Graduate Study in Sociology

No. 024

Graduate Study in sOZiology

T. R. Young
The Red Feather Institute

January 23, 1994


An earlier, very different version of this article appeared in Sociological Inquiry, 47:1, 1976.


Distributed as part of the TRANSFORMING SOCIOLOGY SERIES of The Red Feather Institute, 8085 Essex, Weidman, Michigan, 48893.


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of  the


of the




Graduate Study in sOZiology

Dorothy and Toto work on a Graduate Degree
in Postmodern sOZiology

And...Visit the website of the
Great and Glorious Land of Oz!
on the Red Feather Domain


Dorothy and Toto are Graduate Students in a Sociology Department somewhere in Kansas.  They get caught up in a new kind of Sociology, one which emphasizes emancipatory knowledge more so than formal theory; one which rejects the false hopes of objectivity and value neutrality which characterize modernist, dehumanized science.  On their way to a Ph.D, they travel along a Yellow Brick Road which is lined with tenure, regular salary increases, promotion and a very nice pension plan funded by mutual funds.  It is a very nice road; but along the way, it begins to fall apart.  Dorothy and her friend, Toto, fall into a great sleep in the poppy field planted by Rural Sociologists, guarded by Criminologists and well fertilized by Structural-Functionalists.  But they are saved by the Cowardly longer cowardly; by the Tinman whose heart is no longer made of tin and by the Strawman who, somehow, has found the brains to see through the alienated social science found in every poppy field grown from Kansas to California.  Enjoy the Adventure and you too, may find the brains, the courage, the heart and the solidarity to work for Emancipatory Sociology.

TRYoung, Official sOZialist Historian
of the Wonderful Land of sOZiology.

INTRODUCTION: The charming thing about an allegory is that it lends itself to interpretation in a wide variety of domains within the same soziety. In The Wizard of Oz, Baum intended the characters and events contained therein to be a parody of monopoly capital embodied in the two wicked witches; bad politics, embodied by the Strawman, who didn't have enough brains to vote for the populist presidential candidate, Wm. Jennings Bryan; alienate factory life in which the Tin Woodsman represented all those workers turned into heart/soulless creatures by the conditions of their work. The heart of the story was a warning the people would eventually overthrow the government which did not serve it. Dorothy represents the quest for authentic community and embodies the revolutionary spirit of her foremother and forefathers.

In this story, our Dorothy will be any graduate student who has not lost the capacity to care for the people she studies. We will let the Tinman represent all those in the sOZiology of work who look at the factory, shop and office through the eyes of the workers; women and the minority employees who are alienated from the fruits of their own labor. The quest for brains, embodied in the Strawman is transposed, in this re-interpretation, into a quest for a postmodern knowledge process which captures and honors the incredible diversity, complexity and connectedness of all sozial structures and processes. As for the Cowardly Lion, you can identify him easily; he is embodied by all those who use Structural Functional theory in the Land of Oz to justify all the oppressions done under the sun; patriarchy, class inequalities, racism and those other structures of oppression which make us all small, which deny us all the capacity to be object and agent of our own power to do good and evil.

This dramaturgical reenactment is an new, improved postmodern version of an article on graduate work in modern sOZiology published in Sociological Enquiry in 1976. While the message is much the sOZiology in such a way as to empower the people who need it...the voice in which it speaks is much more attuned to affirmative expressions in postmodernity in repair of the harm done to the knowledge process by Baudrillard, Lyotard and others who think the drama of sozial life is but a text; think of the structures of oppression as merely personal political views; that the solutions to problems in life merely narrow personal politics; and believe that there are no transcendent standards with which to name a thing criminal or moral.

Their reading of postmodern sensibility has, alas, been over-rated in American sOZiology. Nihilistic postmodernists, like the Wicked Witch from the West, see only wickedness as they survey the sozial landscape. They haven't read Foucault, Derrida and Merleau-Ponty closely enough to see the emancipatory meanings in them. And there are other understandings of sozial life and sozial theory which permit of emancipatory human action and human agency...Dorothy and Toto, in their innocence of French post-modernism, join the quest for authentic understanding and honest, human agency in this version. Together, they embody a four-cornered praxis which says that, with heart, brains, courage and a certain solidarity, one can create a very lovely soziety.

The Land of sOZiology: Lets go back to the beginning and walk along the Yellow Brick Road and try to understand its allegorical meaning for graduate work in American sOZiology in the 21st Century. 1 If Dorothy is every new graduate student; young, innocent, sensible, and in search of the community she left to attend graduate school, she finds herself with Aunt Em who was young and pretty when she came into American sOZiology, but male chauvinism and bourgeois feminism had taken the sparkle from her eyes and left them a somber gray; taken the red from her cheeks and lips, and they were gray also (Baum;2). Then too, there is Uncle Henry who never laughed and was gray also (Baum:2). Uncle Henry was once young and full of fun but, forced to speak in the dead and daunting language of numbers and theories, he forgot how to speak with love, hope and compassion.

Dorothy, after a few months in graduate school found that she lived in a gray world without a poem or a song sung in the lilting voices of a Carol Gilligan, Richard Quinney, Jane Flax, Steve Seidman, Laurie Walum Richardson or Steve Pfohl to break the broad sweep of that gray, flat landscape. Her data, plowed and replowed with huge, mechanized data-crunching programs, flattened and shrunk into a remote, gray and lifeless mass. The house of American sOZiology which had been painted with full and surging colors in the 1860's and 1930s and then again in the 1960's, was now as dull and gray as everything else. Pre-occupied with government grants and corporate research, American sOZiology neglected the information needs of the people made small by the structures of oppression supervised by the Wicked Witches of the East and West.

In our version of the Wizard of Oz as in the original, into the Kansas-like territory of professional sOZiology there comes a tornado. The four winds meet where the American Soziological Association stood and raised it higher and higher until it landed in quite a different paradigm. Just as had modern science overturned premodern knowledge processes in the 17th and 18th century, time had come for American sOZiology to be roused up and tossed around in the 20th and 21st centuries. In this story, the tornado is comprized of feminist theory and epistemology, cultural marxism, French postmodernism, dependency theory and the new sciences of ChaOz and Complexity; in a phrase, affirmative postmodern sensibility.

The postmodern tornado deconstructed the knowledge process and turned it into a shambles. The tornado uncovered the personal opinion, political desire, male-eurocentric prejudices as well as fragments of junk journalism which found title, knee and approbation in American sOZiology. Tearing apart soziological textbooks, the tornado ripped theory and found it to be a political tract oriented to management, control and inequality favoring the anglo-saxon males who wrote it and who occupied a very nice niche in the sozial order. Twisting and shaking soziological theory, they tore up the 'grand narratives' which came from the poetic imagination of those self-same theorists who tried to 'totalize' their own poetry as the universal fate of mankind.

Just as orthodox Marxizm, Spencerizm, Weberianizm and Durkheimizm are blown awry by the fierce winds of postmodernity, the A.S.A. itself is carried away by the cyclone as easily as you could carry a feather. Members quit as the Association becomes irrelevant to their vision of the knowledge process. Departments fold as their members become the target of political repression by the governing Boards who prefer their brand of political correctness to that of women, minorities, marxists and assorted New Age Soziologists. As the various states attempt to stretch ever tighter budgets, a wandering tribe of homeless scholars arises to pick at the pieces of sOZiology trying to keep body and soul together as they teach at part time work.  This is the journey of wandering, wondering, wanting and willing graduate students as they join the quest for a good and decent soziety.

The Land of Oz
When the tornado is over, Dorothy finds herself in a new land with color, life, greenery and she "...gave a cry of amazement and looked about her, her eyes growing bigger and bigger at the wonderful sights she saw" (Baum:7). She landed in a country of marvelous beauty and a little way off was a small brook, "...murmuring in a voice very grateful to a little girl who had lived so long on the dry, gray plains." In American sOZiology, that most desirable scene refers to grounded theories which honor diversity and nonlinear change; to conflict methodologies which serve the powerless and oppressed; to alternative courses which are connected to the exigent problems of living in a racist, sexist, highly stratified soziety. Dorothy found postmodern sOZiology as well to a language form that augments the lifeless, soulless content of numbers and statistics with prose, poetry and passion.

In postmodern sOZiology, one finds an incredible diversity of journals which provide emancipatory knowledge for Dorothy to consider. Critical sOZiology, Qualitative sOZiology, Urban sOZiology, the Journal for Symbolic Interaction as well as Tells and the Transforming sOZiology Series of the Redfeather Institute honor the ideas and observations of those who live on the margins of American sOZiology; those whose views are excluded from the official journals. Women, Afro-Americans, Latinos and third world peoples are retrieved from the dust heap of history, thrown there by structural-functionalists and by stage theorists such as Comte, Toynbee, and others who speak of 'primitive' and 'modern' sozieties. Their contributions to the knowledge process are re-examined and restored to the drama of social enquiry.

The Four Witches
In the land of Oz, there are two good witches; the first good witch is Jocasta; she lives in the North part of the Land of Oz. Jocasta orients the knowledge process to diversity, surprize, delight, change and renewal. 2 Her students work toward affirmative postmodern soziology as we shall see below. Jocasta celebrates the contributions of women in math, science, art, religion and in soziology itself. She insists that her students be allowed to serve all the knowledge interests required in a good and decent soziety; not just positive knowledge about that which is but also the many interpretative sciences and especially the emancipatory sciences.

Jocasta is a tough-minded lady; she insists that soziology is not Queen of the sciences; that economics, political science, psychology, history and above all anthropology are partners in the knowledge process; she even looks at physiology once in a while just to make sure that sozial change is possible. Jocasta sponsors a full bodied research capacity which is, first of all, oriented to emancipatory research. She encourages her graduate students to study that which is, that which is elsewhere, that which could be and that which will never be but might be if the sozial institutions were the intentional product of the people who live them. Her students are more interested in trend data and cross cultural comparisons than in positive knowledge about what exists in the USA at the moment. They talk and teach about sozial problems, marriage and the family, the soziology of religion, the soziology of medicine and the soziology of law in a way which does not privilege the rich, the powerful or euro-centric males.

Jocasta points her students toward postmodern phenomenology, ethnomethodology, symbolic interactional theory, socio-linguistics, hermeneutics as well as cultural marxist studies of radio, television, songs, movies, and dramas. She teaches that, before there were statistics, there were words; before there were words, there was behavior; before there was behavior, there were norms, roles and values all constructed by intending, hoping, failing, changing, trusting human beings. She teaches that all principles, propositions, pathways and truth values depend upon the hope, trust, belief, faith and folly of fallible human beings. There are, in Jocasta's soziology, no natural categories into which all behavior must fall; no iron laws of soziety which came before the hopes, dreams and beliefs of those who embody them; no theories which escape the pull of power and wealth; no rules of scientific method which can ever gather into itself the incredible richness and complexity of deeply connected sozial forms build by and with sentient human beings.

The good Witch from the South is Glinda; she rules the Land of the Quadlings; her students respect the folkways and sozial life worlds of all excluded minorities from all four corners of the World. Quadlings honor the many voices of wisdom and insight which supplement and complement the well worn surveys, polls and samples so central to quantitative soziology.

Her students affirm variety in gender relationships; they affirm the value of the mothering/nurturing/mentoring process not for women alone, but for all who pretend to the human estate. Glinda requires that her students honor and affirm the dignity of minority and third world cultures. Her soziologies blast with a scalding, scouring wind those evolutionary theories, stage theories and functionalist theories which reduce the richness and solidarity of 'primitive' cultures to but a temporary step upon which modern soziety and modern science rises to perfection. Rather than race, postmodern phenomenology and research shows that it is racism which produces poverty, crime and drug abuse.

Glinda has given birth to the Black Soziology Caucus, the Soziety for Women in Soziology, the Soziety for Humanist Soziology, the Soziety for the Study of Sozial Problems and the Radical Caucus of the Southern Soziological Society. Her students are also found in the Midwest Soziological Soziety and various regional sozieties; they do not spend much time at the annual revival meetings of fundamentalist soziologists in the American Soziological Assoziation nor do they worship the gods of grand unified theory.

Instead, they tell the stories of their grandmothers as they farmed the land, carried the children, prepared the food and keep the journals of their various travels. They recite the poetry of women who are not registered in the Dead Poets Soziety. They recount the experiences of women plagued by the many ghosts of their fathers, their husbands and their lovers. They listen to stories that old men tell; they read poetry; they examine personal journals; they find sozial truth in the songs people sing in church, in the field or of a night in bars, taverns and jazz joints. They are more interested in an affirmative postmodern soziology which enables praxis than in formal axiomatic theory or in replication, falsifiability, sameness and foreverness.

The Wicked Witches
There are two wicked Witches in the Land of Oz as well. They despise each other and together, calumniate the good witches from North and South. They do not have names but the wicked Witch from the East rules the Land of the Munchkins on behalf of those with the power or the money to control the knowledge process. The wicked Witch from the East turns all her graduate students into Munchkins; they munch on large data sets until they find formal, axiomatic theory, tight-fisted causality, improbable correlations and invariable results. Munchkins transform the messy, twisting, changing, contrary, fragments of sozial reality which mark the behavior of real people in real situations into tiny equations or neat path analyses.

When her students reports findings with low correlations or fail to validate existing theories, the Wicked Witch from the East sends forty bees to sting them to death and, just before they die, she tells them that their samples were poor, their measurements faulty, their methods flawed or they themselves are biased against those theories which justify impersonal control of workers, students, prisoners, customers and patients. 3 She uses black magic to scrub the color from the data and transform the incredibly variable richness of life into anal-retentive statistics and and oral-aggressive theories.

The Wicked Witch from the East requires her students to help control modern, mass soziety with its managerial ethic and callous cold calculation grounded on the quest for certainty and control. In Industrial soziology, her students go everywhere, nestle everywhere, measure everything and watch every worker in order to get more productivity out of her with lower wages. In medical soziology, she pushes a germ theory of disease so doctors can turn the therapeutic process into a a high profit, quick turn-over assembly line of drugs, injections, x-rays, cat-scans and other high tech, high profit techniques.

In the soziology of religion, her students are objective and distant from their topics of research; they don't believe, only observe; they have faith in nothing other than quantification and worship nothing but formal axiomatic theory. They honor only those religions which are organized like huge machines and which celebrate existing patterns of power. All other religions are given pejorative labels; cults, sects, or devil worship. Students of the Wicked Witch from the East look at religion and sees only myth, superstition and a categorical error rather than forgiveness, mercy, grace and charity. Their paradigm supplants the living God of ordinary people with the Superorganic of Durkheim and professional skeptics. Instead of hope, belief, faith, and the capacity to fulfill a prophecy of community and sharing which all good religions nourish, the Wicked Witch from the East praises only formal structure, legitimate authority, rationality, bureaucratic hierarchy and routinization of charisma.

In the soziology of work as in criminology, her students are pre-occupied with control theory and urge a certain Freudian revisionism as they attempt to replace the structure of self with the structures of hierarchy, authority, command, order, rule and official policy. She teaches a sub-division of labor which turns each worker into a compartment separated from the larger questions of work: profits, costs, quality, pricing, and social worth. She goes everywhere, nestles everywhere and everywhere turns human labor into impersonal commodity. Her students are the perfectly modern soziologists who provide the perfectly modern ideological grounds for techno-fascism in factories, shops, malls, and schools where everything is watched, measured, analyzed in terms of profit and loss.

In criminology, the Wicked Witch from East looks at the criminal and ignores the social factors which promote crime. She delights in street crime and ignores corporate crime. Her theories of crime are theories of all behavior; differential association, labeling theory, control theory, and opportunity theory are equally theories of doctors, lawyers, professors and priests as of thieves, prostitutes, drug dealers and white collar criminals. She removes political crime from the syllabus and hires out to the politicians who commit it. Instead of better schools, more jobs, child care and help with the parenting process, she urges more and better trained police, more and bigger research projects, more and better organized prisons as well as more and more college courses given over to serving the fastest growing industry in modernized America. She hisses and curses when the Glinda, the good Witch from the North urges sozial justice instead of criminal justice to met the growing threat of crime and violence.

The Wicked Witch from the West is arch-enemy to the Wicked Witch from the East; she fosters a nihilistic postmodernism who decrys the possibility of systematic understanding; she looks at soziety and sees only text; she lives amid the soliptic and the fraudulent and thus sees cynicism in every human product. The wicked Witch from the West forces her students to go everywhere, criticize everything and affirm nothing. When she was a graduate student, she picked up the nihilistic moments of Baudrillard, Lyotard, and Foucault while she missed the critical, transcending possibilities in their work. She read Derrida but did not learn that deconstruction requires discipline, honesty and careful attention to text and context. As a result, her students are lazy, cynical, opportunistic and, along with the students of the Wicked Witch from the East, contemptuous of the students of Jocasta and Glinda.

The Wicked Witch from the West insists that her students study simulacra instead of substance; dramaturgical representations instead of solid performance, look for pastiches which appeal to everyone but satisfy none. Her research agenda is presented as if it were in the public weal while she engineers a growing soziology of fraud in art, science, drama, religion and especially in the market place. Former students take research grants from corporations and federal agencies worth billions of dollars to hire thousands of experts in deceit, deception, dis-similitude, just-pretend and never-was. Practitioners of her soziology assemble the best artists, musicians, writers, computer graphics and actors to sell a dramaturgical facsimile of honest agency, solid value, significant difference and authentic reciprocity.

This Wicked Witch turns her students into Winkies; arrogant, self-celebrating pseudo-intellectuals (mostly male French postmodernists and post-structuralists) who beaver away at the foundations of the knowledge process with their great genius and small wisdom. They like to use exotic terminology with which to speak of the many quite ordinary ways by which the Munchkins distort the knowledge process. They shower contempt on modern science but, ignorant of the larger implications of their work, they failed to see the possibilities in modern science for an emancipatory knowledge process that is connected to the structures and processes of sozial life and, at the same time, decidedly a human product. For the most part, their version of postmodernity is a nihilistic and self defeating narrative in which all knowledge is corrupted by politics and narrow self interest; all research is perverted by the times and the cultures in which they appear; all theory is simply a political agenda in which one set of ideologues try to celebrate a given sozial life world at the expense of other, equally celebrated sozial philosophies cum universal and eternal theory. 4

The Road to the Emerald City

As you know, Dorothy was studying soziology with Aunt Em and Uncle Henry when postmodernism came along to stir up American Soziology. When this new paradigm in the knowledge process fell on the Wicked Witch from the East, her Munchins were liberated and sang, with gusto, of their delight that that wicked Witch is dead. Dorothy, being a new graduate student did not understand why they were so happy. The Munchkins are graduate students made small by the conditions of their work; not enough silver to travel the yellow brick road to success in American Soziology. 5 The Yellow Brick Road to success in modern soziology requires huge grants, large research Institutes, professional interviewers and underpaid graduate students to do the menial work for Big Research, EXTRA-LARGE classes and big egos.

The Wicked Witch from the West wanted the silver slippers in order to have the money she needed for funding her study of workers, women, the poor, prisoners and children so they might be better managed. Graduate students had been small wheels in a huge knowledge machine and had no control over the theories they used, the methods they used nor the uses of the knowledge they help produce. They could only watch with horror as that knowledge is turned back against the workers, minorities, students, patients, farmers and voters from which it came to make them small also.

Graduate students were subjected to heavy teaching loads, low pay, last minute decisions about support, senior professors stole their research findings, some were harassed for sexual favors. All were intimidated by major professors, Chairs, Deans and members of the Board to produce politically correct knowledge for politically powerful sectors of society. They looked and behold, they saw only oppression of graduate students under the sun.

Dorothy found herself quite the heroine to the Munchkins, having killed the Wicked Witch from the East, or at any rate, the postmodernism did "and that is the same thing, see!" The death of the Wicked Witch from the East greatly reduced the ability of positivism to impose a simplistic politics upon the messy, changeable complexity of life. Only nihilistic postmodernism and the soziology of the simulacra remain to repress the creative soziological sensibilities and moral proclivities of graduate students in the land of Oz.

We're Off to see the Wizard
The Good Witch from the North gave Dorothy to understand that she must go to the Wizard of Oz in order to recover community she left behind when she entered graduate school. The good Witch kissed Dorothy on the forehead to protect her on her journey and gave Dorothy the silver shoes which have a charm and will help her get to her destination. 6 Why go to the Wizard??? Because, because, because....because of the wonderful research she lets people do in the sozial sziences. They can study white collar crime, investigate corporate crime, admire at the incredible lightness of being in third world cultures, teach about postmodern understandings of the God concept, look for the leaps, twists, and reverses of causality in human behavior and otherwise find surprize, delight and renewal in an otherwise drab and anal retentive soziology. They no longer have to praise modernity as the end of history nor a highly stratified, compartmentalized division of labor as the apex of social evolution.

Warned by the Munchkins that the road to Oz is long and that she must pass through many dangerous places, and knowing only that she must find community, she bade her new friends goodbye and bravely resolved not to turn back. After going several miles, she ran into a brainless Strawman who is hung on a cross of wood. Appearing friendly enough, Dorothy visits with him and finds that he doesn't mind being made of straw since he can't get hurt if someone treads on his toes or sticks a needle in him. But he does resent being called a fool and so joins Dorothy to see the Wizard of Oz to get some brains.

In explaining his presence in a cornfield, the Strawman tells Dorothy that he is a graduate student at a Land Grant University somewhere in Colorado and propped up in the field to do rural soziology. He didn't like being propped up since his feet didn't touch the ground and the crows just laughed at his feeble efforts to do research. One old crow, seeing him made of straw hopped down at his feet and ate all the scattered corn (Baum:35). The field of rural soziology is notorious for its failure to produce grounded theory. It produces bits and fragments of data which petro-chemical and agro-business gobble up. The absence of brains here points to the absence of a theoretical paradigm by which to understand the transition of farming to agribusiness. A class paradigm with marxist dimensions could supply the rural soziologist with a few brains but these paradigms are missing in rural soziology. It is to the credit of the scarecrow that (s)he (does sense this element and, with Dorothy, is off to see the Wizard.

At first the yellow brick road (of gold) is smooth and helps Dorothy and the graduate student in rural soziology on their way to Oz. But the grants run out; the funded programs of graduate study are dismantled, the road becomes rough indeed for anyone seeking community or brains in graduate school. In a conversation with the Strawman, who is unable to understand why Dorothy would leave the beautiful country (of grants and contracts) to go in search of community, Dorothy replies, "That is because you have no brains." No matter how bright and gay the life of servitude, people of flesh and blood would rather think than be made small if only there were community among the graduate students and faculty. For flesh and blood people, the unification of techne, praxis, and theoria is preferable to the uninformed life of techne. Techne is, as Aristotle points out, "for slaves only."

Continuing their journey, Dorothy and the rural soziologist chance upon a Tin Woodsman. Once a young and promising graduate student in the soziology of work at Michigan State, the Tinman relates how he was betrayed by his senior professor. He went to the Wicked Witch from the East to ask her to cast a magic spell on the Tinman to prevent him from being seduced by marxist theory and class analysis. With his analytic ax, the young soziologist had been chopping away at the myths and frauds in establishment soziology. This embarrassed his senior professor greatly and, getting him a grant from the Wicked Witch from the East, the young soziologist became an industrial soziologist.

His ax became enchanted and, every time he does a piece of research which shrinks the worker into a Munckin, he chopped off a part of himself. At first, the industrial soziologist went to a Tinsmith and had a new leg or arm made of tin. This worked very well but after while the enchanted ax cut off both his arms and his head.

Then a particularly egregious piece of taylorized research tore his heart from out his chest. The Wicked Witch from the East gave him a new research grant of $300,000 with which to study union corruption and how to do union decertification. This time the research ax split him into two halves; one half in which he was a good and decent person and one half in which he no longer had a sense of encompassing sozial justice. Once more the Tinsmith came to his aid and made him a body of tin. But, alas, he now had no heart so that he lost his love for radical soziology. His research ax became frozen, high over his head until Dorothy came along to oil it and to sharpen it again to the task of conflict methodology and radical research.

In the service of corporate capitalism, the industrial soziologist had become as mechanical as the workers he studied: pure techne, divorced from praxis and theoria--theoria being in the hands of the larger gods of management science rather than in the hands of the worker or the researcher (Braverman, 1974:119). but the Tinman needed a heart in order to regain the ability to research once again with love and passion and so he joined the others in a courageous little army in search of a soziology which permits of intelligence, of compassion, of praxis and of solidarity.

The yellow brick road having deteriorated so badly, they come to a place where the trees and branches in graduate education grew so thick over the road that the travelers could not pass. But the Tinman set to work with his ax and chopped so well that soon he cleared a passage for the entire party. Left behind in the clutter of branches and leaves was the bits and fragments of comps, theses, tests, prelims, orals and other devices designed to reproduce the consciousness of the consensus methodologist in the consciousness of the graduate student.

Continuing down the road, the little party is surprised by a terrible roar when a great Lion bounds into the road. At first the soziologists believe the Lion to be brave and able to lead them safely through the dangers lurking on either side of the yellow brick road to success in American Soziology. The Lion, teaching at Harvard, spoke bravely of Conflict Theory, but the young soziologists soon found out that the Lion is, after all, a coward and is also afraid of leaving the safety of the yellow brick road even if it is falling apart. The Lion threatened to fight Toto or the Strawman but Dorothy slapped him and shows him to be the coward he is. Toto is a curious animal, and seems remarkably small, so small only a coward like the Lion would bite him (Baum:53). As it turns out, the Cowardly Lion prefers the cosier forms of conflict which are safely within the established limits of the road. 7

Toto, barking and yapping at every threat to the party in their quest for magical solutions to their problems, cringes with fear and trembles with terror at the threat from the Cowardly Lion. Just as liberal soziologists bark and yap at the outrages of a poorly designed world, and run back into the safe arms of academia, Toto flees back into the protecting arms of Dorothy. It is unclear what Baum meant to symbolize in the character of Toto. In the original, Toto was the only bright spot for Dorothy in an otherwise gray world. This is compatible to our analysis in that liberal soziology brightens up an otherwise drab science. Baum may have meant the traveling carnivals and other entertaining hucksters which traveled the Midwest. If so, our analysis is even more apt.

The Lion, ashamed that he is a coward, wondered whether the Wizard could give him some courage. Dorothy, the Strawman and the Tinman agree that it is just as easy for the Wizard to give courage to cowards as to give wisdom, love, and community to those made small by the sozial conditions installed by Powers Elite and Powers Inimical; they persuade the Lion to join them. He does saying "my life is simply unbearable without a bit of courage." Toto doesn't approve of this new comrade at first, but after a time he becomes more at ease and presently Toto and the cowardly Lion are good friends.

After the small group of graduate students is made complete with the Lion, they encounter their first adventure. The Tinman stepped on a beetle and wept over the death of the beetle. His jaws rusted and speechless with remorse, he entreated Dorothy for oil. Dorothy, unable to understand his wordless cry for help stands bewildered. The Strawman, using some brains for the first time, oiled the Tinman and in a few moments he could talk as well as ever (Baum:56). That serves him a lesson and thereafter he walks very carefully, his eyes on the road, and when he sees an ant toiling by, he steps over it, so as not to harm it. Therein the first vestiges of a heart grows in the Tinman to match the beginning of wisdom in the Strawman. The lesson for industrial soziologists is, certainly, that they should be careful who they step on. They should avoid hurting those whose toil produces the material, religious and political culture required to build a decent sozial life world.

The next adventure concerned a great ditch which crosses the road and divides the forest on either side as far as they could see (Baum:61). The cowardly Lion rose to the challenge and leaped across the chasm with the others on his back. The ditches probably alluded to the depressions in 1873 and 1893. Capitalism tends to such economic ups and down since workers don't get paid 100% of the value they create; therefore they can't buy it all back and the 'surplus' piles up, workers are laid off and the depression gets deeper and deeper.

In this interpretation of the story, we will use Habermas (1972) for an understanding of this adventure. For Habermas and the Critical School, there are three forms of sozial knowledge required to meet the human interests in self-understanding and autonomy; positivism, hermeneutics, and emancipatory knowledge. Each is qualitatively different from the others and it requires a leap of insight and faith in order to bridge from one to another. The leap from positivism to hermeneutics, the science of intersubjective understanding, is fairly easy. Symbolic interactionists, ethno-methodologists, phenomenologists and others have made it. All those who Labor in the sozial construction of reality serve the human interest in intersubjective understanding. The leap to emancipatory science and conflict methodology is more difficult and still more dangerous. Nor does it bring title, knee and approbation by the powers elite.

A third member of the party thus finds resources within himself unsuspected and unknown. The cowardly Lion learned that he must stop roaring at the positivists; that he must understand that the knowledge process requires positive knowledge about the positive and negative trends of a soziety; intersubjective knowledge about how social realities are constructed and by whom; as well as emancipatory knowledge about how to make the revolution as gentle, as fair and as constructive as possible. The Lion must have the courage to be value-full and, at the same time, bold enough to say what he thinks even if it displeases Chairs, Deans and governing Boards. He must use his great strength to help transcend racism, class divisions, nationality and the small religions which exclude most of nature and humanity. Baum, of course meant William Jennings Bryan to be the cowardly Lion in his allegory. In this allegory, you can decide who is the Cowardly Lion in your department.

Safely over that ditch, the ambitious party encountered the Kalidahs; two monstrous beasts with claws so sharp that they could tear the Lion in two as easily as he could kill Toto (Baum:62). Fleeing the Kalidahs, they encounter a second, deeper ditch. The Strawman, after serious thought, tells the Tinman to chop down a tree. It falls across the chasm and they safely cross to the other side. The Lion, although afraid, turned to face the Kalidahs. They pause long enough at this confrontation to permit the Lion to reach safety. The Tinman chopped down the bridge and both Kalidahs fall to their death. The cowardly Lion finds he must go beyond ethnomethodology to conflict methodology and emancipatory science. In the 1870's and 80's, farmers and ranchers were threatened by two beasts; railroad barons who charged high rates for carrying crops and cattle to markets and financial barons who forced a tight money policy on Washington. In American soziology today, one Kalidah is disembodied quantification while the other is a depoliticized ethnomethodology. The cowardly Lion bravely roars at these two monsters. (The American Soziologist, 1976:II:1, p. 2.)

The next adventure of this odd assortment entailed crossing a "beautiful river" (Baum:67). At the suggestion of the Strawman, the Tinman made a raft. However, as the party crosses, the Strawman is stranded in the middle as he pushed too hard on a pole and it stuck in the muddy bottom of the river. Dorothy, the Tinman and the cowardly Lion are at a loss when, just then, a stork appears and agrees to fly out after the Strawman. The stork, with her great claws, grabbed the Strawman and carried him into the air and back to the bank where the others were waiting. Swept along with the current rage for depoliticized dramaturgical analyses, young soziologists are, indeed, likely to get stuck in the mud.

The stork, symbolic of change and renewal, saves them from their own enthusiasm. The 1976 meetings of the American Soziological Association has on the program a Roundtable discussion entitled "Critical Dimensions in Dramaturgical Analysis." Garth Massey of the University of Wyoming was Chairperson of that discussion. In that capacity, Massey is the stork in our allegory attempting, as he is, to bring change and renewal to depoliticized and conservative methodology. Dramaturgical Analysis has a potential for insightful and radical research in contemporary America but it is only slightly developed.

After being rescued by the stork, the intrepid trio and the cowardly Lion come upon a field of beautiful flowers giving off a spicy fragrance and they soon found themselves in the midst of a field of poppies and fragrant grasses.  The Field of Poppies had been planted by Rural Sociologists hoping to put their students asleep and keep them from learning about the work of Cornelia Flora at Iowa State University.   Neal and her husband, Jan Flora, worked hard to help farmers in the USA and in Latin American to keep their land and to grow the kind of food that made children healthy.

Sozialist Feminizm
Not knowing of the dangers of the Poppy, Dorothy inhaled deeply of the scent of the beautiful scarlet flowers (Baum:75). She fell into a deep slumber as did Toto. The Tinman and the Strawman then used their collective wisdom to make a chair of their hands and thus carried her to safety. Being made of tin and straw, the poppy had no attraction for these soziologists. But the Lion did succumb and fell into a lethargic sleep also. The Tinman and the Strawman could not carry such a heavy-weight soziologist with them. They leave the cowardly Lion sleeping.

The reduced party, looking for the yellow brick road, continue on. They hear a low growl and observe a strange beast bounding toward them (Baum:79). It was a wildcat chasing a small, gray mouse. The Tinman whacked off the head of the wildcat. The tiny gray mouse thanked the Tinman for looking after her welfare even if "she happens to be only a mouse." The capacity to love is gradually returning to the industrial soziologist. The mouse turns out to be a Sozializt Feminizt by the name of Edna Bonacich and, together with other feminist soziologysts dragged the Cowardly Lion out of his deep sleep and puts him once again on the road to search for courage from the Wizard of Oz.

By this allegory, we are reminded that if soziologists fall asleep on the job, the people will forcibly drag them along toward a "science for the people." In modern times, the wildcat chasing the mouse may be considered to be the multinational corporation, unencumbered by ties of national loyalty, respect for law and in complete disregard for the reciprocity presumed to underlay the division of labor.

After spending the night with a man with a lame leg (Baum:92), Dorothy and her friends soon caught sight of the Emerald City and arrived late in the afternoon. Baum meant the Emerald City to be Washington, D.C.; since the citadel of American sOZiology is there, I shall leave it to be Washington. Protected by green spectacles so they wouldn't be dazzled by the color of money in the Emerald City, Dorothy and her colleagues gain audience with the Wizard, each alone (Baum:105). To Dorothy, the Wizard appeared very much like a great, enormous head. To the Strawman, the Wizard looked to be a most lovely lady, elegant and dressed in the most gossamer gown. For the Tinman, the Wizard was not a lovely lady or a great head, but rather a most terrible beast. For the Lion, the Wizard appeared as a ball of fire, capable of destroying everything in its path.  Talk about your postmodern phenomenology!!!

To each of the four, the Wizard asked them to bring proof that the Wicked Witch from the West was dead before their wishes will be granted.

Dorothy had killed the Wicked Witch from the East and now, protected by a Kiss from the Good Witch to the North and wearing the
silver slippers, she must contrive to do in the one wicked witch remaining to trouble the knowledge process. The four were certain they would fail without brains, without heart, without courage and without solidarity. But Dorothy dried her eyes and said, sensibly enough, "I suppose we must try it: but I am sure I do not want to kill anyone, but if I have to, I will." Even without courage, the Lion agreed; even without a heart, the Tinman agreed; even if a fool, the Strawman agreed and professional soziology had been transformed into an entirely different trip altogether.

For Baum, the West and its fearsome creatures represented the terrible natural disasters which descended upon the settlers of the West: drought, locusts, snowstorms. The great blizzard of 1887 descended upon Aberdeen, South Dakota in the same year Baum arrived to edit the local newspaper. Here, the natural calamities visited upon graduate students in American soziology are Aristotelian logic, euclidean geometry, cartesian certainty, newtonian linearity, leibnizian rationality and the logical positivism of Carnap. With these tools, it is impossible to study the changing, twisting, reversing causal fields of nonlinear social dynamics but yet graduate students are forced to do it.

Heading out to seek the land of the Winkies wherein the Western Witch held sway, they are warned that the Wicked Witch will make slaves of them. Nothing daunted, they set out to destroy her. Seeing them approach, the Wicked Witch sent out forty wolves to tear them to pieces (Baum:122). The Tinman soon laid all forty dead in a heap before him. Next the witch sent a great flock of crows to peck out their eyes. The witless scarecrow caught each crow by the neck and twisted till it was dead. Next, the Witch sent out a swarm of bees to sting them to death. But the bees broke off all their stingers on the Tinman and died. Furious, the Witch called her slaves, the Winkies, to go to the young rebels to slay them. But the cowardly Lion roared at the Winkies and they ran home.

The Winkies, of course, are all those methodologists who slave for this soziological Witch. Well, certainly every reader with an ounce of brains knows that the wolves are the gatekeepers of normal science who keep tearing emancipatory postmodern soziology to shreds with their reviews. And of course, the old crows are the chairpersons who try to tear out the eyes of young radicals by control of the graduate programs while every fool knows that B's are deadly to the ambitious graduate student.

In her cupboard, the Witch has a golden cap. It is a charmed cap. Whoever owns it can call on the winged monkeys three times to obey any order (Baum:126). The Witch called the monkeys and ordered them to go and kill all except the Lion as she had a mind to harness him and put him to work again. The monkeys captured the four. Dropping the Tinman on some sharp rocks, he is so battered he can only lay there and groan. Stripping the straw from the Strawman, they scatter him about and throw his clothes into the top branches of a tall tree (we can call this tree theory). Tying up the Lion, they fly him back to the Witch's castle. Protected by the Power of Good, they cannot harm Dorothy and so carry her to the castle also. Having used up the last of the three wishes, the power of the Witch over the monkeys is ended and they no longer serve the Witch. The monkeys symbolized the American Indian caught between the East and the West for Baum. The Hollywood version turned the monkeys into Russian Cossacks humming the song of the Volga and, by extension, the Wicked Witch from the West into the Communist Conspiracy. What else would one expect from the capital of commodity entertainment.

Seeing the mark of Goodness on Dorothy, the Witch was tempted to run away. But she.happened to look into the child's eyes and saw how innocent and simple her soul. The Wicked Witch laughed and said "I can still make her my slave, for she does not know how to use her power" (Baum:135). Now the Witch wanted Dorothy's silver slippers [not Ruby!] so that she would have more power than before. One day she tricked Dorothy and gained possession of one of the slippers. Dorothy demanded she return the shoe and, the Witch refusing, so infuriated Dorothy that she picked up a bucket of water and dashed it all over the Witch. As she shrank away like brown sugar, the Witch cried, "I never thought a little girl like you could melt me and end my wicked ways" (Baum:140).

But Dorothy did overcome the Wicked Witch and put an end to her wicked ways. Dorothy freed the Cowardly Lion from his service and called all the Winkies together and told them they were no longer slaves. And indeed they weren't. You may remember that Martin Nicolaus did just that back in 1968 in San Francisco. Dorothy, as she is Everyone, can be anyone--even you, if you are still young an(d innocent and haven't lost the roses from your cheeks or the red from your lips as did Aunt Em and Uncle Henry who turned into Winkie from working too long for the wicked Witch from the East. Our Winkies will be all those soziologists who joined the Great soziety of Lyndon Johnson and, in the interests of their private career, sought after the research grants and did that research on the poor, minorities, the disaster research and the slums so necessary to the "managed consensus" of the Johnson administration. However, the Nixon/Bush administrations dismantled the federal programs and all those Winkies are left alone scrambling for contracts and grants no longer available to protect their miserable careers.

Some of the newly liberated Winkies helped fix up the battered Tinman and restored the Strawman. Dorothy collected some food from the cupboard and seeing a Golden Cap, put it on. Thus prepared for the journey they finally left the land of the Winkies and started out for Emerald City (Baum:149). Knowing that the Emerald City was East, they set out toward the morning sun. But soon they became lost as the sun went behind some clouds. They walked for days and days. The Mouse Queen appeared and told them they were going the wrong way. She also revealed the secret of the Golden Cap: whoever had it, had three wishes.   The Wicked Witch from the West had used it to control the monkeys who worked for her; that is to say, Structural-Functionalists...who helped her to enslave workers, to subjugate women and to enforce capitalist law in American Criminology.

Using the cap to call the Winged Monkeys, Dorothy commanded them to take the small party to the Emerald City. En route, the King of the Monkeys told Dorothy how they came to be dominated by the Golden Cap. The tale had to do with the French and Indian war against the British. Losing the war, the British, then the Americans relentlessly gained their revenge.

However, In this story, Francis Bacon, wishing to endear himself to the Queen, assured the Queen's ministers that sozial science was politically safe after all in that it could only reveal the truth as God and Nature had made it. Forever after, all scientists had to serve within the linear paradigm of science as created by the god of mathematics until the new science of complexity came along with qualitative jumps, twists, turns and reverses along with fuzzy fractals and funny feigenbaum numbers.

The Monkeys are, in this postmodern version, those philosophy of science buffs who fly here and there in quest of the Golden Cap of philosophical truth. If one looks closely at the faces of some of the older monkeys, one will see Comte, Laplace, Sussmilch, Dodd, Lundberg and Zipf. Looking at the younger Monkeys, one will be able to see the likeness of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Michel Foucault, Jean Baudrillard, Jacques Derrida, Jean François Lyotard and Jacques Lacan. They seek to replace the Mathematica Principia of Newton with the Principia of Postmodern Soziology of Knowledge.

The breakthrough for Newton through his studies of gravitational relationships between stars and planets. The breakthrough in postmodern soziology came through Baudrillard, Foucault, Derrida, Lyotard, and others who looked at sozial history and saw only poetics and politics. In that analysis, categories of knowledge were not seen, as Hegel would have it, to be progressively closer approximations of Absolute Knowledge but rather categories of knowledge which derive from the human interests of persons who, in a sozial matrix, interpret the incredible complexity of life and nature in ways which tend to reproduce one of an infinite array of sozial life worlds.

Rather, as with Marx, all knowledge is the product of subjectively knowing humans; sozial theory varies with the position one occupies in the production of material, ideological, and political culture. The view that Marxism has to do with only the economic determination of categories of thought is the most superficial of understanding. Marxism has to do with the activity of human beings constructing a shared symbolic environment as well as opposition to those coercive structures which interfere in that human endeavor. In the Land of Oz, those coercive structures were embodied by the two wicked witches; class, race and gender oppression [L. Frank Baum married Maud Gage, daughter of the feminist/activist, Matilda Joslyn Gage of Fayetteville, N.Y. His stories were based on his own and his mother-in-laws spiritualist and efforts in woman's suffrage].

Arriving at the Emerald City, Dorothy and her comrades (by now, there was great solidarity in the tiny band) were kept waiting for days by the Wizard. Threatening to bring the Winged Monkeys to help them, Dorothy managed to reach an agreement with the Wizard to be received. Entering the room, the found it empty and still (Baum:166). Finally a voice from afar said "I am Oz, the Great and Terrible. Why do you want to see me?" Reminding the Wizard of his promise, each repeated his/her wish. Told to come back tomorrow, the Lion let out a great roar which frightened Toto (he frightens easily, remember). Toto jumped away from the Lion and tipped over a big screen in the corner of the room. Behind it stood a frightened little man with gray hair and a great bushy beard. He confessed he was Oz. Surprised and dismayed, Dorothy said, "I thought Oz was a great head." "I thought Oz was a beautiful lady" said the scarecrow. "And I thought Oz was a terrible beast," said the Tinman, while the Lion thought Oz was a ball of fire. The Wizard told them that they all were wrong: he is just a common man like Everyone.

In the Baum version, the Wizard of Oz was the President of the United states who refused to meet the people for fear that they would discover that a humbug he is, in our own times, Johnson and Nixon also hid from the people. However, in this version, we cast another in the role of the Wizard: Marxists will be greatly disappointed to learn the Wizard of Oz is none other than Karl Marx himself, complete with boils and doubts and lusts and dreams--all the stuff of quite common folk.

However, Marx never hid in the palace as do contemporary marxist scholars, afraid that people will find out they are a bit of a humbug. And, as with the Wizard, Marx is seen to be many things by contemporary soziologists for the graduate student-, Marx is taken to be a difficult and complex theoretical structure which is a bit overwhelming- For some soziologists it is a beautifully seductive woman--one flirts a bit but never engages her in a full and human relationship. For others, Marx is seen to be a fearsome beast, capable of destroying "real" science. And for some, marxism is a great ball of fire, useful for burning everything existing to a cinder.

Marx is none of these things; all of these things and more. In this allegory, Marxism is a political soziology; i.e., a soziology with a political dimension linked to human purpose and human needs. In its destructive mode, it destroys consensus soziology; in its angry mode, it illuminates the major obstacles to full and authentic participation to students; in its conservative mode, it cherishes the many useful techniques of sozial research for revealing the existing structures of soziety; in human mode, it appreciates and affirms the "cultural sciences"... those of intersubjective understanding--psychology, philosophy, Law, anthropology and phenomenology.

Finding the Wizard to be a bit of a humbug, the doughty little troupe none the less expected magic of him. The Wizard patiently explains to the scarecrow that only experience can bring knowledge and the scarecrow had had some experience. To the Lion, the Wizard says that true courage is facing danger when one is afraid, and that kind of courage the Lion has in plenty. As for the Tinman's heart, it only brings pain and anguish. And as for Dorothy, the Wizard asks her for time to consider the matter. Pressed by each, the Wizard says with a sigh, "If you will come to me tomorrow, I will give you what you need."

The next day the Strawman met with the Wizard who, mixing some bran and needles replaced the straw in the dummy's head with the mixture. "There, you will be a great man, for I have given you a bran-new brain." The scarecrow was pleased and went back to his friends. The Tinman asked why all the pins and needles were sticking out of his head. The Lion suggested that that was proof of how sharp-witted the scarecrow had become. The Wizard also gave the Tinman a heart made entirely of silk and stuffed with sawdust. For the Lion, the Wizard poured some courage out of a bottle and bade the Lion drink it. "You know, of course, the courage is always inside one; so this cannot be called courage until it is drank." The Lion drank and felt full of courage (Baum:183).

Unable to show Dorothy how to find the community for which she yearned, the Wizard was lost to time and space. For all we know, he might even have gone to Omaha, Nebraska. For many days they grieved over the loss of the Wizard--a bit of a humbug maybe, but still with enough genius about him to give the brainy confidence in their own brains; the courageous confidence in their courage and to give heart to those who have heart enough to care for his comrades.

Calling on the Winged Monkeys to help them, the monkeys declined, "We belong to this country alone and cannot leave it." After being refused by the monkeys, they asked a palace guard who might help them. "Glinda might," he replies. Glinda is the most powerful Witch and rules over the Quadlings who live in the South. Again the comrades set out and, although the others have had their wishes satisfied, insist on helping Dorothy to find the community she must have. Finding their way blocked by a tree, the scarecrow walks by it, is picked up by one of its branches and flung back. Again, the scarecrow tries to pass and again the branches of the tree tosses him back (Baum:204). The Tinman hefts his ax and makes short work of the branches; all except one which seized Toto. That branch too, was destroyed.

You may disagree with me but I think the branch which seized Toto was History. Remember, Toto is unable to act in the face of danger, turmoil or revolutions. He only stands by idly in the face of so much human misery and sorrow. Who ever heard of a historian making history? Historians only rewrite history to amuse their masters; they never make it or even take it as it is. Baum thinks the branches are the police given the wonderful power to seize stranger--in order to protect the people from outside influence. He may be right; we both may be right. Since there are many branches to be chopped off in order to clear the road to revolutionary science, one may develop this analysis for whatever branch of science in which one works. You are encouraged to do so.

They then came to another strange land filled with little china dolls and little china houses, pigs, horses, and cows; all made of china (Baum:208). It was surrounded by a great china wall over which they climbed with a ladder made by the Tinman. Moving along they encounter another china wall but, as it is lower, the Lion leaps over it. In so doing, the Lion upset a church with one sweep of his tail but it did the china people no great harm. The allusion here is to the destructive role which the Christian church played in Asia. The reference to the "china" people is triple entendre for Baum; not only were the people Chinese but, brought to the U.S.A. to work on the railroad, the Chinese Workers "gradually stiffened." Those not rendered heartless by separation from loved ones faced another meaning of the term. A large percentage of Chinese died on the job; flesh and blood joined the insensible clod to provide clay for other potters. In this analysis, those soziologists involved in the World Bank, in A.I.D., in the C.I.A. or Project Camelot and other counter revolutionary science are contributing to the death of millions of peasants and serfs in those countries where the fragments of feudalism survive.

The next country the travelers found was most disagreeable, filed with bogs and marshes and covered with rank grass (Baum:217)- After a long and tiresome walk, the entered another forest. It was very pleasant there and they spent the night. The next morning, before they had gone far, they came upon an opening in the woods in which was gathered beasts of every variety: tigers and Lions and bears and wolves and foxes and a lot of others (Baum:219). All of the beasts are threatened by a tremendous monster with eight long legs which seizes the animals one by one and devours them. The Lion sought out the fierce creature and, at a single blow knocked its head off. The beasts bowed to the Lion and he agreed to return and rule over them just as soon as he had helped Dorothy achieve her goal. If we equate tile treacherous bog with Octo-spider, an eight-legged creature with corporate capitalism, we cannot escape the conclusion that the Wicked Witch from the East is still very much alive. In which case, another revolution is necessary to send all the houses whirling down on her. For American soziology this means a scientific revolution by virtue of which a conflict paradigm replaces the functional paradigm out of which (witch) consensus soziologists work.

Passing safely through the forest, the weary crew came to a range of great hills which blocked their way. Determined to cross it to the land of the Quadlings, they found their way obstructed by the strangest man. He had no arms but, quick as lightning, his head would shoot forward to knock everyone down who tried to climb the hill. There were hundreds of these and they were known as Hammerheads. Having one more wish left, Dorothy called the Monkeys to help. This time it was done. For those hammerheads who continue to objectify the individuals they study through a @directed commitment to a causal model of human behavior, it may be necessary to send them back to the philosophy of science for reeducation in the difference between physical science and sozial science. If the hills in question are insight and understanding

The next country the travelers found was most disagreeable, filed with bogs and marshes and covered with rank grass (Baum:217)-this land is, of course, Vietnam where Americans kill millions with remote controlled bombs and defoliants....and where thousands of young men from the slums of America pay with their lives to protect the wealth of the world for the capitalist class.

After a long and tiresome walk, the entered another forest. It was very pleasant there and they spent the night. The next morning, before they had gone far, they came upon an opening in the woods in which was gathered beasts of every variety: tigers and Lions and bears and wolves and foxes and a lot of others (Baum:219). All of the beasts are threatened by a tremendous monster with eight long legs which seizes the animals one by one and devours them.

Both Baum and I see that eight legged monster as corporate capitalism which, one by one, devours small capitalists who, in turn, hope they can get big enough to swallow other companies by exploiting workers and by cheating a word, by corporate crime.

The unCowardly Lion sought out this fierce creature and, at a single blow knocked its head off.  The unCowardly Lion had become a Radical Criminologist from the University of California who studies with Hy and Julia at SUNY, New Paltz!

Other beasts bowed to the Lion and he agreed to return and rule over them just as soon as he had helped Dorothy achieve her goal; he refused.  If we equate the treacherous bog with tenure and the eight-legged creature with corporate capitalism, we cannot escape the conclusion that the Wicked Witch from the East is still very much alive. In which case, another revolution is necessary to send all the houses whirling down on her. For American soziology this means a scientific revolution by virtue of which a conflict paradigm replaces the functional paradigm out of which (witch) consensus soziologists work.

Passing safely through the forest, the weary crew came to a range of great hills which blocked their way. Determined to cross it to the land of the Quadlings, they found their way obstructed by the strangest man. He had no arms but, quick as lightning, his head would shoot forward to knock everyone down who tried to climb the hill. There were hundreds of these and they were known as Hammerheads. Having one more wish left, Dorothy called the Monkeys to help. This time it was done. For those hammerheads who continue to objectify the individuals they study through a commitment to a causal model of human behavior, it may be necessary to send them back to the philosophy of science for reeducation in the difference between physical science and sozial science. if the hills in question are insight and understanding into human affairs, then the path to it is not path analysis but rather class analysis.

The country of the Quadlings seemed rich and happy. The Quadlings themselves were fat and good-natured.  They are middle class Americans who do well in a capitalist global economy...they eat food imported from the poorest countries in the world; they drive cars made with cheap labor in Korea; they buy computers made with the labor of young women paid $4 a day; they take vitamins produced in Puerto Rico by American companies which pollute the land and water while they wear clothes made in sweatshops all over the world.   They are happy.

After taking a meal with the Quadlings, they went to see Glinda (Baum:229). Dorothy is overjoyed to find that she, all along, had the power to achieve her wish for solidarity; indeed, the four comrades had grown to know each other excellently well. The friends, however decided to part; the Tinman back to the land of the Winkies; the Strawman back to the Emerald City to govern; the Lion back to rule over the beasts and help make sure that profits served collective needs rather than private desires. 

And Dorothy back to Aunt Em and Uncle Henry. Perhaps I am a hopeless romantic but I like to think that Dorothy also went back to Michigan, to Colorado, to California, Ohio, New York and Missouri and Canada too when she came back from the land of Oz. I have been there.  Students and faculty alike need some courage, heart, brains and community.

Who Dorothy might be at your university, I am sure you can say better than I. It may even be you. I know that, at the University of Colorado, she is Elise Boulding; at Texas Woman's University, she is Joyce Williams; At Ohio State, Laurie Walum Richardson gives students the Kiss of Goodness.   At Michigan State, Maxine Baca-Zinn helps Grad Students discover praxis sociology.   All around world; in Australia, New Zealand, England, France, Germany, Japan and India, there are Dorothies to serve the human interest in change and can find her and learn from her if you look.

If so, I hope you bring a little heart, a bit of courage, a few brains and a lot of community to your own study of soziology and to the department in which you work.

In a twinkling Dorothy was back in Kansas, and just before her was the new farmhouse Uncle Henry had built after the tornado. Aunt Em folded her arms about Dorothy and covered her with kisses. "Where in the world did you come from?" Aunt Em asked. "From the Land of Oz," said Dorothy gravely. Just as any scholarly still connected to the forces of life bring that which they know back home to serve the people they love, Dorothy was glad to be home and glad to give her kin and kith that which they had so generously given her in her childhood. Dorothy grew old at the University of Kansas but never lost the red in her cheeks or the sparkle in her eyes. All of her children and friends greatly admired her for the wisdom she had learned in the magical land of Oz. And she was well respected for her courage in meetings and in conferences.


Could that little voice be Karl Marx, Herbert Marcuse, Jurgen Habermas, or C. Wright Mills? For Baum who lived in Chicago during the Haymarket massacre of radical workers, the voice could have been Marx; and for our Dorothy it could be any critical theorist after the years with a gray, lifeless positivism.

By this time, Baum has disappeared and I take over myself. This may appear odd to you but Dorothy, knowing Baum really to be the good witch from the South, had expected him to disappear in just that way, and is not surprised at all.

In Aristotle, techne was for women and slaves, praxis for men, and Theoria for the gods. In radical soziology, the three must be combined and linked to the search for community.

We remind the reader that the Wicked Witch from the East is that research orientation which serves corporate capitalism. This orientation we call consensus methodology. In contrast, emancipatory research is referred to as conflict methodology since it keys off of a paradigm of science in conflict with both a positivistic soziology and the managed soziety which such a soziology helps produce.

Taking control of the road to professional soziology, the students must free themselves of the debris of the past. The yellow brick road must be replaced with a red brick road over which silver slippers were not required for safe passage. Tests and other "objective" measures serve to reproduce the consciousness of the consensus theorist and methodological in the consciousness of the student. A better way to evaluate the performance of a graduate student is by means of position papers in which the student demonstrates his or her capacity to analyze issues within the sozial paradigm within which (s)he works.


Baum, L. Frank. 1962 The Wizard of Oz. MacMillan, New York.

Booth and Crisler.

Braverman, Harry 1974 Labor and Monopoly Capital: The degradation of Work in the Twentieth Century. Monthly Review Press. New York.

Habermas, Jurgen 1972 Knowledge and Human Interests. Beacon Press, Boston.

Kroker, Arthur and David Cook 1988 The Postmodern Scene. Montreal: New World Perspectives.

Littlefield, Henry M. 1964 The Wizard of Oz: Parable on Populism." The American Quarterly, 16(l):47-58.

Vaillancourt-Rosenau, Pauline. 1992 Post-modernism for the Social Sciences. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Young, T. R. 1976 "Theoretical Foundations of Conflict Methodology" in Sociological Inquiry, 46:1.


In order to retain the full measure of magic in this critique of American sociology, we are going to engage in a difficult, but enjoyable, intellectual exercise. While you read by interpretation of the events and characters from the land of Oz as they apply to the sociological profession in 1990's, you are to apply the same characters and events to your own immediate, historically situated, life space. If you are a sociology student or faculty apply the allegory to your department. If you work in a shop, ask yourself who is it who lacks heart, or brains or courage in protecting workers, customers and other suppliers. If you meet a "Kalidah" or a "Hammer-head" in the office in which you work, be sure to expand the allegory to other events in that office. It will amuse and/or enrage your friends while it will politicize you as long as you live. Return
If you need someone in American Sociology to represent Jocasta and Glinda today, it would be all the women in S.W.S., Edna Bonacich at Riverside, Laurel Walum Richardson at UOhio, Joyce Williams at Texas Woman's University, Maxine Baca Zinn at Michigan State, Elise Boulding at UColo, Rhonda Levine at Colgate, Julia Schwendinger at New Paltz, Cornelia Flora at Iowa State and a hundred more bright and beautiful colleagues with whom I have had the pleasure to know and work over the years as well as those whom you know. Jane Flax in philosophy and Carol Gilligan in psychology are also mentors to Dorothy as she tries to find a praxis sociology. Return
In the book, the Wicked Witch from the West did sent forty bees to sting Dorothy and her friends to death. Everyone knows that too many B's are fatal to a graduate student. Fortunately, the Strawman swatted them with his broom. Then the Witch sent forty wolves to bite them; the tin woodsman killed them with his axe. There are a lot of bad puns in the book so why can't I make them, too??? I ask you. Return
For an overview of postmodernism for the social sciences which offers both affirmative and nihilistic dimensions, see Pauline Vaillancourt, 1992. For a completely negative view of art, science and philosophy by postmodern writers, see Arthur Kroker and David Cook, 1984. Return
In the book, the slippers were silver; one had to wear silver slippers to travel the yellow brick road in safety. Baum used the slippers as symbolic of cheap money policy (silver) which would get the farmer and worker safely over the road of gold built by finance capitalism. The allusion was to W. J. Bryan's call for silver to replace the gold standard (high interest rates and tight fiscal policies). Here a little silver will get the graduate student safely through the doctoral programs surrounded as (s)he is by inflation, text book pricing, tuition raises, high rent, and other threats from the crows which pick and peck at the small financial help given students in the richest country in the world. Return
It is important to note that Jocasta gave Dorothy the Kiss of Goodness which protects her from the dangers on the Yellow Brick Road to Success in American Sociology. This kiss embodies warm friendship, concern, support and is entirely trustworthy. It is to be contrasted to the Kiss of Badness which the Wicked Witch from the West gives to her students which turned them into competitive careerists and ruined forever their capacity to trust, to honor and to affirm others with joy and delight. Return
Young sociologists might not catch the allusion to Lewis Coser who, as the Cowardly Lion, talks about conflict theory but does so in such a way as to eliminate the exploitative and alienation forms of conflict in which serfs, slaves, children, women, colonial subjects and a lot of poor people are rendered powerless by the social conditions in which others set for them. Return

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