• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Offering a major challenge to established textbooks and pointing to inspiring new ways of approaching sociology, this book presents a notable shift in introductory sociology. Too often the subject is taught as a dry and detached system of thought and practice. Passion is regarded as something to avoid or to treat with inherent suspicion. By asking questions about sociology and its relation to passion, the authors seek to revitalize the subject. The book introduces and develops a number of themes such as: identity, knowledge, magic, desire, power and everyday life. It argues that students should analyze these themes through practices including: reading, writing, speaking, storytelling and organizing. The authors aim to intr


One first needs a good desire to eat, drink and read. … Thus, in the morning, before the books piled high on my table, to the god of reading, I say my prayer of the devouring reader: ‘Give us this day our daily hunger …’

(Bachelard 1971: 26)

This quotation is irresistible. Around reading it brings together some of the central themes in this book. Reading needs a desire, an appetite, a hunger, a passion. Reading is like eating and drinking; it is an eating, drinking, devouring. Eating is an ordinary everyday activity. It is also ritualised and magical, and frequently has religious elements to it. And so it is with reading – an activity that is both everyday and magical and passionate. Potentially, at least.

Whilst ...

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