• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

C. Wright Mills' classic The Sociological Imagination has inspired generations of students to study Sociology. However, the book is nearly half a century old. What would a book address, aiming to attract and inform students in the 21st century? This is the task that Steve Fuller sets himself in this major new invitation to study Sociology. The book: " critically examines the history of the social sciences to discover what the key contributions of Sociology have been and how relevant they remain " demonstrates how biological and sociological themes have been intertwined from the beginning of both disciplines, from the 19th century to the present day " covers virtually all of sociology's classic theorists and themes " provides a glossary of key thinkers and concepts. This book sets the agenda for imagining Sociology in the 21st century and will attract students and professionals alike.

The Problem of Inheritance and Socialism's Ultimate Retreat to Naturalism
The problem of inheritance and socialism's ultimate retreat to naturalism

The question of inheritance – the inter-generational transmission of property – was central to the establishment of sociology in Germany, France, and the United States. The concept of welfare was meant to capture a collective inheritance to which each member of society contributed and from which each benefited, though – as Marx stressed – not according to some default biologically based principle. In the final quarter of the 19th century, all three nation-states transformed the legal basis for incorporating individuals into the social order: Germany consolidated, France secularized, and the USA expanded. The first president of the German Sociological Association, Ferdinand Tönnies, christened sociology's founding distinction, ...

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