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Gender Studies

Janet Finn

Jeannette Rankin Hall (JRH) 012 406-243-5583
Office Hours:

Office Hours, Spring Semester 2011
Tuesdays 12:00 to 2:00 pm and by appointment


Janet Finn received her B.A. from The University of Montana. She earned her M.S.W. from Eastern Washington University and her Ph.D. in Social Work and Anthropology from the University of Michigan. Her dissertation, a cross-national multi-site ethnography of community, labor, and gender in two copper mining towns, was the basis for her first book, Tracing the Veins: Of Copper, Culture, and Community from Butte to Chuquicamata (1998). Janet currently teaches courses in social work, women's studies and international development studies. Her interests are in the areas of community practice, gender, youth, international social work, and social work theory and history. She is co-author of Just Practice: A Social Justice approach to Social Work (2008).

Janet has been engaged in community-based research with women and grassroots organizations in Montana and in Santiago, Chile. Janet is the author of numerous articles in social work, anthropology, and women's studies. Her current work critically examines the social construction of childhood and the implications for social work policy and practice.  she is co-editor of Childhood, Youth, and Social Work in Transformation (2009, Columbia University Press),  and she has recenlty completed a project on the social construction of childhood in Butte, Montana. The project uses childhood as the lens through which to examine questions of labor, immigration, gender, class, ethnicity, and community in the context of a dynamic site of 20th century industrialization and decline. Janet is co-chair of the Program Committee for "Unsettling Feminisms: Disrupting the Center, Dismantling Oppression, Transforming Social Work," a national (un)conference to be held in Chiago May 22-24, 2011. Janet is committed to linking social work and social justice in her teaching, research, and practice. She served as Director of the MSW Program from 2005-2010, and she is Interim Chair of the School of Social Work  for spring 2011. She loves the mountains and enjoys running, hiking, and skiing.

Current Position

Professor and Interim Chair (Spring 2011)
School of Social Work
The University of Montana



SW 324 Gender and the Politics of Welfare

SW 505 Foundations of Social Work Theory and Practice

SW 530 History of Social Welfare, Justice, and Change

SW 577 Concentration Integrative Seminar I

SW 578  Concentration Integrative Seminar II


Co-Chair "Unsettling Feminisms," National Conference on Feminism and Social Work Program committee, 2009-present

Affilia Women and Social Work Corporate Board, 2007-present, Vice President, 2009-present

CSWE Council on the Role and Status of Women, 2006 - present

Council on Social Work Education, 2002-present


Ph. D, University of Michigan, Social Work and Anthropology, 1995

MSW, Eastern Washington University, 1982

BA. Psychology, University of Montana, 1978


Articles and Book Chapters

 "The meaning and making of childhood in the era of globalization." (with Lynn Nybell and Jeffrey Shook) Children and Youth Services Review 32: 246-254.

 “Child’s eye view,” Chapter in L. Nybell, J. Shook, and J. Finn (Eds.) (forthcoming, 2008) Childhood, Youth, and Social Work in Transformation. New York: Columbia University Press.

“Making trouble,” Chapter in L. Nybell, J. Shook, and J. Finn (Eds.) (forthcoming, 2008) Childhood, Youth, and Social Work in Transformation. New York: Columbia University Press.

“Love and justice: A silenced language of integrated practice?” (forthcoming, 2008). Chapter in The Play and Place of Theory in Clinical Social Work: Comparative Perspectives in Contemporary Practice, edited by William Borden. New York: Columbia University Press.

“Social justice,” (with Maxine Jacobson) entry in Encyclopedia of Social Work. New York: Oxford University Press. Forthcoming 2008.

“For love and justice: Ovadia’s story,” (with Ovadia Vargas) (2007) Women’s Studies Quarterly 35 (3/4):  30-37.

“La Victoria: Claiming memory, history, and justice in a Santiago población.” Journal of Community Practice, 2005, 13 (30): 9-32.

“La Victoria comprometida: Reflections on neoliberalism from a Santiago población”. Review of Economic Anthropology: Markets and Market Liberalization – Ethnographic Perspectives. Edited by Norbert Dannhauser and Cynthia Werner. Amsterdam: Elsevier Press, 2005, pp. 207-240.

“Women, community, and contestation,” Voices – Publication of the Association for Feminist Anthropology, Spring, 2005, 7(1): 4-5.

Troubled in Paradise,” Chapter in R. Transit (Ed.) Disciplining the Child: How the Discourse of the Professions Constitute the Child. Springfield, IL: Charles, C. Thomas (2004).

“Popular Education and Participatory Research.” (co-authors Maxine Jacobson and Jillian Dean Campana).Chapter 19 in C. Garvin, M. Galinsky, and L. Gutierrez (Eds.). Group Work Handbook. New York: Guilford Publications, Inc. (2004).

“Just practice: Steps toward a new social work paradigm.” (with Maxine Jacobson) Journal of Social Work Education, 2003, 39(1): 57-78.

Raíces: Gender-conscious community building in Santiago, Chile,” Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work. 2002, 17(4): 450-472.

“Borders and Bridges: Building New Directions for the Women’s Movement,” Chapter 16 in Josefina Figueira-McDonough and Rosemary Sarri (Eds.) Women on the margins: Neglect, Violence and Resistance. New York: Haworth Press, 2002, 375-406.

“The Women of Villa Paula Jaraquemada: Building Community in Chile’s Transition to Democracy,” Community Development Journal 2001 36(3): 183-197.

 “Text and Turbulence: Representing Adolescence as Pathology in the Human Services,” Childhood, 2001, 8(2): 167-191, Special Issue, Capitalizing on Concern, Janet Finn and Lynn Nybell, editors.

“Anaconda: La Historia No Revelada,” chapter in Mineria y Medio Ambiente, ed. Juan Diego Cerda, Universidad de Huelva, Spain, 2001.

“Our Lady of the Rockies: Capitalism and Cosmology on the Continental Divide,” Anthropology of Work Review, 2000, 21(4): 1-7.

“Working for Equality and Economic Liberation (WEEL) Advocacy and Education for and Beyond Welfare Reform.”(co-authored with Raquel Castellanos, Toni McOmber, and Kate Kahan) Affilia: The Journal of Women and Social Work, Summer 2000, 15(2): 294-310.

"The State, the Clock and the Struggle:  Discipline and Resistance in Welfare Reform in Montana," (co-authored with Lyne Underwood). Social Text, Spring 2000, 62 18(1):109-134.

"Walls and Bridges: Cultural Mediation and the Legacy of Ella Deloria," Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies, Fall 2000, 21(3): 158-182.

Selected Publications


Childhood, Youth, and Social Work in Transformation (co edited with Lynn Nybell and Jeffrey Shook), New York: Columbia University Press (2009).

Just Practice: A Social Justice Approach to Social Work (2nd ed.) (2008) (with Maxine Jacobson). Peosta, IA: Eddie Bowers Publishing.

La Victoria: Rescatando su historia  (2007). (Collaborative project with G. Rodríguez, C. Nuñez, N. Nuñez, J. M. González, and J. Lagos). Santiago: Universidad Arcis, Social Memory Series.

Motherlode: Legacies of Women’s Lives and Labors in Butte, Montana  (2005).(edited volume, with Ellen Crain) Livingston, MT: Clark City Press.

Just Practice: A Social Justice Approach to Social Work  (2003) (with Maxine Jacobson). Peosta, IA: Eddie Bowers Publishing.

Tracing the Veins: Of Copper, Culture, and Community from Butte to Chuquicamata. (2003). Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.

Research Interests

Critical Social Work Theory

Social Work in a Global Context

Women and Social Action

Childhood, Youth, and Social Work

Community Ethnography

Women’s & Gender Studies Program

Liberal Arts 138A | Missoula, MT 59812

Co-Directors: Elizabeth Hubble & Anya Jabour | 406-243-4100 |

Office Contact: Jamie Boschee

406–243–2584 or 243–4100 |