Visions of the Sociological Tradition / Edition 2

Paperback (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $35.13
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 6%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (11) from $35.13   
  • New (7) from $35.13   
  • Used (4) from $43.52   


This book is a masterful account of the social science enterprise by one of its most accomplished practitioners. Moving from the origins of systematic knowledge in ancient Greece to the present day, Donald Levine offers a richly detailed, ingeniously organized introduction to the cornerstone works of Western social thought. Visions has three meanings, each of which corresponds to a part of the book. In Part One, Levine presents the ways sociologists have rendered accounts of their discipline, as a series of narratives - or life stories - that build upon each other, in an effort to envisage a coherent past for the sake of a purposive present. In Part Two, Levine offers his own narrative, a dialogue among the strands of the sociological tradition: Hellenic, British, French, German, Marxian, Italian, and American. Clearly and concisely, he tracks the sociological imagination through a series of conversations across generations. From classic philosophy to pragmatism, Levine maps the web of a visionary statements from which social science has grown in response to three recurring questions: How shall we live? What makes humans moral creatures? How do we understand the world? He anchors the creation of social knowledge to ethical foundations, and shows how differences in those foundations disposed the shapers of modern social science to proceed in vastly different ways. In Part Three, Levine sets the crisis of fragmentation in social science against the fragmentation of experience and community. By reconstructing the history of social thought as a series of fundamentally moral engagements with common themes, he suggests new uses for sociology's resources: not only as insight about the nature of modernity, but also as a model of mutually respectful communication in an increasingly fractious world.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226475479
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/1995
  • Series: Nature of Human Society Ser.
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 380
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Donald N. Levine is the Peter B. Ritzma Professor of Sociology at the University of Chicago, where he served as dean of the College from 1982 to 1987.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

List of Figures
Prologue 1
Pt. 1 Visions of the Past: Six Histories in Search of a Tradition
1 Disciplines and Their Stories 7
2 Positivist and Pluralist Narratives 13
3 Synthetic Narratives 35
4 Humanist and Contextualist Narratives 59
5 The Changing Need for Narratives 83
Pt. 2 Visions of the Future: Seven Traditions in Search of a Good Society
6 The Hellenic Tradition 105
7 The British Tradition 121
8 The French Tradition 152
9 The German Tradition 181
10 The Marxian Tradition 212
11 The Italian Tradition 231
12 The American Tradition 251
Pt. 3 Visions of the Present: Social Science in Crisis or Transformation?
13 Forming and Transforming a Discipline 271
14 Diagnoses of Our Time 284
15 On the Heritage of Sociology 298
16 In Quest of a Secular Ethic 317
Epilogue: Dialogue as an Antidote to Fragmentation? 327
Appendix A: Selected Dates in the History of Western Social Thought 332
Appendix B: Graphic Depictions of the Six Types of Narrative 334
Appendix C: Basic Postulates of the Seven Traditions 335
References 337
Index 355
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)