Book of the Year
Each year the faculty in Sociology choose a book written by a Sociologist or Criminologist that is based on current research, critical analsysis of society or some other topic that is current and ties in with the field. The book is used in all Principles of Sociology (SOC 230) that year and in various other classes where the book topic applies.
2012-13 Hooking Up: Sex, Dating and Relationships on Campus by Kathleen Bogle
“Hooking-up is the term du jour, connoting a wide range of consensual sexual activities, with no pretense of starting a relationship, between young, mostly college-age students. This study by Bogle, an assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice at LaSalle University—based on 76 interviews with mostly white college students and recent graduates from 2001 to 2006—gives a wide range of voices and opinions on hooking-up culture. While there are few surprises (women are still, for the most part, subjected to a punishing sexual double standard)—Bogle is a smart interviewer and gets her subjects to reveal intimate and often embarrassing details without being moralizing. She interrogates her subjects about alcohol use, the relationship of gay and lesbian students to hook-up culture, and opting out of hook-up culture”. --Publishers Weekly
For the Fall 2012, this book will be used in both sections of SOC 230 (Principles of Sociology) and SOC 420 (Gender and Society). In the Spring, the book will again be used in SOC 230 and SOC 332 (Human Sexuality).
PAST BOOKS OF THE YEAR:
2011-12 Marked: Race, Crime and Finding Work in an Era of MassIncarceration by Devah Pager
Reviews of the book have said:
"Using scholarly research, field research in Milwaukee, and graphics, [Pager] shows that ex-offenders, white or black, stand a very poor chance of getting a legitimate job.... Both informative and convincing." - Library Journal "Marked is that rare book: a penetrating text that rings with moral concern couched in vivid prose - and one of the most useful sociological studies in years." - Michael Eric Dyson "How do you tell when a democracy is dead? When concentration camps spring up and everyone shivers in fear? Or is it when concentration camps spring up and no one shivers in fear because everyone knows they're not for 'people like us.'... Devah Pager uses a simple technique to show how mass incarceration has undone the small amount of racial progress achieved in the 1960s and '70s." - Nation"
Stripped: Inside the Lives of Exotic Dancers by Bernadette Barton
Reviews of the book (from Amazon.com) said:
“Makes an impressive contribution to the sociology of work and its intersection with sex and gender studies at the theoretical and applied levels. It is an excellent examples of the rich data and critical methodological insights that can emerge in the course of engaged field research.”
“The thrust of stripper scholarship is that both dancers and customers are more like your next-door neighbors. Some are your next-door neighbors.”
“Compelling. . . . This accessibly written, matter-of-fact book makes important contributions to what is known about the lives and experiences of the growing number of women who 'dance' naked for money. . . . Throughout, the author listens attentively to the shifting, insightful, diverse voices of women with whom she has a palpably respectful connection. Barton uses the complex picture that emerges to engage longstanding debates over the meanings of commodified femininity and sexuality.”
“Fascinating, insightful, and surprisingly balanced. This book will take you way beyond Hollywood's clichés and into the realities of stripping, and you'll emerge with a deeper understanding of the pleasures and the costs of being the object of male fantasies.”
Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes to the Streets by Sudhir Venkatesh.
Book reviews (from Amazon.com) said:
In the late 1980s and 1990s, rogue sociologist Venkatesh infiltrated the world of tenant and gang life in Chicago's Robert Taylor Home projects. He found a complex system of compromises and subsistence that makes life (barely) manageable. Venkatesh excellently illustrates the resourcefulness of impoverished communities in contrast to a society that has virtually abandoned them. He also reveals the symbiotic relationship between the community and the gangs that helps sustain each. Reg Rogers reads with great emphasis and rhythm. His lilting, cadence and vocal characterization of tenants is enjoyable. Rogers's first-person narrative establishes a deep intimacy with the reader. Venkatesh reads the final chapter, but he lacks the subtly and nuance that Rogers projects throughout his reading. The insubstantial author interview on the last disc mostly covers material already discussed in the book.
FACULTY SUGGESTIONS (Not written by Sociologists but still very good and applicable to Sociology and Criminology)
From Dr. Hess:
Outliers: the Story of Success by Malcom Gladwell
Moneyball: The art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis
From Dr. Brown:
Contested Waters: A Social History of Swimming Pools in America by Jeff Wiltse
Democracy Betrayed: The Wilmington Race Riot of 1898 and Its Legacy Edited by David Cecelski and Tim Tyson
excellent sources for Sociology and Criminology!