Illuminating Social Life has enjoyed increasing popularity with each edition. Editor Peter Kivisto attempts to bridge the gap between social theory and the substantive courses contained in the sociology curriculum. It is the only book designed for undergraduate teaching that shows today’s students how classical and contemporary social theories can be used to shed new light on such topics as the internet, the world of work, fast food restaurants, shopping malls, alcohol use, body building, sales and service, and new religious movements. This Fourth Edition is updated and revised to help students appreciate the relevance and the significance of social theory—and in the process reduces the anxiety many feel about required theory courses.
"I have used previous editions. I really like the modern day applications of theories. "
"I have used previous editions. I really like the modern day applications of theories."
"I have adopted this book repeatedly. It is a fine addition to my theory course since it makes theory more accessible and relevant to students . . . Without this book, students are left with the impression that theory is an abstract academic exercise and a form of torture we impose on them. With this book, Kivisto offers students some evidence that theory is a tool to be used."
"Instead of only thinking about theory during class, I notice that Kivisto’s text gets them to think about theory at work, at home, reading the paper. . . . Sure, I dream of having an undergrad theory section in which students were already capable of rigorous abstract thought and analysis. In the real world, I find Kivisto’s approach essential to raising my students and moving them toward that ideal."
Peter Kivisto, Ph D (New School for Social Research), is the Richard Swanson Professor of Social Thought and chair of sociology at Augustana College. Among his recent books are Citizenship: Discourse, Theory, and Transnational Prospects (2007, with Thomas Faist), Intersecting Inequalities (2007, with Elizabeth Hartung), Incorporating Diversity: Rethinking Assimilation in a Multicultural Age (2005), Key Ideas in Sociology (2nd ed., 2004), Multiculturalism in a Global Society (2002), and Social Theory: Roots and Branches (2nd ed., 2002). His primary scholarly and teaching interests revolve around social theory and ethnic and immigration studies. He has served as secretary-treasurer of the American Sociological Association’s Theory and International Migration Sections and is currently serving as Editor of The Sociological Quarterly.
Part I: Classical Sociological Theory
About the Editor
Preface to the Fourth Edition
Part I: Classical Sociological Theory
Introduction - Peter Kivisto
Working Longer, Living Less: Understanding Marx Through the Workplace Today - John P. Walsh, Anne Zacharias-Walsh
The Weberian Theory of Rationalization and the Mc Donaldization of Contemporary Society - George Ritzer
Surfing the Net for Community: A Durkheimian Analysis of Electronic Gatherings - Anne M. Hornsby
Alcohol-Related Windows on Simmel's Social World - William J. Staudenmeier, Jr.
Part II: Contemporary Theories and Their Connection to the Classics
Criminalizing Transgressing Youth: A Neofunctionalist Analysis of Institution Building - Paul Colomy, Laura Ross Greiner
Why Do African Americans Pay More for New Cars? A Structural Explanation - Christopher Prendergast
Critical Theory, Legitimation Crisis, and the Deindustrialization of Flint, Michigan - Steven P. Dandaneau
The Socially Constructed Body: Insights from Feminist Theory - Judith Lorber, Patricia Yancey Martin
Wild Thoughts: An Interactionist Analysis of Ideology, Emotion, and Nature - Gary Alan Fine, Kent L. Sandstrom
Goffman's Dramaturgical Sociology: Personal Sales and Service in a Commodified World - Peter Kivisto, Dan Pittman
Contrasts of Carnival: Mardi Gras Between the Modern and the Postmodern - Kevin Fox Gotham
Negotiating the Social Landscape to Create Social Change - Anne F. Eisenberg
Globalization Theory and Religious Fundamentalism - William H. Swatos, Jr.