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THOMAS DOROTHY SWAINE 1899 1977 Demographer sociologist Thomas was born in Baltimore Maryland and educated at Barnard College B A 1922 and the University of London School of Economics Ph D 1924 Her principal mentors were sociologist William F Ogburn economist Wesley C Mitchell statistician Arthur L Bowley and one of the founders of American sociology W I Thomas whom she married in 1936 Between 1924 and 1948 she held research or academic appointments at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York the Social Science Research Council Columbia University Teachers College Yale University the Social Science Institute at the University of Stockholm and the University of California at Berkeley In 1948 she became the first woman professor in the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania where she was research professor of sociology While there she initiated an interdisciplinary doctoral training program in demography and helped found and direct the Population Studies Center Following her retirement from Pennsylvania in 1970 she continued teaching at Georgetown University for four years She served on numerous occasions as technical consultant to the United Nations and United States government agencies She was the first woman elected president of the American Sociological Association 1952 was president of the Population Association of America 1958 59 and received an honorary doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania in 1970 for her influential work in demography Throughout her demographic career two features are evident in Thomas work first the importance of careful measurement and second sensitivity to the interplay between demographic and economic change In demography her concern with measurement centered primarily on internal migration the subject that eventually became 2 her focus As chair of the Social Science Research Council s Committee on Migration Differentials she authored a study that set the research agenda of the field for the next several decades Thomas 1938



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