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The Sociologist's EyeReflections on Social Life$
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Kai Erikson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780300106671

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300106671.001.0001

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View from the Fourteenth Floor

View from the Fourteenth Floor

(p.13) View from the Fourteenth Floor
The Sociologist's Eye

Kai Erikson

Yale University Press

This chapter considers one approach to the sociological perspective that has to do with looking at social life as if from afar even when one is positioned at arm's length from it. It explains how sociologists look at social life from a point of vantage similar to that gained at a fourteenth floor. It suggests that sociologists who speak of the social tend to be speaking of tides, forces, currents, pulls—something in the nature of social life that induces people to behave in fairly predictable ways at least part of the time. Human life is subject to social forces that help give it form and pattern. Sociologists tend to regard those forces as things. The chapter also considers the conflict and disorder that characterize the social world.

Keywords:   sociologists, social life, social world, human life, things, conflict, disorder, social forces

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