Luminosity Blindness

Part of the Clinical Sociology: Research and Practice book series (CSRP)


At five I had my suspicions, but by six I knew—there was no Santa Claus. My family might not have been Christian, but Santa visited our house too. Although there was no tree or fireplace, we hung stockings from the living room bookcases and early on Christmas morning a wealth of brightly wrapped packages were spread out beneath them. It was a magical time for us kids. My father was not a demonstrative man, but one of the ways in which he could express his love was by showering us with anonymous presents. There was always a wondrous variety of unexpected goodies. We children could barely contain our glee awaiting the morning and even before the sun rose would sneak out of our beds to reconnoiter the situation. Opening our gifts was always a thrill, with smiles and giggles punctuating the air, as we ripped the wrapping paper off the brightly colored boxes and then tested out our haul.


Fairy Tale Happy Ending Personal Limitation Windshield Wiper Hard Truth 
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Notes and References

  1. 1.
    For an explanation of why this security is so vital see: Erikson, E. H. (1963). Childhood and Society, 2nd Edition. New York: W. W. Norton.Google Scholar
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    Twain, M. (1996). Chapters from my Autobiography. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
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    As Melville Dalton demonstrates, even organizational rewards are distributed in an informal, and sometimes irrational, manner. Dalton, M. (1959). Men Who Manage. New York: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
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    Barnard, C. (1938). The Function of the Executive. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
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    See as noted perviously: Schulz, C. G & Kilgalen, R. K. (1969). Case Studies in Schizophrenia. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
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    Peck, M.S. (1978). The Road Less Travelled. New York: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
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    Wolfe, A. (1996). Marginalized in the Middle. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
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    An example of how optimistic educational reformers can be is on display in: Holt, J. (1964). How Children Fail. New York: Dell.Google Scholar
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    The latest of a long line of community-oriented sociological reformers is: Etzioni, A. (1993). The Spirit of Community: The Reinvention of American Society. New York: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
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    Wolfe, A., op cit.Google Scholar
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    The popularizer of “unconditional love” was, of course, Carl Rogers. See: Rogers, C. (1951). Client Centered Therapy. Boston: Houghton-Mifflin.Google Scholar
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    For an example of good advice see: Scarf, M. (1987). Intimate Partners: Patterns in Love and Marriage. New York: Random House.Google Scholar
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    Symbols are so significant that in sociology an entire theory, namely symbolic interactionism, revolves around them. See: Mead, G. H. (1934). Mind, Self, and Society. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
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    See: Brissett, D. & Edgley, C. (Eds.) (1990). Life as Theater: A Dramaturgical Source Book, 2nd Edition. New York: Aldine de Gruyter.Google Scholar
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    The romanticism of Jefferson’s concept of “equality” is nicely exposed in Joseph Ellis’ companion works on him and John Adams. Ellis, J. J. (1996). American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson. New York: Alfred A. Knopf; Ellis, J. J. (1993). Passionate Sage: The Character and Legacy of John Adams. New York: W. W. Norton. How the founders, in general, understood the concept of equality is constructively analyzed, In: West, T. G. (1997). Vindicating the Founders: Race, Sex, Class, and Justice in the Origins of America. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar
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    Barnard, C. op cit.Google Scholar
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    The imperative coordination, that is, the orders from superior to subordinate, we take for granted depends upon the existence of hierarchies. See: Dahrendorf, R. (1959). Class and Class Conflict in an Industrial Society. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
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    Santayana, G. [1905–06] (1954). The Life of Reason. New York: Scribner.Google Scholar
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    For further atrocities see: Shirer, W. L. (1960). The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany. New York: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
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    Olasky, M. (1992). The Tragedy of American Compassion. Washington, D.C.: Regnery.Google Scholar
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    More recently, in its reforms of the New York City welfare system, Mayor Guiliani’s task force found that nearly 60% of applicants for assistance were not eligible, and nearly 50% did not even reside at the address given on their application. See: Zuckerman, M. B. (1995). Showing the way on welfare. U.S. News & World Report, May 22.Google Scholar
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    Rothwax, H. J. (1995). Guilty: The Collapse of Criminal Justice. New York: Random House.Google Scholar
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    A sample of the gushing journalism is found in: Donnelly, P. (1997). Diana: A Tribute to the People’s Princess. Philadelphia: Courage Books.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    The degree to which an idealistic person can suspend disbelief is painfully revealed in Miriam Williams excruciatingly honest retrospective of her years living in a Jesus cult. See: Williams, M. (1998). Heaven’s Harlots: My Fifteen Years as a Sacred Prostitute in the Children of God Cult. New York: William Morrow.Google Scholar

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© Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers 1999

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