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13-01-2010, 13:41   #1
 
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Recommended Reading

I thought it might be good for people to tell us what they've enjoyed reading or found helpful with regard these topics.

When I was a wee fresher and completely lost, I found that the 'Very short introductions' books were a great way to start with these subjects.

My most recent purchases were 'One dimensional man' - Marchuse, and 'The presentation of the self in everyday life' - Goffman. But I've been far too swamped to get into them just yet!
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13-01-2010, 18:13   #2
 
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A +1 on the Very Short Introductions bools, they're great.

A book I found really useful for background to all the different theories and stuff is Beginning Theory by Peter Barry. Although it's not necessarily a book on sociology/anthropology, it gives you an understanding of different theoretical ideas like Marxism, feminism, postmodernism, and so on.

A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf is a good place to start for anyone with an interest in gender. It's pretty handy to read too, because it has a narrative style to it, unlike a lot of books on the subject
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14-01-2010, 18:58   #3
Cannibal Ox
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I love the Short Introductions! Most of the introduction type books from Oxford, Cambridge and Routledge are normally well worth a read if you're stuck with something.

The last books I bought were Pierre Bourdieu: Key Concepts, ed. Michael Grenfell, Norbert Elias: On Civilization, Power, and Knowledge, ed. Stephen Mennell and Johan Goudsblom, and Georg Simmel: On Individuality and Social Forms, ed. Donald Levine.

The Pierre Bourdieu book was great, it got a little opaque towards the end but it cleared up some of his major concepts for me. I like Norbert Elias, and that book was basically a reader of most of his most important parts. I haven't really touched the Georg Simmel book, I bought it on the strength of his essay The Metropolis and Mental Life, which I liked because it's a bit mental. Heavy though.
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29-03-2010, 21:46   #4
 
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I would suggest Earl Babbie's works as a very basic course of methods and techniques. Well, maybe Aronson at the beginning, though he is interested in social psychology. Anyway, sociologist can also find interesting matters in his books. For those intersted in macrosociology that will be Wallerstein and his worlds - systems theory.
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13-07-2010, 12:24   #5
socio
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Mike Presdee 2000, 'Cultural Criminology and the Carnival of Crime'. Insipred by the work of Mikhail Bakhtin, Presdee looks at deviant, carnivalesque bahaviour as escapes from social norms. Fascinating stuff.
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20-07-2010, 11:28   #6
 
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If you are Irish, I suggest 'Dancing at the Crossroads - Memory and Mobility in Ireland' by Helena Wulff, it's an interesting read, an ethnography done over a number of years on Irish dancing and how people remember it from the past, as well as the huge changes in modern dance. If you're not Irish, you might not get some of the references, but it's worth the read all the same.
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04-01-2011, 18:17   #7
 
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Clifford Geertz's 'The Interpretation of Culture' is well worth reading.

As is,Bennidict Anderson's 'Imagined Communities'.

They're just two that I can think of from the top of my head.
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29-01-2011, 19:08   #8
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I would recommend Christine Hines "A Virtual Anthropology"...it's an interesting read when you're looking at the growth of the "online field-site".

Also:
"the wounded storyteller" by Arthur Frank
"The illness narratives" by Arthur Kleinman
"twice dead" by Margaret Lock is one of my personal favorites too!
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04-07-2011, 17:17   #9
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I'm reading "The Hidden Persuaders"

What makes us buy, believe - and even vote they way we do.
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05-07-2011, 22:04   #10
 
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In regard to sociology Kath Woodward's book on identity is brilliant. Also Wisdom Sits in Place is a good anthropology book.
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21-12-2012, 05:21   #12
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Stopped by a javahouse/used bookstore and ran across a well worn paperback copy of a Stranger and Friend: The Way of an Anthropologist, by Hortense Powdermaker (1966), and found that I had a hard time putting it down after the passage of a couple hours and cups of coffee.

Stranger
is a quick read with the style of a well written novel. It began with an ethnographic study of the Lesu people, when you could still find an unstudied people in a remote place. This was followed by a study of race relations in Mississippi, way before the civil rights movement began in America. Her third study was of Hollywood and a complete research disaster, which she wanted to pass on to others in terms of what not to do when in the field. And the last study was her crowning achievement, wherein she used multimethods (i.e., triangulation of qualitative and quantitative methods) to research the Copperbelt town in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Powdermaker describes her practical use of a host of ethnographic data collection methods throughout her work, and in such ways that they are easy to identify and remember. A good book to read before going into the field.
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30-12-2012, 14:03   #13
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reading Andrew Sayer's Realism and Social Science at the moment for a good overview of critical realism.

Would avoid Jenkins 'Pierre Bourdieu' as a supposed introductory text on account of the fact that it is filled with the authors flawed attack on the sociologist rather than providing a decent introduction to Bourdieu's fieldwork and sociology as was its purpose for publication.

I find the best way to understand a complicated social theorist is to read directly from the source rather than being mislead by a thousand interpretations all competing to springboard from the original author towards their own academic distinction. Yes the source can be blooming hard but after a while you learn to speak the language - although with Bourdieu it took a few books
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20-12-2013, 08:17   #14
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I'm reading 'Guns Germs and Steel' by Jared Diamond and I'd be interested in reading more about tribal societies. Does anybody know of any good books about hunter gatherer societies?
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30-07-2014, 22:22   #15
warro
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Loic Waquant's Punishing the poor is well worth a read. Also Demonic Males:Apes and the origins of human violence by Dale Peterson.
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