Professor Lorne Tepperman has decided that it is time to bring academic, university-level sociology to a new audience: namely, to community college students. Doing so requires new writing strategies that include collaboration with community college instructors, easier-to-read writing, and the extensive use of visual aids to communicate complicated sociological ideas in simple ways.
Already, this initiative is starting to bear fruit: last summer, Tepperman’s new book on social inequality (co-authored by Humber College Professor Jennifer Ball) The Stacked Deck, came out. A second book, this one on social problems and co-authored with two University of Toronto graduate students (Cinthya Guzman and Ioana Sendriou), titled Picturing Society, has just come back from review and is being prepared for production. A third book, this one a general introduction to sociology co-authored with Sara Cumming (Professor of Sociology at Sheridan College) and provisionally titled Puzzlebox, is going into revision with a 2018 publication date. All of these books are under contract to Oxford University Press.
The hard work, says Professor Tepperman, lies in finding ways to compress and explain powerful sociological insights in ways that people want to understand. Doing this requires a procedure and mind-set quite different from what we associate with the production of conventional scholarly journal articles; but the process also keeps reminding us of the reasons why sociology was invented in the first place.