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James M. Henslin, who was born in Minnesota, graduated from high school and junior college in California and from college in Indiana. Awarded scholarships, he earned his Master’s and doctorate degrees in sociology at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. After this, he was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship from the National Institute of Mental Health, and spent a year studying how people adjust to the suicide of a family member. His primary interests in sociology are the sociology of everyday life, deviance, and international relations. Among his numerous books is Down-to-Earth Sociology: Introductory Readings (Free Press), now in its twelfth edition. This book of readings reflects some of these sociological interests. He has also published widely in sociology journals, including Social Problems and American Journal of Sociology.
While a graduate student, Jim Henslin taught at the University of Missouri at St. Louis. After completing his doctorate, he joined the faculty at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, where he is Professor Emeritus of Sociology. He says, “I’ve always found the introductory course enjoyable to teach. I love to see students’ faces light up when they first glimpse the sociological perspective and begin to see how society has become an essential part of how they view the world.”
Henslin enjoys reading and fishing. His two favorite activities are writing and traveling. He especially enjoys visiting and living in other cultures, for this brings him face to face with behaviors and ways of thinking that he cannot take for granted, experiences that “make sociological principles come alive.”