This is an accessible, enlivening introductory book that provides a shot in the arm for all those who maintain the relevance of sociology for understanding the modern world. Charles Turner provides a wealth of concrete examples which demonstrate what a sociological perspective can do to unpack and illuminate everyday life. The book allows students to understand sociological theory from the inside. It moves effortlessly beyond the mere parade of great names and core ideas to introduce concepts that can be used to understand the social world in which we live, where this world has come from and where it might be heading. Original, informed, and deftly written with the needs of students in mind this book is an antidote to arid theorizing and the dull recitation of the grand sociological tradition.
What difference does theorising make to the sociologist's capacity to make the reader see with different eyes? How does it help the sociologist make a world (Goodman, 1978)? In the philosophy of the social sciences a common response is that, since explanation is the most elevated activity known to science, sociology can only make us see differently if it can explain social phenomena; some have doubted whether it can do this but continued to believe that it might; some have argued that sociology does seek explanations but explanations of a different type from those pursued in the natural sciences; some claim that sociology's objective is a different kind of knowledge altogether, one in which the role of explanation is marginal.
I have called this chapter ...