Applying Sociology:

Making a Better World


William Du Bois and R. Dean Wright



Allyn and Bacon, 2001






Cutting Edge Innovations in Sociology



Restorative Justice

Restorative Justice turns healing into action and provides a novel approach to crime. Darrol Bussler's story as victim was featured by the National Council of Churches in their annual NBC television show. Since then, he helped found the first non-Indian community peacemaking circle in the United States in South St. Paul, Minnesota. Circles are used for sentencing, in the schools and in other organizations. Mark E. Carey co-authored the Department of Justice's book on restorative justice and directed one of the first pilot projects in the country. He is currently director of probation and parole for the state of Minnesota.

Peacemaking criminology co-founder Hal Pepinsky talks of how his experience working with child abuse and victims has taught him true safety from personal violence depends on listening and empathy. He shows how as offenders lose empathy, they provide warning signs of violence. He finds safety in developing relationships where children are heard.


Community Development

Resolving Public Controversy -- Desmond M. Connor has been making a living as an innovative applied sociologist for over 30 years and has completed over 300 projects, mostly in Canada. He works to create win-win situations between the public and large corporations.

William Du Bois illustrates "Transforming Community Attitudes and Morale" and revitalizing a community following the first major bank closing during the farm crisis.


Participatory Action Research

As a young Ph.D. working as a consultant for the Radisson Hotel in Minneapolis in 1947, William Foote Whyte anticipated much of what would later be called Total Quality Management. He eventually used this case on "Solving the Hotel’s Human Problems" to illustrate participatory action research. He is the author or co-author of 20 books including Street Corner Society and his 1994 autobiography, Participant Observer.


Organizational Cultures

Larry Miller has been a consultant with some of the largest corporations in American. He offers a vision of a new corporate culture where values matter.

In "Why Organizational Change Fails," Kenneth Kiser, co-author of Putting Total Quality Management to Work and Paul Rossler reveal the unspoken truths most consultants refuse to tell and most managers don’t want to hear.


Worker Cooperatives

Frank Lindenfeld presents worker cooperatives as an alternative to both capitalism and socialism. He explores employee ownership and workplace democracy.


Working with Labor Unions

Art Shostak was named by Newweek magazine as one of the nation's top futurists. He talks of lessons learned in his 40 years as an applied sociologist working with organized labor.


Politics and Community Organizing

Corey Dolgon illustrates using sociology to help forge a coalition and identity past racial boundaries when custodians and students became unlikely allies in a janitor’s strike at Long Island University. His work has been featured in Z Magazine and other national publications as well as scholarly journals.


Sociology and Architecture

Bernie Jones shows how sociologists can work with architects, planners, and contractors in every aspect of the building and design process. His work for over 30 years with the design professionals in the United States and Canada gives voice to the needs and concerns of the people who will use an environment.

William Du Bois shows how design influences behavior in ways you may have never suspected, and how attention to basic sociological principles can create positive interaction and community. His experience in creating effective social settings ranges from nightclubs to nursing homes.



Sidney Jourard, one of the founding voices of humanistic psychology, says "Marriage is for Life" -- i.e. it is for living. In an exploration of the sociological imagination, he debunks myths of marriage from his own experience. Cultural models of relationship influence behavior. He envisions a healthy relationship as a painful and rewarding journey grounded in self disclosure, authenticity, and dialogue.



In the postmodern world, we learn there are many truths and many different interpretations. William Wagner brings sociology to life and offers practical, easy to understand applications. How do we get along and share the world? This is never more critical as when we live with children. "Parenting without Controlling" provides a framework for relationship and realistic discussion of issues such as drugs and sex.


Positive Youth Development

"Sport Is Too Important to Be Just a Game." Martin G. Miller says it’s one of the few time we get to spend quality time with our kids when we have their full attention. He explores empowering kids, participation where everyone gets to play, learning real values, being the best person you can be, and the real meaning of success. His "Sportsparents' Creed" should be must reading for all.


Juvenile Groups Homes

William Du Bois discusses the nuances of working with a group home for juvenile delinquents and the complexity of secrets, friendships, and organizational dynamics.


Service Learning

Barbara Carson introduces service learning as a platform for community change

R. Dean Wright takes students to the street in the early morning hours to learn from the homeless and return to design more effective programs.


Churches, Public Health and Community

Gary Gunderson illustrates creative new approaches to public health emerging across the country. As Director of the Interfaith Health Program at Emory University, he works with religious organizations to create community. In "Caring About Each Other," he shows how health care must be informed by sociology and depends upon community.


Theoretical Foundations of Applied Sociology

William Du Bois shows applied sociology has been a fundamental core of the discipline since its inception and has been a reoccuring theme in every generation.


Surviving as an Applied Sociologist

Pat Sheehan documents her trials and tribulations trying to survive as an applied sociologist. She provides a realistic, humerous, and moving tale as sociology degree in hand, she takes to the streets.


The Sociologist as Artist

William Du Bois and R. Dean Wright conclude with their vision of sociology. They imagine using research findings and meaningful theoretical insights to invent solutions, respond to human needs, develop new social resources, and create organizations and a society where people can flourish


Table of Contents



A Framework for Doing Applied Sociology -- William Du Bois, South Dakota State University





Doing Sociology With the Design Professions -- Bernie Jones, Consultant, Victoria, British Columbia.

Design and Human Behavior: The Sociology of Architecture -- William Du Bois, South Dakota State University



Transforming Community Attitudes and Morale -- William Du Bois, South Dakota State University

Positive Citizen Participation -- Des Connor, Consultant, Vancouver, British Columbia



Visions of a New Corporate Culture -- Lawrence Miller, Management Consultant, Atlanta, GA

Solving the Hotel’s Human Problems -- William Foote Whyte

Why Organizational Change Fails -- Paul E. Rossler and Kenneth J. Kiser, Oklahoma State University

Worker Cooperatives: A Democratic Alternative to Capitalist Corporations -- Frank Lindenfeld, Bloomsburg State University

Applied Sociology and Organized Labor: On Going Better Together -- Art Shostak, Drexel University





Politics on Campus: The Janitors and the Sociologist -- Corey Dolgon, Worsester State College

Safety from Personal Violence -- Empathy and Listening -- Hal Pepinsky, University of Indiana

Coming Full Circle: A Restorative Justice Partnership -- Darrol Bussler, South St. Paul Restorative Justice Counci, Mark E. Carey, Minnesota Department of Corrections, and William Du Bois, South Dakota State University

There Are No Secrets Here: Secrets and Privacy in Juvenile Group Homes -- William Du Bois, South Dakota State University



Marriage is for Life -- Sidney M. Jourard

Parenting without Controlling: Caring for the Relationship -- William Wagner, Minnesota State University, Mankato



Sport is Too Important to Be Just a Game -- Martin Miller, Iowa State University


Creating Grass-roots Change through Service Learning -- Barbara Carson, Minnesota State University, Mankato

Tramp Training: Constructing a Service Learning Program in Homeless Intervention -- R. Dean Wright, Drake University



Caring for Each Other: Churches, Public Health and Community -- Gary Gunderson, Interfaith Health Program of Emory University



Surviving as an Applied Sociologist -- Pat Sheehan, Adult Protective Services Investigator

The Sociologist as Artist -- William Du Bois and R. Dean Wright




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