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Sociological Theory in the Contemporary Era
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Sociological Theory in the Contemporary Era
Text and Readings

Third Edition
Additional resources:


November 2015 | 680 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Sociological Theory in the Contemporary Era, Third Edition is a text/reader that introduces students to the ideas and writings of key twentieth and twenty-first century theorists. Authors Scott Appelrouth and Laura Desfor Edles combine original texts, edited for classroom use, with extensive framing discussions that provide crucial biographical, historical, and theoretical context for readings. The book also provides an over-arching scaffolding that students can use to examine, compare, and contrast each theorist’s major themes and concepts. This unique format, combined with frequent use of photos, tables, and diagrams, makes Sociological Theory in the Contemporary Era a lively, engaging, and “student-friendly” introduction to the world of contemporary theory.  

Contributor to the SAGE Teaching Innovations & Professional Development Award  

Find out more at www.sagepub.com/sociologyaward
 
Chapter 1: Introduction
What Is Sociological Theory?

 
Why Read Original Works?

 
Who Are Sociology's Core Theorists?

 
Who are Sociology's Core Contemporary Theorists?

 
How Can We Navigate Sociological Theory?

 
Discussion Questions

 
 
Chapter 2: Structural Functionalism
Talcott C. Parsons (1902-1979): A Biographical Sketch

 
Parson's Intellecutal Influences and Core Ideas

 
Parson's Theoretical Orientation

 
Readings

 
Categories of the Orientation and Organization of Action (1951)

 
Sex Roles in the American Kinship System (1943)

 
Robert K. Merton (1910-2003): A Biographical Sketch

 
Merton's Intellectual Influences and Core Ideas

 
Merton's Theoretical Orientation

 
Readings

 
Manifest and Latent Functions (1949)

 
Social Structure and Anomie (1967)

 
Discussion Questions

 
 
Chapter 3: Critical Theory
Mark Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno, and Herbert Marcuse: Biographical Sketches

 
Horkheimer's, Adorno's, and Marcuse's Intellectual Influences and Core Ideas

 
Horkheimer's, Adorno'a, and Marcuse's Theoretical Orientations

 
Readings

 
Eclipse of Reason (1947)

 
The Culture Industry Reconsidered (1975)

 
One-Dimensional Man (1964)

 
Jurgen Habermas (1929- ): A Biographical Sketch

 
Habermas's Intellectual Influences and Core Ideas

 
Habermas's Theoretical Orientation

 
Readings

 
Civil Society, Public Opinion, and Communicative Power (1996)

 
The Tasks of a Critical Theory of Society (1987)

 
Patricia Hill Collins (1948- ): A Biographical Sketch

 
Collins's Intellectual Influences and Core Ideas

 
Collins's Theoretical Orientation

 
Reading

 
Black Feminist Thought (1990)

 
Discussion Questions

 
 
Chaper 4: Exchange and Rational Choice Theories
George C. Homans (1910-1989): A Biographical Sketch

 
Homan's Intellectual Influences and Core Ideas

 
Homan's Theoretical Orientation

 
Reading

 
Social Behavior as Exchange (1958)

 
Peter M. Blau (1918-2002): A Biographical Sketch

 
Blau's Intellectual Influences and Core Ideas

 
Blau's Theoretical Orientation

 
Reading

 
Exchange and Power in Social Life (1964)

 
James S. Coleman (1926-1995): A Biographical Sketch

 
Coleman's Intellectual Influences and Core Ideas

 
Coleman's Theoretical Orientation

 
Reading

 
Social Capital in the Creation of Human Capital (1988)

 
Discussion Questions

 
 
Chapter 5: Symbolic Interactionism and Dramaturgy
Herbert Blumer (1900-1987): A Biographical Sketch

 
Blumer's Intellectual Influences and Core Ideas

 
Blumer's Theoretical Orientation

 
Reading

 
The Methodological Position of Symbolic Interactionism (1969)

 
Erving Goffman (1922-1982): A Biographical Sketch

 
Goffman's Intellectual Influences and Core Ideas

 
Goffman's Theoretical Orientation

 
Readings

 
The Presentation of the Self in Everyday Life (1959)

 
Asylums (1961)

 
Arlie Russell Hochschild (1940- ): A Biographical Sketch

 
Hochschild's Intellectual Influences and Core Ideas

 
Hochschild's Theoretical Orientation

 
Readings

 
Working on Feeling (2003)

 
The Managed Heart (1983)

 
Discussion Questions

 
 
Chapter 6: Phenomenology and Ethnomethodology
Alfred Schutz (1899-1959): A Biographical Sketch

 
Schutz's Intellectual Influences and Core Ideas

 
Schutz's Theoreitcal Orientation

 
Reading

 
The Phenomenology of the Social World (1967)

 
Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann: Biographical Sketches

 
Berger and Luckmann's Intellectual Influences and Core Ideas

 
Berger and Luckmann's Theoretial Orientation

 
Reading

 
The Social Construction of Reality (1966)

 
Harold Garfinkle (1917- ): A Biographical Sketch

 
Garfinkle's Intellectual Influences and Core Ideas

 
Garfinkle's Theoretical Orientation

 
Reading

 
Studies in Ethnomethodology (1967)

 
Dorothy E. Smith (1926- ): A Biographical Sketch

 
Smith's Intellectual Influences and Core Ideas

 
Smith's Theoretical Orientation

 
Readings

 
Institutional Ethnography (2005)

 
The Everyday World as Problematic (1987)

 
Discussion Questions

 
 
Chapter 7: Poststructuralism
Defining Poststructuralism

 
Michel Foucault (1926-1984): A Biographical Sketch

 
Foucault's Intellectual Influences and Core Ideas

 
Foucault's Theoretical Orientation

 
Reading

 
Social Space and the Genesis of Groups (1982)

 
Pierre Bourdieu (1930-2002): A Biographical Sketch

 
Bourdieu's Intellectual Influences and Core Ideas

 
Bourdieu's Theoretical Orientation

 
Readings

 
Discipline and Punish (1975)

 
Outline of a Sociological Theory of Art Perception (1968)

 
Edward Said (1935-2003): A Biographical Sketch

 
Said's Intellectual Influences and Core Ideas

 
Said's Theoretical Orientation

 
Reading

 
Orientalism (1978)

 
Discussion Questions

 
 
Chapter 8: Postmodernism
Defining Postmodernism

 
Jean Baudrillard (1929-2007): A Biographical Sketch

 
Baudrillard's Intellectual Influences and Core Ideas

 
Baudrillard's Theoretical Orientation

 
Reading

 
Simulacra and Simulations (1981)

 
Jean-Francois Lyotard (1924-1998): A Biographical Sketch

 
Lyotard's Intellectual Influences and Core Ideas

 
Lyotard's Theoretical Orientation

 
Reading

 
The Postmodern Condition (1979)

 
Judith Butler (1956- ): A Biographical Sketch

 
Butler's Intellectual Influences and Core Ideas

 
Butler's Theoretical Orientation

 
Reading

 
Subjects of Sex/Gender/Desire (1990)

 
Discussion Questions

 
 
Chapter 9: The Global Society
Defining Globalization

 
Immanuel Wallerstein (1930- ): A Biographical Sketch

 
Wallerstein's Intellectual Influences and Core Ideas

 
Wallerstein's Theoretical Orientation

 
Reading

 
The Modern World-System as a Capitalist World-Economy: Production, Surplus Value, and Polarization (2004)

 
Leslie Sklair (1940- ): A Biographical Sketch

 
Sklair's Intellectual Influences and Core Ideas

 
Sklair's Theoretical Orientation

 
Reading

 
Globalization: Capitalism and Its Alternatives (2002)

 
George Ritzer (1940- ): A Biographical Sketch

 
Ritzer's Intellectual Influences and Core Ideas

 
Ritzer's Theoretical Orientation

 
Reading

 
Rethinking Globalization: Glocalization/Grobalization and Something/Nothing (2003)

 
Anthony Giddens (1938- ): A Biographical Sketch

 
Gidden's Intellectual Influences and Core Ideas

 
Gidden's Theoretical Orientation

 
Reading

 
The Consequences of Modernity (1990)

 
Discussion Questions

 

Supplements

Instructor Site

Password-protected Instructor Resources include the following: 

  • A Microsoft® Word® test bank is available containing multiple choice, true/false, short answer, 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. 
  • Editable, chapter-specific Microsoft® PowerPoint® slides offer you complete flexibility in easily creating a multimedia presentation for your course.
  • Chapter-specific discussion questions help launch classroom interaction by prompting students to engage with the material and by reinforcing important content. 
  • Suggested Writing Assignments for individual or group projects provide lively and stimulating ideas for use in and out of class reinforce active learning.
  • Tables and Figures are available in an easily-downloadable format for use in papers, hand-outs, and presentations

This text provides a comprehensive review of important contemporary theories. The text is well written and concise enough to effectively communicate to undergraduate students. I provided this book on my syllabus as an additional book they should keep for future reference.

Mr Billy Brocato
Sociology Dept, Texas A & M Univ-Clg Station
September 28, 2016

This book is an essential, well-written and extremely comprehensive addition to any Sociology course syllabus. It includes very well-chosen original scripts and illuminating summaries of sociological concepts. With this book, I had the chance to include my introductory course the discussions of Habermas, Bourdieu, Baudrillard and Butler. Strongly recommended.

Dr Hakan Ovunc Ongur
Department of Political Science, TOBB Ekonomi ve Teknoloji Universitesi
March 15, 2016

This book presents a user-friendly introduction to sociological theory. Students will profit from its comprehensive yet focused approach.

Professor Gabriele Vogt
Asian Studies , University of Hamburg
February 18, 2016

Very accessible introduction to contemporary social theory. Good selection of readings and discussion questions.

Dr Hardina Ohlendorf
International College, Social Science, Mahidol University
February 15, 2016

I like the set up of this book very much. I will suggest it for the second semester of sociology at my University.

Professor Ann-Zofie Duvander
Accounting , Deaprtment of Sociology
February 12, 2016

This book is outstanding in every respect. It covers all the major areas of contemporary theories of society, offering a broad range of perspectives, from structural functionalism, Habermas, Goffman and Foucault perspectives.

The structure is easy to follow, and allows students to find the areas required for their writings quickly and concisely. It is very well written, and offers in-depth analysis of social theory.

The book is particularly relevant for undergraduate students, for any course exploring social theory. The book is also useful to provide additional information regarding contemporary social theory. The concepts and discussions are in-depth, and highly detailed.

I would strongly advise any institution offering courses exploring social theory to use this as a key supplemental resource, although at undergraduate level, I would consider it essential reading.

Mr Gavin Hatton
Sociology , St David's College
September 17, 2015

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ISBN: 9781452203607
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