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I generally spend my time in psychology and neuroscience books. I've been wanting to start going after people-system topics for some time, so I thought sociology was a logical field to investigate. This book, an entry level text book, seemed like a good place to start.
It was. Sort of. The field and theories are interesting and thought provoking. But ...
What struck me was the great lengths the author went through to point out how sociology relies on the scientific method. Good. Then, everything seemed to be implicitly or explicitly couched in unsupported value judgements. Distracting to infuriating.
The author is at his worst as a scholar in the last chapters where he gives an irrational, overly simplistic summary (commentary) of the terrible state of the world, from our near complete destruction of the environment (I submit that in fact the planet isn't practically destroyed) to how the poor Katrina response was clearly racist (it may have been a contributing factor, but it certainly isn't the case closed explanation). The author even describes George Zimmerman's part in the Trsyvon Martin incident as having been panic because he (George) confused Trsyvon's skin color with a weapon. Really? This is your scholarly assessment of the situation? Shameful. This might be appropriate for a New York Times op-ed, but in my opinion, it has no place in a text book of a scientific field.
This author's approach is exactly why sociologists get little respect as scientists, which is too bad because we desperately need a better understanding of the workings of relationships among and within societies.
Bottom line: I recommend this book only if you are ok with a bunch of personal opinion and (very liberal) values mixed in with presentation of an introduction to a field of study.Rick
8 of 10 people found this review helpful
As much as I agree with the author in his political views, this is a manifesto rather than a social scientific book. It suffers from some serious conformation bias, selectively presenting confirmatory evidence or simply confusing dogmas for facts in order to support specific political agendas rather than providing a balanced discussion.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I found this book to be thorough and thought provoking all the way through. Check out Sapiens or Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari too. Both his books provide interesting perspectives on the topics.