Jean Potuchek's Home Page

Associate Professor of Sociology

Gettysburg College
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania 17325


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Something About Me


I have been on the faculty at Gettysburg College since 1989 when I came to the college as a member of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and as the first coordinator of the Women's Studies Program. I have spent most of my life in New England, growing up in Attleboro, Massachusetts, going to college and graduate school in Rhode Island, and living various parts of my adult life in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Maine. I also spent two years right after college living in Oxnard, California and working there as a social worker for the Ventura County Welfare Department. You can find more information about my education and career in my curriculum vitae


I moved to Gettysburg from Lewiston, Maine where I taught for seven years at Bates College, and I consider Maine the great love of my life. I now own a little house tucked away in the woods of Poland, Maine, and I go there as often as I can to relax, to write, and to work in my garden. I love to spend time outdoors, and some of my favorite activities are gardening, cross-country skiing, camping, and hiking. I also love to travel.


This is my last year of teaching; I will be retiring in May 2014. Although I have found college teaching a very rewarding career, I am eager to make time for other interests and activities and to live full time in my beloved Maine. Recently, I have begun to blog about my transition into retirement at Stepping Into the Future.



My Research

My scholarly work focuses on issues of gender. My doctoral dissertation studied social control in the funding of social services for women, focusing particularly on battered women's shelters. More recently, I have examined how dual-earner couples deal with the issue of breadwinning. I asked the question, "What happens to the idea that men are supposed to support the family when both husbands and wives are employed?" and I answered it by interviewing 153 married couples. My book, Who Supports the Family? Gender and Breadwinning in Dual-Earner Marriages, was published in 1997 by Stanford University Press. 

I have also done research on "The Lives of Single Women." I spent my 1995-96 sabbatical year in working on this project at the Wellesley College Center for Research on Women, conducting in-depth interviews with 35 unmarried women. My analysis of those data included a focus on the experience of stigma in the lives of single women and how singleness affects happiness.

Most recently, I have begun a new research project on social networking and virtual communities. My current focus is on a particular social networking site, Blotanical, on the creation of virtual community among garden bloggers, and on the gender patterns in both gardening and garden blogging.




My Teaching

I teach courses both in Sociology and in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Gettysburg College. The sociology courses I have taught include the following: 

Sociology 101: Introduction to Sociology
Sociology 206: Sociology of Family
Sociology 239: Health, Medicine, and Society
Sociology 217: Gender and Inequality
Sociology 302: Introduction to Methods of Social Research
FYS 170-2: September 11, 2001: Through a sociological Lens

The Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies courses I have taught at Gettysburg include the following: 

FYS 170: "Only a Husband Away..." -- Women, Poverty, and Welfare
Women, Gender & Sexualities Studies 120: Introduction to Women's Studies
Women, Gender & Sexualities Studies 222: Women’s Movements in the United States

Women, Gender & Sexualities Studies 320: Practicum in Theory and Action 
Women's Studies 350: Women, Family, and Public Policy 
Women's Studies 400: Issues in Feminist Theory and Methods




When, Where and How To Find Me

When I am on campus, you can most often find me in my office, West Building 212-I. The telephone number there is 717-337-6196.  This semester I have office hours at the following times:


Tuesday – by special arrangement only, 1:30-3:30 p.m.

Wednesday – 9:00-10:00 a.m.

Thursday – 9:00-11:30 a.m. & 1:00-3:30 p.m.

Friday – 9:00-10:00 a.m.


Those who would like to reserve a time to meet with me during office hours can do so here.


To see my schedule for this semester, click here.

When school is not in session, I am usually in Maine – often working in the garden if the weather conditions are right. I am an avid gardener, and I also write a garden blog, Jean’s Garden. (You can see photographs from my garden blog hanging here and there around the Sociology Department and on the second floor of Musselman Library.)

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