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

Third Edition


© 2015 | 470 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Trained at UCLA and at NYU respectively, Laura Desfor Edles and Scott Appelrouth were frustrated by their inability to find a sociological theory text that could inspire enthusiasm in undergraduate students while providing them with analytical tools for understanding theory and exposing them to original writings from pivotal theorists. They developed this widely used text/reader to fill that need.

Sociological Theory in the Classical Era introduces students to original major writings from sociology's key classical theorists. It also provides a thorough framework for understanding these challenging readings. For each theorist, the authors give a biographical sketch, discuss intellectual influences and core ideas, and offer contemporary examples and applications of those ideas. Introductions to every reading provide additional background on their structure and significance. This book also makes frequent use of photos, diagrams, tables, and charts to help illustrate important concepts. 

 
1. Introduction
WHAT Is Sociological Theory?  
WHY Read Original Works?  
WHO Are Sociology’s Core Theorists?  
HOW Can We Navigate Sociological Theory?  
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS  
 
2. Karl Marx
A Biographical Sketch  
Intellectual Influences and Core Ideas  
Significant Others—Thorstein Veblen: The Leisure Class and Conspicuous Consumption  
Marx’s Theoretical Orientation  
Significant Others—Antonio Gramsci: Hegemony and the Ruling Ideas  
READINGS  
Introduction to The German Ideology  
From The German Ideology (1845–1846)  
Introduction to Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844  
From Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844  
Introduction to The Communist Manifesto  
From The Communist Manifesto (1848)  
Introduction to Capital  
From Capital (1867)  
Introduction to Friedrich Engels’s The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State  
From The Origin of the Family,Private Property and the State (1884)  
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS  
 
3. Émile Durkheim
A Biographical Sketch  
Intellectual Influences and Core Ideas  
Significant Others—Auguste Comte: The Father of “Social Physics”  
Significant Others—Herbert Spencer: Survival of the Fittest  
Durkheim’s Theoretical Orientation  
READINGS  
Introduction to The Division of Labor in Society  
From The Division of Labor in Society (1893)  
Introduction to The Rules of Sociological Method  
From The Rules of Sociological Method (1895)  
Introduction to Suicide: A Study in Sociology  
From Suicide: A Study in Sociology (1897)  
Introduction to The Elementary Forms of Religious Life  
From The Elementary Forms of Religious Life (1912)  
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS  
 
4. Max Weber
A Biographical Sketch  
Intellectual Influences and Core Ideas  
Significant Others—Friedrich Nietzsche: Is God Dead?  
Significant Others—Robert Michels: The Iron Law of Oligarchy  
Weber’s Theoretical Orientation  
READINGS  
Introduction to The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism  
From The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1904)  
Introduction to “The Social Psychology of the World Religions”  
From “The Social Psychology ofthe World Religions” (1915)  
Introduction to “The Distribution of Power Within the Political Community: Class, Status, Party”  
“The Distribution of Power Within the Political Community: Class, Status, Party” (1925)  
Introduction to “The Types of Legitimate Domination”  
From “The Types of Legitimate Domination” (1925)  
Introduction to “Bureaucracy”  
From “Bureaucracy” (1925)  
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS  
 
5. Charlotte Perkins Gilman
A Biographical Sketch  
Significant Others—Harriet Martineau: The First Woman Sociologist  
Intellectual Influences and Core Ideas  
Gilman’s Theoretical Orientation  
READINGS  
Introduction to “The Yellow Wallpaper”  
“The Yellow Wallpaper” (1892)  
“Why I Wrote ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’”  
Introduction to Women and Economics  
From Women and Economics (1898)  
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS  
 
6. Georg Simmel
A Biographical Sketch  
Intellectual Influences and Core Ideas  
Significant Others—Ferdinand Tönnies: Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft  
Simmel’s Theoretical Orientation  
READINGS  
Introduction to “Exchange”  
From “Exchange” (1907)  
Introduction to “Conflict”  
From “Conflict” (1908)  
Introduction to “Sociability”  
From “Sociability” (1910)  
Introduction to “The Stranger”  
“The Stranger” (1908)  
Introduction to “Fashion”  
From “Fashion” (1904)  
Introduction to “The Metropolis and Mental Life”  
“The Metropolis and Mental Life” (1903)  
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS  
 
7. W. E. B. Du Bois
Significant Others—Anna Julia Cooper: A Voice from the South  
A Biographical Sketch  
Intellectual Influences and Core Ideas  
Du Bois’s Theoretical Orientation  
READINGS  
Introduction to The Philadelphia Negro  
From The Philadelphia Negro (1899)  
Introduction to The Souls of Black Folk  
From The Souls of Black Folk (1903)  
Introduction to “The Souls of White Folk”  
From “The Souls of White Folk” (1920)  
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS  
 
8. George Herbert Mead
A Biographical Sketch  
Intellectual Influences and Core Ideas  
Significant Others—Charles Horton Cooley: The “Looking-Glass Self”  
Significant Others—William James: Consciousness and the Self  
Mead’s Theoretical Orientation  
READINGS  
Introduction to “Mind”  
“Mind” (1934)  
Introduction to “Self”  
“Self” (1934)  
Introduction to “Society”  
“Society” (1934)  
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS  

Supplements

Instructor Teaching Site

Password-protected Instructor Resources include the following:
 

  • Test banks provide a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity to edit any question and/or insert your own personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding
  • Chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides offer assistance with lecture and review preparation by highlighting essential content, features, and artwork from the book.
  • Chapter-specific discussion questions help launch conversation 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

A fantastic piece that can help students with classical social theory, goes beyond what was expected and offers accessible explanations.

Mr Lewis Simpson
Department of Health & Social Studies, Grimsby Institute of HE & FE
June 16, 2015

Already using previous edition--have adopted the new edition because the changes are good.

Professor Carol Thompson
Sociology Crim Just Anth Dept, Texas Christian University
January 11, 2015
Key features

NEW TO THIS EDITION:

  • Examples throughout have been updated, providing newer, more timely applications of classical theory to contemporary social life
  • Ten new conceptual diagrams have been added to illustrate complex ideas
  • Many of the authored introductions to the readings have been revised to add new insights and historical context
  • Chapter 1 has been significantly revised to better connect the intellectual, political, cultural, and economic origins of sociological theory to earlier events: the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution, and the French Revolution
  • The chapter on Karl Marx  compares working conditions in China’s high-tech manufacturing centers to the conditions Marx witnessed in Europe at the height of the Industrial Revolution
  • The chapter on Émile Durkheim expands on Durkheim’s ideas about the social functions of crime and how crime can create opportunities for progressive social change
  • In the chapter on Max Weber, the introduction to “The Spirit of Capitalism” uses 2014 data on U.S. household credit card debt and household savings rates to consider the state of Weber’s “iron cage” today
  • The chapter on Charlotte Perkins Gilman opens with a new assessment of global gender in the contemporary world, to provide context for reading Gilman’s multidimensional feminist writings over a century ago
  • The chapter on W. E. B. Du Bois has a new section on the literary qualities of Du Bois’s work, and the connections between his social consciousness and biblical traditions
  • Discussion questions have been added to every chapter to encourage further exploration 
  • A glossary of key terms has been added to ensure comprehension

KEY FEATURES:

  • The book’s acclaimed text/reader format provides students with the best of both worlds, original readings accompanied by interpretive and analytical guidance necessary to interpret them
  • A theoretical framework presented in chapter 1 gives students a visual means to understand the theorists and perspectives that follow
  • Theoretical Orientation Diagrams and Core Concepts Diagrams, now even more visually appealing, show students how to fit the theorist under study into the broader universe of social theory
  • “Significant Others” boxes provide information on additional writers and thinkers who influenced, and were influenced by, the major theorists featured in each chapter 
  • Each chapter includes photos of theorists and of their historical milieu, along with applications to contemporary scenes

New to this edition:

  • Dated examples have been removed and replaced by newer, more timely applications of classical theory to contemporary social life.
  • The authors have developed 10 new conceptual diagrams to illustrate complex ideas.
  • Many of introductions to readings have been revised to add new insights and historical context.
  • Chapters 1 has been is significantly revised, to better explain the intellectual, political, cultural, and economic origins of sociological theory. The authors have added new material on the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution, and the French Revolution.
  • The chapter on Karl Marx compares working conditions in China’s high-tech manufacturing centers to the conditions Marx witnessed in Europe at the height of the Industrial Revolution
  • The chapter on Emile Durkheim expands on Durkheim’s ideas about the social functions of crime, and how crime can create opportunities for progressive social change.
  • In the chapter on Max Weber, the introduction to “The Spirit of Capitalism” uses data from 2014 on U.S. household credit card debt and household savings rates to consider the state of Weber’s “iron cage” today.
  • The chapter on Charlotte Perkins Gilman opens with a new assessment of global gender in the contemporary world, to provide context for reading Gilman’s multi-dimensional feminist writings over a century ago.
  • The chapter on W.E. B. Du Bois has a new section on the literary qualities of Du Bois’s work, and the connections between Du Bois’s social consciousness and Biblical traditions.
  • All chapters have new discussion questions.
  • The authors have added a glossary of key terms.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Chapter 3


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ISBN: 9781452203614
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