Archive for the ‘reading’ Category

summer reading

June 24, 2011

I will keep coming back to this one and updating it.

Not teaching this summer means I have time to read a few books. I’m one of those people who read Emile Durkheim for fun, so I will read a few sociology books I’ve never had time to read, and I love theory. Besides that, just want to keep a record of the random books I accomplish reading this summer.

1. AGAINST MEDICAL ADVICE by James Patterson & Hal Friedmann. About a boy w/ severe tourettes & OCD from age 5-18. Very good to help me understand one of my grandsons a lot better. Our whole family should read it.

2. Changing #2. Decided to read CIVILIZATION AND ITS DISCONTENTS by FREUD, which I’ve read once before. It’s interesting to see a book on civilization by such a psycho-analyst. He was so lost in the importance of sex & sexual identity, and there are places where he’s blatantly sexist & full of his importance as a Western European. But it’s interesting to see his theory on how civilization & culture develops. A good mental exercise to read it.

**Finished it today, 5/31. 2nd time reading it. Freud thinks ALL human civilization relates back directly to the sex impulse. This is his failure. DURKHEIM does a better job of explaining the basics of civilization. “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”  Civ. is a different animal than the individual. There are a lot of interesting thoughts from FREUD in this book though. He says, we are internally motivated to find happiness. But we are also internally aggressive. Civilization comes about when we subsume the wants & desires of the individual for a larger cause. Basically, we want a companion, so we subsume the desire to have sex with anyone we want. (Somehow, I want a larger explanation for civilization.) ~~~  So…… there’s a lot more to it but I cannot concentrate right now because my grandkids are here and my husband is challenging my grandson to a wrestling duel at midnight, so I can’t think.

3. STIGMA by ERVING GOFFMAN. Will read this next because I’ve always wanted to read it. How are you LABELED? What labels do people give you & how does that affect you? For some people, it becomes a “Stigma” and creates a negative identity for them, or shame. It’s something they know other people see them as, even if they do not see themselves this way. Goffman is the champion of this type of study.

4. Yeah well I never read #3. Instead went to 2 others. One is INVITATION TO SOCIOLOGY: A HUMANISTIC PRESPECTIVE by PETER BERGER. Very cool. Will write more on this later.

5. Another is A NICKEL AND A PRAYER by JANE EDNA HUNTER, founder of the Phyllis Wheatley Association, orig. publ. in 1940. Interesting because she’s talking about South Carolina as a black woman of the early 1900s.

Finished this one a week or so ago. Basically a rather dry, boring book but interesting due to the above. I listened for where she grew up (upstate SC) and how it was for her. She doesn’t really say much but she does give a few stories, including being afraid of Water Mocassins and other animals. She goes to a northern Ohio city. I know those places as well. It was interesting to hear about the white AND black opposition she rec’d in trying to open a home/haven/hotel for black women to stay in. Blacks of the time thought she was enforcing segregation. She was saying, we have to take care of our own because no one else will. She was definitely a Booker T. type female, but she helped a lot of women who would have been destitute after coming north, had she not been there. I wonder what she would think of today’s cities. Probably be horrified. But a person liker her would roll up her sleeves and selflessly work for others, right next to them in the inner city. She would also let them know, the world of drugs and gangs is the “work of the Devil”.

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