Creating a sociology reading guide for the site

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Ross Arctor
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Joined: 7-02-14
Apr 16 2014 13:30
Creating a sociology reading guide for the site

We have reading guides for anthropology, philosophy, etc., but not one for sociology. I think we should change that -- in some respect we should have one, though some fields of study in sociology already have their own reading guides so this might took a little odd. I decided to create this thread in order to bounce ideas off of others in terms of what books to include, how to structure the reading guide, etc.

So let's start with a rough outline. Admiditelly, I'm a little busy right now, so forgive me that some of these categories are barren. Categories:
Sociological Perspectives
Here we should touch on Functionalism (maybe), Conflict Theory, & Symbolic Interactionism. Obviously the libcom audience is going to be most familiar with conflict theory, but even there we can point to C Wright Mills' work (ex. The Power Elite) for further info on it. We should definitely include Mills' The Sociological Imagination here, possibly as the first book recommended. Erving Goffman's important work should be listed under symbolic interactionism.

Race
There is already a reading guide: http://libcom.org/library/race-further-reading-guide , but I think we could improve on just a list w/o any descriptions

Gender & Sexuality
Sort of similar to race, we already have further reading guides that could fall under here: http://libcom.org/library/sex-sexuality-further-reading-guide , http://libcom.org/library/women-further-reading-guide

Social Class
Class has been historically understood by radicals in terms of the relationship to capital. Between Labor and Capital was an effort made to understand the the middle class in modern capitalist economies. Pierre Bourdieu's Distinction was -- at the same time as being an ethnography of france, and an effort to understand that taste has a social basis -- very important because it pointed out that social classes can be seen through how one carries themselves & the norms and values they hold. Admittedly, this book is written in very difficult language, like most french intellectuals of the time. Still, it's a very important book.

Crime & Deviance
The New Jim Crow - Michelle Alexander
Discipline & Punish - Michel Foucault
Asylum - Erving Goffman
others...

Education
already has a reading guide: http://libcom.org/library/education-further-reading-guide , but it should be stated here that education, moreover socialization, is the main method through which society reproduces itself. Bourdieu's work is important to list here.... Adrie Kusserow's book, American Individualisms is an application of Bourdieu's work to different elementary schools in new york, seeing how they contribute to a child's sense of self. It, along w/ Bourdieu's work, exists sort-of both in sociology & anthropology at the same time.

The State
Politics as a Vocation - Max Weber
The State: its origin & function - Kropotkin
The State - Harold Barclay
others...

Social Movements & Protest
Social Movements and Protest by Gemma Edwards is a good overview of the history of social movement theory, though it's intended for an academic audience.

Networks & Group Dynamics
Any ideas here?

Religion
already has a reading guide: http://libcom.org/library/religion-further-reading-guide , but are there any specific sociological perspectives we can point to?

Lastly...
Alienation (?)
I put a question mark here because I'm unsure if it's work putting under its own heading, but there has been a lot written about alienation. There's obviously Marx's manuscripts, but there's also Erich Fromm's The Sane Society which is a really important work, and C Wright Mills' White Collar, which traces alienation in the middle class in today's world. Man Alone is a good anthology about alienation.

There are more books that are important that we should include: Durkheim's Suicide, Veblen's Theory of the Leisure Class, Weber's The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism....

Thoughts on this? Is it a good or bad idea? Anything to add or change? Obv. this is a very rough outline.