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Classical Sociological Theory

Classical Sociological Theory

Seventh Edition
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Social Theory

March 2017 | 592 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Now with SAGE Publishing, and co-authored by one of the foremost authorities on sociological theory, Classical Sociological Theory, Seventh Edition, provides a comprehensive overview of the major theorists and schools of sociological thought from the Enlightenment roots of theory through the early 20th century. The integration of key theories with biographical sketches of theorists and the requisite historical and intellectual context helps students to better understand the original works of classical authors as well as to compare and contrast classical theories.


1. A Historical Sketch of Sociological Theory: The Early Years
Social Forces in the Development of Sociological Theory  
Intellectual Forces and the Rise of Sociological Theory  
The Development of French Sociology  
The Development of German Sociology  
The Origins of British Sociology  
The Key Figure in Early Italian Sociology  
Turn-of-the-Century Developments in European Marxism  
The Contemporary Relevance of Classical Sociological Theory  
2. A Historical Sketch of Sociological Theory: The Later Years
Early American Sociological Theory  
Sociological Theory to Midcentury  
Sociological Theory from Midcentury  
Late Twentieth-Century Developments in Sociological Theory  
Theories of Modernity and Postmodernity  
Social Theory in the Twenty-First Century  
3. Alexis de Tocqueville
Comparative Study  
American Politics  
The Sociology in Tocqueville’s Work  
The Key Sociological Problem(s)  
Freedom, Democracy, and Socialism  
Contemporary Applications  
4. Auguste Comte
Comte’s Profound Ambitions  
Comte’s Sociology  
Theory and Practice  
Criticisms and Contributions  
5. Herbert Spencer
Spencer and Comte  
General Theoretical Principles
The Evolution of Society  
Ethics and Politics  
Criticisms and Contemporary Applications  
6. Karl Marx
The Dialectic  
Dialectical Method  
Human Potential  
The Structures of Capitalist Society  
Materialist Conception of History  
Cultural Aspects of Capitalist Society  
Marx’s Economics: A Case Study  
Contemporary Applications  
7. Emile Durkheim
Social Facts  
The Division of Labor in Society  
The Elementary Forms of Religious Life  
Moral Education and Social Reform  
Contemporary Applications  
8. Max Weber
Substantive Sociology  
Contemporary Applications  
9. Georg Simmel
Primary Concerns  
Individual Consciousness and Individuality  
Social Interaction (“Association”)  
Social Structures and Worlds  
Objective Culture  
The Philosophy of Money  
Secrecy: A Case Study in Simmel’s Sociology  
Contemporary Applications  
10. Early Women Sociologists and Classical Sociological Theory: 1830-1930
Harriet Martineau (1802–1876)  
Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860–1935)  
Jane Addams (1860–1935) and the Chicago Women’s School  
Anna Julia Cooper (1858–1964) and Ida Wells-Barnett (1862–1931)  
Marianne Schnitger Weber (1870–1954)  
Beatrice Potter Webb (1858–1943)  
11. W. E. B. Du Bois
Intellectual Influences  
Studying Race Scientifically: The Philadelphia Negro  
Theoretical Contributions  
Karl Marx, Socialism, and Communism  
Contemporary Applications  
12. Thorstein Veblen
Intellectual Influences  
Basic Premises  
Substantive Issues  
Criticisms and Contemporary Applications  
13. Joseph Schumpeter
Creative Destruction  
Schumpeter’s Broader Economic Theory  
Toward a More Dynamic Theory of the Economy  
Schumpeter’s Sociology  
The Future  
Contemporary Applications  
14. Karl Mannheim
The Sociology of Knowledge  
Ideology and Utopia  
Rationality and the Irrationality of the Times  
Criticisms and Contemporary Applications  
15. George Herbert Mead
Intellectual Roots  
The Priority of the Social  
The Act  
Mental Processes and the Mind  
Criticisms and Contemporary Applications  
16. Alfred Schutz
The Ideas of Edmund Husserl  
Science and the Social World  
Typifications and Recipes  
The Life-World  
Realms of the Social World  
Consciousness, Meanings, and Motives  
Criticisms and Contemporary Applications  
17. Talcott Parsons
Parsons’s Integrative Efforts  
General Principles  
The Action System  
Change and Dynamism in Parsonsian Theory  
Criticisms and Contemporary Applications  


Instructor Site

Password-protected Instructor Resources include the following:

    • A Microsoft® Word test bank, is available containing multiple choice, true/false, and essay questions for each chapter. The test bank provides you with a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity for editing any question and/or inserting your own personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding.
    • Lecture notes summarize key concepts on a chapter-by-chapter basis to help with preparation for lectures and class discussions.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Chapter 5

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ISBN: 9781506325576