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Contemporary Sociological Theory

Contemporary Sociological Theory

  • Steven Loyal - University College Dublin, Ireland
  • Sinisa Malesevic - University College Dublin, Ireland, University College, Dublin, Ireland

December 2020 | 472 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Introducing readers to the most important thinkers and schools of thought in contemporary sociological theory – from Parsons and Merton to the Frankfurt School to Foucault, Bourdieu, Giddens and Hochschild – this accessible textbook firmly locates key ideas in social, political and historical context. By doing so, it helps students understand the development of central sociological concepts and how they can help us understand the contemporary world.

The book includes:

  • Lively biographical sections to help readers get to know each thinker
  • Clear and easy-to-understand accounts of each theorist’s arguments - and the most common criticisms
  • Key concept boxes highlighting the most influential ideas

This comprehensive textbook brings the diverse field of contemporary sociological theory to life. Essential reading for all students in Sociology and Sociological Theory.

Parsons and Merton
Schutz and Garfinkel
Homans, Coleman and Boudon
Levi-Strauss, Barthes and Butler
Gellner and Mann
de Beauvoir, Oakley and Smith
Hochschild, Hill Collins and Latour

Malesevic and Loyal have given us the most comprehensive, accessible, international and up-to-date guide to sociological theory, ancient and modern: a magnificent achievement.

Professor Emeritus Stephen Mennell
School of Sociology, University College Dublin

Two seasoned and very well-established sociologists have written a book that offers a masterly survey of the major social theorist from Plato to such 20th century masters as Habermas, Luhmann and Foucault. Written in a clear and lively style, incorporating historical, political and social context as well as the main ideas of the theorists, this book proves itself a worthy successor to Lewis Coser’s very successful Masters of Sociological Thought, whose inspiration it acknowledges. A boon to all students embarking on the study of classical and contemporary social thought.

Krishan Kumar
University of Virginia

These two volumes [Classical Sociological Theory and Contemporary Social Theory] succeed brilliantly where introductory textbooks typically fail. Viewing sociology as a tradition with many variants, they present the lives and works of its ancestors and major exponents across its history to the present. They do so vividly, clearly and accurately, setting the distinctive ideas of each in their historical and intellectual context, commenting on where they continue to have present-day relevance and where they need to be criticized and sometimes rejected. Comprehensive, reliable, precise and concise, they are a much-needed successor to Lewis Coser’s magisterial Masters of Sociological Thought.

Steven Lukes
New York University

Loyal and Malesivic offer a tour de force through the rise and transformation of social thought – one that never compromises on social thought’s dynamic character, its place in a historical and political context, and the insights it provides into social dynamics of the contemporary world.

Benedikte Brincker
Head of Department, Department of Sociology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

All sociological theory is, at its core, an effort to better understand the social world and our experience within it. As such it may be seen as both an intellectual endeavour and a tool of empowerment. Loyal and Malesevic have brought together key social thinkers from across the ages and drawn out why it is that their theories have been so influential. The authors explain and evaluate sociological theories in light of the thinkers’ own social contexts in a way that is both fresh and illuminating. Readers at all levels will appreciate the breadth and ambition of these books, the depth of the authors’ research and the quality of their analysis. Classical Sociological Theory and Contemporary Sociological Theory are themselves a remarkable contribution to sociological scholarship.

Katy Hayward
Professor of Political Sociology, Queen’s University Belfast

A useful update to the general field of modern sociological theory. Whilst the electronic subscription proved to be excessively expensive, thus preventing the title from being added to our essential list, a small number of physical copies have been ordered for the library as background literature.

Dr Steve Holmes
School of Media, Communication and Sociology, University of Leicester
September 26, 2023

Excellent text that all level of students will live.

Ms Cath Walker
Faculty of Science, Liverpool John Moores University
June 9, 2021

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1: Parsons and Merton

Sage College Publishing

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