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.

Seeing Society for the First Time : Herbert Spencer

Seeing Society for the First Time : Herbert Spencer

Seeing Society for the First Time: Herbert Spencer

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Source: Wikimedia Commons

It’s amazing to me that there was a time when people didn’t think much about society. As I pointed out in Chapter 1, even the word society didn’t mean the same thing it does now before the middle of the eighteenth century. Society simply meant a group of people, like a society of friends or masons; it certainly didn’t mean a large-scale system of interrelated parts. What’s even more amazing is that many people today still don’t have a clear idea of society. For example, when Margaret Thatcher (1987) was British Prime Minister of Great Britain she said, “There is no such thing [as society]. ...

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