An ethnographic study of marital equality.
Scott R. Harris develops an interactionist, interpretive approach to studying equality in social life by synthesizing the theoretical perspectives of four founding figures in interactionist, social constructivist thought—Herbert Blumer, Alfred Schutz, Harold Garfinkel, and John Dewey. He focuses on equality in marriage by examining the stories people tell about their equal and unequal marriages, and compares those tales to what researchers have had to say on the subject. Challenging conventional understandings of equality, Harris demonstrates that social scientists in general tend to impose interpretations of inequality onto their respondents' lives, rather than respecting and studying the meanings that people live by.
Scott R. Harris is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Saint Louis University.