Explorations in Classical Sociological Theory: Seeing the Social World / Edition 1

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Rather than a work of theory itself, Explorations in Classical Sociological Theory: Seeing the Social World is an insightful work that invites students to think creatively, reflexively, and critically about their social worlds. Written in a conversational tone that lifts the veil of theoretical jargon, Explorations in Classical Sociological Theory introduces students to the major classical theorists, including Marx, Spencer, Durkheim, Weber, Simmel, Mead, Schutz, Gilman, and Du Bois. This text focuses on the individual perspective of each theorist rather than schools of thought, and uses the provocative ideas of modernity and postmodernity to help students understand how the theoretical, historical perspectives apply to their own time period.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412905725
  • Publisher: Sage Publications (CA)
  • Publication date: 1/28/2005
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 6.88 (w) x 10.04 (h) x 0.92 (d)

Meet the Author

Kenneth Allan received his Ph D in sociology from the University of California, Riverside (1995), and is currently professor of Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). Before moving to UNCG, he directed the Teaching Assistant Development Program at the University of California, Riverside, and coedited Training Teaching Assistants, 2nd Edition (1997), published by the American Sociological Association. In addition to teaching classical and contemporary theory at UNCG, Allan also supervised UNCG’s sociology i School program, which offered online introduction to sociology classes to high school students across North Carolina, has designed several online courses for both the college and department, and has regularly taught graduate pedagogy courses. Allan’s research areas include theory, culture, and the self. He has authored several works in the area of theory, including multiple textbooks covering classical and contemporary theory, as well as The Meaning of Culture: Moving the Postmodern Critique Forward, and A Primer in Social and Sociological Theory: Toward a Sociology of Citizenship. His current projects include a social history of American individualism, a sociological analysis of consciousness and self, as well as a novel based in early 20th century American life.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 - Imagining Society
Foundations of Theory
The Sociological Perspective
Assumptions Concerning Society
Assumptions Concerning Values
The Beginnings of Theory and Learning to Theorize
Themes in Classical Theory
Chapter 2: Organic Evolution-Herbert Spencer (British 1820 - 1903)
The Perspective: The Evolution of the Universe at a Glance
Social Evolution
Social Institutions
Thinking About Modernity and Postmodernity
Building Your Theory Toolbox
Chapter 3: Engines of Change-Karl Marx (German, 1818 - 1883)
Chapter 3: Engines of Change-Karl Marx (German, 1818 - 1883)
The Basic Features of Capitalism
Ramifications of Capitalism
Thinking About Modernity and Postmodernity
Building Your Theory Toolbox
Chapter 4: Cultural Consensus-Émile Durkheim (French, 1885 - 1917)
The Perspective: Social Facts and the Law of Culture
Religious Roots of Society
Social Diversity and Morality
Thinking About Modernity and Postmodernity
Building Your Theory Toolbox
Chapter 5: Authority and Rationality-Max Weber (German, 1864 -1920)
The Perspective: Complex Sociology
The Evolution of Religion
The Rise of Capitalism: Religion and States
Class, Authority, and Social Change
Rationality In Action
Thinking About Modernity and Postmodernity
Building Your Theory Toolbox
Chapter 6: Society and the Individual-Georg Simmel (German, 1858 - 1918)
The Perspective: The Individual and Objective Culture
Social Forms
Objectifying Culture
Two Objective Institutions: Religion & Gender
Thinking About Modernity and Postmodernity
Building Your Theory Toolbox
Chapter 7: Self Consciousness-George Herbert Mead (American, 1863 -1931)
The Perspective: Society Inside
Basic Human Tools: Symbols and Minds
Living Outside the Moment-The Self
The Emergent Big Brother
Thinking About Modernity and Postmodernity
Building Your Theory Toolbox
Chapter 8: A Society of Difference - Harriet Martineau, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and W.E.B. Du Bois
Chapter 9: The Problem of Meaning and Reality-Alfred Schutz (Austrian, 1899 - 1959)
The Perspective: Social Phenomenology-Seeing Realty from a Human Viewpoint
Being Conscious in the Lifeworld
Ordering the Lifeworld-Creating Human Reality
Connecting With Others
Thinking About Postmodernity
Building Your Theory Toolbox
Chapter 10: The Social System-Talcott Parsons (American, 1902 - 1979)
The Perspective: Abstract Social Systems
The Making of the Social System
System Functions and Control
Social Change
Thinking About Modernity and Postmodernity
Building Your Theory Toolbox
Chapter 11: Theorizing Society
What to See-Provocative Possibilities
How to See-Tools of the Trade

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