Social Theory

Central Issues in Sociology
Author: John Scott
Publisher: SAGE
ISBN: 9780761970880
Category: Social Science
Page: 308
View: 4848

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This is a comprehensive, critical review of social theory that places leading contributions in their larger context. Written predominantly for students, the scope and range of the subjects and authors dealt with results in one of the most comprehensive introductions to social theory published to date. Ranging from the philosophical foundations of sociology and the discovery of `the social' to distinctive sociological approaches, to the significance of issues pertaining to gender and patriarchy, to questions of modernity and post-modernity, the book is comprehensive in subject matter.

Central Problems in Social Theory

Action, Structure, and Contradiction in Social Analysis
Author: Anthony Giddens
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520039759
Category: Social Science
Page: 294
View: 3696

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quot;One of the most creative among the younger generation of critical social theorists, Giddens stands alone in his concern for the classical tradition on sociology; but he also makes brilliant use of the latest philosophical and theoretical work of several contemporary schools and disciplines. A very important book for all of social science."Jeffrey C. Alexander

A. N. Whitehead and Social Theory

Tracing a Culture of Thought
Author: Michael Halewood
Publisher: Anthem Press
ISBN: 178308099X
Category: Philosophy
Page: 198
View: 7499

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The contemporary importance of A. N. Whitehead (1861–1947) lies in his direct yet productive challenge to the culture of thought inherent in modernity, a challenge that suffuses science, social theory and philosophy alike. Unlike some of the more destructive aspects of postmodernism and poststructuralism, Whitehead’s diagnosis of the conceptual fault lines of the modern era does not entail a passive relativism. Instead, he calls for a renewal of our concepts, offering a positive, philosophical approach based on becoming, relativity, and a reconception of subjectivity and the social. This book outlines Whitehead’s philosophy, using it to reorient a range of specific questions and topics within contemporary social theory.

Rational choice theory

advocacy and critique
Author: James Samuel Coleman,Thomas J. Fararo
Publisher: Sage Publications, Inc
ISBN: N.A
Category: Philosophy
Page: 232
View: 4133

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Rational Choice Theory is one of the few general theories of how individuals, groups, organizations and social structures behave - its impact on sociological theorizing has been enormous. In this volume, advocates and critics present their views of the values and limitations of rational choice theory. Whether supporter or sceptic, sociologists and other social scientists will find themselves immersed in a creative discussion of the merits and difficulties of the model and its applicability to both macro and micro level social issues.

A Dictionary of Sociology


Author: John Scott,Gordon Marshall
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191018260
Category: Social Science
Page: 832
View: 5468

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Wide-ranging and authoritative, this bestselling sociology dictionary is the most informative of its kind. Compiled by a team of sociological experts, under the editorship of Gordon Marshall and John Scott, it is packed with over 2,500 entries. With terms taken from sociology and the related fields of psychology, economics, anthropology, philosophy, and political science, it provides widespread coverage of all aspects of sociology, from adaptation to zero tolerance . It also contains biographies covering key figures, such as Gilles Deleuze and Erich Fromm. Jargon-free entries are elaborated with clear descriptions and in-depth analysis, many using real-life examples, making even the most complicated subjects easy to understand. This new edition has been revised to bring the dictionary completely up-to-date, while retaining the concise, clear quality of previous editions. Now boasting many entry-level web links, accessible via the Dictionary of Sociology companion website, this dictionary offers more relevant and useful information than ever before. An invaluable introduction to sociology for beginners, and a key reference work for more advanced students, teachers, and professionals working with sociology and related fields.

Religion and the State

A Comparative Sociology
Author: J. M. Barbalet,Adam Possamai,Bryan S. Turner
Publisher: Anthem Press
ISBN: 0857287982
Category: Social Science
Page: 282
View: 7879

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This volume addresses a central problem of contemporary states, namely how to manage the eruption of public religions. While the liberal framework formerly regarded religion as simply a matter of private practice and conscience, in modern states religion has often come to challenge the so-called Westphalian model of church-state relations, and has brought into question many liberal notions of secularism and tolerance. There is much discussion about post-secular society in which religion has to be taken seriously in public affairs. This collection of case studies – looking at Turkey, Singapore, India, China, Britain, Europe and the United States – explores a number of examples in which the state exercises some degree of management of religion, thereby bringing into question the traditional separation of religion and state. This study also attempts to refine the notion of secularization by examining this process in terms of political arrangements (church-state relations) and the role of religion in everyday life. Ultimately, this study reveals that there is no uniform or standard pattern of secularization in modern societies.

Key Concepts in Classical Social Theory


Author: Alex Law
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISBN: 1847876021
Category: Social Science
Page: 230
View: 9164

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This book's individual entries introduce, explain and contextualise the key topics within classical social theory. Definitions, summaries and key words are developed throughout with careful cross-referencing allowing students to move effortlessly between core ideas and themes. Each entry provides: ' Clear definitions ' Lucid accounts of key issues ' Up-to-date suggestions for further reading ' Informative cross-referencing Relevant, focused and accessible this book will provide students with an...

Service Sociology and Academic Engagement in Social Problems


Author: Dr Karen M McCormack,Professor A Javier Treviño
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
ISBN: 1472421973
Category: Social Science
Page: 262
View: 6858

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This book challenges sociologists and sociology students to think beyond the construction of social problems to tackle a central question: What do sociologists do with the analytic tools and academic skills afforded by their discipline to respond to social problems? Service Sociology posits that a central role of sociology is not simply to analyse and interpret social problems, but to act in the world in an informed manner to ameliorate suffering and address the structural causes of these problems. This volume provides a unique contribution to this approach to sociology, exploring the intersection between its role as an academic discipline and its practice in the service of communities and people. With both contemporary and historical analyses, the book traces the legacy, characteristics, contours, and goals of the sociology of service, shedding light on its roots in early American sociology and its deep connections to activism, before examining the social context that underlies the call for volunteerism, community involvement and non-profit organisations, as well as the strategies that have promise in remedying contemporary social problems. Presenting examples of concrete social problems from around the world, including issues of democratic participation, poverty and unemployment, student involvement in microlending, disaster miitigation, the organization and leadership of social movements, homelessness, activism around HIV/AIDS and service spring breaks, Service Sociology and Academic Engagement in Social Problems explores the utility of public teaching, participatory action research, and service learning in the classroom as a contribution to the community.

Contemporary Sociological Thinkers and Theories


Author: Sandro Segre
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317160509
Category: Social Science
Page: 390
View: 7521

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This book offers a comprehensive overview of the major theoretical perspectives in contemporary sociology, covering schools of thought or intellectual movements within the discipline, as well as the work of individual scholars. The author provides not only a rigorous exposition of each theory, but also an examination of the scholarly reception of the approach in question, considering both critical responses and defences in order to reach a balanced evaluation. Chapters cover the following theorists and perspectives: ¢ Alexander ¢ Bourdieu ¢ Ethnomethodology ¢ Exchange Theory ¢ Foucault ¢ Giddens ¢ Goffman ¢ Habermas ¢ Luhmann ¢ Merton ¢ Network and Social Capital Theory ¢ Parsons ¢ Rational Choice Theory ¢ Schutz and Phenomenalism ¢ Structuralism ¢ Symbolic Interactionism An accessible and informative treatment of the central approaches in sociology over the course of the last century, this volume marks a significant contribution to sociological theory and constitutes an essential addition to library collections in the areas of the history of sociology and contemporary social theory.

A Primer in Social and Sociological Theory

Toward a Sociology of Citizenship
Author: Kenneth Allan
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISBN: 1412960517
Category: Social Science
Page: 271
View: 9983

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This book equips students with skills in critical thinking and theory built around nine central ideas of thought: modernity, society, self, religion, capitalism, power, gender, race, and globalization. Coverage of both classical and contemporary theorists are included, and the text is organized around the discourses of modernity, democracy, and citizenship. The end of chapter exercises build on one another and students are guided to higher order thinking and theorizing skills to formulate their own definitions, analyses, interpretations, evaluations, and syntheses of theory.

Violence

A Micro-sociological Theory
Author: Randall Collins
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400831753
Category: Social Science
Page: 584
View: 7168

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In the popular misconception fostered by blockbuster action movies and best-selling thrillers--not to mention conventional explanations by social scientists--violence is easy under certain conditions, like poverty, racial or ideological hatreds, or family pathologies. Randall Collins challenges this view in Violence, arguing that violent confrontation goes against human physiological hardwiring. It is the exception, not the rule--regardless of the underlying conditions or motivations. Collins gives a comprehensive explanation of violence and its dynamics, drawing upon video footage, cutting-edge forensics, and ethnography to examine violent situations up close as they actually happen--and his conclusions will surprise you. Violence comes neither easily nor automatically. Antagonists are by nature tense and fearful, and their confrontational anxieties put up a powerful emotional barrier against violence. Collins guides readers into the very real and disturbing worlds of human discord--from domestic abuse and schoolyard bullying to muggings, violent sports, and armed conflicts. He reveals how the fog of war pervades all violent encounters, limiting people mostly to bluster and bluff, and making violence, when it does occur, largely incompetent, often injuring someone other than its intended target. Collins shows how violence can be triggered only when pathways around this emotional barrier are presented. He explains why violence typically comes in the form of atrocities against the weak, ritualized exhibitions before audiences, or clandestine acts of terrorism and murder--and why a small number of individuals are competent at violence. Violence overturns standard views about the root causes of violence and offers solutions for confronting it in the future.

Key Sociological Thinkers

Second Edition
Author: Rob Stones
Publisher: Macmillan International Higher Education
ISBN: 1137199601
Category: Philosophy
Page: 408
View: 9537

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The second edition of this popular and established text provides a comprehensive guide to 23 of the most influential thinkers in sociology. Written by leading academics in the field, Key Sociological Thinkers 2e provides a clear and contextualized introduction to classical and contemporary theory. Each chapter offers an insightful assessment of a different theorist, exploring their lives, works and legacies. Drawing upon examples from the everyday world, an innovative 'Seeing Things Differently' section in every chapter demonstrates how theoretical ideas can be used to illuminate aspects of social life in new ways. Included in this new edition: • Four new chapters, looking at Theodor Adorno, Michael Mann, Dorothy Smith and Zygmunt Bauman • Chapter updates on recent developments • An important new introduction • Three types of contents page to provide easy navigation of the text • Useful glossary boxes throughout, with their own dedicated contents page, to highlight and explain complex theoretical ideas. Key Sociological Thinkers 2e provides a stimulating overview of the best of sociological thought, from Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim and Georg Simmel to Nancy Chodorow, Michel Foucault and Anthony Giddens. It continues to be an essential text for all students of sociological theory.

Sociological Theory: What went Wrong?

Diagnosis and Remedies
Author: Nicos Mouzelis
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134901216
Category: Social Science
Page: 236
View: 2304

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Social theory is open to many passing currents. Claims to originality tend to thrive and past achievements are often ignored. In Sociologiocal Theory: What Went Wrong? Mouzelis claims that "problems" currently being isolated are not really problems, and that "achievements" claimed are little more than pretensions. He argues that we have been premature to dismiss thinkers from the late 1950s and early 1960s and that we can build on their ideas to produce a more effective, more relevant social theory. Written with precision and with clarity, Sociological Theory: What Went Wrong? is a compelling analysis of the central problems of sociological theory today and of the means to resolve them.

Sociological Theory in the Classical Era

Text and Readings
Author: Laura Desfor Edles,Scott Appelrouth
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISBN: 1483300994
Category: Social Science
Page: 464
View: 4869

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Trained at UCLA and at NYU respectively, Laura Desfor Edles and Scott Appelrouth were frustrated by their inability to find a sociological theory text that could inspire enthusiasm in undergraduate students while providing them with analytical tools for understanding theory and exposing them to original writings from pivotal theorists. They developed this widely used text/reader to fill that need. Sociological Theory in the Classical Era introduces students to original major writings from sociology's key classical theorists. It also provides a thorough framework for understanding these challenging readings. For each theorist, the authors give a biographical sketch, discuss intellectual influences and core ideas, and offer contemporary examples and applications of those ideas. Introductions to every reading provide additional background on their structure and significance. This book also makes frequent use of photos, diagrams, tables, and charts to help illustrate important concepts.

Approaches to Social Theory


Author: Stewart Lindenberg,James S. Coleman,Stefan Nowak
Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation
ISBN: 1610443616
Category: Social Science
Page: 408
View: 2677

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Many social scientists lament the increasing fragmentation of their discipline, the trend toward specialization and away from engagement with overarching issues. Opportunities to transcend established subdisciplinary boundaries are rare, but the extraordinary conference that gave rise to this volume was one such occasion. The W. I. Thomas and Florian Znaniecki Memorial Conference on Social Theory, held at the University of Chicago, brought together an outstanding array of scholars representing a variety of contending approaches to social theory. In panels, presentations, and general discussions, these scholars confronted one another in the context of an entire range of approaches. But as readers of this deftly edited collection will discover, the conference was more than a forum for abstract theoretical debate. These papers and discussions represent original scholarly contributions that exemplify orientations to social theory by examining real problems in the functioning of society—from large-scale economic growth and decline to the dynamics of interpersonal interaction. By exploring a few central issues in different ways, this unique conference worked through some lively theoretical incompatibilities and established genuine potential for communication, for complementary and collaborative effort at the core of sociology. The excitement of that dialogue, and the intellectual vitality it generated, are captured for the reader in Approaches to Social Theory. "Meaty presentations and confrontations of ideas by people whose views we respect...Recommended to anyone interested in the current state of social theory." —Contemporary Sociology

Deciphering Goffman

The Structure of his Sociological Theory Revisited
Author: Ramon Vargas Maseda
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISBN: 1317153979
Category: Social Science
Page: 198
View: 1913

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Challenging the ‘classical’ conception of Goffman’s sociology, this book offers a new interpretation based on a comprehensive examination of previous interpretations and critical assessments of Goffman’s work. Epistemologically, the book acknowledges the important but overlooked influences of both pluralism and particularly of pragmatism, where not only Simmel but also James and Dewey played a pivotal role in his work, thus rooting Goffman’s thought in symbolic interactionism. With attention to two central theoretical principles underlying his work—the pertinence of studying social interaction as given and the need and warrant to study face-to-face interaction in its own right—the author presents a rigorous examination of Goffman’s own writings to uncover the clear and recognizable process of systematization that Goffman followed throughout. In this manner, the book reveals the structure of Goffman’s theory by way of mapping the main themes, topics, concepts, empirical referents, methodological principles and theoretical frameworks relevant to the structure of his thought. A fresh examination of the structure of Goffman’s work that sheds light on the core of his unique approach, this new study of one of the central figures of sociology constitutes an important contribution to scholarship in social theory and the history of sociology.

Weberian Sociological Theory


Author: Randall Collins
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521314268
Category: Philosophy
Page: 356
View: 1230

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A new interpretation of Weberian sociology, showing its relevance to current world isues.

Introducing Social Theory


Author: Pip Jones,Liz Bradbury
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1509505083
Category: Social Science
Page: 280
View: 8176

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This revised edition of this extremely popular introduction to social theory has been carefully and thoroughly updated with the latest developments in this continually changing field. Written in a refreshingly lucid and engaging style, Introducing Social Theory provides readers with a wide-ranging, well organized and thematic introduction to all the major thinkers, issues and debates in classical and contemporary social theory. Introducing Social Theory traces the development of social theorizing from the classical ideas about modernity of Durkheim, Marx and Weber, right up to a uniquely accessible review of the contemporary theoretical controversies in sociology that surround post-colonialism, gender and feminist theories, and public sociology. The ideal textbook for students of sociology at all levels, from A-level to undergraduates, Introducing Social Theory is remarkably easy to follow and understand. This new edition lives up to its predecessors' goal that students need never be intimidated by social theory again.

Social Action Systems

Foundation and Synthesis in Sociological Theory
Author: Thomas J. Fararo
Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group
ISBN: 9780275973629
Category: Social Science
Page: 319
View: 9319

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Employing a process philosophical approach, Fararo studies general theoretical sociology as a time-extended tradition with three phases: classical, postclassical, and recent. The author especially focuses on the work of Talcott Parsons and George Homans, two contemporary theorists whose common aspiration was to forge a theoretical foundation for sociology that would serve to unify and integrate all theories growing out of sociological research. Ultimately, the book offers a unique perspective on sociological theory by carefully distinguishing other intellectual orientations from that of general theory.