Applied Sociology: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Applied Sociology

1st Edition

By Neil Thompson

Routledge

220 pages | 2 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2017-09-25
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Description

Sociology offers fascinating insights into social life that tell us so much about people and society. But what can we do with those insights? How can we put them to good use? That is exactly what this book is all about. It explores the practical value of sociology, how sociological understanding can be of help in a variety of settings.

Neil Thompson’s wealth of experience in using sociology in practice comes shining through in this clearly written and accessible text that succeeds in conveying complex ideas without oversimplifying them. Key concepts are explained and clear links are drawn with how the ideas can be used to inform professional practice and cast light on a wide range of situations across all sectors of working life, and in our personal lives too.

So, whether you are involved in the helping professions or any other occupation where success depends on having a good understanding of people; a student of sociology wanting to put your learning into practice; or simply interested in how sociology can help address social issues, this book offers a solid foundation of understanding. It is an ideal text for anyone seeking to use sociological ideas to make a positive difference.

Reviews

This book is a tour de force! Engaging and accessible, comprehensive in its coverage and scope, Applied Sociology fills a useful gap. With his applied focus and "real world" scenarios, Thompson illustrates how sociological knowledge can be put to effective use in providing both insight and remedy for a wide variety of practical, everyday problems. Whether encountering sociology for the first time or engaging in person-oriented professional practice, readers will find Applied Sociology an indispensable resource.

Michael Brennan, Liverpool Hope University, UK

Applied Sociology offers the theoretical concepts that can be used in real-life situations. No one brings such a vast knowledge of theory and practice as Neil Thompson. When faced with actual situations, theories often take a back seat. Thompson offers not only educators and their students, but also those engaging in various professions ways to use sociology in their work. The practical wisdom contained in this volume will be a major contribution to the field of sociology!

Gerry Cox, Emeritus Professor, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

Wonderfully relevant and readable, this book makes a solid case for the need to recognize sociology as a foundational aspect of the human experience. Clear explanations and examples describe the inseparable interplay between the individual experience within the broader social framework and context. This is a real gem for anyone who wishes to have a greater understanding of the many facets of the human experience.

Darcy Harris, King’s University College at Western University, Canada

Neil Thompson has written a must-read primer raising critical questions that have long concerned those of us in sociology. Could the sociological imagination enhance the professional knowledge base necessary for a more holistic approach for people and their problems? Applied Sociology is a compelling read for all students, regardless of discipline, as well as those preparing for, or immersed in, a "helping profession." Definitely my go-to-text for years to come.

Laurel Hilliker, University of Michigan

This book is destined to be a key text, a "must read," not only for sociologists, but across the humanities, social sciences, social work and health care disciplines.

Jan Pascal, Keele University, UK

Table of Contents

Preface

Acknowledgments

About the author

Introduction

Part One: Making Sense of Sociology

Introduction to Part One

Chapter 1: What is sociology?

Introduction

Defining Sociology

Historical Overview

The Sociological Imagination

How Is it Useful?

Who Uses Sociology?

Conclusion

Points to Ponder

Exercise 1

Chapter 2: The Sociological Imagination

Introduction

Thinking Sociologically Revisited

Social Construction

Ideology, Discourse, and Common Sense

Sociology in Action: Praxis

Conclusion

Points to Ponder

Exercise 2

Part Two: Making Sense of Society

Introduction to Part Two: The Web of Society

Chapter 3: Social Structures

What Are Structures?

Social Divisions and Inequality

Structuration Theory and Beyond

Structures and Power

Implications for Practice

Conclusion

Points to Ponder

Exercise 3

Chapter 4: Social Processes

Introduction

Social Construction

Socialization

Communication

Social Control

Institutionalization

Discrimination

Implications for Practice

Conclusion

Points to Ponder

Exercise 4

Chapter 5: Social Institutions

Introduction

Society

The Family

Community

Government

The Law

The Media

Religion

Implications for Practice

Conclusion

Points to Ponder

Exercise 5

Chapter 6: Social Discourses and Ideologies

Introduction

Discourse

Ideology

Discourse and Ideology Compared

Hegemony

The Work Ethic

Implications for Practice

Conclusion

Points to Ponder

Exercise 6

Chapter 7: Social Expectations

Introduction

Symbolic Interactionism

Role Theory

Gender Roles

Culture, Ethnicity, and Race

Act Your Age!

Implications for Practice

Conclusion

Points to Ponder

Exercise 7

Chapter 8: Social Relations

Introduction

Friendship

Love

Groups

Conflict, Aggression and Violence

Abuse and Exploitation

Work Relationships

Implications for Practice

Conclusion

Points to Ponder

Exercise 8

Part Three: Sociologically Informed Practice

Introduction to Part Three

Chapter 9: The individual in Social Context

Introduction

What does it Mean to Be an Individual?

The Role of the Social Context

PCS Analysis Revisited

People, Problems, Potential

Beyond Psychotherapy

Conclusion

Points to Ponder

Exercise 9

Chapter 10: The Organizational Context

Introduction

Organizational Culture

The Changing World of Work

Workplace Well-being

Leadership

Conclusion

Points to Ponder

Exercise 10

Chapter 11: Holistic Practice

Introduction

HOW Is Sociology Useful?

WHO Can Use Sociology?

WHERE Can Sociology Be Used?

WHEN Can Sociology Be Used?

WHAT Can Sociology Offer?

WHY Should You Use Sociology?

Making It Happen

The PATCH Model

Conclusion

Points to Ponder

Exercise 11

Guide to Further Learning

References

Index

About the Author

Neil Thompson PhD, DLitt, is an independent writer and educator with over 40 years’ experience in the people professions. He is a sought-after consultant and international conference speaker, and is currently involved in developing a range of online learning resources and surveys. His website and blog are at www.neilthompson.info.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOC026000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General