Professor Mary Gergen died died peacefully in her home on September 22, 2020, at the age of 82 after wrestling for a fourth time with cancer. Social Psychology Network is maintaining this profile for visitors who wish to learn more about Professor Gergen's work.
Please see below for more information:
- In Memory of Mary Gergen (obituary)
- Mary Gergen: 1938-2020 (American Psychologist)
- Mary Gergen, 1938-2020: Pioneer in Social Constructionism and Feminist Psychology (Social Science Space)
- Remembering Mary Gergen (The Taos Institute)
- Profile: Mary Gergen (Psychology's Feminist Voices)
- Celebrating the Voice of Professor Mary Gergen (Positivity Strategist)
After finishing my Ph.D. at Temple University in social psychology, I worked as a psychological consultant for AT&T on their longitudinal study of managers' lives. I began my academic career at Penn State, Delaware County, in 1984 in Psychology and Women's Studies.
My intellectual focus originates at the intersection of social psychology, feminist theory, and social constructionist ideas. I have worked on gender issues, primarily using narrative methods. My last book was an edited volume with Sara N. Davis, Toward a New Psychology of Gender (Routledge, 1997), and my subsequent book was Feminist Reconstructions in Psychology: Narrative, Gender and Performance (Sage, 2000). More recently I have edited a reader on Social Constructionism with Ken Gergen (Sage, 2003), and a small primer, Social Construction: Entering the Dialogue (2005), with Ken Gergen, which has been translated into 5 European languages.
Recently I have been experimenting with forms of performative psychology, which involves dramatic presentations as a way of doing social science. I have taught a variety of subects in psychology, including social psychology, gender relations, and leadership in theworkplace. In 1998 I was appointed Division Head for the Social Sciences and Education in the newly formed Commonwealth College of Penn State, which is now the largest of the colleges. I am also a founder of the Taos Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the development of social constructionist ideas within diverse practice areas, including therapy, organizational consulting, and education. Our web site is:
Since "so-called" retirement, I have been primarily involved in advising PhD students in a joint program sponsored by Tilburg University in The Netherland and the Taos Institute. I also continue to teach Feminist Theory at Penn State Brandywine, a local college near our home in Swarthmore, PA.
Finally, I am co-creator of an electronic newsletter, The Positive Aging Newsletter, which is dedicated to promoting a positive image of aging, as opposed to the usual negative stereotype. If you are interested, email me, and I'll see that you will get one bimonthly.
- Close Relationships
- Gender Psychology
- Interpersonal Processes
- Person Perception
- Personality, Individual Differences
- Research Methods, Assessment
Note from the Network: The holder of this profile has certified having all necessary rights, licenses, and authorization to post the files listed below. Visitors are welcome to copy or use any files for noncommercial or journalistic purposes provided they credit the profile holder and cite this page as the source.
- Cole, E., & Gergen, M. M. (Eds.). (2012). Retiring but not shy: Feminist psychologists create their post-careers. Chagrin Falls, OH: Taos Institute Publications.
- Gergen, K. J., & Gergen, M. M. (2004). Social construction: Entering the dialogue. Chagrin Falls, OH: Taos Institute Publications.
- Gergen, K., J., & Gergen, M. M. (1986). Social psychology (2nd ed.). New York: Springer-Verlag.
- Gergen, K. J., & Gergen, M. M. (Eds.). (1984). Historical social psychology. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
- Gergen, K. J., Schrader, S., & Gergen, M. (Eds.). (2008). Constructing worlds together: Interpersonal communication as relational process. Boston: Pearson.
- Gergen, M., & Gergen, K. J. (2017). Paths to positive aging: Dog days with a bone and other essays. Chagrin Falls, OH: Taos Institute Publications.
- Gergen, M. M. (2001). Feminist reconstructions in psychology: Narrative, gender, and performance. London, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
- Gergen, M. M., & Davis, S. N. (Eds.). (1996). Toward a new psychology of gender: A reader. New York: Routledge.
- Gergen, M. M. (Ed.). (1988). Feminist thought and the structure of knowledge. New York: NYU Press. Translated into Portugese; Rio de Janiero: Editora Rosa dos Tempos, 1993.
- Gergen, M. M., & Gergen, K. J. (2016). Playing with purpose: Adventures in performative social science. New York: Routledge.
- Gergen, M. M., & Gergen, K. J. (Eds.). (2003). Social construction: A reader. Los Angeles: Sage Publications.
- Gergen, M. M., Suls, J. M., Rosnow, R. L., & Lana, R. E. (1989). Psychology: A beginning (international ed.). San Diego: Harcourt, Brace & Jovanovich.
- Iversen, G. R., & Gergen, M. (1997). Statistics: The Conceptual Approach. New York: Springer-Verlag.
- McNamee, S., Gergen, M. M., Camargo-Borges, C., & Rasera, E. F. (Eds.). (2020). The SAGE handbook of social constructionist practice. Los Angeles: Sage Publications.
- Qualitative Methods in Feminist Psychology. (2007). In W. Stainton-Rogers & C. Wittig (Eds.), Handbook of Qualitative Research in Psychology (pp. 280-295). London, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
- (2007). Positive aging for women. In J. Chrisler, C. Golder, & P. Rozee (Eds.), Lectures on the psychology of women (4th ed., pp. 376-391). New York: McGraw Hill.
- Social construction and psychological inquiry. (2007). In J. Gubrium & J. Holstein (Eds.). Handbook of Social Constructionism (pp. 171-188). Sage. (With K. J. Gergen, 1st author)
- Feminist Theory
- Group Process
- Introductory Psychology
- Leadership in Work Settings
- Methods of Research
- Psychology of Adjustment
- Psychology of Gender
- Social Psychology
- Statistical Methods
- Women's Studies