Tag Archives: Book Review

Great American City—a book review

chicago

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Chicago has long served as a laboratory for sociologists, from the Chicago School to Wilson, Pattillo, Cronon and others. Chicago is also the center of Sampson’s study on the ecological aspect of social behavior with special focus on community level influence on individuals. By allowing space for the effect of social interaction and looking at the macro and the micro influences that shape individual behavior, Sampson explores how place chooses an individual and constrains individual choice. (more…)

A Review of Jennifer Baumgardner’s Look Both Ways

Jennifer Baumgardner's Look Both WaysIn Jennifer Baumgardner’s (2007) work on bisexuality, Look Both Ways: Bisexual Politics, the author writes about her own experiences as well as recent pop culture events in an effort to discuss the common misconceptions (and hidden benefits) of bisexuality. One of the public’s biggest misconceptions, Baumgardner explains, is that bisexuals do not really exist. Straight people sometimes regard bisexuals as going through a “phase” while gay people sometimes regard bisexuals as being “part-time” homosexuals who want the best of both worlds. In reality, the author remarks that bisexuality has an interesting and potentially revolutionary position by being located between the entitlements associated with heterosexuality and the predicaments associated with homosexuality. By being able to bridge this gap, Baumgardner (2011:222) contends that bisexuals could be a source for positive transformation since “it takes someone who has known relative freedom, who expects it and loves it, to help ignite social change.” Using her life story to vividly illustrate the very realness of a bisexual identity, the author cites being able to look both ways as an indication that sexuality is fluid and, oftentimes, strongly impacted by one’s environment. Considering such an argument, I will use this post to critique Baumgardner’s book by critically evaluating its strong and weak points. (more…)