The Sociologist’s Eye: Reflections on Social Life
Kai Erikson, the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor Emeritus of Sociology and American Studies
(Yale University Press)
“The Sociologist’s Eye” is an exploration into the nature of human social life, describing the field of sociology as a way of looking at the world rather than as a simple gathering of facts about it. Kai Erikson notes that sociologists look out at the same human scenes as poets, historians, economists, or any other observers of the vast social landscape spread out before them, but select different aspects of that vast panorama to focus on and attend to. The author considers how sociology became a field of study, and how it has turned its attention over time to new areas of study such as race and gender and what he calls “social speciation.” This book attempts to provide readers with new ways of thinking about human culture and social life — a sense of what the world looks like when viewed with a sociologist’s eye.