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Manufacturing Tales
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 212

Manufacturing Tales

Discusses the creation and diffusion of contemporary urban legends and explores their recurring themes of money, sex, and popular anxieties

Shared Fantasy
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 283

Shared Fantasy

This classic study still provides one of the most acute descriptions available of an often misunderstood subculture: that of fantasy role playing games like Dungeons & Dragons. Gary Alan Fine immerses himself in several different gaming systems, offering insightful details on the nature of the games and the patterns of interaction among players—as well as their reasons for playing.

Kitchens
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 328

Kitchens

Kitchens takes us into the robust, overheated, backstage world of the contemporary restaurant. In this rich, often surprising portrait of the real lives of kitchen workers, Gary Alan Fine brings their experiences, challenges, and satisfactions to colorful life. A new preface updates this riveting exploration of how restaurants actually work, both individually and as part of a larger culinary culture.

Morel Tales
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 336

Morel Tales

In this thoughtful book, Gary Fine explores how Americans attempt to give meaning to the natural world that surrounds them. Although nature has often been treated as an unproblematic reality, Fine suggests that the meanings we assign to the natural environment are culturally grounded. In other words, there is no nature separate from culture. He calls this process of cultural construction and interpretation, naturework. Of course, there is no denying the biological reality of trees, mountains, earthquakes, and hurricanes, but, he argues, they must be interpreted to be made meaningful. Fine supports this claim by examining the fascinating world of mushrooming. Based on three years of field res...

With the Boys
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 304

With the Boys

What are boys like? Who is the creature inhabiting the twilight zone between the perils of the Oedipus complex and the Strum und Drang of puberty? In With the Boys, Gary Alan Fine examines the American male preadolescent by studying the world of Little League baseball. Drawings on three years of firsthand observation of five Little Leagues, Fine describes how, through organized sport and its accompanying activities, boys learn to play, work, and generally be "men."

Players and Pawns
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 288

Players and Pawns

Whether your chess career culminated in grandmaster status, or ended (repeatedly) in your or your brother's hurling the board and pieces across the living room, nearly all of us learned to play the game at one point or another. And chess tournaments, like spelling bees, are strangely captivating phenomena, bringing hundreds--sometimes thousands--of people together to watch two men sit silently at opposite sides of a table, occasionally moving a game piece. Gary Fine examines the social forces that bring these people together, not just in tournaments but in chess clubs, elementary and high school programs, college teams, and more. He finds that the chess players create a soft community,” an...

Knowing children
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 88

Knowing children

When studying children too often it is assumed that "our" view of the world will be their view of the world. Knowing Children explores this lofty assumption and explodes various myths that researchers commonly hold about children. Using the assumptions that minors are knowledgeable about their world and that the worlds of minors are special and noteworthy, Fine and Sandstrom explore the worlds of children and demonstrate that adults can greatly benefit from studying their worlds through the use of qualitative research methods. In this insightful volume Fine and Sandstrom present timely methodological statements on doing participant observation with children. Drawing on case studies of childr...

Tiny Publics
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 236

Tiny Publics

If all politics is local, then so is almost everything else, argues sociologist Gary Alan Fine. We organize our lives by relying on those closest to us—family members, friends, work colleagues, team mates, and other intimates—to create meaning and order. In this thoughtful and wide-ranging book, Fine argues that the basic building blocks of society itself are forged within the boundaries of such small groups, the "tiny publics" necessary for a robust, functioning social order at all levels. Action, meaning, authority, inequality, organization, and institutions all have their roots in small groups. Yet for the past twenty-five years social scientists have tended to ignore the power of gro...

Authors of the Storm
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 552

Authors of the Storm

Whether it is used as an icebreaker in conversation or as the subject of serious inquiry, ''the weather'' is one of the few subjects that everyone talks about. And though we recognize the faces that bring us the weather on television, how government meteorologists and forecasters go about their jobs is rarely scrutinized. Given recent weather-related disasters, it's time we find out more. In Authors of the Storm, Gary Alan Fine offers an inside look at how meteorologists and forecasters predict the weather. Based on field observation and interviews at the Storm Prediction Center in Oklahoma, the National Weather Service in Washington, D.C., and a handful of mid western outlets, Fine finds a ...

Difficult Reputations
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 264

Difficult Reputations

We take reputations for granted. Believing in the bad and the good natures of our notorious or illustrious forebears is part of our shared national heritage. Yet we are largely ignorant of how such reputations came to be, who was instrumental in creating them, and why. Even less have we considered how villains, just as much as heroes, have helped our society define its values. Presenting essays on America's most reviled traitor, its worst president, and its most controversial literary ingénue (Benedict Arnold, Warren G. Harding, and Lolita), among others, sociologist Gary Alan Fine analyzes negative, contested, and subcultural reputations. Difficult Reputations offers eight compelling historical case studies as well as a theoretical introduction situating the complex roles in culture and history that negative reputations play. Arguing the need for understanding real conditions that lead to proposed interpretations, as well as how reputations are given meaning over time, this book marks an important contribution to the sociologies of culture and knowledge.