Stanford M. Lyman's Sociology of Race and Ethic Relations: Conundrums of Color and Culture

Kivisto, Peter
June 1995
International Journal of Politics, Culture & Society;1995, Vol. 8 Issue 4, p597
Academic Journal
Attesting to the centrality of what W.E.B. DuBois referred to as the "color line" in American social life, race relations has occupied an important subdisciplinary space in sociology during the past century, from the institutionalization of the discipline in the late nineteenth century to the present. This essay is an attempt to locate the work of Stanford M. Lyman within this tradition. This is not an easy task for two reasons. First, what author referred to as a tradition is far from unified, entailing as it does a complicated set of political orientations, theoretical perspectives, and methodological approaches. Second, Lyman is not a theoretical system builder and, like the fox rather than the hedgehog, has refused to confine his empirical research to one discrete aspect of the larger topic. Instead, in a large and expanding corpus, he has given his sociological imagination free rein. Beginning over 30 years ago, Lyman has been publishing in the discipline on matters related to race relations in America. Several years before his initial publication in a sociological journal, his first published work on the "responsibilities of ethnic groups" appeared in a Chinese American newspaper.


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