“Vocational Gratitude” ft. Princeton University’s Robert J. Wuthnow I Saturdays at Seven Ep. 40

In the fortieth episode of the “Saturdays at Seven” conversation series, Todd Ream talks with Robert J. Wuthnow, the Gerhard R. Andlinger ʼ52 Professor of Social Sciences at Princeton University. Ream and Wuthnow start by discussing the limitations that come with comparisons between recent waves of college student activism and the activism of the 1960s and early 1970s. They transition to exploring Wuthnow’s experience as a doctoral student at the University of California at Berkely, the ways he learned to frame questions, and the ways he learned to determine whether questions merited pursuit. Ream and Wuthnow then discuss the questions Wuthnow pursued over the course of his career and arc of the books he wrote. The end of that arc, ironically, led Wuthnow to explore the changing nature of the social fabric of communities comparable to the one in which he grew up as a child in rural Kansas. Finally, Wuthnow discusses the virtues he believed proved most critical to the exercise of the academic vocation including the role gratitude played for him over the course of his career.