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Explorations in Classical Sociological Theory
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Explorations in Classical Sociological Theory
Seeing the Social World

Fourth Edition
  • Kenneth Allan - University of North Carolina at Greensboro, USA
  • Sarah Daynes - University of North Carolina at Greensboro, USA


October 2016 | 368 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Praised for its conversational tone, personal examples, and helpful pedagogical tools, the Fourth Edition of Explorations in Classical Sociological Theory: Seeing the Social World is organized around the modern ideas of progress, knowledge, and democracy.  With this historical thread woven throughout the chapters, the book presents a diverse selection of major classical theorists including Marx, Spencer, Durkheim, Weber, Mead, Simmel, Martineau, Gilman, Douglass, Du Bois, Parsons, and the Frankfurt School. Kenneth Allan and new co-author Sarah Daynes focus on the specific views of each theorist, rather than schools of thought, and highlight modernity and postmodernity to help contemporary readers understand how classical sociological theory applies to their lives.  


 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
1. Beginning to See: A Sociological Core
The Making of Modernity and the Modern Way of Knowing

 
Institutions of Modernity

 
The Birth of Sociology: August Comte

 
Comte’s Positivism

 
The Evolution of Knowledge

 
Theory

 
Advantages and Goals of Positivism

 
Seeing Society

 
Sociological Methods

 
Practicing Theory—A Summary

 
Building Your Theory Toolbox

 
 
2. Seeing Society for the First Time: Herbert Spencer
Theorist’s Digest

 
The Sociological Imagination of Herbert Spencer

 
Spencer’s Life

 
Spencer’s Social World

 
Spencer’s Sociological Imagination: Functionalism

 
Concepts and Theory: Social Evolution

 
The Social System

 
System Needs

 
Differentiation and Specialization

 
Types of Society

 
Regulatory Complexity

 
Industrial and Militaristic

 
Concepts and Theory: Social Institutions

 
Domestic Institutions

 
Ceremonial Institutions

 
Ecclesiastical Institutions

 
Thinking About Modernity and Postmodernity

 
Defining Postmodernity

 
Religion: A Postmodern Case in Point

 
Summary

 
Building Your Theory Toolbox

 
 
3. Class Inequality: Karl Marx
Theorist’s Digest

 
The Sociological Imagination of Karl Marx

 
Marx’s Life

 
Marx’s Social World

 
Marx’s Intellectual World

 
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

 
Ludwig Andreas von Feuerbach

 
Adam Smith

 
Marx’s Sociological Imagination: Critical Conflict Theory

 
Human Nature

 
History—The Material Dialectic

 
Concepts and Theory: The Contradictions of Capitalism

 
Value and Exploitation

 
Industrialization, Markets, and Commodification

 
Concepts and Theory: Class Revolution

 
Class and Class Structure

 
Overproduction

 
Concepts and Theory: The Problem of Ideology and Consciousness

 
Alienation, Private Property, and Commodity Fetish

 
False Consciousness and Religion

 
Class Consciousness

 
Thinking About Modernity and Postmodernity

 
Machines of Production and Consciousness

 
Machines of Reproduction and Schizophrenic Culture

 
Summary

 
Building Your Theory Toolbox

 
 
4. Diversity and Social Solidarity: Émile Durkheim
Theorist’s Digest

 
The Sociological Imagination of Émile Durkheim

 
Durkheim’s Life

 
Durkheim’s Social World

 
Durkheim’s Intellectual World

 
Montesquieu

 
Jean-Jacques Rousseau

 
Durkheim’s Contribution to Functionalism

 
Durkheim’s Sociological Imagination: Cultural Sociology

 
Concepts and Theory: Primal Society

 
Defining Religion

 
Creating a Sacred World

 
Concepts and Theory: Social Diversity and Moral Consensus

 
Mechanical and Organic Solidarity

 
The Division of Labor

 
The Problem With Modern Society

 
Organic Solidarity and Social Pathology

 
Concepts and Theory: Individualism

 
Suicide

 
The Cult of the Individual

 
Thinking About Modernity and Postmodernity

 
Grand Narratives, Doubt, and Civil Religion

 
Summary

 
Building Your Theory Toolbox

 
 
5. Rationality and Organization: Max Weber
Theorist’s Digest

 
The Sociological Imagination of Max Weber

 
Weber’s Life

 
Weber’s Social World

 
Weber’s Intellectual World

 
The Problems of Values and Meaning

 
Specific Methods: Ideal Types

 
Specific Methods: Verstehen

 
Weber’s Sociological Imagination

 
Concepts and Theory: The Process of Rationalization

 
Types of Social Action

 
Concepts and Theory: The Evolution of Religion

 
From Magic to Religion

 
From Polytheism to Ethical Monotheism

 
Concepts and Theory: The Rise of Capitalism

 
The Religious Culture of Capitalism

 
Structural Influences on Capitalism

 
Concepts and Theory: Class, Authority, and Social Change

 
Class

 
Status and Party

 
Crosscutting Stratification

 
Authority and Social Change

 
Concepts and Theory: Rational-Legal Organization

 
Ideal-Type Bureaucracies

 
Effects of Bureaucratic Organization

 
Thinking About Modernity and Postmodernity

 
Summary

 
Building Your Theory Toolbox

 
 
INTRODUCTION: ANOTHER SOCIOLOGICAL CORE
 
6. The Modern Person: George Herbert Mead and Georg Simmel
George Herbert Mead—Symbolic Interaction

 
Theorist’s Digest

 
Concepts and Theory: Truth, Meaning, and Action

 
Pragmatic Truth

 
Human Action

 
Concepts and Theory: Meaning and Interaction

 
Symbolic Interaction

 
Concepts and Theory: Making Yourself

 
The Mind

 
Stages of Role Taking

 
Self and Society

 
The I and the Me

 
Summary

 
Georg Simmel—Formal Sociology

 
Theorist’s Digest

 
Concepts and Theory: The Individual in Society

 
Subjective and Objective Cultures

 
Concepts and Theory: The Self in the City

 
The Division of Labor

 
Money and Markets

 
Social Networks: Rational Versus Organic Group Membership

 
Summary

 
Thinking About Modernity and Postmodernity

 
Simulacrum and Hyperreality

 
Reflexivity and the Fragmenting of the Self

 
Fusing the I and the Me

 
Building Your Theory Toolbox

 
 
7. Seeing Gender: Harriett Martineau and Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Waves of Feminism

 
Harriet Martineau—Gender and Democracy

 
Theorist’s Digest

 
Concepts and Theory: Observing Society

 
Morals and Manners

 
Preparing the Observer

 
Safeguarding Observations

 
Concepts and Theory: Gender and Democracy

 
Gender and Family

 
The Cultural Logic of Gender

 
Workforce Participation

 
Concepts and Theory: Religion, Education, and Democracy

 
Religious Forms

 
Religious Forms and Democracy

 
Conditions of Religion

 
Education and Freedom

 
Summary

 
Charlotte Perkins Gilman—The Evolution of Gender

 
Theorist’s Digest

 
Concepts and Theory: Critical Evolution Theory

 
Functional Evolution

 
Adding Marx

 
Gynaecocentric Theory

 
Concepts and Theory: Dynamics of Social Evolution

 
Morbid Excess in Sex Distinction

 
Sexuo-Economic Effects

 
Summary

 
Building Your Theory Toolbox

 
 
8. Seeing Race: Frederick Douglass and W. E. B. Du Bois
Race Literature

 
Frederick Douglass—The American Discourse of Race

 
Theorist’s Digest

 
Concepts and Theory: The Discourse of Slavery

 
Race as Other

 
Democracy and Universalism

 
Summary

 
W. E. B. Du Bois—The Culture of Race

 
Theorist’s Digest

 
Concepts and Theory: The Experience of Oppression and Critical Knowledge

 
Standpoint of the Oppressed

 
Concepts and Theory: Cultural Oppression

 
Exclusion From History

 
Representation

 
Stereotypes and Slippery Slopes

 
Double Consciousness

 
Concepts and Theory: The Dark Nations and World Capitalism

 
The Need for Color

 
Summary

 
Gender and Race: Thinking About Modernity and Postmodernity

 
Modernity and Identity

 
The Postmodern Twist

 
Building Your Theory Toolbox

 
 
9. Seeing Ahead: Defining Moments in Twentieth Century Theory: Talcott Parsons and the Frankfurt School
Talcott Parsons: Defining Sociology

 
Parsons’s Vision for the Social Sciences

 
Parsons’s Theoretical Project

 
Parsons and the Problem of Social Order

 
Voluntaristic Action

 
Patterning Voluntaristic Action

 
The Frankfurt School: Critiquing Modernity

 
Historical Roots

 
The Problem with Positivism: Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno

 
An Analysis of Art and Culture

 
Building Your Theory Toolbox

 
 
References
 
Index
 
About the Authors

“I have [been] using Allan's books since I started teaching social theory courses as an adjunct in grad school. [He] takes complicated materials that can be very dense and obtuse [and presents] concepts in a straightforward manner. The writing clarity stands on its own.”

William G. Holt
Birmingham-Southern College

“Allan does a much better job of setting the scene for [an] understanding of Classical Theory than other texts I have used in the past. He also speaks in lay terms so that undergraduates [can] grasp the material.”

Eileen Connell
Colorado State University

“I feel that the Sociological Imagination sections, Theoretical Hints, Enduring Issues, and Theory Toolboxes are especially useful to my students.”

Stephanie Bucy
Columbia College

“[Explorations in Classical Sociology Theory] makes accessible to undergraduates rather difficult material. [It] sets theories in the context of major conceptual frameworks and orientations [and] offers contemporary interpretations and applications.”

Rachel Filinson
Rhode Island College

This is the clearest introduction to classical social and sociological theory available today. Dr. Allan's writing is straightforward, and invites his readers into the material. His examples are relevant to today's students. I have used it for many years, and my students who have gone on to do graduate work tell me it is the one undergraduate textbook they keep, and constantly return to. That is high praise for an undergraduate textbook.

Dr Linda Derksen
Sociology Dept, Vancouver Island Univ-Nanaimo
October 5, 2016
Key features

NEW TO THIS EDITION:

  • New co-author Sarah Daynes, an expert on European and especially French social theory, brings new insights to the book.
  • Ch. 1 has expanded discussions about the origins of modernity and the revolutions in thinking that led to the birth of sociology.
  • The chapters on Spencer, Marx, and the Frankfurt School in particular contain a number of new perspectives and scholarly interpretations.

KEY FEATURES:

  • Offering the context of modernity as a meaningful framework, this book encourages deeper comprehension by teaching readers to "think theoretically."
  • A focus on the particular perspective of each theorist, with its nuances intact, gives readers a fuller understanding.
  • A well-organized, categorical scheme helps students situate the theorists, compare their work, and ponder for themselves some of sociology's big questions.
  • Helpful features such as boxed definitions, “Theorist’s Digest,” and “Building Your Theory Toolbox” provide ways for readers to grasp and apply each theorist’s work.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Chapter 9


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