sociology

Solving the Mystery of Altruism

A man dives into an ice-cold lake to save a stranger only to drown; a woman donates blood for someone she will never know; a volunteer takes a week off work to help hurricane victims; others write checks to the community kitchen, the shelter for battered spouses, or the children’s burn clinic. Why? Why do … Read more

Down the Sociological Road to Nihilism

This semester I am teaching a basic undergraduate class in social theory, and the text we use (Contemporary Sociological Theory and Its Classical Roots, The Basics, Ritzer and Stepinsky) presents many “key concepts” in the field. The “definition of the situation,” is one such concept. This idea comes to us via American Pragmatism, and means … Read more

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