Boorstin, Daniel J. The Sociology of the Absurd: or The Application of Professor X (Otherwise:
Annotated with an Introduction and Postscript by Daniel J. Boorstin.) New York: Simon and
This is a mildly funny piece (with the footnotes responsible for the humor) about sociology. It is
purportedly an application for a small sum of money from a mythical Institute for Democratic
Studies by a Professor X. The good professor is interested in doing further research on creating a
New Society based on Complete Democracy. This New Democracy is to be based on Science
which will have its E(thnic) Q(uotient) to determine the participation of the individual in social
life. Add to this the M(erit) Q(uotient), a final determination of how much you deserve on the
basis of how your forefathers suffered, and you have a dream come true for methodologists who
would have the world so determined. Obviously a spoof on the absurdities of affirmative action.
Boorstin is aware in this parody of the absurdities of trying to right wrongs, of the quick fixes of
proportions and governmental arithmetic.