Lewis Anthony Dexter may well have been one of the better known and least appreciated political scientists of the last century. This outstanding collection of Dexter's writings, demonstrates why Dexter remains important. The volume off ers solid reasons for researching the topics Dexter pioneered, and is a masterful guide to his thought and analyses.
sociology, political science, and practicing social science. Dexter's notions of what constituted sociology and anthropology and his understandings of these areas and how to use them to illumine political matters are unusual. His use of multiple types of evidence, including history and logic, enables him to make significant contributions to the study of society's response to social problems. His work on labeling theory shows that social labels have a power that both transcends and distorts reality. Dexter was also a pioneer in the interactionist perspective, linking the labeled and those doing the labeling, and in demonstrating how organizations tend to compartmentalize and specialize.
Dexter's work provides the analytic tools to enable readers to better understand many of the issues that remain a part of the American political landscape.
Pt. I. Sociology -- 1. "Be Not the First" -- 2. A Dialogue on the Social Psychology of Colonialism and on Certain Puerto Rican Professional Personality Patterns -- 3. Heredity and Environment Reexplored: Specification of Environments and Genetic Transmission -- 4. Toward a Sociology of the Mentally Defective -- 5. A Social Theory of Mental Deficiency -- 6. On the Politics and Sociology of Stupidity in Our Society -- 7. The Sociology of the Exceptional Person -- 8. Toward a Sociological Analysis of Policy: Relevance ... Attention ... Perspective -- Pt. II. Political Science -- 1. What Do Congressmen Hear: The Mail -- 2. The Representative and His District -- 3. Where the Elephant Fears to Dance among the Chickens -- 4. Organizational and Political Climate -- 5. Court Politics: Presidential Staff Relations as a Special Case of a General Phenomenon -- 6. Undesigned Consequences of Purposive Legislative Action: Alternatives to Implementation -- Pt. III. Practicing Social Sciences -- 1. Causal Imputation and Purposes of Investigation -- 2. Role Relationships and Conceptions of Neutrality in Interviewing -- 3. A Note on Selective Inattention in Social Science -- 4. The Good Will of Important People: More on the Jeopardy of the Interview -- 5. On the Use and Abuse of Social Science by Practitioners -- 6. Impressions about Utility and Wastefulness in Applied Social Science Studies.