Praised for its conversational tone, personal examples, and helpful pedagogical tools, the Fourth Edition of Explorations in Classical Sociological Theory: Seeing the Social World is organized around the modern ideas of progress, knowledge, and democracy. With this historical thread woven throughout the chapters, the book presents a diverse selection of major classical theorists including Marx, Spencer, Durkheim, Weber, Mead, Simmel, Martineau, Gilman, Douglass, Du Bois, Parsons, and the Frankfurt School. Kenneth Allan and new co-author Sarah Daynes focus on the specific views of each theorist, rather than schools of thought, and highlight modernity and postmodernity to help contemporary readers understand how classical sociological theory applies to their lives.

Introduction Another Sociological Core
Another Sociological Core

The way I’ve sectioned off the next three chapters may seem a little odd, for two reasons. First, Mead and Simmel don’t appear with the other core theorists. Second, two of the chapters cover theorists of race and gender. My first reason for not including Mead and Simmel with the other theorists is precisely that it is odd. Our thinking will usually truck along happily in its own knowledge until we find something out of place or strange. I want to use the strangeness of pairing Mead and Simmel with theorists of race and gender to capture your attention. Here’s what I hope you will be able to see:

Most classical theory books don’t deal directly with the issue of ...

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