This issue consists of two articles. The first is about Jane Austen's "Mansfield Park". It seems to me that Shakespeare played a large role in Jane Austen's imagination and that applies to both the themes of and the techniques used in her novels. The second article, in two parts, is about James Coleman, one of the premier sociologists of the second half of the Twentieth Century. He was a major player in the sociology of education from the Fifties on and his ideas continue to be central to the debate about what is to be done with education in this country. He was also a leading methodologist. This article assesses his contribution to sociological grand theory, which is the attempt to provide a systematic account of how everything social is organized. The article finds what he has to say intellectually spirited and imaginative but an unsatisfactory rendition of what goes on in social life, however much Coleman shared with so many other sociologists, before him and since, what seems to me to be the fruitless task of introducing economic thinking into sociology.
The purpose of this e-journal is to use in tandem the techniques of literary criticism and social structural analysis to illuminate American politics and the various institutions in American society and sometimes matters more global, like religion or war, by turning an eye on the events and objects and performances that are considered art and entertainment, those defined broadly enough to include whatever is covered in newspapers and other media. Another concern is to pick up the texture of social life, both in the United States and in general, through the analysis of those events, objects and performances that are to be found in everyday life.