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Contemporary Sociological Theory

Contemporary Sociological Theory

September 2012 | 768 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Written by award-winning scholar, Jonathan Turner, Contemporary Sociological Theory covers the range of diversity of theory in nine theoretical traditions, and variants of theoretical approaches in these traditions. The result is a comprehensive review of present-day theorizing in sociology covering functional, evolutionary, ecological, conflict, interactionist, exchange, structuralist, cultural, and critical theories and the major proponents of these theories. Moreover, for each theoretical tradition, it origins are examined in a separate chapter with an eye to how classical theorists influenced the work of key contemporary scholars. This book will serve as a valuable resource for those readers seeking in-depth and comprehensive coverage of contemporary traditions in their historical contexts.

  • Unlike many texts, coverage is comprehensive and deep. The theories and their origins are examined in detail so that readers can fully understand the origins and present profile of theories in present-day sociology.
  • Unlike many texts that skim over theories on the surface, this book seeks to unlock for the reader their underlying structure of each theory. The book is written in a modular format so that theories and traditions can be examined in any order, and in many diverse combinations.
  • If desired, only the contemporary theories can be read without attention to their historical contexts, or the reverse is true if readers want to understand the historical origins of a particular theoretical tradition.

Since Jonathan Turner is an active theorist in his own right, he brings to the book an appreciation of how theories are created as an insider rather than as only a commentator on theory. As such, he is able to bring out the underlying assumptions, structure, and form of a theory in new and interesting ways for casual readers and scholars alike.

1. The Nature of Sociological Theory
2. The Rise of Functional Theorizing
3. Talcott Parsons' Analytical Functionalism
4. The Systems Functinoalism of Niklas Luhmann
5. Efforts to Revitalize Functionalism
6. The Rise of Evolutionary and Ecological Theories
7. Ecological Theories
8. Stage Theories of Societal Evolution
9. Darwinian-inspired Evolutionary Theories
10. The Rise of Conflict Theorizing
11. Early Analytical Conflict Theories
12. Randall Collins' Analytical Conflict Theory
13. Marxian Conflict Theories
14. Conflict Theories in Historical-Comparative Sociology
15. The Rise of Interactionist and Phenomenological Theorizing
16. Symbolic Interactionist Theories of Identity
17. Roles Theories
18. Status Theories
19. Dramaturgical Theories
20. Ethnomethological Theories
21. The Rise of Exchange Theorizing
22. Early Exchange Theorizing
23. Rational Choice Theories
24. Exchange-Network Theories
25. The Rise of Structuralist and Cultural Theorizing
26. Early Structural and Cultural Theories
27. Cultural Theories
28. Structuration Theory
29. Network Analysis
30. The Rise of Critical Theorizing
31. Critical Theorizing in the Frankfurt School
32. Postmodernism as Critical Theory
33. American-style Critical Theory

Another very useful reference book, which I find myself regularly using for my own work. A good book for students to access when considering particular sociological ideas and thinkers.

Dr Claire Maxwell
Humanities, Institute of Education
September 24, 2014

A useful book however content too complex for my area and context

Dr Kevin McConville
Centre for Undergraduate Medicine, Dundee University
September 21, 2014

We really enjoyed this book and will be using it on both the L3 and Y1 degree course as recommended reading.

Ms Juliet Radford Hayes
Health and Social Care, Coventry University College
June 24, 2014

The book surveys all the theories taught in class but Bauman's Liquid Modernity. The texts are very clear, so I recommend the students to read the book at home although it is not a mandatory reading.

Professor Nuno Jeronimo
Sociology , Universidade da Beira Interior
January 20, 2014

This is a large, comprehensive book that will appeal to students researching arts-based topics with potential for sociological interpretation. I particularly value that it is organized according to theoretical approach. This puts similar/comparable approaches side by side, and correspondingly highlights theories from different analytical traditions. This latter is especially useful for novice researchers who sometimes fail to see the fundamental differences in approaches that treat of similar cases. Slightly surprised at the absence of Bloor, but maybe that just shows my own interests: one cannot include everyone!

Professor Michael Biggs
School of Creative Arts, University of Hertfordshire
December 5, 2013

An excellent detailed text which helps to explain and illustrate sociological theories. This has been recommended as supplementary reading for post grad students undertaking their qualitative research module.

Ms Deb Hearle
Department of Occupational Therapy, Cardiff University
November 28, 2013

well-structured and clear - covers the major sociological theories and is a useful starting point for students.

Miss Charlotte Jones
Warwick Institute of Education, Warwick University
July 23, 2013

I need a text that covers primarily the classical era but that also includes 20th century American theories, including exchange, status characteristics, feminist theory, and Bourdieu.

Mr James Dowd
Sociology Dept, University of Georgia
February 20, 2013

This book is a great companion for students who wish to further their knowledge of social theory.

For me it has proven an invaluable resource.

Dr Frederico Matos
Social Policy and Education, Birkbeck College
February 13, 2013

Comprehensive text of contemporary theory

Mr Michael Tobin
Department of Applied Arts, Waterford Institute of Technology
January 17, 2013

Sample Materials & Chapters


ch 1

ch 16

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