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.
Diagrammatic reasoning is the only fertile reasoning. If logicians would only embrace this method, we should no longer see attempts to base their science on the fragile foundations of metaphysics, or a psychology not based on logical theory; and there would soon be such an advance in logic that every science would feel the benefit of it. (Peirce, 1958: 459)
The previous two chapters explored tools that can be argued to be crucial to the theoretical enterprise. Without categories and metaphors the theorist would not be able to generate much talk about the social world. Although some may say that ontology is more important than epistemology, that the first move is to say what the social world ‘is’ and what is in it, and only ...