This is the first textbook for sociological theory that is modeled after the texts routinely available for introductory sociology courses. It is concise (although it covers a lot of ground),written in a highly accessible fashion,and includes much of the pedagogy that one expects to find in an introductory text. The book stems from the need of some instructors for a short text to be used in one-semester courses in contemporary sociological theory,or sociological theory more generally. At least some students (and their instructors) have found other texts too long,too dense and too complex. This volume is not only short,but comparatively light (but not lightweight) and less technical.
George Ritzer is Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland, where he has been a Distinguished Scholar-Teacher and won a Teaching Excellence award by the American Sociological Association, and in 2004, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by LaTrobe University, Melborune, Australia. He has served as Chair of the American Sociological Association's Sections on Theoretical Sociology and organizations and Occupations. He held the UNESCO Chair in Social Theory at the Russian Academy of Sciences, a Fulbright-Hay Chair at York University in Canada, and a Fulbright-Hays award to the Netherlands. He has been Scholar-in-Residence at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study and the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study in the Social Sciences.
Dr. Ritzer's main theoretical interests lie in metatheory as well as applied social theory. In metatheory, his contributions include Metatheorizing in Sociology(Lexington Books, 1991), Sociology: A Multiple Paradigm Science (Allyn and Bacon, 1975, 1980), and Toward an Integrated Sociological Paradigm (Allyn and Bacon).
Professor Ritzer is perhaps best known for the McDonaldization of Society (4/e, 2004); translated into more than a dozen languages) and several related books (also with a number of translations, including Expressing America: A Critique of the Global Credit Card Society (1995), Enchanting a Disenchanted World: Revolutionizing the Means of Consumption (2/e, 2005),The Globalization of Nothing (2/e, 2007), and (with Craig Lair) Outsourcing: Globalization and Beyond. He edited the Encyclopedia of Social Theory (2005), and is the founding editor of the Journal of Consumer Culture. He just completed editing the eleven-volume Encyclopedia of Sociology (2007) and The Blackwell Companion to Globalization (2007).
In 2006, McGraw-Hill published the second edition of Professor Ritzer's Contemporary Sociological Theory and Its Classic Roots: The Basics. In 2007, McGraw-Hill will publish the seventh edition of Modern Sociological Theory, and the fifth edition of Classical Sociological Theory. The latter texts, as well as this one, have been translated into a number of languages.