Author Archives: Rachel Ridnor

Desert Flower

Is female genital circumcision in Africa immoral?  Is it really mutilation?  This divisive topic gets at the polarized views of cultural relativism and ethnocentrism. Waris Dirie’s book Desert Flower (1998) gives a powerful argument for the ethnocentric side of the … Continue reading

Posted in Gender, Introduction to Sociology, Marriage and Family, Social Problems, Social Stratification | Tagged , , , , ,

The Truly Disadvantaged

William Julius Wilson’s book, The Truly Disadvantaged (1987), was a groundbreaking work that changed the way our nation looked at poverty. Previously our idea of what caused poverty in the U.S. stemmed from the misuse of Oscar Lewis’ work Five … Continue reading

Posted in Introduction to Sociology, Race and Ethnicity, Social Problems, Social Stratification | Tagged , , , , , , ,

The Un-Tv and the 10 MPH Car

“Warning: studying sociology can be harmful to your ego and to your illusions,” the opening line of The Un-TV and the 10 MPH Car (1994) by Bernard McGrane, gives the reader an accurate view of what to expect from this … Continue reading

Posted in Introduction to Sociology, Social Psychology | Tagged , , ,

Suicide a Study in Sociology

Emile Durkheim investigates the morbid subject of suicide in Suicide (1897).  Most people see suicide as an individual act committed in isolation, but Durkheim challenges this assumption. Durkheim contends that the choice to commit suicide is influenced by the type … Continue reading

Posted in Introduction to Sociology, Social Problems | Tagged , ,

Eat the Rich

P.J. O’Rourke sets off in his book Eat the Rich to see international examples of good and bad economic systems.  His hope is to answer the following core question “Why do some places prosper and other places suck?” (O’Rourke, 1998). … Continue reading

Posted in Introduction to Sociology, Social Psychology, Social Stratification | Tagged , , , ,

Black Identities: West Indian Immigration Dreams and America Realities

Black Identities: West Indian Dreams and American Realities (1999), is an ethnography by Mary Waters, that details the experience of West Indian Blacks.* When studying immigration in the United States a consistent pattern has emerged -assimilation benefits immigrants.  This pattern … Continue reading

Posted in Introduction to Sociology, Race and Ethnicity, Social Stratification | Tagged , , , , , ,

The Protestant Work Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism

In The Protestant Work Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1905), Max Weber poses the question Why is it that capitalism is most successful in Protestant nations? Weber argues that this happens, because the religious doctrines of Protestantism, especially from … Continue reading

Posted in Introduction to Sociology, Social Stratification | Tagged , , , ,