Date of this Version
Hill, Michael R. 1987. “Novels, Thought Experiments, and Humanist Sociology in the Classroom: Mari Sandoz and Capital City.” Teaching Sociology 15: 38-44.
Based upon teaching Mari Sandoz' allegorical novel, Capital City, as part of Introduction to Sociology for three semesters, this report outlines the characteristics of sociologically useful novels from a humanist perspective. A key characteristic is the extent to which novelists not only conduct thought experiments but also stimulate student thinking and research. The pedagogical dimensions of thought experiments are explicated and the positive outcomes of using a novel-and group study projects based on a novel-are reported.