Examining 46 Years of Sociology Research

img_5184A book recounting and analyzing 46 years of a UCF Pegasus Professor’s research has been published by Transaction Publishers.

Social Problems, Social Issues, Social Science: The Society Papers is a professional memoir of the work of UCF sociologist James Wright, Ph.D., throughout his successful career.

Beginning with his 1970 master’s thesis, Wright provides a foundational look at specific social problems and the methods sociologists have used to study them.

Wright presents his research on the social issues that he has devoted his career to studying for change: homelessness, addiction, divorce, minimum wage, and gun control, among others.

The book provides an up-to-date re-examination of each issue, analyzing the changes that have occurred over time and how sociologists have responded to it.

“This book is both a retrospective on the field and on my life and work as a scholar,” Wright says.

Using his own experience in researching and writing about America’s most troublesome social issues, Wright describes the evolution of the methods and theory used by social scientists to understand and, ultimately, to confront the issues.

Throughout the book Wright gives an introduction to each work he discusses and how the project came to be. “This provided the opportunity to reflect back on the people and circumstances that made me the sociologist I turned out to be,” Wright explains.

In the reflections on each paper, Wright discusses  what he got right, what he got wrong and how that topic or field has evolved. “The most rewarding part of this process was the realization that these papers have all worn pretty well over the decades, that there are still things of value in them two, three or even four decades later,” he says.

Wright authored every article he analyzes in the book. “The book contains all the papers, essays and reviews that I have published in the journal Society in my career, including the very first paper I ever published,” he explains. Wright served as editor of the journal Society for thirty-six years before ending his editorship in November 2014.

Wright earned his doctoral degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1973 and taught at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and Tulane University before coming to UCF in 2001.

Currently, Wright serves as the Provost’s distinguished research professor in the UCF Department of Sociology. He also serves as the director of the UCF Institute for Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Wright has published 23 books and more than 300 journal articles, book chapters, essays, reviews and polemics. Most recently, Wright completed a cook book for using leftovers and a book on global social science, and served as editor-in-chief of the International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2nd edition.

Wright believes Social Problems, Social Issues, Social Science: The Society Papers offers a great deal to the field of sociology, as it analyzes a 46-year breadth of research and its applications to today’s society.

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