961–1962) and others. He retired in 1983 as an emeritus professor.
Research and impact
Hill specialized in the sociology of the family. He was influenced by works of Ernest W. Burgess, Evelyn Duvall, Howard Becker, Clifford Kirkpatrick, and Willard W. Waller. Through his career he authored 20 books and over 150 articles and gave lectures in over 40 countries. Bert N. Adams described him as "one of the leading scholars in the field of marriage and the family". David H. Olson and Pauline Boss went even further, noting that Hill "was considered the founding father of family sociology". He was one of the first sociologists in the United States specializing in studying family and marriage.
John Mogey noted that one of his early books, When you marry (1945) a textbook on sociology of family, "set a national standard for functional courses in family life education" for many years.
The Reuben Hill Research Award, given annually in his name by National Council on Family Relations (NCFR), was established in 1980 and is awarded for the best research or theory paper in the field of family sociology.
Wesley R. Burr described Hill's contribution as follows:
[D]eveloping a model to study family crises, conducting theory-based field experiments, organising the first bibliographic storage system in the field, developing the methodology to study three generations of families simultaneously, initiating graduate traineeships in the family field, helping to develop the family development conceptual framework, developing methods to improve theory, dramatically improving theory, and helping to establish the Theory and Method workshops that are held in conjunction with the annual meetings of the National Council on Family Relations.
- "Reuben Hill". www.isa-sociology.org. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
- "ISA Presidents". International Sociological Association. Retrieved July 25, 2012.
- Olson, David H.; Boss, Pauline (1986). "Reuben L. Hill: A Memorium". Family Process. 25 (1): 1–3. doi:10.1111/j.1545-5300.1986.00001.x. ISSN 1545-5300.
- "Collection: Reuben Hill papers | University of Minnesota Archival Collections Guides". archives.lib.umn.edu. Retrieved October 6, 2019.
- "Dr. Reuben Lorenzo Hill Jr". International Journal of Comparative Sociology. 3 (1): i–iii. January 1, 1962. doi:10.1163/156854262X00010 (inactive November 17, 2019). ISSN 0020-7152.
- Mogey, John (1987). "Reuben Lorenzo Hill: 1912-1985". Journal of Comparative Family Studies. 18 (1). ISSN 0047-2328. JSTOR 41601466.
- "Reuben Hill, 73, Dies; Professor of Sociology". The New York Times. September 26, 1985. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
- Adams, Bert N.; Aldous, Joan; Rodgers, Roy H.; Burr, Wesley R.; Klein, David M. (1986). "To Do Our Best: Souvenirs of Reuben Hill". Journal of Marriage and Family. 48 (1): 223–226. ISSN 0022-2445. JSTOR 352251.
- "Reuben Hill Award | National Council on Family Relations". www.ncfr.org. Retrieved October 4, 2019.
- "Reuben Hill Award (list of winners)" (PDF). ncfr.org.