Sex Roles

, Volume 60, Issue 3–4, pp 298–300 | Cite as

Fitting It All In: Balancing Depth, Breadth, and Brevity

The Sociology of Gender: A Brief Introduction, 2nd ed., Laura Kramer, Los Angeles, California, Roxbury Publishing Company, 2005. 227 pp. $44.95 (paperback). ISBN: 1-931719-13-6
  • Toni Calasanti
  • Amy Sorensen
Book Review

The inherent difficulty in writing (or reviewing) a book on gender for classroom use lies in striking a balance between the needs of scholars and teachers, with their interests in particular topics, and students, often mainly concerned with accessibility. Some of the major texts in the field, such as Margaret Andersen’s (2009) or Michael Kimmel’s (2008), include an incredible amount of relevant information. But the extent to which students (versus faculty) understand the nuances or retain the knowledge contained therein is a different question. This tension is all the more apparent when one is writing a text that intends to be an overview that is rich enough to give a firm grounding and yet concise enough to not get bogged down in lengthy details. The challenge is to decide how much attention to a topic is sufficient to do it justice, knowing that one will sacrifice some complexity. In such a book, scholars and teachers may feel some of the discussions are insufficiently nuanced,...


  1. Andersen, M. L. (2009). Thinking about women: sociological perspectives on sex and gender (8th ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon (with Hysock, D.).Google Scholar
  2. Blair-Loy, M. (2001). Cultural constructions of family schemas: the case of women finance executives. Gender & Society, 15, 687–709.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Hochschild, A. (1989). The second shift. New York: Viking.Google Scholar
  4. Kimmel, M. S. (2008). The gendered society (3rd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyVirginia TechBlacksburgUSA

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