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Janet Leigh Finn
University of Montana

School of Social Work

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.


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