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Sociological Theory
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Sociological Theory

First Edition
  • Bert N. Adams - University of Wisconsin - Madison, Chile, University of Wisconsin, USA
  • R. A. Sydie - University of Alberta - Edmonton, Canada


January 2001 | 672 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

This book connects theorists and their work to larger themes and ideas. All too often, in the opinion of the authors, theory texts focus too much on individual theorists and insufficiently on the relationship between their theories, and how these have contributed, in turn, to the evolution of ideas concerning social life. Treatment of individual theories and theorists is balanced with the development of key themes; ideas about social life (introduced in Chapter 1) which then reappear in the discussion of individual theorists and their work.

A key organizing principle of this text is to trace major schools of thought over the past 150 years as they appear and reappear in different chapters. Section 1 introductions help remind students of the "big picture" within which any given theory or theorist is only one part. A consistent organization and presentation within chapters helps provide students with a context for learning and a means of much more easily comparing and contrasting theorists and their ideas.

Important, new voices in a text for social theory: In Chapter 2, Harriet Martineau is introduced as one of sociology's founders. From then on, the views of women theorists and others are represented in far more than token fashion. Examples include W.E.B. DuBois, Marianne Weber, Charlotte Gilman, Rosa Luxemburg, Joseph Schumpeter, V. I. Lenin, Niklas Luhmann, Theda Skocpol, Erik Wright, Elman Service, Arlie Hochschild, Dorothy Smith, Patricia Hill Collins, and Immanual Wallerstein. · A timeline showing when social theorists lived and wrote and connecting their biographies to important social events over 300 years is at the back of the text.

"The organization of every chapter along similar lines provides a consistency in presentation that encourages comparisons among the theorists…[The authors] do a very good job presenting overlooked theorists and making their relevance to social theorizing /doing sociology clear."

 --Joan Alway, formerly University of Miami

"The strengths of this text are the breadth of theories covered, the integration of gender-related topics--family, work, religion; the use of substantial quotes from primary texts; the consistent inclusion of methodological issues; …and the goals of the project to provide an expansive and readable theory text. I have no doubt that it will find a solid position in the field of popular theory texts for undergraduate course use."

--Kathleen Slobin, North Dakota State University


 
Introduction
 
PART ONE: THE EUROPEAN ROOTS OF SOCIOLOGICAL THEORY
 
The Origins of Sociological Theory
Saint-Simon, Comte and Martineau
Theorizing after the French Revolution
 
PART TWO: CONSERVATIVE THEORIES
Spencer and Sumner
Evolutionism and Functionalism
Durkheim
Social Realism and Functionalism Extended
 
PART THREE: RADICAL THEORY
Marx and Engels
Radical Anti-Capitalism
Lenin and Luxemburg
Marxism Extended
 
PART FOUR: SOCIOLOGICAL THEORIES OF COMPLEXITY AND FORM
Max Weber and Marianne Weber
Social Action and Societal Complexity
Simmel
The Sociology of Form and Content
 
PART FIVE: SOCIOLOGICAL THEORIES OF POLITICS AND ECONOMICS
Pareto and Michels
Political Sociological Theories
Veblen and Schumpeter
Economic Sociological Theories
 
PART SIX: OTHER VOICES IN SOCIOLOGICAL THEORIZING
Gilman and Webb
Society and Gender
Du Bois
Sociological Theory and Race
Cooley, Mead and Freud
Society, Self and Mind
 
PART SEVEN: TWENTIETH-CENTURY FUNCTIONALISM AND BEYOND
Parsons and Merton
Twentieth-Century Functionalism
Luhmann and Giddens
Systems, Structuration and Modernity
 
PART EIGHT: CRITICISM, MARXISM AND CHANGE
 
Critical Theory
The Frankfurt School and Habermas

 
 
Marxism since 1930
 
Socio-Cultural Change
Evolution, World Systems and Revolution

 
 
PART NINE: TRANSITIONS AND CHALLENGES
 
Mid-Twentieth-Century Sociology
Blumer, Goffman and Hochschild
Symbolic Interactionism
Coleman
Rational Choice and Exchange
Smith and Collins
Feminist Sociological Theory
 
Knowledge, Truth and Power
Foucault's Discourse and the Feminist Response

 
 
Final Thoughts on Sociological Theorizing

"I like the idea of a more inclusive sociological theory text. It’s good to see the work of women and people of color integrated into this book….As we move beyond telling the story of a fairly homogeneous academic elite, we also begin to make social theory and theorizing more accessible to our increasingly diverse students."

Robert E. L. Roberts
California State University, San Marcos

Put simply, although the theory instructor has the paramount responsibility of acquainting her students with major perspectives/concepts, the academic figures responsible for constructing them and the intellectual and social conditions under which they theorized, she needs a good deal of help. Adams and Sydie’s Sociological Theory is one of those books that provide such prop—a good one for that.

 

Alem Kebede
California Sate University, Bakersfield
Teaching Sociology

Content is relevant to the particular academic course

Mr Andrew Hicks
Faculty of Social Sciences/Department of Sociology, University of Guyana
June 29, 2015

Sample Materials & Chapters

Timeline

Preface


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