Power Of Good Deeds / Edition 1

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The Power of Good Deeds allows us to see behind the media image of upper-class women and to observe how these women use their social power not only to benefit other, less-fortunate people, but also to benefit themselves and their families. Kendall's ethnographic research yields the personal narratives of elite women as they describe their views on philanthropy, the need for exclusivity in their by-invitation-only volunteer organizations (such as the Junior League and The Links), their childhood experiences and college years in prestigious schools and sororities, and the debutante presentations and other upper-class rituals in which they participate. By participating in meetings and social functions with elite women in several Texas cities, and conducting systematic interviews, the author gained unprecedented access to elite women across racial and ethnic categories. The Power of Good Deeds provides new insights and greater depth to our knowledge about the upper classes and how the charitable activities of privileged women contribute to the process of legitimization, maintaining an ideology of class-based and race-based segregation in the United States.
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Editorial Reviews

Journal of Marriage and Family
The Power of Good Deeds adds to the understanding of the lives of the upper classes. It is enjoyable reading and would be valuable for students of stratification, elites, or volunteer organizations in general.
G William Domhoff
An intimate participant-observation study of upper-class women in all of their many public roles, complete with revealing interviews. The Power of Good Deeds, a fascinating and powerful book, is sociology at its finest, using good ideas from many different sources and the best methods available to illuminate an important dimension of the class structure that is seldom addressed.
Susan Ostrander
Sociologist Diana Kendall's unprecedented 'insider' view substantially advances and expands our understanding of today's elite women, including African American and Latina as well as white Anglo women. While not ignoring the contributions of their philanthropic work to the public good, Kendall emphasizes the ways in which the women's everyday activities socially reproduce class and race divisions and inequalities, and shows how elite circles benefit the most from their own philanthropic activities. This revealing and engaging work counters still-echoing claims that class no longer matters in American life.
Journal Of Marriage and Family
The Power of Good Deeds adds to the understanding of the lives of the upper classes. It is enjoyable reading and would be valuable for students of stratification, elites, or volunteer organizations in general.
American Journal of Sociology
This study extends scholarship on elites in two important ways: first, by shedding light on the upper class of Texas, rarely the geographic site of scholarship on elites, and second, by incorporating in her sample elite women of color.
The intersection of race and social class in elite philanthropic organizations is a poignant and critical feature of this book, and the contradictions are striking.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742519763
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/28/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 204
  • Sales rank: 373,997
  • Product dimensions: 0.47 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 6.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Diana Kendall is associate professor of sociology at Baylor University. She is the author of several widely used textbooks, including Sociology in Our Times and Social Problems in a Diverse Society.
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Table of Contents

1 Introduction 2 Elite Women and Philanthropy 3 Good Deeds and Fundraising: It Takes Money to Make (Big) Money 4 Learning the Ropes: The Childhood and College Years of Elite Women 5 Take a Bow: Debutantes and Good Deeds 6 Members Only: Organizational Structure and Patterns of Exclusion 7 Societal Implications of the Contradictions in Elite Women's Good Deeds
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