In the Field, by Renee C. Fox, is a narrative account of the author's life as a sociologist. It is not a memoir in the conventional sense; rather, it is an ethnographic autobiography. Drawing on a vast reservoir of notes and documents that chronicle the span of her career, this work also focuses on the places Fox's field research has carried her.
Propelled by a conviction to move beyond the boundaries of herself and of her native land, Fox has done first-hand research in Europe, Central Africa, and China, as well as in the United States. The majority of her research has centered on health, illness, and medicine. Other recurrent themes that pervade her work include training for uncertainty; the allocation of scarce resources; the relationship between self and others; detachment and concern; the particular and the universal; the harm that can result from intended good; and the questions posed by illness and accident, pain and suffering, and death.
It is Fox's commitment as a teacher and mentor of generations of students that lies at the heart of this book. This volume will inspire new generations of social researchers.
Introduction: An Ethnography of the Life of a Sociologist
1. Origins and Beginnings
2. Growing up on West End Avenue
3. Freshman Year (1944-1945) at Smith College, and the Summer of 1945
5. The Year in Whittier
6. Return to Smith
7. Graduate School: The Harvard Department of Social Relations
8. Experiment Perilous
9. Columbia University's Bureau of Applied Social Research and the Sociology of Medical Education Project
10. Teaching at Barnard College
11. The Summer of 1959: A Portal to Belgium
12. The Transforming Effects of Belgium on My Life: Part I
13. The Transforming Effects of Belgium on My Life: Part II
14. Africa: Leopoldville, Kisantu, and Usumbura
15. My Years in the Congo
16. Deciding to Leave Barnard
17. Return to Harvard (1967-1969) 2
18. Professor at the University of Pennsylvania (1969-)
19. A Sociologist in a Medical School
Miss Balkema's Death
20. Chairman Renee
21. China, 1978
Talcott Parsons's Death
22. China, 1981: Tianjin and the "Team of Two"
23. Bioethics: Refl ections of an Observing Participant
My Parents' Deaths
24. The 1990s: A Time of Consummation (I): "Knighthood"
25. The 1990s: A Time of Consummation: (II): Leaving the Field of Organ Replacement
26. Going Up to, and Coming Down from, Oxford
27. Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders: Medical Humanitarianism and Its Dilemmas
29. Willy's Last Days
30. Becoming Eighty