A sociologist interested in contemporary American society, Jerry has no shortage of experiences on which to base his perceptions. As a graduate student at the New School for Social Research, he undertook field work in a welfare center and a mental hospital before conducting a year of research for his doctoral dissertation in a poor Black and Puerto Rican school. From this work came his first book, Ghetto School, published in 1970.
At Marlboro, Jerry’s courses Education and Socialization, and Social Class in America reflected his interest in contemporary American economic, political and social institutions. His course Sociology of the Arts was informed not only by academic research but by his own experience as a “serious amateur violinist.” Likewise, his course on U.S. foreign policy was informed by his ongoing study of “how the United States relates to the rest of the world” and by his own participation in electoral politics.
“Books are like theories,” says Jerry. “They give you ways of perceiving the world. Then you must look at the world yourself and weigh the books against your own experiences.”