Faculty Profile

Janet Finn

Janet Finn


Email: janet.finn@umontana.edu
Office: Jeannette Rankin Hall (JRH) 012
Office Hours:

Office Hours, Spring Semester 2015 by appointment

Personal Website
Curriculum Vitae

Current Position

School of Social Work
The University of Montana



SW 323 Women and Social Action in the Americas

SW 465 Social Work in a Global Context

SW 505 Foundations of Social Work Theory and Practice

SW 511 HBSE II: Difference, Diversity, Oppression

SW 530 History of Social Welfare, Justice, and Change

SW 577 Concentration Integrative Seminar I

SW 578  Concentration Integrative Seminar II

SW 595 Human Rights and Social Justice on US Mexico Border

Personal Summary

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 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 recent work critically examines the social construction of childhood, questions of children's rights, and the implications for social work policy and practice. In 2013 she 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. She is currently engaged in exploration of human rights and social justice issues on the US Mexico border. 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, She loves the mountains and enjoys running, hiking, and skiing.


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

MSW, Eastern Washington University, 1982

BA. Psychology, University of Montana, 1978

Research Interests

Critical Social Work Theory

Social Work in a Global Context

Women and Social Action

Childhood, Youth, and Social Work

Community Ethnography

Selected Publications


Gender Oppression and Globalization: Challenges for Social Work (2013). (co-edited with Tonya Perry and Sharvari Karandikar). Alexandria, VA: CSWE Press.

Mining Childhood: Growing Up in Butte, Montana, 1900-1960. (2012). Helena, Mont.: Montana Historical Society Press.

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

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. (1998). Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.


Selected Articles and Book Chapters

“Judging childhood” (2013). Children and Youth Services Review, 35: 1166-1173.

Place, Power and Possibility: Remaking social Work with Children and Youth (2013) (co-edited with Lynn Nybell and Jeffrey Shook). Special issue of Children and Youth Services Review, 35.

“Globalization and gender oppression: Reflections on teaching and learning.” (2013) (with Kara Mileski). Chapter 12 in Janet L. Finn, Tonya Evette Perry, and Sharvari Karandikar (Eds.). Gender Oppression and Globalization: Challenges for Social Work. Alexandria, VA: Council on Social Work Education.

“Children of the hill: Situating children in Butte's history.” (2012) Montana The Magazine of Western History 62: 23-46

“Unsettling feminisms,” (2012) (with Sadye Logan). Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work.

“Social work in Montana and beyond: Reflections on a century of practice. (2012) (with Ryan Tolleson Knee) Montana Professor 22(1):7-13

 "The meaning and making of childhood in the era of globalization." (2010) (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.) (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.) (2008) Childhood, Youth, and Social Work in Transformation. New York: Columbia University Press.

“Love and justice: A silenced language of integrated practice?” (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.

Home Department

School of Social Work 

Area of Expertise

Childhood, Youth and Social Work; Community Ethnography; Critical Social Work Theory; Social Work in a Global Context; Women and Social Action

Teaching Experience

In addition to teaching in School of Social Work, Janet is also a faculty member in the Women and Gender Studies and International Development Studies programs.

Professional Experience

 Janet has conducted a variety of community-based research projects in Montana and in Santiago, Chile.



Co-Chair "Unsettling Feminisms," National Conference on Feminism and Social Work Program committee, 2009-2011

Affilia Women and Social Work Corporate Board, 2007-2013,

CSWE Council on the Role and Status of Women, 2006 - 2013

Council on Social Work Education, 2002-present