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Dorothy Smith is considered one of the most original sociologists and theorists of our time, and her writings have attracted much attention in Europe and the US as well as in Canada. This collection of original essays, written by scholars who worked or studied with Smith, exemplifies Smith's approach to social analysis.
Each author takes an empirical approach. Some analyse texts (the maps and documents of land-use planning, photographs, an influential history of British India, reports of a task force on battered women); some draw on interviews (with clerical workers, with Japanese corporate wives), while others (an AIDS activist, a teacher of adult literacy, a social worker) reflect on personal experiences. In each case we are introduced to specific themes in Smith's approach. The essays put Smith's method to work in diverse ways and in the process offer intriguing insights into their topics.
This tribute to Smith's empowering contribution as a thinker and teacher reveals how empirical studies can illuminate concepts usually presented in the abstract. As the first compilation of applications of Smith's methodology, this is a landmark work in the developing field of the social organization of knowledge.