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Theoretical Sociology

Theoretical Sociology
A Concise Introduction to Twelve Sociological Theories

July 2013 | 288 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

What can sociological theory tell us about the basic forces that shape our world? With clarity and authority, leading theorist Jonathan H. Turner seeks to answer this question through a brief, yet in-depth examination of twelve major sociological theories. Readers are given an opportunity to explore the foundational premise of each theory and key elements that make it distinctive. The book draws on biographical background, analysis of important works, historical influences, and other critical insights to help readers make the important connections between these monumental sociological theories and the social world in which we live. This concise resource is a perfect complement to any course that seeks to examine both classic and contemporary sociological theory.

Theoretical Sociology Today
Functional Theorizing
Conflict Theorizing
Ecological Theorizing
Exchange Theorizing
Symbolic Interactionist Theorizing
Dramaturgical Theorizing
Structural Theorizing
Cultural Theorizing
Critical Theorizing on Modernity and Postmodernity
Stage-model Evolutionary Theorizing
Biologically Inspired Evolutionary Theorizing

"...In a change of course, [Turner's] latest work provides a meaningful introduction to both classical and contemporary social theory within 12 broad traditions....Turner invites readers to explore fundamental questions, such as whether sociology is a science, whether it should be critical or moral, the most important way in which to approach sociological analysis, and whether to approach it at the micro or macro level....This information not only offers a bare-bones introduction but also provides relevance, connecting each theory to the others and to the world in which they all operate. While brief, this quick guide provides and excellent introduction for undergraduate sociology majors or interested readers. Summing Up:  Highly recommended. General and undergraduate collections."

R. Price
Duquesne University

This is an extremely useful text for students in both undergraduate and postgraduate studies. It has been recommended as for additional reading.

Dr Sharmla Rama
School of Social Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal
May 22, 2014

I went with anoter Sage publication instead -- The Handbook of Community Practice. It was a very tough decision! But I decided that the emphasis on community is better for my class.

Dr Marilyn Swisher
Family, Youth & Community Sciences, University Of Florida
March 4, 2014

While some of the theories applied to globalization, most of the text would have been too challenging for the students I have in my courses, typically freshman and sophomores. I thought it was well put together and when I teach a course on social theory, I will definitely adopt this book.

Mr Mark Caldwell
Sociology Dept, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
September 19, 2013
Key features


  • Thorough, scientific analysis of sociological theory, written by the leading expert of our times, provides a robust review of 12 key theories in a concise and easy-to-follow format.
  • Focus on the theories themselves, rather than the theorists or the context, allows for greater exploration and enhanced understanding of the most important theories in sociology.
  • Both the historical origins and a contemporary profile of each theoretical perspective are covered, demonstrating how classical theorists influence contemporary theory.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 6

Chapter 9

For instructors

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ISBN: 9781483321257

ISBN: 9781452203478

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