1st Edition

Change and Disruption Sociology of the Future

By Roberta Garner, Black Hawk Hancock Copyright 2025
    332 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    332 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Change and Disruption: Sociology of the Future draws on classical and modern sociological theory to identify recent and emerging trends in the global system. The book probes the rise of authoritarian states, rifts in the relation between humans and the rest of nature, the coming impact of artificial intelligence, and changes in work, cities, science, and the quality of life. These dynamics are explored through the animating question: will the positive potential of the modern world be realized or will the human condition spiral downward?

    Garner and Hancock employ sociological theory to tackle big questions about the societies of the present and the societies of the future. They use three powerful tools for exploration. The first tool is historical analysis to reveal how our contemporary world was shaped during the early modern era, the rise of capitalism, colonialism, and industrialization, and the tumultuous 20th century. The second tool is quantitative analyseis of our current global conditions that show contradictory pictures of both persistent inequalities and great advances in well-being. The third tool is contending sociological theories that conceptualize a plurality of social forces that shape five “matters of concern”: the state, the human-nature relationship; work, economy, and technology; population change, migration, and urbanization; and the emerging self.

    Change and Disruption offers a spirited conversation among theorists and different sociological traditions. The authors take stock of the present moment, one where facts are fluid and contentious in a changing historical context. Garner and Hancock take up the project of Sociology as a quest for understanding our world and grappling with major new trajectories of change within and to that world. This book will be of interest to scholars and students in the social sciences.



    Part One: The World As It Was and Is 


    1. World disrupted: It has happened before


    2. Moving pieces: The past of our global matters of concern


    3. From difference to inequalities and inequities


    4. Here and now: A quantitative snapshot of the present


    Part Two: How Did We Get Here? Theories of the Modern World




    5. Ideology and power: The reign of instrumental reason


    6. Social integration: Cohesion, regulation, and trust


    7. Theories of capitalism




    Part Three: Matters of Concern and Emerging Trends: The World As It Will Be or Might Be




    8. The state as the lever of power


    9. Humans and nature: Environment, climate change, pandemics, and disasters


    10. Production, work, and technology


    11. People and places: migration, immigration, and urbanization


    12. Transformations of the self


    Roberta Garner is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at DePaul University, USA. Her research explores sociological theory, stats and methods, urban sociology, criminology, and social movements and she has extensive experience of teaching theory, methods, and political sociology. She is the author of The Joy of Stats (Third Edition, 2022) and co-author of Changing Theories: New Directions in Social Theory (2009), Doing Qualitative Research: Designs, Methods, and Techniques (2012) and Rethinking Contemporary Social Theory (Routledge, 2013).

    Black Hawk Hancock is Associate Professor of Sociology at DePaul University, USA. His main research interests are ethnography, race and ethnicity, culture, and social theory.  He is the author of American Allegory: Lindy Hop and the Racial Imagination (2013), and co-author of of Changing Theories: New Directions in Social Theory (2009). From 2019-2022, he also served as co-editor of the Sociological Perspectives journal.