Sociology of Self-Knowledge: Course Topic as well as Pedagogical Strategy

Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge

Volume III • Issues 1&2 • Spring 2004 / Fall 2005

Journal Editor:
Mohammad H. Tamdgidi, UMass Boston

Issue Guest Editor:
Khaldoun Samman, Macalester College


This Fall 2004/Spring 2005 (III, 1&2) double-issue of Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge demonstrates the extent to which the sociology of self-knowledge as advanced by this journalfrom its inception can serve as both a course topic as well as a pedagogical strategy in teaching sociology and related subjects. The issue includes student papers of various faculty at UMass Boston and a symposium of student (and faculty) papers organized by Khaldoun Samman from Macalester College. Samman had earlier taken the step of turning his senior seminar into a course on the sociology of self-knowledge and encouraging his students, all graduating seniors at Macalester, to subject their own lives and “troubles” to their sociological imaginations. The student papers included in the issue as a whole are highly demonstrative of how self and socially critical and liberating the sociology of self-knowledge can be. Authors use a variety of class and outside readings, as well as films and documentaries, to explore in-depth currently unresolved issues in their lives, while making every effort to move in-depth to relate their personal troubles to broader public issues. Contributors include: Deborah D’Isabel, Claudia Contreras, Katherine Heller, Rebecca Tink, Caitlin Farren, Haing Kao, Harold Muriaty, Rachel A. DeFilippis, Lee Kang Woon, N.I.B., Sharon Brown, Jennifer Lambert, Anonymous, Jorge Capetillo-Ponce, Khaldoun Samman (also as journal issue guest editor), Ellen Corrigan, Jeremy Cover, Jesse Mortenson, Jessica Sawyer, and Mohammad Tamdgidi (also as journal editor-in-chief). Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge is a publication of OKCIR: The Omar Khayyam Center for Integrative Research in Utopia, Mysticism, and Science (Utopystics). For more information about OKCIR and other issues in its journal’s Edited Collection as well as Monograph and Translation series visit OKCIR’s homepage.

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To read individual contributions of this volume that are freely accessible online, please click on the title of each contribution in the table of contents below.


vii—Editor’s Note: “Sociology of Self-Knowlege: Course Topic as well as a Pedagogical Strategy”
Mohammad Tamdgidi, University of Massachusetts Boston

1—The “Difference” A Red Face Makes: A Critical Sociology of Bullying in Capitalist Society
Deborah D’Isabel, University of Massachusetts Boston 

11—The Tension of Opposites: Issues of Ethnicity, Class, and Gender in My Identity Formation
Claudia Contreras, University of Massachusetts Boston

21—My Choice of a Lifetime: “Finding True Love” in a Sociological Imagination
Katherine Heller, University of Massachusetts Boston

33—Beyond Bifurcation: Femininity and Professional Success in a Changing World
Rebecca Tink, University of Massachusetts Boston

41—A Different Voice, A Different Autobiography: Letting My Authentic Voice Speak
Caitlin Farren, University of Massachusetts Boston

49—The Overdose of Shame: A Sociological and Historical Self-Exploration
Haing Kao, University of Massachusetts Boston

59—My Life So Far: A “Work” in Progress
Harold Muriaty, University of Massachusetts Boston

67—Intersections of My Lesbian, Feminist, and Activist Identities: Problems and Strategies in Everyday Impression Management
Rachel A. DeFilippis, University of Massachusetts Boston

79—Socialization of Transnationally Adopted Korean Americans: A Self Analysis
Lee Kang Woon, University of Massachusetts Boston

85—“Housing Project” In Comparative Perspective: Opportunity or Stigma?
N.I.B., University of Massachusetts Boston

93—Religion, Gender, and Patriarchy: Awakening to My Self-Conscious Resocialization
Sharon Brown, University of Massachusetts Boston

103—Beyond the “Goods Life”: Mass Consumerism, Conflict, and the Latchkey-Kid
Jennifer Lambert, University of Massachusetts Boston

109—Hooped Dreams: Internal Growth, External Stagnation, and One Man’s Search for Work
Anonymous, University of Massachusetts Boston

117—Contrasting Simmel’s and Marx’s Ideas on Alienation
Jorge Capetillo-Ponce, University of Massachusetts Boston

123—Working Outlines for the Sociology of Self-Knowledge
Mohammad Tamdgidi, University of Massachusetts Boston


137—Sociology of Self-Knowledge at Macalester College
Khaldoun Samman, Macalester College

141—The “Out” Crowd: Resisting the Stereotypes of High School and Teen Culture
Ellen Corrigan, Macalester College

153—My Performed Identity
Jeremy Cover, Macalester College

159—Identity Resistance and Market-based Political Culture at a Small Liberal Arts School
Jesse Mortenson, Macalester College

183—Go West Young Turk: Personal Encounters with Kemalism
Khaldoun Samman, Macalester College

193—Confessions of a Maine-iac: The Family, Academia, and Modernity
Jessica Sawyer, Macalester College

205—Contributors & Abstracts