How should the official journal of reviews of the American Sociological Association mark the turn of the millennium? We have decided the appropriate means is to celebrate our disciplinary potential. We will mark this new century with a review not of the past, but of the possible future. In the January issue of Contemporary Sociology, you will find a series of essays on the possibilities, constraints, and institutional designs that may lead to a better world. All the essays use sociological wisdom, research, theories, and imagination to envision a more utopian world. Collectively, they demonstrate the breadth of contribution we can expect from the engaged sociology of the next century.
The writers describe mid - range utopias in their vision of a better world, given our knowledge of the sociologically possible. Authors vary in the degree to which they restrict themselves to the historically probable. Some envision only the politically possible; others ignore pragmatic politics and use their imaginations to describe sociologi
Contemporary Sociology, from page 1 cally feasible solutions to important social problems.
The issue is organized into three sections: In the first section, Basic Survival Strategies, we present essays on topics from preventing genocide, to fighting hunger, to reducing violence. In the middle section, the essays focus on Reducing Inequalities. Finally, the last section, perhaps the most utopian, pushes us to think beyond survival and justice to how we must Expand Democratic Choices to create more freedom, pleasure, and power in individual lives. Following the essays are reviews of recent books, arranged under these three broad conceptual headings.
Sociology is probably known best for its ability to identify and critique social inequities. With this volume we ask you to take a leap of faith, to use your sociological imagination to envision a more perfect world rather than to criticize the one we live in. We have learned much from the essayists, and indeed feel we have much to celebrate in the potential of sociological wisdom to help shape a more utopian world. We can create only those worlds that we can imagine.
Just to increase your anticipation, the names of authors and the titles of their essays are provided below.
Basic Survival Strategies
Preventing Genocide - Anthony Oberschall
Ending Hunger in Developing Countries - Frederick H. Buttel
Resisting Homelessness: Global, National, and Local Solutions - Talmadge Wright
Reducing Criminal and Corporate Violence - John Hagan and Holly Foster
Teaching Poor Children to Read - George Farkas
Fostering a Justice - based Health Care System - Donald Light
Enhancing Mental Health Delivery for Diverse Populations - David Takeuchi and Katherine Flower - Kim
Creating a Caring Society - Evelyn Nakano Glenn
Doing Antiracism and Making a Nonracist Society - Jacqueline Johnson, Joe Feagin, and Sharon Rush
Limiting Gender Inequality through Interaction - Cecilia Ridgeway and Shelley Correll
Minimizing Workplace Gender and Racial Bias - William T. Bielby
Envisioning the Integration of Family and Work: Toward a Kinder, Gentler Workplace - Jennifer Glass
Reducing Income and Wealth Inequality: Three Real Utopian Proposals - Erik Olin Wright
Envisioning a Third Way: The Welfare State in the 21st Century - John Myles and Jill Quadagno
Expanding Democratic Choices
Schooling for Democracy: Toward a Critical Utopianism - Gustavo E. Fischman and Peter McLaren
Resolving Family Dilemmas and Conflicts - Kathleen Gerson
Creating Good Communities - Amitai Etzioni
Encouraging Sexual Justice and Sexual Pleasure - Pepper Schwartz
Mobilizing for Change in a Social Movement Society - Verta Taylor
Fighting Marginalization and Globalization with Transnational Social Movements - Peter Evans