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 Interests:

My research concerns include the temporal organization of behavior in public places, including (but not limited to) the sociology of timing practices. In relation to these matters, I seek to address what I regard as “broader temporal thematics”, of which I regard as especially significant the heightened and increasing salience of impermanence, or the shifting “set point” between being and becoming in personal and social arrangements. 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.