“The strengths of this text are the breadth of theories covered; the integration of gender-related topics— family, work, religion; the use of substantial quotes from primary texts; the consistent inclusion of methodological issues…. I have no doubt that it will find a solid position in the field of theory texts.”

--Kathleen Slobin, North Dakota State University

A concise, yet surprisingly comprehensive theory text, given the range of ideas, historical context, and theorists discussed. Unlike other books of the type, Contemporary Sociological Theory focuses on how the pivotal theories contributed not only to the development of the field, but also to the evolution of ideas concerning social life.

Introduction to Contemporary Sociological Theory

Introduction to Contemporary Sociological Theory

Introduction to contemporary sociological theory

Sociological theory—the attempt to explain society scientifically—began in the nineteenth century. The foundations of sociology were laid by the middle of that century, and many of the concerns and explanations of the classical theorists still inform sociological theory today.

Although our beginning point for contemporary theory, 1930, is somewhat arbitrary, perhaps the best way to look at it is to say that there have been five or more generations of sociologists, the last three generations beginning about 1930 with the functionalists Talcott Parsons and Robert Merton (see Chapter 2). Thus, our book on contemporary sociological theory concerns the writings of those whose contributions appeared from 1930 on. But first, let us take a brief look back into ...

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