Holi festival 2013. Photo by Olivia Drake MALS ’08.

Alex Kotlowitz ’77 reviews sociologist’s debut

by Caroline MacNeille '16

[Alex Kotlowitz '77]Author and journalist Alex Kotlowitz '77 reviews sociologist Alice Goffman's debut: On The Run: Fugitive Life in an American City for the New York Times Book Review. He praises the young sociologist’s work as "revelatory and sobering” while identifying the questions it poses to society going forward: "The question we now need to ask is clear: How do we emerge from the wreckage left by a public policy that posited young black men as the enemy?"

“On the Run” is, first and foremost, a remarkable feat of reporting. Its author, Alice Goffman, a young sociologist, had an ethnography assignment for an undergraduate class at the University of Pennsylvania, and she, the daughter of the renowned sociologist Erving Goffman (1922-82), didn’t take it lightly.

The level of detail in this book and Goffman’s ability to understand her subjects’ motivations are astonishing — and riveting. Indeed, it’s a power of “On the Run” that her insights and conclusions feel so honest to what she’s seen and heard. She depicts a community where trust has evaporated.

Ultimately, what Goffman experienced living alongside these men is both revelatory and sobering. The question we now need to ask is clear: How do we emerge from the wreckage left by a public policy that posited young black men as the enemy?

Read more…

Image: c/o Chicago Now

Share this link: wesconnect.wesleyan.edu/news-20140826-alex-kotlowitz

Alex Kotlowitz will discuss threats facing higher education with President Michael S. Roth '78 and NBC Correspondent John Yang '80 on Sept. 11 in Chicago. Learn more and RSVP

Related links

[Facebook]Alex Kotlowitz on Facebook ➞

Don't have a Facebook, but want to comment? Email us.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Native Son at the Court Theatre Native Son at the Court Theatre

The world premiere of Native Son in Chicago and an exclusive talkback with the actors. Hosted by Larry Schulman '78 and Charlie Newell '81. Use your Wesleyan discount!

View all Events…