Sociology and Social Policy

Essays on Community, Economy, and Society

Herbert J. Gans

Columbia University Press

Sociology and Social Policy

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Pub Date: September 2017

ISBN: 9780231183055

280 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $35.00£27.95

Pub Date: September 2017

ISBN: 9780231183048

280 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $105.00£87.95

Pub Date: September 2017

ISBN: 9780231545099

280 Pages

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List Price: $34.99£27.95

Sociology and Social Policy

Essays on Community, Economy, and Society

Herbert J. Gans

Columbia University Press

This collection of recent essays by the influential sociologist Herbert J. Gans brings together the many themes of Gans’s wide-ranging career to make the case for a policy-oriented vision for sociology. Sociology and Social Policy explicates and helps solve social problems by presenting a range of studies on what people, institutions, and social structures do with, for, and against one another. These works from across Gans’s areas of interest—the city, poverty, ethnicity, employment and political economy, and the relationship between race and class—together make a powerful call to action for the field of sociology.
How good to have this exceptionally stimulating collection of essays that deploy decades of learning to probe fundamental challenges of political economy, race, and bases of identity. Written by a master sociologist in his characteristically lucid, accessible prose, these deep and compelling ruminations offer challenges to thought and action on every page. Ira Katznelson, Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History, Columbia University
These essays remind us of the balance and the wonderful clarity and compassion that inform all of Gans's work on urban and other social problems. And they remain acutely insightful and compelling at this perilous moment in American history. Frances Fox Piven, the Graduate Center, City University of New York
Herbert J. Gans is among the most original and prolific students of American urban society. For over fifty years, he has taken up some of the nation's most vexing problems—racism, poverty, immigration—writing with clarity, urgency, and keen intelligence. In my own work, I find myself going back to Gans again and again, learning something new each time. Uncompromising yet pragmatic, clear-eyed yet hopeful, this brilliant new collection of essays is essential reading. Matthew Desmond, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City
A valuable reader for undergraduate classes in urban, economic, and race sociology, as well as a book valuable to policy analysts and makers. A great contribution to the field. Deirdre Oakley, Georgia State University
Herbert Gan's well-written and compelling essays are a testament to why he is one of the world's greatest sociologists. Sociology and Social Policy is replete with insights on a wide range of topics that not only engage sociologists and other social scientists, but the general public as well. William Julius Wilson, Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor, Harvard University
Preface and Acknowledgments
Part I: The City
1. Some Problems of and Futures for Urban Sociology: Toward a Sociology of Settlements
2. The Sociology of Space: A Use-Centered View
3. Involuntary Segregation and the Ghetto: Disconnecting Process and Place
4. Concentrated Poverty: A Critical Analysis
Part II: Poverty
5. Studying the Bottom of American Society
6. The Challenge of Multigenerational Poverty
7. The Benefits of Poverty
Part III: Jobs and the Political Economy
8. Superfluous Workers: The Labor Market’s Invisible Discards
9. Work-Time Reduction: Possibilities and Problems
10. Basic Income: A Remedy for a Sick Labor Market?
11. Seeking a Political Solution to the Economy’s Problems
12. High School Economics Texts and the American Economy
Part IV: Race and Class
13. Race as Class
14. “Whitening” and the Changing American Racial Hierarchy
15. The Moynihan Report and Its Aftermaths: A Critical Analysis
Part V: Ethnicity
16. The Coming Darkness of Late-Generation European-American Ethnicity
17. The End of Late-Generation European Ethnicity in America?
Appendix: Working in Six Research Areas—a Multi-Field Sociological Career

About the Author

Herbert J. Gans is Robert S. Lynd Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Columbia University. His many books include People, Plans, and Policies: Essays on Poverty, Racism, and Other National Urban Problems (1991) and The Levittowners: Ways of Life and Politics in a New Suburban Community (Legacy Edition, 2017), both from Columbia University Press.