Sociological Theory in the Classical Era: Text and Readings / Edition 1

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Overview

"Edles and Appelrouth's new book is a major contribution for those striving to help students understand the essential place of theory in the sociological enterprise.  It skillfully demonstrates the contemporary relevance of classical theory, elucidates the complex interplay of empirical research and sociological theory, and makes crystal clear that good theory must always be more than idle speculation.  The authors are to be commended for how they interweave biographical sketches, background influences, core ideas, and theoretical orientations, on the one hand, with their inclusion of pivotal primary sources.  This book will likely be template that future texts in theory will try to emulate."

                                                                        -- Edward Lehman, New York University
 
"Sociological Theory in the Classical Era is an ambitious and successful attempt to revitalize the teaching of sociological theory. The scope of primary readings is wide and inclusive. Their introductory materials are clear and helpful. Their new organizing framework will allow students to clarify the similarities and differences among the wealth of classical readings."

                                                                              -- Jeffrey Alexander, Yale University
 
"This is one of the best classical theory texts I've come across.  Most undergraduates are unprepared for a serious encounter with the writings of the classical theorists.  Rather than respond to this problem with a textbook full of pat summaries, Edles and Appelrouth ingeniously combine the best of the reader and textbook formats.  Theirexegeses of the major themes and arguments of each theorist -- written with a rare combination of theoretical acumen, clarity, and the sure-footed use of examples -- will help students make sense of the well chosen excerpts.  The book thus serves a double purpose: not only will it expose students to the ideas of the classical theorists; it will also help them learn what it really means to read."
 
                                                                                    -- Neil Gross, Harvard University
 
Sociological Theory in the Classical Era is a highly-acclaimed new text which utilizes the unique and increasingly popular text/reader approach. The book presents major readings by sociology's key classical theorists, including Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, Charlotte Perkins-Gilman, Georg Simmel, W.E.B. Du Bois, and George Herbert Mead. The corresponding text written by Laura Desfor Edles and Scott Appelrouth gives students the analytical framework necessary for them to develop a more critical and gratifying understanding of the ideas advanced by these theorists.
 
The theoretical concepts addressed in the book, while classical, still resonate with contemporary concerns. Topics include the nature of capitalism, the basis of social solidarity of cohesion, the role of authority in social life, the benefits and dangers posed by modern bureaucracies, the dynamics of gender and racial oppression, and the nature of "self" to name but a few.
 
Key Features
  • "Student-friendly" text/reader approach provides an overarching scaffolding which students can use to examine, compare, and contrast each theorists' major themes and concepts through primary and secondary source materials
  • Connects classical theorists and their writings to contemporary concerns.
  • Photos of theorists, the social milieu during which their theories were developed, as well as photos that illustrate theories' applications to modern life
  • Charts and figures summarize key concepts, illuminate complex ideas, and provoke student interest
  • Discussion questions at the end of each chapter aid student comprehension
Sociological Theory in the Classical Era is intended for use as the core text in upper-level Classical Sociological Theory courses, or in combined Classical/Contemporary Sociological Theory courses.
 
Laura Desfor Edles is the author of Symbol and Ritual in the New Spain (1998) and Cultural Sociology in Practice (2002). She has been teaching theory courses at both the graduate and undergraduate level for over ten years. She has also given numerous presentations at conferences on her particular method of teaching theory. Professor Edles received her Ph.D. from UCLA in 1990.
 
Scott Appelrouth is Assistant Professor of Sociology at California State University, Northridge. He received his Ph.D. from New York University in 2000. He has taught classical and contemporary theory at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, and has published several articles in research- and teaching-oriented journals.     \
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Editorial Reviews

Edward Lehman

“Edles and Appelrouth's new book is a major contribution for those striving to help students understand the essential place of theory in the sociological enterprise. It skillfully demonstrates the contemporary relevance of classical theory, elucidates the complex interplay of empirical research and sociological theory, and makes crystal clear that good theory must always be more than idle speculation. The authors are to be commended for how they interweave biographical sketches, background influences, core ideas, and theoretical orientations, on the one hand, with their inclusion of pivotal primary sources. This book will likely be template that future texts in theory will try to emulate.”

Jacques Henry
"I chose this text because it is largely dedicated to original texts and it offers relevant yet short introductions…. I also particularly like that the intros to individual texts offer context but do not directly summarize or analyze the excerpts."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761928027
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 7/28/2004
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 7.06 (w) x 9.92 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Meet the Author

Laura Desfor Edles (PhD, University of California, Los Angeles, 1990) is Professor of Sociology at California State University, Northridge. She is the author of Symbol and Ritual in the New Spain: The Transition to Democracy after Franco (1998) and Cultural Sociology in Practice (2002), as well as various articles on culture, theory, race/ethnicity, and social movements.

Scott Appelrouth (PhD, New York University, 2000) is Professor at California State University, Northridge. His interests include sociological theory, cultural sociology, and social movements. He has taught classical and contemporary theory at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, and has published several articles in research- and teaching-oriented journals on social movements, theory, and the controversies over jazz during the
1920s and rap during the 1980s. His current research focuses on political discourse in American party platforms.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations and Photos
List of Figures and Tables
About the Authors
Preface
1. Introduction
What Is Sociological Theory?
Why Read Original Works?
Who Are Sociology's Core Theorists?
How Can We Navigate Sociological Theory?
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
2. Karl Marx
A Biographical Sketch
Intellectual Influences and Core Ideas
Significant Others--Thorstein Veblen (1857-1929): The Leisure Class and Conspicuous Consumption
Marx's Theoretical Orientation
Significant Others--Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937): Hegemony and the Ruling Ideas
READINGS
Introduction to The German Ideology
From The German Ideology (1845-1846)
Introduction to Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844
From Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844
Introduction to The Communist Manifesto
From The Communist Manifesto (1848)
Introduction to Capital
From Capital (1867)
Introduction to Friedrich Engels's The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State
From The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State (1884)
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
3. Émile Durkheim
A Biographical Sketch
Intellectual Influences and Core Ideas
Significant Others--Auguste Comte (1798-1857): The Father of "Social Physics"
Significant Others--Herbert Spencer (1820-1903): Survival of the Fittest
Durkheim's Theoretical Orientation
READINGS
Introduction to The Division of Labor in Society
From The Division of Labor in Society (1893)
Introduction to The Rules of Sociological Method
From The Rules of Sociological Method (1895)
Introduction to Suicide: A Study in Sociology
From Suicide: A Study in Sociology (1897)
Introduction to The Elementary Forms of Religious Life
From The Elementary Forms of Religious Life (1912)
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
4. Max Weber
A Biographical Sketch
Intellectual Influences and Core Ideas
Significant Others--Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900): Is God Dead?
Significant Others--Robert Michels (1876-1936): The Iron Law of Oligarchy
Weber's Theoretical Orientation
READINGS
Introduction to The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism
From The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1904)
Introduction to "The Social Psychology of the World Religions"
From "The Social Psychology of the World Religions" (1915)
Introduction to "The Distribution of Power Within the Political Community: Class, Status, Party"
"The Distribution of Power Within the Political Community: Class, Status, Party" (1925)
Introduction to "The Types of Legitimate Domination"
From "The Types of Legitimate Domination" (1925)
Introduction to "Bureaucracy"
From "Bureaucracy" (1925)
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
5. Charlotte Perkins Gilman
A Biographical Sketch
Significant Others--Harriet Martineau (1802-76): The First Woman Sociologist
Intellectual Influences and Core Ideas
Gilman's Theoretical Orientation
READINGS
Introduction to "The Yellow Wallpaper"
"The Yellow Wallpaper" (1892)
"Why I Wrote 'The Yellow Wallpaper'"
Introduction to Women and Economics
From Women and Economics (1898)
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
6. Georg Simmel
A Biographical Sketch
Intellectual Influences and Core Ideas
Significant Others--Ferdinand Tönnies (1855-1936): Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft
Simmel's Theoretical Orientation
READINGS
Introduction to "Exchange"
From "Exchange," From The Philosophy of Money (1907)
Introduction to "Conflict"
From "Conflict," From Sociology (1908)
Introduction to "Sociability"
From "Sociability" (1910)
Introduction to "The Stranger"
From "The Stranger," From Sociology (1908)
Introduction to "Fashion"
From "Fashion" (1904)
Introduction to "The Metropolis and Mental Life"
From "The Metropolis and Mental Life" (1903)
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
7. W. E. B. Du Bois
Significant Others--Anna Julia Cooper (1858-1964): A Voice From the South
A Biographical Sketch
Intellectual Influences and Core Ideas
Du Bois's Theoretical Orientation
READINGS
Introduction to The Philadelphia Negro
From The Philadelphia Negro (1899)
Introduction to The Souls of Black Folk
From The Souls of Black Folk (1903)
Introduction to "The Souls of White Folk"
From "The Souls of White Folk," From Darkwater (1920)
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
8. George Herbert Mead
A Biographical Sketch
Intellectual Influences and Core Ideas
Significant Others--Charles Horton Cooley (1864-1929): The "Looking-Glass Self"
Significant Others--William James (1842-1910): Consciousness and the Self
Mead's Theoretical Orientation
READINGS
Introduction to "Mind"
From "Mind," From Mind, Self, and Society (1934)
Introduction to "Self"
From "Self," From Mind, Self, and Society (1934)
Introduction to "Society"
From "Society," From Mind, Self, and Society (1934)
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
References
Photo Credits
Index
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