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.
Categories: Classificatory, Dialectical, Ideal-Typical
All sociologists, whether they are theorists or not, make use of categories in the course of their efforts to make sense of the world; by the same token, so do all of us. One of the ways in which societies are rendered coherent and orderly is through the construction and maintenance of systems for the categorisation of persons and things. Categories are the most basic devices we have for making a world. Without categories, interpretive devices, frameworks, none of us would be able to get about, the world would be not so much a world as a chaos of random events and constant surprises. Within sociological theory there is little dispute about the need for such frameworks, although there is variation ...