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Reviews Thu Apr 21 2011

The Problem with Sociology?

University of Chicago grad and Book Club author Sudhir Venkatesh asks what's the matter with sociology in his article on fellow U of C/Northerwestern alum Elijah Anderson's new book, The Cosmopolitan Canopy: Race and Civility in Everday Life. The book focuses on Philadelphia, but also addresses the fact that as a country we have become more racially and ethnically diverse, making whites a minority in many large cities. In his review, Venkatesh discusses the birth of sociology, the fascination with conflict and racial tensions, and why this exploration shouldn't be dismissed as paranoia. Of Anderson he writes, "There are few writers openly exploring this undercurrent of hostility and self-doubt experienced by a historically subjugated group that just managed to elect one of their own as president." Although this is technically a review of Anderson's book, Venkatesh's essay does well to discuss the changing face of sociology and why this area of study is still very much necessary.

 
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Book Club is the literary section of Gapers Block, covering Chicago's authors, poets and literary events. More...

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