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  • ISBN13:


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  • Edition: 3rd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2020-01-07
  • Publisher: Wiley
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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


The revised third edition of the text that combines classical and contemporary theories of sociological theory

Thoroughly revised and updated, the third edition of an Introduction to Sociological Theory offers an in-depth introduction to classical and contemporary theories, and demonstrates their relevance to offer a clear understanding of a broad range of contemporary issues and topics. As with the previous editions, the text continues to combine carefully selected primary quotations from a broad range of theorists with extensive discussion and illustrative examples from a diverse range of countries, helpful timelines of important and thematically relevant events, biographical notes, contemporary topic boxes, analytical photos, and chapter glossaries. 

The text addresses topics such as the persistence of economic and social inequality, Brexit, post-truth society, same-sex marriage, digital surveillance and the on-demand gig economy. Written in an engaging style, Introduction to Sociological Theory offers a comprehensive introduction to the pluralistic breadth and wide-ranging applicability of sociological theory. This updated edition of the authoritative text:

  • Contains both classical and contemporary theories in a single text
  • Builds on excerpts from original theoretical writings with detailed discussion of the concepts and ideas under review
  • Includes new examples of current empirical topics such as Brexit, Donald Trump’s presidency, China’s growing economic power, global warming, intersectionality, social media, and much more
  • Offers additional resources including a website that contains multiple choice and essay questions, a thoroughly refreshed set of PowerPoint slides for each chapter with multimedia links to content illustrative of sociological processes, a list of complementary primary readings, a quotation bank, and other background materials

Written for undergraduate courses in contemporary and classical sociological theory, the third edition of an Introduction to Sociological Theory continues to provide a comprehensive, in-depth, and empirically engaging, introduction to sociological theory.

Author Biography

MICHELE DILLON, PhD, is Professor of Sociology at the University of New Hampshire, USA and has many years of experience teaching sociological theory to undergraduate and graduate students. She has authored five books on religion and social change, many articles and book chapters and is the editor of a handbook.

Table of Contents

List of Boxed Features xi

List of Analytical Photos xv

Acknowledgments xvii

How to Use This Book xix

About the Website xxi

Introduction – Sociological Theory: A Vibrant Living Tradition 1

Analyzing Everyday Social Life 4

Societal Transformation and the Origins of Sociology 10

The Establishment of Sociology as Science: Auguste Comte and Harriet Martineau 14

Social Inequality and Contextual Standpoints: Du Bois, De Tocqueville, and Martineau 20

Summary 25

Points to Remember 26

Glossary 26

Questions for Review 27

Note 28

References 28

1 Karl Marx (1818–1883) 31

Expansion of Capitalism 34

Marx’s Theory of History 36

Human Nature 40

Capitalism as a Distinctive Social Form 42

The Division of Labor and Alienation 52

Economic Inequality 58

Ideology and Power 61

Summary 68

Points to Remember 68

Glossary 69

Questions for Review 71

Notes 71

References 72

2 Emile Durkheim (1858–1917) 75

Durkheim’s Methodological Rules 78

The Nature of Society 83

Societal Transformation and Social Cohesion 87

Traditional Society 87

Modern Society 89

Social Conditions of Suicide 95

Religion and the Sacred 102

Summary 108

Points to Remember 108

Glossary 109

Questions for Review 110

Notes 110

References 111

3 Max Weber (1864–1920) 113

Sociology: Understanding Social Action 116

Culture and Economic Activity 117

Ideal Types 123

Social Action 124

Power, Authority, and Domination 130

Social Stratification 139

Modernity and Competing Values 142

Summary 144

Points to Remember 144

Glossary 145

Questions for Review 146

Notes 146

References 147

4 American Classics: The Chicago School, Talcott Parsons, and Robert Merton 149

The Chicago School of Sociology 150

Talcott Parsons 153

The Social System 154

Socialization and Societal Integration 157

Social Change and the Secularization of Protestantism 158

Pattern Variables 159

Modernization Theory 162

Stratification and Inequality 165

Robert Merton 167

Neofunctionalism 171

Summary 173

Points to Remember 174

Glossary 174

Questions for Review 177

Note 177

References 177

5 Critical Theory: Technology, Culture, and Politics 179

The Societal Critique of Horkheimer, Adorno, and Marcuse 183

Dialectic of Enlightenment 187

Mass Culture and Consumption 192

Politics: Uniformity and Control 199

Jurgen Habermas: the State and the Public Sphere 201

Summary 206

Points to Remember 206

Glossary 207

Questions for Review 209

References 209

6 Conflict, Power, and Dependency in Macro‐Societal Processes 211

Ralf Dahrendorf ’s Theory of Group Conflict 212

C. Wright Mills: Class and Power 217

Dependency Theory: Gunder Frank’s and Cardoso’s Neo‐Marxist Critiques of Economic Development 222

Summary 228

Points to Remember 228

Glossary 229

Questions for Review 229

References 230

7 Exchange, Exchange Network, and Rational Choice Theories 231

Exchange Theory: George Homans and Peter Blau 232

Exchange Network Theory: Richard Emerson, Karen Cook, Mark Granovetter 237

Actor–Network Theory (ANT): Bruno Latour 242

Rational Choice Theory and Its Critique: James Coleman, Gary Becker, Paula England 244

Analytical Marxism 248

Summary 250

Points to Remember 250

Glossary 251

Questions for Review 253

Note 253

References 253

8 Symbolic Interactionism 255

Development of the Self Through Social Interaction: G. H. Mead and C. H. Cooley 256

The Premises of Symbolic Interactionism: Herbert Blumer 261

Erving Goffman: Society as Ritualized Social Interaction 263

Symbolic Interactionism and Ethnographic Research 275

Summary 275

Points to Remember 275

Glossary 276

Questions for Review 278

Note 278

References 278

9 Phenomenology and Ethnomethodology 281

Phenomenology: Alfred Schutz, Peter Berger, and Thomas Luckmann 282

Ethnomethodology: Harold Garfinkel 292

Gender as an Accomplished Reality: Candace West and Don Zimmerman 296

Summary 299

Points to Remember 300

Glossary 300

Questions for Review 301

References 302

10 Feminist Theories 305

Consciousness of Women’s Inequality: Charlotte Perkins Gilman 309

Standpoint Theory: Dorothy Smith and the Relations of Ruling 311

Masculinities: R. W. Connell 321

Patricia Hill Collins: Black Women’s Standpoint 323

Sociology of Emotion 330

Arlie Hochschild: Emotional Labor 331

Summary 337

Points to Remember 337

Glossary 338

Questions for Review 340

Notes 340

References 340

11 Sex, Bodies, Truth, and Power: Michel Foucault, Steven Seidman, and Queer Theory 343

Disciplining the Body 344

Sex and Queer Theory 353

Summary 360

Points to Remember 361

Glossary 361

Questions for Review 362

References 362

12 Postcolonial Theories and Race 365

Racial Otherness: Edward Said, Frantz Fanon 367

New Directions in the Sociology of Colonialism: R. W. Connell 373

Race and Racism 374

Cultural Histories and Postcolonial Identities: Stuart Hall 377

Race and Class: William J. Wilson, Cornell West 379

Scarring of Black America 381

Culture and the New Racism: Paul Gilroy 385

Summary 388

Points to Remember 388

Glossary 389

Questions for Review 390

References 390

13 Pierre Bourdieu: Class, Culture, and the Social Reproduction of Inequality 393

Social Stratification 395

Family and School in the Production of Cultural Capital 399

Taste and Everyday Practices 402

Summary 410

Points to Remember 411

Glossary 411

Questions for Review 412

References 412

14 Economic and Political Globalization: Wallerstein, Sklair, Giddens, Sassen, Bauman, Castells 415

What is Globalization? 420

Economic Globalization 421

Immanuel Wallerstein: The Modern World‐System 422

Contemporary Globalizing Economic Processes 427

Globalizing Political Processes: The Changing Authority of the Nation‐State 434

Migration and Political Mobilization in a Transnational World 440

Summary 445

Points to Remember 446

Glossary 447

Questions for Review 448

Notes 448

References 449

15 Modernities, Risk, Cosmopolitanism, and Global Consumer Culture 451

Jurgen Habermas: Contrite Modernity 452

S.N. Eisenstadt: Multiple Modernities 454

Ulrich Beck: Global Risk Society 458

Cosmopolitan Modernity 460

The Global Expansion of Human Rights 462

Global Consumer Culture 465

Jean Baudrillard: The Aestheticization of Reality 469

Anthony Giddens: Disembeddedness and Dilemmas of the Self 471

Summary 473

Points to Remember 473

Glossary 474

Questions for Review 475

References 475

Glossary 477

Sociological Theorists and Select Key Writings 495

Index 499

Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

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