Sociological Ruminations

A blog about books (both non-fiction and fiction) that address forms of social inequality associated with race, gender, class, or mental health.

A Sociological Summer Reading List

Just in case you’re looking for something to read this summer, I made a list of some of the books that will be discussed in the “Author Meets Critics” sessions at this summer’s annual conference of the American Sociological Association. These are the books listed on the preliminary program. (Click each title to find the book’s description on

Cut Adrift: Families in Insecure Times (University of California Press, 2014) by Marianne Cooper

Coming Up Short: Working-Class Adulthood in an Age of Uncertainty (Oxford University Press, 2013) by Jennifer M. Silva

Paying for the Party: How College Maintains Inequality (Harvard University, 2013) by Elizabeth A. Armstrong and Laura T. Hamilton

The Long Shadow: Family Background, Disadvantaged Urban Youth, and the Transition to Adulthood (Russel Sage, 2014) by Karl L. Alexander, Doris Entwisle, and Linda S. Olson

The Stickup Kids: Race, Drugs, Violence and the American Dream (University of California Press, 2013) by Randol Contreras

What’s Wrong With Fat? (Oxford University Press, 2012) by Abigail Saguy

The Undeserving Rich: American Beliefs about Inequality, Opportunity, and Redistribution (Cambridge University Press, 2013) by Leslie McCall

The Land of Too Much: American Abundance and the Paradox of Poverty (Harvard University Press, 2012) by Monica Prasad

Saving Babies? The Consequences of Newborn Genetic Screening (University of Chicago Press, 2012) by Stefan Timmermans

Ain’t No Trust: How Bosses, Boyfriends, and Bureaucrats Fail Low-Income Mothers and Why it Matters (University of California, 2013) by Judith Levine

A Theory of Fields (Oxford University Press, 2012) by Neil Fligstein and Doug McAdam

Stuck in Place: Urban Neighborhoods and the End of Progress Toward Racial Equality (University of Chicago Press, 2013) by Patrick Sharkey

The Rise of Women: The Growing Gender Gap in Education and What it Means for American Schools  (Russell Sage Foundation, 2013) by Thomas A. Diprete and Claudia Buchman

Claiming Society for God: Religious Movements and Social Welfare (Indiana University Press, 2012) by Nancy J. Davis and Robert V. Robinson

Doing the Best I Can: Fatherhood in the Inner City (University of California, 2013) by Kathryn Edin and Timothy J. Nelson

The Emergence of Organizations and Markets (Princeton University Press, 2012) by John Padgett and Woody Powell

Waves of War: Nationalism, State Formation, and Ethnic Exclusion in the Modern World (Cambridge University Press, 2012) by Andreas Wimmer

The Fracturing of the American Corporate Elite (Harvard University, 2013) by Mark S. Mizruchi

Blinded by Sight: Seeing Race Through the Eyes of the Blind (Stanford University Press, 2013) by Osagie Obasogie

Three Worlds of Relief: Race, Immigration, and the American Welfare State (Princeton University Press, 2012) by Cybelle Fox

Happy Reading!








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