Selected Works of Herbert Blumer: A Public Philosophy for Mass Society
Herbert Blumer, Stanford M. Lyman and Arthur J. Vidich, Eds.
If you wait long enough, everything comes around again.
At least that’s how it seems to me. Those long gaps between acquiring a book and actually reading it are just me waiting for the zeitgeist to align with the author at hand and my interest of the moment.
So as soon as I picked up Blumer there he was in The New Yorker. Well not him, of course–Herbert George Blumer’s Continue reading →
The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life
I seem, unwittingly, to have taken the summer off. But the reading never stops and so it’s time to turn to the backlog.
The reading lists of my undergraduate years were filled with primary sources. That meant no textbooks but lots of things with famous and no-so-famous titles such as Suicide, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism and Obedience to Authority. Essentially these were the founding works of social science and their 20th century acolytes.
Among this august group of scholars is Erving Goffman, a gent with a Continue reading →
Missing Persons: A Critique of Personhood in the Social Sciences
Mary Doulas and Steven Ney
Here’s a good way to irk sociologists: suggest that the science has been wrung out of social science. Durkheim came to teach us that social facts are things, subject to examination and experimentation. Sometimes it’s hard to believe social scientists believe that. The most minimal scientific rigor often seems to be missing from a lot of contemporary social science.
Mary Douglas and Steven Ney, the authors of Missing Persons, think what’s gone missing is the social. More specifically, what they think has gone missing is the discrete unit of society, the person. Continue reading →