A thought-provoking and passionate account of why sociology matters that will engage and inspire students and teachers
The Forest and the Trees
Sociology as Life, Practice, and Promise
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Allan G. Johnson
If sociology could teach everyone just one thing, what would it be? What insight about the nature of social life could serve as a gateway to questions that point toward everything we want to know? What could we use as a starting point, a core view of reality on which sociological practice of all kinds is based, consciously or not?
The Forest and the Trees is one sociologist's response to the hypotheticalthe core insight with the greatest potential to change how people see the world and themselves in it. It is about what that insight is and why it matters that we understand it, use it, and pass it on. It is about the future of a discipline whose influence and credibility will stand or fall on the ability to foster a clear and widespread understanding of what it means to think sociologically.
The Forest and the Trees is an account of how sociological practice finds its way into almost every aspect of life, from headlines in the morning paper to the experience of growing older to the ravages of social oppression. It is about things small and things large, things simple and things more complex than we can imagine.
The Forest and the Trees flows from the tradition of Peter Berger's Invitation to Sociology and C. Wright Mills' Sociological Imagination. It will engage students and teachers alike with a rare and powerful combination of a scholar's feel for the discipline, and a gifted writer's voice that moves and inspires with the immediacy of lived experience, a clear and accessible articulation of the tools of the trade, and a passionate commitment to the promise of sociology to revolutionize how people think about social life and participate in it.
"...an inspiring resource.... I highly recommend this book as a very useful teaching aid for introductory sociology in the Berger and Mills traditions."
Read "What Are We Trying to Teach?," a review essay from Contemporary Sociology, Volume 28.1 (January 1999), written by Daniel F. Chambliss (pdf).
Visit Allan Johnson's website: www.agjohnson.us.