Private Sociology: Unsparing Reflections, Uncommon Gains

Overview

Years ago when I began to accumulate information for a topic I was researching, I began from the perspective of my own experiences within the topic I studied. I worked outward, and then back again, to understand my topic, and to comprehend each of my perspectives within it. Because I was able to place myself within my topic rather then distancing myself from it, my understanding of 'things' was clearer, more accurate. I became a better sociologist. For me, to be able to view portions of another person's life from...

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Overview

Years ago when I began to accumulate information for a topic I was researching, I began from the perspective of my own experiences within the topic I studied. I worked outward, and then back again, to understand my topic, and to comprehend each of my perspectives within it. Because I was able to place myself within my topic rather then distancing myself from it, my understanding of 'things' was clearer, more accurate. I became a better sociologist. For me, to be able to view portions of another person's life from the inside out, is an incredible way to learn more about my own life and evaluations. Each person in this book has used personal experience as the basis from which to frame his individual sociological perspectives. Because they have personalized their work, their accounts are real, and recognizable as having come from 'real' persons, about 'real' experiences. There are no objectively-distanced disembodied third person entitites in these accounts. These writers are actual people whose stories will make you laugh, cry, think, and want to know more. If you regard your own perspecitve as truly relevant to your own understanding of all to which you apply your sociological insights, you will allow yourself to experience Private Sociology.

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Editorial Reviews

Robbie Pfeufer Kahn
It is riveting to witness the authors in this volume repeatedly cross the boundary between their lived experience (particularly events not conventionally written about) and sociological insight. This 'transgression' of boundaries is precisely what the sociologist's task ought to be about. Private Sociology is an invaluable addition to the growing field of sociology written from the inside out. Professionals and nonprofessionals alike will profit from reading these discerning and moving testimonies.
George Dowdall
Contributors write from the conviction we have much to learn from taking unsettling aspects of our lives as sociological subject matter. Their essays demonstrate both the soundness and potential of this exciting innovation. Their candor and insights model a still-finer sociology. Both our intro courses and our seminars for majors will profit from the use of this pioneering volume.
Joan I. Biddle
Years ago when I began to accumulate information for a topic I was researching, I began from the perspective of my own experiences within the topic I studied. I worked outward, and then back again, to understand my topic, and to comprehend each of my perspectives within it. Because I was able to place myself within my topic rather then distancing myself from it, my understanding of 'things' was clearer, more accurate. I became a better sociologist.
For me, to be able to view portions of another person's life from the inside out, is an incredible way to learn more about my own life and evaluations. Each person in this book has used personal experience as the basis from which to frame his individual sociological perspectives. Because they have personalized their work, their accounts are real, and recognizable as having come from 'real' persons, about 'real' experiences. There are no objectively-distanced disembodied third person entitites in these accounts. These writers are actual people whose stories will make you laugh, cry, think, and want to know more. If you regard your own perspecitve as truly relevant to your own understanding of all to which you apply your sociological insights, you will allow yourself to experience Private Sociology.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781882289424
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/1/1996
  • Series: Private Sociology Series
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.66 (d)

Meet the Author

Arthur B. Shostak is Professor of Sociology at Drexel University. He specializes in industrial sociology, futuristics, and applied and humanistic sociology. His eighteen books include such titles as Blue-Collar Life, Our Sociological Eye, Sociology and Student Life, Modern Social Reforms, Men and Abortion, Robust Unionism, and For Labor's Sake. He is an adjunct professor in the Antioch University program at the AFL-CIO George Meany Center for Labor Studies, Silver Spring, Maryland.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Acknowledgements, Disclaimer, and Invitation Chapter 2 Preface: On Getting Personal Chapter 3 Introduction: Private Sociology—Through a Prism of Private Perspective Part 4 Part I: Sharing Self through Sociology—and Vice-Versa Part 5 Childhood Revisited Chapter 6 "Socializaiton for Change: The Cultural Heritage of the White Southern Woman." Chapter 7 "Multiple Reflections of Child Sex Abuse." Part 8 Parenting as Challenge Chapter 9 "Infant Industry: Marketing to New Parents." Chapter 10 "Men and the Art of Mothering: A Case Study in the Relationship between Theory and Practice." Part 11 Class and Race Legacy Chapter 12 "Life as Masquerade." Chapter 13 "Questions of Assertion, Diversity, and Spirituality: Simultaneously Becoming a Minority and a Sociologist." Chapter 14 "Reflections of a White Racist." Chapter 15 "The Other Side of the Fence: Seeing Black and White in a Small Southern Town." Part 16 Sociology as Challenge Chapter 17 "Private Sociological Labor: Using Sociology in an Academic and Union Career." Chapter 18 "Reflections: On Hard Work." Chapter 19 "Dirty Details Your Methods Text Forgot to Mention: Some Strategies for the Defensive Sociologist." Part 20 Taking an Uncommon Stand Chapter 21 "I Always Was a Religious Kid." Chapter 22 "Choosing Stigma." Part 23 Ancient Quest, Modern Tools Chapter 24 "Ecofeminism Found: One Woman's Journey to Liberation." Chapter 25 "Law as a Story in Our Lives: A Personal Account." Part 26 On Reconsideration Chapter 27 "On Second Thought: Exercises in an Endangered Art Form." Chapter 28 "On Having Been a Scientologist, or the Value of Not Hanging Around the Edges of Things, Looking In." Part 29 Reconciliation Chapter 30 "Reconciliation in a Back-Alley Cafe of Saigon." Chapter 31 "Life Mirrors Work Mirrors Text Mirrors Life." Chapter 32 "When Time Doesn't Heal the Wound." Part 33 Life Affirmation Chapter 34 "The Way of Autobiographical Reflection." Part 35 Part II: Sharing Private Sociology: Advice and Perspective Chapter 36 "Advice on Teaching and Writing Private Sociology." Chapter 37 "The Biologizing the Individual and The Naturalization of the Social." Chapter 38 Epilogue Chapter 39 Notes on Contributors Chapter 40 Annotated Bibliography

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