Social Things: An Introduction to the Sociological Life / Edition 3

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In the new fourth edition of Social Things, Charles Lemert continues to build on the remarkable narrative that first appeared in 1997. The author brings new material into almost every chapter-a stunning account of Hurricane Katrina to illustrate sociological incompetence, new material on maquiladora workers and low-wage immigrant farm workers, an expanded presentation of Pierre Bourdieu's thinking, discussions of America's exploitation of the natural resources of less-developed nations, as well as updated information and facts throughout the book.

About the Author:
Charles Lemert is the Andrus Professor of Sociology at Wesleyan University in Connecticut and is the author of many widely read books, including, most recently, Thinking the Unthinkable; Deadly Worlds: The Emotional Costs of Globalization; Dark Thoughts: Race and the Eclipse of Society; and Postmodernism Is Not What You Think: How Globalization Threatens Modernity

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Editorial Reviews

The first edition appeared in 1977. The book is primarily for use in introductory sociology classes. Part story and history, it shows how we would not encounter "individuals who trust or threaten us were it not for social forces beyond our reach...." What this means is that Lemert (sociology, Wesleyan) is interested in how individuals' lives are shaped not only by intention and local conditions, but also by global forces, especially political and economic events and trends. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
Joe Feagin
Charles Lemert makes sociology vital and alive in this provocative yet friendly introduction. Lemert uses personal biography and the life stories of sociologists, including female, gay and lesbian, and black social thinkers too often overlooked. He asks tough questions of race, class, and gender that most other introductions bypass.
Rhonda F. Levine
With its significantly updated chapter on the state of the discipline since the 1960s, Lemert's Social Things continues to be the best book about the discipline and practice of sociology since C. Wright Mills's The Sociological Imagination.
Rebecca Overmyer-Velázquez
Social Things is indispensable for teaching sociology well, with all of its nuances and mind-bending complexities. Lemert meets students where they are and then demonstrates to them how deeply relevant is the discipline for any thoughtful understanding of their social worlds. This has certainly been true of the first four editions and, with the welcome addition of a new chapter on 'global things on a fragile planet' in the fifth edition, it will remain required reading for all of my students.
Sociological Analysis
Social Things is a triumph. In a time when sociologists must convince others that sociology is not the study of the obvious, Lemert shows that it is highly relevant, both in the classroom and especially in living a fulfilled social life. It is a text that will get new students excited about sociology, and it will remind the professional sociologist of sociology's responsibility and possibility.
— Christopher Bartley
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742535480
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/14/2005
  • Edition description: Third Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 5.54 (w) x 8.49 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles Lemert is Andrus Professor of Sociology at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, and is the author of many widely read books, including, most recently, Survivor Stories with Anthony Elliott; Dark Thoughts: Race and the Eclipse of Society; and Postmodernism Is Not What You Think: How Globalization Threatens Modernity.

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Table of Contents

Part 1 The Sociological Life Chapter 2 Chapter 1: Imagining Social Things, Competently Chapter 3 Chapter 2: Personal Courage and Practical Sociologies Chapter 4 Chapter 3: Practicing the Discipline of Social Things Part 5 Sociology Chapter 6 Chapter 4: Sociology and the Lost Worlds of the New World Order: 1848-1920 Chapter 7 Chapter 5: Sociology Becomes the Science of Worldly Structures: 1920-1960 Chapter 8 Chapter 6: Sociology Discovers Its Complicated Vocation: After 1960 Part 9 Social Things Chapter 10 Chapter 7: The Mysterious Power of Social Structures Chapter 11 Chapter 8: The Lively Subjects of Dead Structures Chapter 12 Chapter 9: Well-Measured Lives in a World of Differences Part 13 Global Things Chapter 14 Chapter 10: Global Methods Chapter 15 Chapter 11: Global Things Queer the Social Chapter 16 Chapter 12: Living against the Conclusion

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