ERIC Number: EJ910769
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Oct
Abstractor: As Provided
The Corpus Status of Literature in Teaching Sociology: Novels as "Sociological Reconstruction"
Carlin, Andrew P.
American Sociologist, v41 n3 p211-231 Oct 2010
Using fiction in teaching sociology involves what Harvey Sacks calls "sociological reconstruction". Numerous comments on teaching sociology provide advice and suggestions on the use of literature and "what counts" as "sociological" literature, including specific titles. This paper goes further: while the use of literature is a routine feature of sociological accounts, discerning the relevance of a novel, or a passage within a novel, to sociological themes is an analyst's achievement. It requires work both by the teacher and the student to recognize the relevance of fiction to sociology. Previous studies on fiction in sociology focus on the pedagogic aspects of using novels but fail to acknowledge the key problem of "sociological reconstruction" attempted through the use of novels. The paper explicates the crucial and generic issue of "corpus status", which is fore-grounded by the use of non-sociological materials in sociology.
Descriptors: Sociology, Novels, Educational Sociology, Teacher Student Relationship, Fiction, Social Change, Teaching Methods
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
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