Nearly one quarter century ago columnist Lewis Lapham made
the following observation:
longer exists a theater of ideas in which artists or philosophers can perform
the acts of the intellectual or moral imagination. In nineteenth-century England
Charles Darwin could expect On The Origin of Species to be read by
Charles Dickens as well as by Disraeli and the vicar in the shires who collected
flies and water beetles. Dickens and Disraeli and the vicar could assume that
Mr. Darwin might chance to read their own observations. But in the United
States in 1979 what novelist can expect his work to be read by a biochemist,
a Presidential candidate, or a director of corporations; what physicist can
expect his work to be noticed, much less understood, in the New York literary
salons? ("A Juggernaut of Words," Harper's Magazine, June 1979: pp.
Conditions have hardly improved in 2003. Now in the supposed "Information
Age" six out of ten American households do not purchase a single book and one-half
of American adults do not read one. In 1965 when the Gallup Organization asked young people if
they read a daily newspaper, 67 percent said yes; thirty-five years later, less
than 30 percent answer affirmatively. And yet "they" say we are saturated with
I am most interested
in the potential of this cyberspace medium to inform and to generate discourse,
to enhance information
literacy, and to truly be a "theater of ideas." This site features commentary,
data analyses (hey, we've become a "factoid" culture), occasional essays,
as well as the requisite links, put together for courses taught by myself
and my colleagues.
If you do give feedback on one of the message pads scattered across these
pages and wish a reply, please include your e-mail address.
And now for some sites to stimulate
the sociological imagination
(or, at a minimum, prepare one for Sociology
- General sociological resources
- Sociological theory
- Data resources and some useful
- Methods and statistics
- Guide to writing a research
- Exercising the imagination:
EXERCISING THE SOCIOLOGICAL IMAGINATION
In addition, here are several pages that I maintain for my colleagues
(and for fun). Little personal expertise is claimed in these areas but these
sites are too rich not to acknowledge. Occasional sociological analyses are
included to illustrate further avenues of research.
- Sociology of Death and Dying
The premier tour.
- The Times of Our Lives: Social
Contours of the Fourth Dimension This
path takes you just about everywhere, from circadian rhythms to the implications
of historical ignorance.
- A Sociological Social Psychology
Another far-ranging tour, from the nature- nurture
controversy to history's thumbprint on generations.
- Marriage & Family Life
On life's home base.
- Social Gerontology We're in the midst of an aging revolution whose
impacts will be felt for centuries to come.
- Social Inequality Reflecting on the growing gap between America's
haves and have-nots.
- Gender & Society Have gender inequalities decreased or increased
with social evolution?
- Race & Ethnicity How well is the American melting pot dissolving inequalities between
racial and ethnic groups?
- Sociology of Knowledge
To what extent are different types of knowledge socially
- Demography Are social processes ultimately demographically determined?
- Mass Media and Communication
- Political Science
- Health Statistics & the
- Science & Technology
- Art & Art History
- Paranormal Sites (With your
mind in mind)