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Major Sociological Studies and Publications

The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism is a book written by sociologist and economist

Max Weber in 1904-1905. The original version was in German and was translated to English in 1930. It is often considered a founding text in economic sociology and sociology in general.

The Asch Conformity Experiments, conducted by Solomon Asch in the 1950s, demonstrated the power of conformity in groups and showed that even simple objective facts cannot withstand

the distorting pressure of group influence.

The Communist Manifesto is a book written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in 1848 and has since been recognized as one of the world’s most influential political manuscripts. In it, Marx

presents an analytical approach to class struggle and the problems of capitalism and his theories about the nature of society and politics.

The Milgram Obedience Studies, conducted from 1960 through 1974 by Stanley Milgram, found some chilling answers questioning the limits of social pressure.

Suicide, written by French sociologist Emile Durkheim in 1897, was a groundbreaking book in the field of sociology. It was a case study of suicide, a publication unique for its time that

provided an example of what the sociological monograph should look like.

The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life is a book that was published in 1959, written by sociologist Erving Goffman. In it, he uses the imagery of theater in order to portray the importance of human and social action and interaction. He refers to this as the dramaturgical model of social life.

In The McDonaldization of Society, author George Ritzer takes the central elements of Max Weber’s work and expands and updates them, producing an analysis of the impact of structural change on human interaction and identity. It is not about McDonald’s itself, but rather how the principles of the fast food industry have come to dominate all parts of American society and the rest of the world.

'Democracy in America,' written by Alexis de Tocqueville is considered one of the most comprehensive and insightful books ever written about the U.S. The book deals with issues such as religion, the press, money, class structure, racism, the role of government, and the judicial system issues that are just as relevant today as they were then.

The History of Sexuality is a three-volume series of books written between 1976 and 1984 by French philosopher and historian Michel Foucault. His main goal in the books is to disprove the idea that Western society had repressed sexuality since the 17th century and that sexuality had been something that society did not talk about.

Nickel and Dimed: On Not Getting By In America is a book by Barbara Ehrenreich based on her ethnographic research on low-wage jobs in America. Inspired in part by the rhetoric surrounding welfare reform at the time, she decided to immerse herself into the world of low- wage earning Americans.

The Division of Labor in Society is a book written, originally in French, by Emile Durkheim in

1893. It was Durkheim’s first major published work and the one in which he introduced the concept of anomie, or the breakdown of the influence of social norms on individuals within a society.

Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser is a book about how the fast food industry has shaped the American way of life. Since it’s inception, fast food has widened the gap between the rich and the poor, fueled an obesity epidemic, and forced American cultural ideas abroad.

"The Tipping Point" by Malcolm Gladwell is a book about how small actions at the right time, in the right place, and with the right people can create a "tipping point" for anything from a product to an idea to a trend, etc.

S"tigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity" is a book written by Erving Goffman in 1963 about the idea of stigma and what it is like to be a stigmatized person. It is a look into the world of persons who society does not consider “normal.”

"Savage Inequalities: Children in America’s Schools" is a book written by Jonathan Kozol that

examines the American educational system and the inequalities that exist between poor inner- city schools and more affluent suburban schools.

16. The Culture of Fear "The Culture of Fear" was written in 1999 by Barry Glassner, a sociology professor at the University of Southern California. The book is all about why America is a country that is engrossed with fear. Glassner examines and exposes the people and organizations that manipulate Americans’ perceptions and profit from the resulting anxiety.

17. The Social Transformation of American Medicine "The Social Transformation of American Medicine" is a book written in 1982 by Paul Starr about medicine and health care in the United States. Starr looks at the evolution and the culture of medicine from the colonial period (late 1700s) into the last quarter of the twentieth century.