The Sociologist’s Eye Reflections on Social Life Kai T. Erikson

Publication date:
03 Oct 2017
Yale University Press
432 pages: 235 x 156 x 29mm
Sales territories:

Buy this eBook

You can purchase this title from a number of online retailers:

A masterful introduction to and appreciation of sociology as a window into our world

The culmination of a distinguished career, this fascinating exploration into the nature of human social life describes 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. Erikson’s lively and accessible volume 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 Erikson calls “social speciation.” This book provides readers with new ways of thinking about human culture and social life—an exhilarating sense of what the world looks like when viewed with a sociologist’s eye.

Kai Erikson is William R. Kenan Jr. Professor Emeritus of Sociology and American Studies, Yale University. He is former President of the American Sociological Association, and has twice won the ASA award for writing the best book published in the year preceding.

“With rich detail, intellectual deft, and an extraordinary gift for storytelling, Erikson delivers a tour de force. It is stimulating, eloquent, comprehensive, yet accessible. A must read for every young scholar.”—Cecilia Menjívar, University of Kansas

"Expertly executed and highly engaging, The Sociologist's Eye renders the complex history of our discipline more clearly and elegantly than any other book of its kind."—Jennifer Johnson, Kenyon College

"The Sociologist's Eye is an immediate classic in the company of Berger and Mills; Erikson’s elegant analysis within the framework of perspectives, places, and processes will captivate generations to come."—Diane L. Pike, Augsburg College 

"Erikson is a master of two sociological arts, gracefully guiding his readers through a global landscape to help us understand human beings and the myriad ways we live together. A beautiful book."—Daniel F. Chambliss, Hamilton College

"More than a text for students, this is an overview of what sociology has to teach anyone. It is a joy to see good ideas and critical findings come alive in Erikson's uniquely masterful renditions."—Harvey Molotch, New York University