This book examines the assumptions and concepts of the five major sociological theories and the classical roots of the modern theories. It focuses specifically on functionalism, conflict theory, theories of rational choice, symbolic interactionism, and phenomenology. Focusing on writers whose work has most influenced social theory, this book explores the key concepts of each theory, the background of the major theorists, empirical applications, and everyday "lay" use of each perspective. The book also features examples of research based on actual theory, direct quotations from major theorists, and feminist contributions and critiques on each major perspective. The sixth edition of Contemporary Sociological Theory: Continuing the Classical Tradition has been revised to include updated research examples that were theoretically driven. An essential reference for every professional whose work is related to sociology.
Table of Contents
1. THE UNDERSTANDING OF SOCIETY.
Part One: Talcott Parsons: Grand Theory.
Part Two: Robert K. Merton: Middle-Range Theory.
Part Three: Neofunctionalism.
3. CONFLICT THEORY.
Part One: Conflict Theory and the Critique of Society.
Part Two: Conflict Theory and Analytic Sociology: The Legacy of Max Weber.
4. EVOLUTION AND MODERNITY: MACROSOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES.
Part One: Karl Marx and the Classless Society.
Part Two: Talcott Parsons's Evolutionary Model.
Part Three: Jurgen Habermas: Rationalization and Communicative Action.
Part Four: Anthony Giddens: Structuration Theory and High Modernity.
5. SYMBOLIC INTERACTIONISM.
Part One: George Herbert Mead: The Self.
Part Two: Herbert Blumer: Interpretation and Methodology.
Part Three: Erving Goffman: Dramaturgy and the Interaction Order.
Part Four: Arlie Russell Hochschild and Patricia Hill Collins: Expanding the Horizons of Symbolic Interactionism.
Part One: Harold Garfinkel: The Founder of Ethnomethodology.
Part Two: Peter Berger: The Social Construction of Reality.
Part Three: Dorothy E. Smith: Feminist Standpoint Theory.
7. THEORIES OF RATIONAL CHOICE.
Part One: Rational Choice, Social Exchange, and Individual Behavior.
Part Two: Rational Choice and the Analysis of Social Structure.
Part Three: James Coleman and the Foundations of Social Theory.
8. REDISCOVERING THE BODY: THE SOCIOLOGY OF THE BODY AND SOCIOBIOLOGY.
Part One: The Sociology of the Body.
Part Two: Sociobiology.
9. CONCLUSION: EVALUATING SOCIOLOGICAL THEORY.
Part One: The Future of Sociological Theory: Modernism and Postmodernism.
Part Two: Social Theory and Understanding: The Value of Multiple Perspectives.