My name is Jon Witt. I was born and raised in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. I went to college and graduate school in the Chicago area and received my Ph.D. in Sociology from Loyola University Chicago. I am married to Lori and we have two unbelievably great kids. Emily is 19 and a sophomore at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, and Eleanor is 17 and is a senior in high school. I teach at Central College in Pella, Iowa where we live. We have been in Pella and at Central since moving from Chicago in 1993. Lori teaches U.S. History at Central College and received her Ph.D. in history (also from Loyola).
I wanted an Internet presence not because I want to sell books, but because I believe there’s a need for a site that can provide links that encourage the practice of both personal and public sociology. My goal for this site is to provide a place for ideas, observations, and links of sociological interest. I think sociology should inform our personal and public understanding, so we should be able to find those connections all around us. I plan to post comments based on what I observe around me, as well as suggestions for books, articles, and links. I hope others will feel free to share their comments and suggestions as well.
My current book is titled “SOC” (McGraw-Hill) and it provides a visually engaging introduction to sociology. McGraw-Hill conducted extensive ethnographic research to better understand factors that shape student learning and willingness to read and the results of this research shaped the format and content of SOC. SOC is part of their M-series of books, all of which provide students with accessible content that will facilitate learning and retention. I really do think everyone needs sociology, so this book represents my attempt to provide the essential insights of the discipline in a way that is accessible and interesting.
My first book was titled “The Big Picture: A Sociology Primer” (McGraw-Hill). My goal for the book was to provide an accessible and interesting introduction to what it means to look at the world sociologically. The sociological perspective can provide us with insight that we can use both individually and collectively. As individuals it can help us to better understand our selves and to shape how we act (what I call “personal sociology”). It also provides us with tools necessary to do a better job in making collective decisions in the workplace or in politics (what I and others call “public sociology“). The book came out in the summer of 2006.