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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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Knowing the Place for the First Time

Knowing the Place for the First Time

(p.26) Knowing the Place for the First Time
The Sociologist's Eye

Kai Erikson

Yale University Press

This chapter considers a third approach to the sociological perspective, which has to do with viewing a wholly familiar social reality in the way a newcomer, a stranger, might. It may be assumed that sociologists know more about the lay of their land than most others do. After all, they spend a significant amount of time investigating various corners of the social world, and to that extent they can be thought of as seasoned, knowing, and experienced about human life. At the same time, however, sociologists can be viewed as strangers to the lands they study, for it is one of their tasks to look at the social world almost as if they were seeing it for the first time. The chapter explains how sociologists may be newcomers to the locations they study and discusses the ways that they deal with deviant behavior.

Keywords:   sociologists, locations, social world, human life, deviant behavior, sociological perspective, social reality

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