Journeys in Sociology

From First Encounters to Fulfilling Retirements

Edited by Rosalyn Benjamin Darling and Peter J. Stein
Book Cover

PB: $29.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-1475-5
Publication: May 17

HC: $99.50
EAN: 978-1-4399-1474-8
Publication: May 17

Ebook: $29.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-1476-2
Publication: May 17

250 pages
6 x 9
22 halftones

Twenty-two eminent retired sociologists reflect on their lives and their career choices

Read the Introduction (pdf).


For most sociologists, their life’s work does not end with retirement. Many professors and practitioners continue to teach, publish, or explore related activities after leaving academia. They also connect with others in the field to lessen the isolation they sometimes feel outside the ivory tower or an applied work setting .

The editors and twenty contributors to the essential anthology Journeys in Sociology use a life-course perspective to address the role of sociology in their lives. The power of their personal experiences—during the Great Depression, World War II, or the student protests and social movements in the 1960s and ‘70s—magnify how and why social change prompted these men and women to study sociology. Moreover, all of the contributors include a discussion of their activities in retirement.

From Bob Perrucci, Tuck Green, and Wendell Bell, who write about issues of class, to Debra Kaufman and Elinore Lurie, who explain how gender played a role in their careers, the diverse entries in Journeys in Sociology provide a fascinating look at both the influence of their lives on the discipline and the discipline on these sociologists’ lives.

Contributors include: David J. Armor, Wendell Bell, Glen H. Elder, Jr., Henry Fischer, Janet Zollinger Giele, Charles S. (Tuck) Green III, Peter Mandel Hall, Elizabeth Higginbotham, Debra Kaufman, Corinne Kirchner, Elinore E. Lurie, Gary T. Marx, Robert Perrucci, Fred L. Pincus, Thomas Scheff, Arthur Shostak, David R. Simon, Natalie J. Sokoloff, Edward A. Tiryakian, Joyce E. Williams, and the editors

Published in collaboration with the American Sociological Association Opportunities in Retirement Network.

Table of Contents


Introduction • Rosalyn Benjamin Darling

Part I: Children of the Great Depression
1. Toward a Sociology of the Future • Wendell Bell
2. Semper Sociology • Edward A. Tiryakian
3. Three Lives in Two Americas • Robert Perrucci
4. The Life Course of My Career • Glen H. Elder Jr.
5. Six Sociologists from Wayne County, Ohio • Janet Zollinger Giele
6. The Sociological Consequences of Choosing Radical Parents: The Political, the Personal, and the Professional • Peter Mandel Hall
7. My Professional Life: A Brief Memoir • Thomas Scheff
8. My Life in Sociology, Sociology in My Life • Elinore E. Lurie
9 Have You Noticed . . . ? • Corinne Kirchner

Part II: Coming of Age in the Postwar Years
10. A Life in Sociology • Charles S. Green III
11. Permission Slip for Life as an Applied Sociologist • Arthur Shostak
12. What’s It All About? Reflections on Meaning in a Career • Gary T. Marx
13. My Journey with Sociology • Joyce E. Williams
14. Sociology, Politics, and Policy • David J. Armor
15. The Last of Life for Which the First Was Made • Debra Kaufman
16. A Sociological Memoirist • Fred L. Pincus
17. Retiree • Natalie J. Sokoloff
18. Spreading the Sociological Imagination to Lay Audiences • David R. Simon
19. Networking across Stages of a Career • Elizabeth Higginbotham
20. The Impact of Sociology on One Man’s Life • Henry Fischer

Conclusion • Peter J. Stein


About the Author(s)

Rosalyn Benjamin Darling is Professor Emerita, Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Visiting Scholar, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and the author of ten books including Disability and Identity: Negotiating Self in a Changing Society.

Peter J. Stein is Professor Emeritus, William Paterson University, and Senior Researcher, University of North Carolina Institute on Aging. He is the editor of Report of the Forum on North Carolina’s Aging Workforce and co-author of several books, including six editions of Sociology (with Beth B. Hess and Elizabeth W. Markson) and Social Gerontology: Issues and Prospects (with Elizabeth W. Markson).