Breaking away from the idea that sociology only ever elaborates the negative, Sociology for Optimists shows that sociology can provide hope in dealing with social issues through critical approaches that acknowledge the positive. From politics and inequality to nature and faith, Mary Holmes shows how a critical and optimistic sociology can help us think about and understand human experience not just in terms of social problems, but in terms of a human capacity to respond to those problems and strive for social change. With contemporary case studies throughout grounding the theory in the real world, this is the perfect companion/antidote to studying sociology.



Almost every day there is news of extreme weather and associated natural disasters. This previous summer there were reports of wild fires rushing across parts of America. Whole neighbourhoods were razed to the ground as the voracious flames spread easily across areas dried to tinder by prolonged droughts and hot weather. In the South West of Britain there were floods following high summer rainfall. Cars were swept away and streets blocked. Too much or too little rain have long caused problems for human societies, but scientists believe that these kinds of events are happening with greater frequency and that they are linked to climate change. There is a high level of scientific consensus about the climate as undergoing dramatic alterations and about this ...

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