• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

“Vincent Ryan Ruggiero's book is a refreshing change from the usual supplemental book. Rather than a catalogue of ideas and names, he presents a form of analysis that involves students in the sociological process. This book should make students want to continue to study sociology.” --Muriel G. Cantor, Late of the American University “This book potentially makes a unique contribution to the field, providing a new perspective for introductory students that is not readily available today…. Vincent Ryan Ruggiero has a surprisingly good sense of sociological enterprise.” --Peter Adler, Professor of Sociology, University of Denver A thorough study of any discipline requires effective thinking strategies; however, rarely has an entire volume been devoted to developing this skill. Vincent Ryan Ruggiero's A Guide to Sociological Thinking fills the gap in sociology where others fall short. What distinguishes this volume from competing texts is its comprehensive treatment of thinking. It covers sociological thinking from three dimensions--critical, creative, and reflective--and emphasizes the practical application of thinking strategies to sociological issues. It aims to increase sociology students' cognitive learning and has the following objectives: To build appreciation of the intellectual excitement and adventure of sociological inquiry and of the relevance of that inquiry to student's lives.; To develop understanding of the three stages of the thinking process--reflective, creative, and critical.; To develop skill in applying the thinking process to sociological issues.; To promote the habits and attitudes associated with excellence in thinking.; To encourage students to enter the discipline's ongoing dialogue. Intended as a supplement to the standard sociology textbook, A Guide to Sociological Thinking, will enhance a student's grasp of sociology and will be useful to other related undergraduate courses as social problems and the sociology of work.

Thinking Critically
Thinking critically

The most interesting and astounding contradiction in life is to me the constant insistence by nearly all people upon “logic,” “logical reasoning,” “sound reasoning,” on the one hand, and on the other their inability to display it, and their unwillingness to accept it when displayed by others.

—Chester I. Barnard (1938, p. 303)

The accuracy of Barnard's point is readily observable in everyday experience. Why, then, do so few people acknowledge the insight and fewer still apply it in their intellectual lives? Because it's an unpleasant realization, and many people would prefer to pretend they are without fault. Anyone who would be a critical thinker, however, must get beyond this pretense. The best way to accomplish this is to focus more on rooting error ...

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