William Kornblum is a specialist in urban sociology and human ecology. The author of numerous scholarly books and articles on the people of New York, he has been mentoring doctoral students at the Graduate Center since 1973. He was the 2005 recipient of the American Sociological Association’s Distinguished Career Award.
Kornblum is currently revising a manuscript about jazz in 1920s Chicago and is developing another about homelessness and urban development in Manhattan’s Midtown, a subject he has been following since his study West 42nd Street, The Bright Lights appeared in 1979. Kornblum’s first ethnographic community study was Blue Collar Community (1974). In 2012 he published a monograph on Jamaica Bay and its communities for the U.S. Department of Interior and assisted the Central Park Conservancy in a comprehensive, community-based study of public use in the park.
In collaboration with Terry Williams, of the New School for Social Research, he has also written extensively about urban teenagers. Their books, Growing Up Poor (1985) and Uptown Kids (1995), and numerous articles document the importance of adult mentors and the influence that writing workshops can have on the lives of disadvantaged teenagers. Uptown Kids was made into an HBO film, Harlem Diary, in 1997. A Japanese translation appeared in 2010. Kornblum is also the author of Sociology in a Changing World (9th ed.), Social Problems (14th ed.), and At Sea in the City: New York from the Water’s Edge (2002). A native New Yorker, he is a graduate of Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and the University of Chicago and was among the nation’s first Peace Corps volunteers.
Written by a respected scholar in the field, this authoritative and very accessible text offers students a contemporary introduction to social problems by introducing the major trends and future outlook for each social problem. Social policies devised to address social problems-and their consequences-are examined in depth by presenting the key research conducted to examine, explain, and alleviate today's social problems. The text takes the discussion of social problems one step further by looking at each problem from a global perspective. New features of this revised and updated thirteenth edition include a discussion of the "culture war"; a current controversies box on the Virginia Tech massacre; expanded discussions of the effects of crowding and military duty on mental health; and sections on identity theft, political discrimination-including felony disenfranchisement and anti-voter fraud campaigns, shelter poverty and homelessness, abstinence-only programs, modes of entry for illegal immigrants, immigration reform, and patterns of global terrorism.
Published February 2008
Sociology in a Changing World
Challenging, comprehensive, and student friendly, the eighth edition of Sociology in a Changing World takes a thematic approach that emphasizes the reality of social change and its impact on individuals, groups, and societies throughout the world. This unique emphasis on social change helps students understand our similarities, our differences, and society as a whole and will help them think like sociologists long after their college experience. The text carefully balances contemporary and classic theory and research, with special attention to the works of female and minority social scientists and cross-cultural studies. Kornblum applies all the major perspectives of sociology without giving undue emphasis to any single approach. The book is the chosen text for "Exploring Society: Introduction to Sociology," a Telecourse from Dallas TeleLearning.
Published March 2007
Wadsworth Publishing, 2007
At Sea in the City
For Kornblum, New York City is shaped by the water and the people who have sailed it for goods, money, pirate's loot, and freedom-from a time long before Broadway was a muddy cart track," to today. Kornblum takes readers along as he sails through and around his hometown-as he has been doing his whole life-and paints a vivid portrait of the city's history in relation to its waterfront and maritime culture. As much a work of urban sociology-including tales of shipwrecks and the city's financial beginnings-as a memoir of his adventures on his restored ancient catboat named Tradition, At Sea in the City is an evocative personal narrative that "grapples afresh with the history and complexity of the metropolis" (Philip Lopate).
Published March 2002
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2002