Lorraine Prinsky interviewed by Susan Oweiss, October 16, 2014, Huntington Beach, California, Oral History #5462, transcript, Women Politics, and Activism Since Suffrage, Center for Oral and Public History, California State University, Fullerton.
An oral history with Lorraine Prinsky, retired CSUF professor of sociology, Coast Community College Trustee, and political activist. This interview was conducted for the Women, Politics, and Activism Since Suffrage Oral History Project by California State University, Fullerton. The purpose of this interview is to talk about political activists in Southern California. Specifically, this interview talks about Prinsky’s Jewish upbringing and early childhood in the Bronx, New York City; explains why her parents moved to California in 1957; describes her dad’s lunch counter businesses in New York and Los Angeles, California; talks about her mom’s Turkish roots, speaking the Spanish dialect, Ladino, and why she only spoke English with her children; recalls coming of age in the 1960s including: her involvement with the Free Speech and Anti- War Movements at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA); describes attending the Century City Peace March in 1967; speaks about her work with Timothy Leary at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute and why she pursued graduate work in organizational research at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) with Dr. Jim March and Dr. Jerome Kirk; compares student activist activities at UCLA vs UCI; talks about why she married her first husband and moving to Orange County; describes her research with Dr. Kirk about adolescent users of psychedelic drugs; recalls how she was hired to work at California State University, Fullerton and developing the first service learning class; talks about meeting her second husband, their marriage and family; discusses why she ran for Coast Community College Trustee and how her work in the academic community prepared her for the position; talks about how the board navigated the budgetary restrictions during the recession; discusses her relationship with fellow board members Jerry Patterson and Jim Moreno; describes her struggle with voting on a local union supported bond and partisan fallout; explains why she considers herself a feminist and how she describes the term; compares leadership styles between men and women; talks about her professional accomplishments and awards; talks about the role faith has played in her life; explains why it’s important for women to be involved in politics and challenges they face as working professionals; shares advice to young women interested in a political/activist career; and finally, explains her research with Dr. Jill Rosenbaum about the effect of rock ‘n’ roll lyrics on teenagers.
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