Lemert: Social Theory -- Its Uses and Pleasures

Were I writing this essay, I might also begin with the idea of social theory as an everyday activity. But I think I'd not
Translating everyday observations into social theory

As you are reading, you might want to try to turn the observations the author mentions into "social theories."

Schools just have arbitrary rules because they are schools

Institutions assert and cultivate their power by exercising arbitrary control over everyday practices

The children in this housing project have seen too much to be children.

For childhood to exist as a developmental stage, kids have to be at least a little isolated from some of the more challenging aspects of social reality.

Lemert's observation (at 2.5) that bus toilets are foul but airplane toilets are not is meant to imply that people with fewer resources are treated less well. Recent experience with airlines might cause us to revise this "theory" — the poor quality of toilets and other services on the airlines has more to do with

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