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.
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.
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).