Required Reading / Edition 1

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When the editors of Contemporary Sociology selected the ten most influential books of the past twenty-five years and published new essays on their importance, the feature sparked enthusiasm, debate, and controversy. This volume responds to and extends that discussion by expanding the list to seventeen books, incorporating a piece on the best-sellers of sociology, and adding four essays on the "most influential" controversy itself. Although the list centers on sociology, only half of the books were written by sociologists.

The charge to the reviewers was not to make a case for a book, but rather to analyze the character and extent of its influence. Because these works are already recognized as milestones in their fields, and because the reviewers are prominent figures who themselves often played central roles in the dramas surrounding these titles, the reviews are as noteworthy for their critical edge as for their celebration of the books' contributions. The result is a thought-provoking volume that engages many of the key intellectual issues of our time.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This fascinating volume, compiled by the editors of Contemporary Sociology (CS), identifies and discusses 17 of the "most influential" books in sociology written during the last 25 years. (Ten of these essays appeared in the May 1996 issue of CS.) While most of these titles were reviewed by CS when they first appeared (there are snippets from the original reviews), the power of this book lies in reconsiderations by eminent sociologists of important titles in light of a quarter of a century's worth of political, social, and economic change. Thus we have social theorist Steven Seidman discussing the influence (although not on sociologists) of Edward Said's Orientalism and civil rights chronicler Aldon Morris on the importance of William J. Wilson's The Declining Significance of Race. The early excitement of the women's movement is reflected in an essay describing the remarkable success of Our Bodies, Ourselves, which started as an alternative press publication costing 75 . Required Reading has obvious scholarly value as well as considerable popular appeal; strongly recommended for both academic and public libraries.--Ellen Gilbert, Rutgers Univ. Lib., New Brunswick, NJ
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781558491533
  • Publisher: University of Massachusetts Press
  • Publication date: 7/22/1998
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Canon and Anti-Canon for a Fragmented Discipline 3
Best-Sellers by American Sociologists: An Exploratory Study 19
On Theda Skocpol, States and Social Revolutions - How to Become a Dominant American Social Scientist: The Case of Theda Skocpol 31
On Charles Tilly, From Mobilization to Revolution - Historicization of Protest as a Route to General Theory: Stepping Back to Move Forward 39
On Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish - Discipline and Punish: The Birth of a Postmodern Middle-Range 47
On Charles Murray, Losing Ground - Charles Murray: Losing Ground, Gaining Power 55
On Norman H. Nie, Dale H. Bent, and C. Hadlai Hull, SPSS - Doing It Ourselves 71
On Clifford Geertz, The Interpretation of Culture - Geertz's Ambiguous Legacy 79
On Pierre Bourdieu, Outline of a Theory of Practice - Sociology's Other Poststructuralism 85
On Gary Becker, A Treatise on the Family Gary Becker on the Family: His Genius, Impact, and Blind Spots 95
On Arlie Hochschild, The Managed Heart - Emotion Management as Emotional Labor 113
On David Featherman and Robert Hauser, Opportunity and Change - Models of Influence 121
On Harry Braverman, Labor and Monopoly Capital - A Classic of Its Time 135
On Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Men and Women of the Corporation - What's Gender Got to Do with It? 141
On Immanuel Wallerstein, The Modern World System - Promethean Sociology 149
On William J. Wilson, The Declining Significance of Race - What's Race Got to Do with It? 157
On Edward Said, Orientalism - Empire and Knowledge: More Troubles, New Opportunities for Sociology 167
On Nancy Chodorow, The Reproduction of Mothering - The Gendering of Social Theory: Sociology and Its Discontents 173
On Boston's Women's Health Book Collective, Our Bodies, Ourselves - Feminist Subversions 181
Sociological Politics and Contemporary Sociology's Ten Most Influential Books 189
Taking the List as It Stands: What Does It Say about Sociology Today? 197
Who's In? Who's Out? 207
Contributors' Notes 215
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