- Edited by A. Javier Treviño, Wheaton College, USA and Karen M. McCormack, Wheaton College, USA
- Series : Solving Social Problems
This book challenges sociologists and sociology students to think beyond the construction of social problems to tackle a central question: What do sociologists do with the analytic tools and academic skills afforded by their discipline to respond to social problems? Service Sociology posits that a central role of sociology is not simply to analyse and interpret social problems, but to act in the world in an informed manner to ameliorate suffering and address the structural causes of these problems. This volume provides a unique contribution to this approach to sociology, exploring the intersection between its role as an academic discipline and its practice in the service of communities and people.
With both contemporary and historical analyses, the book traces the legacy, characteristics, contours, and goals of the sociology of service, shedding light on its roots in early American sociology and its deep connections to activism, before examining the social context that underlies the call for volunteerism, community involvement and non-profit organisations, as well as the strategies that have promise in remedying contemporary social problems.
Presenting examples of concrete social problems from around the world, including issues of democratic participation, poverty and unemployment, student involvement in microlending, disaster miitigation, the organization and leadership of social movements, homelessness, activism around HIV/AIDS and service spring breaks, Service Sociology and Academic Engagement in Social Problems explores the utility of public teaching, participatory action research, and service learning in the classroom as a contribution to the community.
Contents: Foreword, Randy Stoecker; Introduction: what is service sociology?, A. Javier Treviño and Karen M. McCormack. Part I Contextualizing Service Sociology: History and Policy: Debating service sociology: the settlements, the academy and the social work profession, 1890-1930, Patricia Lengermann and Gillian Niebrugge; Jane Addams on creativity and power in social service, Erik Schneiderhan; Ideology, policy, and engagement: what role can service learning play in a changing democracy?, Dave Harker. Part II Bridging Classroom and Community: The impact of action and engagement on sociology in and out of the classroom, Kathleen Odell Korgen; The power of place: community partnerships and student experiences, Zoann K. Snyder and Jean C. Karlen; Exploring the impact of service learning in students’ mastery of sociology and social work learning outcomes, Marie Opatrny and Anne Statham; A bridge is not just a metaphor: building sustainable community-university partnerships through service learning projects, Charlotte Ryan. Part III Service Sociology in the Community: Toward a participatory imagination: lessons on engagement from popular and participatory action research, Chris Baker, Donald Edward Davis, and Corey Dolgon; The role of community building practices in rural regions: a study in service sociology, Debarashmi Mitra; Public teaching as service sociology, Christopher J. Schneider, Ariane Hanemaayer, and Kyle Nolan; Developing critical consciousness through community action research: localizing the structures of homelessness, Christina D. Weber. Part IV Sociology for Whom?: Why sociology textbooks do a disservice, Steven E. Barkan; Tackling social problems: sociology, service, and social activism, Chris Dale; Service sociology: what’s in a name?, Shelley K. White. Index.
About the Editor: A. Javier Treviño is Jane Oxford Keiter Professor of Sociology at Wheaton College, USA. He is the author of The Social Thought of C. Wright Mills, The Sociology of Law: Classical and Contemporary Perspectives and The Sociology of Law: A Bibliography of Theoretical Literature. He is the editor of Talcott Parsons on Law and the Legal System, Classic Writings in Law and Society, Talcott Parsons Today: His Theory and Legacy in Contemporary Sociology and Goffman’s Legacy, and co-editor of Understanding Crime: A Multidisciplinary Approach.
Karen M. McCormack is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Wheaton College, USA. Her recent publications include ‘Understanding Foreclosure Risk: The Role of Nativity and Gender’, with Iyar Mazar (Critical Sociology 2013) and ‘Comfort and Burden: The Changing Meaning of Home for Owners At-Risk of Foreclosure’ (Symbolic Interaction 2012).
Reviews: ‘A provocative, critical analysis of sociology’s original purpose; that of solving social problems, not just analyzing them. Thoughtful, theoretically rigorous and passionate the book presents a compelling case for returning to that mission, even within the dissonant demands of sociology in the academy. This work offers both Sociology and Social Work a philosophical examination of the importance of our mutual responsibility as members of the human community.’
Kathleen McInnis-Dittrich, Boston College Graduate School of Social Work, USA
‘I have been searching for this book for years. Treviño and McCormack, along with their contributors, elucidate the activities of service sociology in order to respond to serious questions about its effectiveness to ameliorate social ills and inspire students to become change agents. Service Sociology is essential for anyone interested in the history of service and participatory engagement in sociology.’
Airín Denise Martínez, Arizona State University, USA
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