Key Ideas in Sociology
Publication Year: 2011
Demonstrates the evolution of ideas developed by theorists over time and links classical sociological theory to today's world
Key Ideas in Sociology, Third Edition, is the only undergraduate text to link today's issues to the ideas and individuals of the era of classical sociological thought. Compact and affordable, this book provides an overview of how sociological theories have helped sociologists understand modern societies and human relations. It also describes the continual evolution of these theories in response to social change.
Providing students with the opportunity to read from primary texts, this valuable supplement presents theories as interpretive tools, useful for understanding a multifaceted, ever-shifting social world. Emphasis is given to the working world, to the roles and responsibilities of citizenship and to social relationships. A concluding chapter ...
- Front Matter
- Back Matter
- Subject Index
- Chapter 1: Key Ideas About the Social World
- Conceptualizing Contemporary Society
- Industrial Society
- Careers of Ideas
- Key Ideas and the Field of Sociology
- Tools for Understanding Social Trends
- Chapter 2: Industrial Society: From the Satanic Mills to the Digital Age
- The Industrial Revolution
- Karl Marx: The Permanent Exile
- The Intellectual Context of Marx's Ideas
- The Analyst of Capitalist Industrial Society
- Marxism After Marx
- Counterimages of Capitalist Industrial Society: Shifts in the Class Structure
- Joseph Schumpeter and the Achilles' Heel of Capitalism
- The Iconoclastic Social Theory of Thorstein Veblen
- C. Wright Mills: The Academic Outlaw
- Daniel Bell on the Advent of Postindustrial Society
- On the Transition to Postindustrial Society
- Critical Responses to Bell
- Chapter 3: Democracy: From the Fall of the Bastille to the Fall of the Berlin Wall
- Max Weber: Prophet, Pessimist, and Realist
- The Divided Soul of Max Weber
- The Iron Cage: The Economic Undergirding of Modern Democratic Politics
- Democracy versus Bureaucracy
- Politics as a Vocation
- Talcott Parsons on the Democratic Prospect
- Parsonian Thought in the Context of His Times
- Parsons as an Advocate of Social Reform
- Democracy Under Attack
- Citizenship in a Democracy
- Capitalism versus Democracy? Lipset and Beyond
- From Alcove No. 1 to the Hoover Institution
- Economic Development and Democracy
- Class Structure of Democratic Polities
- Critical Theory of Jürgen Habermas
- Democracy and the Public Sphere
- The Fate of the Public Sphere in Late Capitalism
- Deepening Democracy: The Colonization of the Life World and the New Social Movements
- The Civil Sphere: Solidarity and Justice
- Chapter 4: Individualism: The Tension Between Me and Us
- Alexis De Tocqueville on Individualism
- America as a Model of Europe's Future
- Destructive Individualism
- Ferdinand Toennies on Community
- Toennies's Ideas in the Context of His Life
- Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft
- Émile Durkheim and the Quest for Community
- Bases of Solidarity
- The Distinctiveness of Durkheim's Ideas
- The Division of Labor
- The Dreyfus Affair and Individualism
- Durkheim in America
- Merton's Elaboration of Durkheimian Themes
- The Lonely Crowd in Mass Society
- Habits of a New Generation's Heart
- Goffman on the Sacred Character of the Individual
- Chapter 5: Modernity: From the Promise of Modern Society to Postmodern Suspicions
- Modernity and Postmodernity: Provisional Definitions
- The Ambiguous Legacy of Georg Simmel
- Academic Marginality
- Simmel on the Culture of Modernity
- Robert E. Park and the Chicago School
- Race Relations in the Modern World
- Race as a Social Construct
- Postmodernism and Sociological Theory
- The Exhaustion of Grand Narratives
- Political Orientation of Postmodernists
- The Real and the Hyperreal in Postmodern Culture
- Liquid Modernity
- Anthony Giddens and the Late Modern Age
- Structuration Theory
- Consequences of Modernity
- Chapter 6: Globalization: Key Ideas in a Global Framework
- The Need to Think Globally
- The Emerging Global Economy
- Globalization and Democracy
- Toward a Global Culture
- The Lasting Impact of the Sociological Tradition
[Page ii]For Susan
Copyright © 2011 by Pine Forge Press, an Imprint of SAGE Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Kivisto, Peter, 1948-
Key ideas in sociology / Peter Kivisto. — 3rd ed.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-1-4129-7811-8 (pbk.)
1. Sociology—History. 2. Social change. I. Title.
This book is printed on acid-free paper.
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This book, in presenting a brief account of the sociological vocation and promise, is designed to serve as a text particularly well suited for courses in which students are also expected to read from primary texts.
I had two specific goals in mind when setting out to write Key Ideas in Sociology. First, I intended for it to provide students with a general overview of the ways in which a number of important ideas have helped sociologists to better understand contemporary societies and human social relations in those societies. I wanted to show how those ideas have been continually reformulated by social theorists attempting to respond to the ongoing impact of social change.
The second reason for writing the book is related to this last point, for it is an effort to illustrate the value of social theory beyond the classroom. I want students to come to appreciate that theories are not arcane intellectual exercises but, in fact, invaluable interpretive guides helping them in the ongoing quest to understand complex and ever-changing social conditions. These ideas have relevance for sorting out issues related to the world of work. They speak to problems and possibilities shaping what it means to be a citizen today. They have much to offer in thinking about the shifting nature of social relations even at the most intimate levels involving lovers, friends, and neighbors. In short, the purpose of the book is to reveal the relevance of sociological thinking for everyone concerned about their public and private lives.
In the second edition of the book I took more seriously than I had in the earlier version the challenges that globalization poses for sociological thought. As will be clear, some of the scholars discussed herein had an awareness of globalization before the term was common, whereas others operated with a problematic tendency to equate society with the nation-state. The concluding chapter of the book surveys promising developments in social theory today that build on the past while simultaneously attempting to grapple with new challenges posed by the advent of a global society.
[Page x]This new edition is intended to reflect on my earlier analyses, making use of scholarship that has been produced in the first decade of the 21st century. This includes new studies of the classics, some of which are biographical and some of which offer new and challenging interpretations of aspects of their work. It also includes new currents in theoretical thinking, seen, for [Page xi]example, in Jeffrey Alexander's development of the idea of the civil sphere and in Zygmunt Bauman's introduction of the idea of liquid modernity.
In preparing this work, I came to realize how important some of my former teachers were in convincing me of the vitality and significance of the sociological imagination. In coming to understand what are admittedly [Page xii]often difficult ideas, I had the good fortune of encountering many truly wonderful teachers. This began in my undergraduate years at the University of Michigan, where the kind and generous Max Heirich first planted the seeds of my decision to become a sociologist. At Yale, I took engaging courses from Norman Birnbaum and David Apter, but it was particularly from the social theory courses of a dynamic and encouraging teacher, Steve Warner, that I obtained a real grounding in sociological theory. At the New School, my main teachers, Arthur Vidich, Stanford Lyman, and Benjamin Nelson, deepened and enriched my thinking while encouraging independence of thought.
Over the past several years, I have benefited from ongoing encounters with a wide range of people, some of whom have contributed directly to my work on this book, while others have done so indirectly. I'd like to single out Jeffrey Alexander, Martin Bulmer, Samir Daspupta, Thomas Faist, Margaret Farrar, John Guidry, Beth Hartung, David Hill, Ewa Morawska, Devrimsel Nergiz, Wendy Ng, Giuseppe Sciortino, Bill Swatos, and Östen Wahlbeck.
Many people read and commented on various versions of this work, either in manuscript or in book form. Although I did not always take their advice, I greatly appreciated the collegiality and the critical insights offered by Erik Allardt, Joan Alway, Kjell Andersson, Steve Dandaneau, Glen Goodwin, Gaurang Ranjan Sahay, Steven Lybrand, George Ritzer, Joseph Scimecca, and Cliff Staples.
The origins of this project go back to a book that Steve Rutter wanted me to write. Although the final product took a rather different form from the one he originally sketched out, the initial conception of this book began with him, not me. Moreover, at every stage along the way, Steve read and responded to my drafts, thus making the final product a truly collaborative endeavor. Jerry Westby was instrumental in developing the second edition of the book. Since our initial partnership, I have gotten to know him well and have learned to appreciate his reasoned judgments about book publishing and to be thankful for his insights and general encouragement. During the preparation of this new edition, I have had the good fortune to be able to work with yet another pro, Dave Repetto. Like his predecessors, Dave made this a truly collaborative effort—and for that I am thankful.
SAGE Publications would like to thank the following reviewers:
Anne F. Eisenberg
Northern Illinois University
Kevin T. Leicht
The University of Iowa
West Texas A&M University[Page xiv]
Review Questions[Page 185]
- Marx contends that capitalism both alienates and exploits workers. Summarize and assess the main arguments he advances in making his case.
- Review Marx's analysis of the principal classes in capitalist society. Is his perspective relevant today? Explain with reference to the other theorists discussed in Chapter 2.
- In what ways can the members of the Frankfurt School be seen as heirs to Marx's intellectual legacy, and in what ways do they appear to part company with him?
- Compare and contrast the counterimages of capitalist industrial society proposed by Joseph Schumpeter and Thorstein Veblen.
- Critically evaluate C. Wright Mills's power elite thesis. Is this a Marxist analysis?
- Describe what Daniel Bell means by postindustrial society. Do you find his thesis convincing? What do you think of the reactions of his critics?
- Is bureaucracy in modern industrial societies inevitable according to Weber? Summarize his account, and in so doing discuss why he thought that the world of the future would increasingly become an iron cage.
- Compare and contrast Weber's perspective on the prospects of democracy with that of Robert Michels.
- What are the three types of legitimate domination that Weber identified? Which is most characteristic of the contemporary world? Why?
- Are Marx's and Weber's ideas congruent or at odds with each other? Explain.
- Review Talcott Parsons's understanding of citizenship, particularly as it was influenced by T. H. Marshall. How can this view be seen as a response to Weber?
- Describe and offer a critical analysis of Seymour Martin Lipset's understanding of the relationship between democracy and class structure.[Page 186]
- What does Jürgen Habermas mean by the public sphere, and how is it related to the idea of civil society? Why does he think the public sphere is threatened today?
- Summarize Jeffrey Alexander's understanding of the civil sphere. In what ways does his position parallel that of Habermas, and how do the two differ?
- What did Alexis de Tocqueville mean by individualism, and in what ways did he think it might be destructive? Relate his ideas to the work of both David Riesman and Robert Bellah.
- Compare and contrast Ferdinand Toennies's distinction between gemeinschaft and gesellschaft. From his perspective, can they coexist, or are they mutually exclusive?
- What did Durkheim mean by mechanical solidarity and organic solidarity? Which one is characteristic of modern industrial societies? What is the relevance of the division of labor to this argument?
- Compare and contrast Marx's and Durkheim's understanding of the division of labor in industrial societies. Are these positions complementary or fundamentally at odds with each other?
- What is anomie? Evaluate Durkheim's use of this term in his study of suicide.
- What did Robert Merton mean by social strain, and how is it related to his understanding of a society's value system?
- Discuss David Riesman's distinction between inner-directed and other-directed personalities. Relate his analysis to that of both Tocqueville and Bellah and associates.
- Review and provide a critical analysis of Erving Goffman's contribution to our understanding of individualism in contemporary societies.
- Summarize and evaluate the provisional definitions of modernity and postmodernity presented in the text.
- What did Simmel mean by the tragedy of culture? Compare and contrast this idea with Weber's iron cage metaphor.
- Discuss and evaluate Robert Park's discussion of race as a social construct and the significance of race in modern culture. What are some of the implications of viewing race as a social construct?
- What are grand narratives? Discuss why postmodernists think that they have become exhausted.
- What does Jean Baudrillard mean by the hyperreal, and how does this relate to a culture saturated by the mass media and by consumerism?[Page 187]
- What does Zygmunt Bauman mean by liquid modernity? Is this concept essentially a synonym for postmodernity, or does it refer to a new phase of modernity?
- Compare and contrast postmodernity with what Anthony Giddens calls late modernity.
- What is the significance of risk in later modernity? Discuss this in terms of one of the four major risks Giddens identifies as characteristic of our age.
- Provide an analysis of what Giddens means by globalization. What does it mean to depict it in terms of a runaway world?
- Discuss the political implications of globalization, particularly concentrating on the idea advanced by Ulrich Beck about the potential for a transnational civil society and new conceptions of citizenship.
- Compare and contrast the analyses of global culture proposed by Benjamin Barber and Orlando Patterson.[Page 188]
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About the Author[Page 223]
Peter Kivisto is the Richard Swanson Professor of Social Thought and chair of Sociology at Augustana College and Finland Distinguished Professor at the University of Turku. Among his recent books are Beyond a Border (2010, with Thomas Faist), Social Theory: Roots and Branches (4th ed.; 2010), Citizenship: Discourse, Theory, and Transnational Prospects (2007, with Thomas Faist), Dual Citizenship in Global Perspective (2007, with Thomas Faist), and Multiculturalism in a Global Society (2002). His primary scholarly and teaching interests concern social theory and ethnic studies. He has served as secretary-treasurer of the American Sociological Association's Theory and International Migration Sections and is the immediate past editor of The Sociological Quarterly. He is currently president of the Midwest Sociological Society.