In this chapter, we make the case for using The Autobiography of Malcolm X to teach introductory sociology classes. While The Autobiography of Malcolm X is an autobiography and not a novel, we summarize the literature on using novels in sociology and compare this literature to our own experiences using autobiographies in the classroom. We then describe how autobiographies are particularly helpful for introducing students to the concept of the ‘‘sociological imagination’’ before highlighting this with an in-class exercise. Finally, we discuss student feedback and some of the drawbacks to using autobiographies and the extent to which these drawbacks can be mitigated. [excerpt]
This is the publisher's version of the work. This publication appears in Gettysburg College's institutional repository by permission of the copyright owner for personal use, not for redistribution.
Harger, Brent, and Tim Hallett. 2008. “Using The Autobiography of Malcolm X to Teach Introductory Sociology.” In Teaching the Novel across the Curriculum: A Handbook for Educators. Colin C. Irvine (Ed.). Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
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