Sociology and Cultural Studies, General
Featured Items
Wild Women: Crusaders, Curmudgeons, and Completely Corsetless Ladies in the Otherwise Virtuous Victorian Era
Wild Women
Crusaders, Curmudgeons, and Completely Corsetless Ladies in the Otherwise Virtuous Victorian Era
Paperback      ISBN: 0943233364

A fascinating and sometimes humorous glimpse into the lives of 150, 19th-century American women who refused to whittle themselves down to the Victorian model of proper womanhood. 50-black-and-white photos.

The Sacred Canopy: Elements of a Sociological Theory of Religion
The Sacred Canopy
Elements of a Sociological Theory of Religion
Paperback      ISBN: 0385073054

This absorbing and original examination brilliantly argues that religion is a product of the society from which it springs--that it is the "sacred canopy" which every human society builds over its world to give it meaning.

In this book, Berger expands on theories of knowledge that he first explored (with Thomas Luckmann) in The Social Construction of Reality. With illustrations drawn from a variety of primitive, ancient, and contemporary religions.
Tastes of Paradise: A Social History of Spices, Stimulants, and Intoxicants
Tastes of Paradise
A Social History of Spices, Stimulants, and Intoxicants
Paperback      ISBN: 067974438x

Provides the history and anecdotes about what people eat, drink, and inhale for pleasure

Among Schoolchildren
Among Schoolchildren
Paperback      ISBN: 0380710897

Tracy Kidder -- the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Soul of a New Machine and the extraordinary national bestseller House -- spent nine months in Mrs. Zajac's fifth-grade classroom in the depressed "Flats" of Holyoke, Massachusetts. For an entire year he lived among twenty schoolchildren and their indomitable, compassionate teacher -- sharings their joys, their catastrophes, and their small but essential triumphs. As a result, he has written a revealing, remarkably poignant account of education in America . . . and his most memorable, emotionally charged, and important book to date.

Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology
Technopoly
The Surrender of Culture to Technology
Paperback      ISBN: 0679745408

In this witty, often terrifying work of cultural criticism, the author of Amusing Ourselves to Death chronicles our transformation into a Technopoly: a society that no longer merely uses technology as a support system but instead is shaped by it--with radical consequences for the meanings of politics, art, education, intelligence, and truth.

America Calling: A Social History of the Telephone to 1940
America Calling
A Social History of the Telephone to 1940
Paperback      ISBN: 0520086473

The telephone looms large in our lives, as ever present in modern societies as cars and television. Claude Fischer presents the first social history of this vital but little-studied technology--how we encountered, tested, and ultimately embraced it with enthusiasm. Using telephone ads, oral histories, telephone industry correspondence, and statistical data, Fischer's work is a colorful exploration of how, when, and why Americans started communicating in this radically new manner.

Studying three California communities, Fischer uncovers how the telephone became integrated into the private worlds and community activities of average Americans in the first decades of this century. Women were especially avid in their use, a phenomenon which the industry first vigorously discouraged and then later wholeheartedly promoted. Again and again Fischer finds that the telephone supported a wide-ranging network of social relations and played a crucial role in community life, especially for women, from organizing children's relationships and church activities to alleviating the loneliness and boredom of rural life.

Deftly written and meticulously researched, America Calling adds an important new chapter to the social history of our nation and illuminates a fundamental aspect of cultural modernism that is integral to contemporary life.

Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play-Element in Culture
Homo Ludens
A Study of the Play-Element in Culture
Paperback      ISBN: 0807046817

In Homo Ludens, the classic evaluation of play that has become a "must-read" for those in game design, Dutch philosopher Johan Huizinga defines play as the central activity in flourishing societies. Like civilization, play requires structure and participants willing to create within limits. Starting with Plato, Huizinga traces the contribution of Homo Ludens, or "Man the player" through Medieval Times, the Renaissance, and into our modern civilization. Huizinga defines play against a rich theoretical background, using cross-cultural examples from the humanities, business, and politics. Homo Ludens defines play for generations to come.

"A happier age than ours once made bold to call our species by the name of Homo Sapiens. In the course of time we have come to realize that we are not so reasonable after all as the Eighteenth Century with its worship of reason and naive optimism, though us; "hence moder fashion inclines to designate our species asHomo Faber Man the Maker. But though faber may not be quite so dubious as sapiens it is, as a name specific of the human being, even less appropriate, seeing that many animals too are makers. There is a third function, howver, applicable to both human and animal life, and just as important as reasoning and making--namely, playing. it seems to me that next to Homo Faber, and perhaps on the same level as Homo Sapiens, Homo Ludens, Man the Player, deserves a place in our nomenclature. "--from the Foreward, by Johan Huizinga
A Nation of Victims: The Decay of the American Character
A Nation of Victims
The Decay of the American Character
Paperback      ISBN: 0312098820

One of the most talked-about books in years, A Nation of Victims established Charles Sykes as a persuasive, witty, and controversial commentator on American life and society. The plaint of the victim-- It's not my fault-- has become the loudest and most influential voice in America, an instrument of personal and lasting political change.

* Fired for consistently showing up late for work, a former school district employee sues, claiming he is a victim of "chronic lateness syndrome."

* Videotaped puffing on a pipe filled with crack cocaine, Washington, D.C., Mayor Marion Barry claims he is a victim of racism.

* In 1960, fewer than 100,000 lawsuits were filed in federal courts; in 1990, more than 250,000 were filed.

In this incisive, pugnacious, frequently hilarious book, Charles Sykes examines the erosion of our society and offers hope in the prospect of a culture of renewed character.

The Forbidden Experiment: The Story of the Wild Boy of Aveyron
The Forbidden Experiment
The Story of the Wild Boy of Aveyron
Paperback      ISBN: 1568360487

International in scope, this series of non-fiction trade paperbacks offers books that explore the lives, customs and thoughts of peoples and cultures around the world.

There Are No Children Here: The Story of Two Boys Growing Up in the Other America
There Are No Children Here
The Story of Two Boys Growing Up in the Other America
Paperback      ISBN: 0385265565

This is the moving and powerful account of tworemarkable boys struggling to survive in Chicago'sHenry Horner Homes, a public housing complexdisfigured by crime and neglect."