The late 1960s are remembered today as the last time wholesale social upheaval shook Europe and the United States. College students during that tumultuous period - epitomized by the events of May 1968 - were as permanently marked in their worldviews as their parents had been by the depression and World War II. Sociology was at the center of these events, and it changed decisively because of them. "The Disobedient Generation" collects newly written autobiographies by an international cross-section of well-known sociologists, all of them "children of the '60s." It illuminates the human experience of living through that decade as apprentice scholars and activists, encountering the issues of class, race, the establishment, the decline of traditional religion, feminism, war, and the sexual revolution. In each case the interlinked crises of young adulthood, rapid change, and nascent professional careers shaped this generation's private and public selves. This is an intensely personal collective portrait of a generation in a time of struggle.
Alan Sica is professor of sociology at Pennsylvania State University. He is the author or editor of several volumes, including, most recently, Social Thought: From Enlightenment to the Present. Stephen Turner is graduate research professor of philosophy at the University of South Florida. His most recent book is Liberal Democracy 3.0: Civil Society in an Age of Experts.