Key Ideas in Sociology / Edition 3

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Key Ideas in Sociology, 3rd Edition, is the only undergraduate text to link today's issues to the ideas and individuals of the era of classical sociological thought. This book provides an overview of how sociological theories have helped sociologists understand modern societies and human relations. It also describes the continual evolution of these theories in response to social change.

Utilizing readings from primary sources, this valuable text presents theories as interpretive tools, useful for understanding a multifaceted; ever-shifting social world. Emphasis is given to the working world, to the roles and responsibilities of citizenship, and to social relationships. A concluding chapter addresses globalization and its challenges.

Key Features

Connects social theorists and their ideas over time, analyzing different historical circumstances and how theorists have added to and refined each other's thinking

Offers a genuinely integrated view of the history of social thought and links classical theory to today's thinking about modern life

Provides a brief overview of key theorists and their theories, making it a useful supplement for theory and introductory sociology courses

Includes the most current scholarship in this area, with new studies of the classics and the newest theories today

Intended Audience

Key Ideas in Sociology is an ideal supplement for undergraduate introduction to Sociology, Principles of Sociology, and Sociological Theory courses, particularly when these courses are writing-intensive or are focused on theoretical ideas or history.

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Editorial Reviews

Donald A. Nielsen

"The new edition is very nice indeed. I like the timeline, not only for the usual dates of theorists' births and deaths, but even more for the list of historical events, which are well chosen and will help students get a sense of historical context for the ideas themselves. Also, the expanded material at the end on global society is great. . . .and the list of questions will prove helpful too. I think this is the best introduction to social theories currently on the market! "

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412978118
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 5/11/2010
  • Edition description: Third Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 882,895
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Kivisto is Richard A. Swanson Professor of Social Thought and Chair of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Welfare at Augustana College and Finland Distinguished Professor at the University of Turku. His current research involves a collaborative project on multiculturalism with colleagues in Finland. His interests include immigration, social integration, citizenship, and religion. Among his recent books are Key Ideas in Sociology (2011), Illuminating Social Life (2011); Beyond a Border: The Causes and Consequences of Contemporary Immigration (2010, with Thomas Faist); Citizenship: Discourse, Theory and Transnational Prospects (2007, with Thomas Faist); and Intersecting Inequalities (2007, with Elizabeth Hartung). He serves on the editorial boards of Contexts, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Journal of Intercultural Studies, and on the Publication Committee for Sociology of Religion.

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Table of Contents

Preface ix

Time Line x

Acknowledgments xiii

1 Key Ideas About the Social World 1

Conceptualizing Contemporary Society 3

Industrial Society 3

Democracy 4

Individualism 5

Modernity 5

Careers of Ideas 6

Key Ideas and the Field of Sociology 7

Tools for Understanding Social Trends 8

2 Industrial Society: From the Satanic Mills to the Digital Age 11

The Industrial Revolution 12

The Permanent Exile Karl Marx 14

The Intellectual Context of Marx's Ideas 16

The Analyst of Capitalist Industrial Society 19

Marxism After Marx 28

Counterimages of Capitalist Industrial Society: Shifts in the Class Structure 34

Joseph Schumpeter and the Achilles' Heel of Capitalism 35

The Iconoclastic Social Theory of Thorstein Veblen 37

The Academic Outlaw C. Wright Mills 40

Daniel Bell on the Advent of Postindustrial Society 45

On the Transition to Postindustrial Society 47

Critical Responses to Bell 49

Summary 51

3 Democracy: From the Fall of the Bastille to the Fall of the Berlin Wall 53

Prophet, Pessimist, and Realist Max Weber 55

The Divided Soul of Max Weber 56

The Iron Cage: The Economic Undergirding of Modern Democratic Politics 61

Democracy Versus Bureaucracy 65

Herrschaft 69

Politics as a Vocation 70

Talcott Parsons on the Democratic Prospect 71

Parsonian Thought in the Context of His Times 72

Parsons as an Advocate of Social Reform 73

Democracy Under Attack 74

Citizenship in a Democracy 75

Capitalism Versus Democracy? Lipset and Beyond 78

From Alcove No. 1 to the Hoover Institution 79

Economic Development and Democracy 79

Class Structure of Democratic Polities 80

Critical Theory of Jürgen Habermas 82

Democracy and the Public Sphere 84

The Fate of the Public Sphere in Late Capitalism 87

Deepening Democracy: The Colonization of the Life World and the New Social Movements 88

The Civil Sphere: Solidarity and Justice 90

Summary 92

4 Individualism: The Tension Between Me and Us 93

Alexis de Tocqueville on Individualism 95

America as a Model of Europe's Future 96

Destructive Individualism 98

Ferdinand Toennies on Community 99

Toennies's Ideas in the Context of His Life 100

Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft 101

Émile Durkheim and the Quest for Community 103

Bases of Solidarity 104

The Distinctiveness of Durkheim's Ideas 105

The Division of Labor 106

Suicide 107

The Dreyfus Affair and Individualism 113

Durkheim in America 115

Merton's Elaboration of Durkheimian Themes 115

The Lonely Crowd in Mass Society 118

Habits of a New Generation's Heart 123

Goffman on the Sacred Character of the Individual 126

Summary 129

5 Modernity: From the Promise of Modern Society to Postmodern Suspicions 131

Modernity and Postmodernity: Provisional Definitions 132

The Ambiguous Legacy of Georg Simmel 134

Academic Marginality 135

Simmel on the Culture of Modernity 137

Robert E. Park and the Chicago School 144

Race Relations in the Modern World 146

Race as a Social Construct 148

Postmodernism and Sociological Theory 150

The Exhaustion of Grand Narratives 151

Political Orientation of Postmodernists 152

The Real and the Hyperreal in Postmodern Culture 153

Liquid Modernity 158

Anthony Giddens and the Late Modern Age 159

Structuration Theory 161

Consequences of Modernity 163

Summary 167

6 Globalization: Key Ideas in a Global Framework 169

The Need to Think Globally 172

The Emerging Global Economy 173

Globalization and Democracy 176

Toward a Global Culture 181

The Lasting Impact of the Sociological Tradition 184

Review Questions 185

References 189

Index 213

About the Author 223

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