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My Works

Future Worlds of Social Science: Essays on Sociality

 Considered as a culmination of work initially published as Cultures of Nature (1995), Claims of Knowledge (1989) and Wilderness of Mirrors (1989), these essays offer an evaluation of the current status of the social sciences; of claims that they have advanced so little, especially in powers of theory and theory-driven empirical research; and of alternative futures as we humans struggle to survive against deleterious effects of our own innovations--most urgently the ways in which we make and remake those parts of human reality that we call Nature or "the natural world," yet no less urgently the continuing threat of nuclear annihilation, massive failures of education, and recalcitrance of response to opportunities of civil discourse.  On all counts, the evaluations portend diminishing capabilities unless some radical, extensive, and persistent changes can be legislated and reliably observed.  Our two-century record since 1804 indicates that Immanuel Kant's hope for species maturity, responsibility, and rational self-governance was misplaced.  For what may we hope?  Our prospects have never been so bleak.




Cultures of Nature:
An Essay on the Production of Nature

Every effort to reach nature “as it is in itself,” nature purely as such, always ends in yet another cultural-historical production of nature, as fully palpable as a stone struck by your foot. Contests for the authority to say what nature really is, and what that means, are profound, often intense, sometimes earth-shaking.

Claims of Knowledge

The “culture wars” have been with us since the ancient Greeks. (Remember Socrates, Plato, and the Sophists?) Claims of Knowledge analyzes the conditions under which, and the processes by which, contests for the authority of truthful knowledge are conducted.

A Wilderness of Mirrors

Analyzes rhetorical structures of arguments, and the capacity of a theorist’s argument to account for the conditions of its own authority in terms that are consistent with its account of what it proclaims to be about; studies specific cases from Kant to Derrida, from Archimedean pivots to Klein bottles.

Pension Puzzles: Social Security and the Great Debate

Written with Melissa Hardy, this book addresses technical problems of Social Security, and alternative forms of post-employment income security, within the broader context of debates about (1) moral obligations that members of a society have to one another simply by virtue of that common membership and (2) the qualities and capabilities that members of a society should rightfully expect of each other.

Class, Conflict, and Mobility

A set of theoretical and empirical studies of social class, stratification, and mobility, this book, co-authored with Joseph Lopreato and published in 1972, was reprinted in 2005 by Rawat Publishing Company of Jaipur and New Delhi, India.

Ending a Career in the Auto Industry

Co-authored with Melissa Hardy and Jill Quadagno, this research monograph, published in 1996 in the Plenum Studies in Work and Industry series, reflects some interests in labor economics, sociology, and public policy.

Prison within Society

Although published in 1968, it was still (2002) a benchmark collection of essays, according to Loic Wacquant, sociologist and pugilist, in his paper, "The Curious Eclipse of Prison Ethnography in the Age of Mass Incarceration" (Ethnography vol. 3).

vol_27_2.pdf (211 KB)

Current Perspectives in Social Theory, volume 27

vol_30.pdf (203 KB)

Current Perspectives in Social Theory, volume 30