I knew so little about Sociology when I arrived in the Bay Area, that I wasn't accepted into the graduate program until I had taken a full semester of undergraduate courses. I was an ordained minister and wanted to work in the Sociology of Religion. Charlie Glock, who was the expert on that topic at the time, hired me for a research project on new congregations and encouraged me to take a qualitative approach. The report developed into my Master's Thesis and was published (and reviewed in the ASR) before I took my comps.
From David Nasatir, July 20, 2006:
David Sudnow died early this morning following surgery for cancer at Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley.
His dissertation: "Passing On: The Social Organization of Dying in the County Hospital" did not forecast his future success.
His book: "Ways of the Hand: The Organization of Improvised Conduct" brought him considerable fame both within and outside the world of academe. In a very special way, he put reflexive sociology to work and by this effort brought a great deal of happiness to many.