Professor Noel T. Byrne

Professor Noel Byrne
  • Emeritus Professor of Sociology
  • Ph.D., Rutgers University
  • M.A., Sociology, Rutgers University
  • B.A., Sociology, Sonoma State College
  • A.A., Santa Rosa Junior College
  • Prep education: grunt work in mills

Contact Information:


Areas of Expertise:

Sociology of Time, Social Psychology, Classical Sociological Theory, Organizational Behavior, Organization Theory, Urban Sociology, Sociology of Moral Orders, Research Methods

Academic and Personal Interests:

I am currently in the process of developing a "folk history" of Sonoma State University.  My other research concerns include both the sociology of time (with particular attention to the temporal organization of behavior in public places). and the sociology of moral orders.  I am also in the process of developing theory and research in the sociology of evil.

Professional Experience:

Preceded by quite a few years of the “prep education” cited above (eventually melded with years of night school at SRJC), my formal relation to Sonoma State dates back to January 1969 when I began my full time (undergraduate) studies in sociology at this institution. After proceeding to my post-grad work at Rutgers, I taught at all-female, upper-SES Douglass College of Rutgers in New Jersey, and then at all-male, lower-SES Soledad prison in California. Having accepted a position at Sonoma State more than three decades ago, beginning with the Sociology Department in 1978, I remain among the fortunate few who were permitted to come home again. The depredations of President Diamondopoulos shortly after my return to Sonoma State required a change in departmental affiliation for me, just as for so many others at that time. Eventually tenured in the SSU Business School, I also served as a paid management and marketing consultant to local organizations. With relief and gratitude, I came back home to the Department of Sociology in 1994.

Courses Taught:

  • SOCI 300: Sociological Research Methods
  • SOCI 326: Social Psychology
  • SOCI 375: Classical Sociological Theory
  • SOCI 425: Methods Seminar: Urban Sociology
  • SOCI 463: Methods Seminar: Institutions and Bureaucracies
  • SOCI 498: Senior Seminar: Varying topics
  • (Less recently: a broad range of other courses in business and sociology)

Selected Publications:

  • Byrne, Noel T. and Dale W. Byrne. 2000. “Toward a Science of Evil.” Proceedings: American Association of Behavioral and Social Sciences.
  • Byrne, Noel T. 1991. “Approach and Avoidance: Ideological Underpinnings of the ‘People Disciplines,’ OB/HRM and Marketing.” Proceedings: Association of Management.
  • Byrne, Noel T. 1990. “Emile Durkheim as Symbolic Interactionist.” In Emile Durkheim: Critical Assessments, Volume 1, edited by Peter Hamilton. London: Routledge.
  • Byrne, Noel T. 1990. “Organizational Time Constructions.” Proceedings: Association of Management.
  • Byrne, Noel T. and M. Joyce McLaughlin. 1988. “Family Businesses: The Families’ View.” Vision/Action 7(4):6-10.
  • Byrne, Noel T. 1978. “Sociotemporal Considerations of Everyday Life.” Urban Life 6(4):417-438. Available here.