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Earl Babbie

Earl Robert Babbie (born January 8, 1938) is an American sociologist who holds the position of Campbell Professor Emeritus in Behavioral Sciences at Chapman University. He is best known for his popular book The Practice of Social Research (first published in 1975), currently in its 12th English edition, with numerous non-English editions.


Personal and Educational

Earl Babbie was born in Detroit, Michigan, as Earl Eugene Arbuckle, son of Earl Nicholas Arbuckle and Marion Towle Arbuckle, both of Stowe, Vermont. Babbie was raised in Stowe, Vermont, and Hartford, Connecticut. His parents divorced when he was four years old, and he and his mother lived a number of years with her parents. When he was 13 years old, his mother remarried: to Herman Octave Babbie, and the family moved to Morrisville, Vermont. He was formally adopted by his stepfather and changed his name to Earl Robert Babbie.

Later the family moved to Dover, New Hampshire, and Babbie graduated from Dover High School in 1956. He attended Harvard College on an NROTC scholarship, majoring in Social Relations and graduating in 1960, at which point he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. After training in Virginia and North Carolina, Babbie served two tours overseas: in Okinawa and Japan, just as the Vietnam War was beginning.

Upon completing his service obligation with the USMC, Babbie undertook graduate studies in sociology at the University of California, Berkeley, during the time of the Free Speech Movement. He developed a specialty in survey research, eventually serving as Assistant Director of the Survey Research Center. Babbie received an M.A. in 1966 and a Ph.D. in 1969.

Babbie married Sheila Trimble on May 17, 1965 and divorced in 2007. One child: Aaron Robert Babbie, born July 18, 1969, in Honolulu, Hawaii. Two grandchildren: Evelyn Fay Babbie (b. January 7, 2001, in Portland, OR) and Henry Robert Babbie (b. June 13, 2003, in Portland, OR). Babbie remarried, on March 16, 2008, to Suzanne Roberts Clem.

Babbie taught at the University of Hawaii (Manoa) from 1968 through 1979, at which point he resigned to pursue a full-time writing career. The family moved to Mill Valley, CA, where they lived until 1987, when Babbie began teaching at Chapman University in Orange, CA. He retired from teaching in January, 2006, but remains an active member of the campus community as Campbell Professor Emeritus. In June 2007, Babbie moved to Hot Springs Village, AR.

Other Books

'To Comfort and to Challenge' (1967 with Charles Y. Glock and Benjamin B. Ringer), 'Science and Morality in Medicine' (1970), 'Survey Research Methods' (first edition 1973), 'Society by Agreement' (first edition in 1977), 'Understanding Sociology' (1982), 'Apple Logo for Teachers' (1984), 'You Can Make a Difference' (1985)[1], 'Observing Ourselves' (1986), 'The Sociological Spirit' (first edition 1987), 'Research Methods for Social Work' (first edition in 1993, with Allen Rubin), 'What is Society?' (1993), 'Adventures in Social Research' (first edition in 1993 with Fred Halley), 'Research Methods for Criminal Justice and Criminology' (first edition in 1995 with Michael Maxfield), 'Adventures in Criminal Justice Research' (first edition in 1997 with George W. Dowdall and Fred Halley), 'The Basics of Social Research (first edition in 1999), 'Exploring Social Issues' (first edition in 1999 with Fred Halley, Joseph F. Healy, and John Boli), 'Fundamentals of Social Research' (first edition in 2002 with Lucia Benaquisto), 'The Basics of Communication Research' (first edition in 2004 with Leslie Baxter).

Social Action

Babbie has long been concerned with the issue of overpopulation. He served a term on the board of directors of Zero Population Growth (now Population Connection) and currently serves on the boards of directors of Population Media Center and Population Institute. He has also worked against the problem of world hunger and served as Chair of The Hunger Project Advisory Council.


External links



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