Introduction to Sociological Theory: Theorists, Concepts, and Their Applicability to the Twenty-First Century / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Rent from
(Save 82%)
Est. Return Date: 09/20/2014
Buy New
Buy New from
Buy Used
Buy Used from
(Save 28%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $2.49
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 97%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (27) from $2.49   
  • New (2) from $30.08   
  • Used (25) from $2.49   


Combining carefully chosen primary quotes with extensive discussion and everyday illustrative examples, this book provides an in-depth introduction to classical and contemporary theory.
  • Uses a wide range of newspaper examples to illustrate the relevance to sociological theory
  • Contains excerpts from theorists’ primary texts
  • Includes chapter-specific glossaries of all theoretical concepts discussed in the book
  • Short biographies and historical timelines of significant events provide context to various theorists’ ideas
  • Incorporates a range of pedagogical features
  • Supporting website includes multiple choice and essay questions, PowerPoint slides, a quotation bank, and other background materials

Visit for additional student and instructor resources.

Read More Show Less

What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"This textbook is a winner. It takes a sociologist accomplished at her craft and with a genuine mastery of the relevant literature to write a social theory text that does justice to the richness of the material while successfully making it accessible to undergraduate readers. This book clearly reveals that Michele Dillon is such a sociologist. Students will be drawn to the well-chosen contemporary examples that make theory come alive while instructors will certainly be pleased by the rich array of pedagogical tools on offer." 
Peter Kivisto, Augustana College

“Impressive in scope and intellectually serious, Michele Dillon’s introduction to sociological theory is also really engaging. Her judgment about what to include is excellent. She clarifies key concepts without oversimplifying and integrates without flattening important differences in perspective. This should be a leading text for all theory teachers to consider.”
Craig Calhoun, New York University

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405170024
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 9/28/2009
  • Series: Wiley Desktop Editions Series
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 576
  • Sales rank: 751,234
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Michele Dillon is professor of sociology at the University of New Hampshire and has many years of experience teaching sociological theory to undergraduate and graduate students. Her previous publications include Catholic Identity: Balancing Reason, Faith, and Power (1999), Debating Divorce: Moral Conflict in Ireland (1993), Handbook of the Sociology of Religion (ed.) (2003), and In the Course of a Lifetime: Tracing Religious Belief, Practice, and Change (with Paul Wink)( 2007).
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

List of Timelines, Boxes, and Topics.


How to Use This Book.

Introduction: Welcome to Sociological Theory.

Analyzing Social Life.

Societal Transformation and the Origins of Sociology.

The Establishment of Sociology.

The Sociological Craft in the Nineteenth Century.



1. Karl Marx.

Expansion of Capitalism.

Marx’s Theory of History.

Human Nature.

Capitalism as a Distinctive Social Form.


The Division of Labor and Alienation.

Economic Inequality.

Ideology and Power.



2. Emile Durkheim.

Durkheim’s Methodological Rules.

The Nature of Society.

Societal Transformation and Social Cohesion.

Traditional Society.

Modern Society.

Social Conditions of Suicide.

Religion and the Sacred.



3. Max Weber.

Sociology: Understanding Social Action.

Culture and Economic Activity.

Ideal Types.

Social Action.

Power, Authority, and Domination.

Social Stratification.

Modernity and Competing Values.



4. Structural-Functionalism: Talcott Parsons and Robert Merton.

Talcott Parsons.

The Social System.

Socialization and Societal Integration.

Social Differentiation, Culture, and the Secularization of Protestantism.

Pattern Variables.

Modernization Theory.

Stratification and Inequality.

Robert Merton’s Middle-Range Theory.



5. The Frankfurt School: Technology, Culture, and Politics.

Dialectic of Enlightenment.

Mass Culture and Consumption.

Politics: One-Dimensional Rationality.

Jurgen Habermas: The State and Society.



6. Conflict, Power, and Dependency in Macro-Societal Processes.

Ralf Dahrendorf’s Theory of Group Conflict.

C. Wright Mills.

Dependency Theory: Neo-Marxist Critiques of Economic Development.



7. Exchange, Exchange Network, and Rational Choice Theories.

Exchange Theory.

Exchange Network Theory.

Rational Choice Theory.

Analytical Marxism.



8. Symbolic Interactionism.

Development of the Self through Social Interaction.

The Premises of Symbolic Interactionism.

Erving Goffman: Social Exchange as Ritualized Social Interaction.

Symbolic Interactionism and Ethnographic Research.



9. Phenomenology and Ethnomethodology.





10. Feminist Theories.

Consciousness of Women’s Inequality.

Standpoint Theories1: Dorothy Smith and the Relations of Ruling.

Standpoint Theories 2: Patricia Hill Collins – Black Women’s Standpoint.

Sociology of Emotion.

Arlie Hochschild: Emotional Labor.



11. Theorizing Sexuality and the Body.

Michel Foucault.

Sexuality and Queer Theory.



12. Sociological Theories of Race and Racism.

Racial Otherness.

Social Change, Race, and Racism.

Slavery, Colonialism, and Racial Formation.

William Du Bois: Slavery and Racial Inequality in the US.

Race and Class.

Race, Community, and Democracy.

Culture and the New Racism.



13. The Social Reproduction of Inequality: Pierre Bourdieu’s Theory of Class and Culture.

Social Stratification.

Family and School in the Production of Cultural Capital.

Taste and Everyday Culture.



14. Postmodernity.

Critique of the Modern.

Postmodern Culture.



15. Globalization.

Defining Globalization.

Economic Globalization.

Immanuel Wallerstein: The Modern World-System.

From World-Economic to Global Inequality.

Political Globalization: The Nation-State in the New Order.

Cultural Globalization.

Cities and Migration in a Globalizing Society.

Globalization of Risk.

Political Mobilization in the Globalizing Society.






Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)