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Our Studies, Ourselves: Sociologists' Lives and Work / Edition 1

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Overview

What motivates a lifelong scholarly pursuit, and how do one's studies inform life outside the academy? Sociologists, who live in families but also study families, who go to work but also study work, who participate in communities but also try to understand communities, have an especially intimate relation to their research. Growing up poor, struggling as a woman in a male-dominated profession, participating in protests against the Vietnam War; facts of life influence research agendas, individual understandings of the world, and ultimately the shape of the discipline as a whole.
Barry Glassner and Rosanna Hertz asked twenty-two of America's most prominent sociologists to reflect upon how their personal lives influenced their research, and vice versa, how their research has influenced their lives. In this volume, the authors reveal with candor and discernment how world events, political commitments and unanticipated constraints influenced the course of their careers. They disclose how race, class, and gender proved to be pivotal elements in the course of their individual lives, and in how they carry out their research. Faced with academic institutions that did not hire or promote persons of their gender, race, sexual orientation, or physical disability, they invented new routes to success within their fields. Faced with disappointments in political organizations to which they were devoted, they found ways to integrate their disillusionment into their research agendas. While some of the contributors radically changed their political commitments, and others saw more stability, none stood still.
An intimate look at biography and craft, these snapshots provide a fascinating glimpse of the sociological life for colleagues, other academics, and aspiring young sociologists. The collection demonstrates how inequalities and injustices can be made into motors for scholarly research, which in turn have the power to change individual life courses and entire societies.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...this is a fascinating collection of anecdotal material that I have enjoyed reading..." —Journal of the History of Behavioral Sciences

"Glassner and Hertz have edited an intriguing collection of 22 autobiographical essays by 12 women and ten men , all academics teaching and contributing to the body of research as sociologists. Their stories form an overall narrative of differing familial, cultural, social, and political background life experiences. ...This book is highly recommended for both lay readers and academics and will be especially appealing to those who are interested in the roads that lead people to particular career decisions." —Library Journal

Library Journal
Glassner (sociology, Univ. of Southern California) and Hertz (sociology & women's studies, Wellesley Coll.) have edited an intriguing collection of 22 autobiographical essays by 12 women and ten men (one of whom has since died), all academics teaching and contributing to the body of research as sociologists. Their stories form an overall narrative of differing familial, cultural, social, and political background life experiences. The essays show how various social/ political environments particular to each contributor's generation, such as the New Deal era, the rise of labor unions, the women's and civil rights movements, the Vietnam War, differing opinions on society's recognition of gays and lesbians, and problems of the ghettos, poverty, and crime, have moved each toward a particular area of research within the discipline of sociology. This book is highly recommended for both lay readers and academics and will be especially appealing to those who are interested in the roads that lead people to particular career decisions.-Suzanne W. Wood, emerita, SUNY Coll. of Technology at Alfred Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195146615
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 8/28/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 296
  • Lexile: 1390L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Barry Glassner is Professor of Sociology at the University of Southern California. His recent books include The Culture of Fear (2000) and The Gospel of Food (in progress). He had a cameo in Michael Moore's recent movie, Bowling for Columbine. Rosanna Hertz is the Luella LaMer Professor in the Departments of Sociology and Women's Studies at Wellesley College. She is the author of the widely acclaimed More Equal than Others: Women and Men in Dual-Career Marriages and appears frequently in the broadcast media commenting on social problems for local news specials.

Contributors include:
Kathleen M. Blee
Héctor L. Delgado
Susan A. Ostrander
Mark S. Mizruchi
William H. Friedland
Howard Schuman
John Walton
Herbert J. Gans
Phyllis Moen
Arlene Skolnick
Jane Mansbridge
Cynthia Fuchs Epstein
Dorothy E. Smith
Barrie Thorne
Robert R. Alford
Gary L. Albrecht
Christopher Winship
Sherryl Kleinman
Jody Miller
Joshua Gamson
Shulamit Reinharz
Verta Taylor

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Table of Contents

Contributors
Introduction 3
I Race and Social Class
1 Studying the Enemy 13
2 Reflections on the Intersection of Research and Politics in Academia 24
3 Working Out Class While Studying Elites 35
4 World Events and Career Experiences: A Personal Perspective 45
5 Searching for Action Research and Teaching 59
6 From Vietnam till Today 71
7 Making Problems: Reflections on Experience and Research 79
8 My Years in Antipoverty Research and Policy 90
II Gender
9 Unscripted: Continuity and Change in the Gendered Life Course 105
10 Confessions of an Accidental Sociologist 115
11 Writing as a Democrat and a Feminist 127
12 Decoding Dichotomies and Pushing the Boundaries: A Lifetime of Research on Women in the Professions 139
13 Resisting Institutional Capture as a Research Practice 150
14 The Ins and Outs of Othering 162
III Evolving Identities
15 Musician, Sociologist, and Hearing Person: A Crisis of Identities 177
16 Social-Class Tensions and Value Conflicts in the Disability World 193
17 In Defense of Foxes 202
18 Feminist Fieldworker: Connecting Research, Teaching, and Memoir 215
19 Feminism in the Field 233
20 Professional Rebellions and Personal Researches, or How I Became Bored with Myself 245
21 The Body of Knowledge 253
22 My Life in Social Movements: From 1960s Activist to Lesbian Den Mother 263
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