This book offers a comprehensive overview of the major theoretical perspectives in contemporary sociology, covering schools of thought or intellectual movements within the discipline, as well as the work of individual scholars. The author provides not only a rigorous exposition of each theory, but also an examination of the scholarly reception of the approach in question, considering both critical responses and defences in order to reach a balanced evaluation. Chapters cover the following theorists and perspectives: ¢ Alexander ¢ Bourdieu ¢ Ethnomethodology ¢ Exchange Theory ¢ Foucault ¢ Giddens ¢ Goffman ¢ Habermas ¢ Luhmann ¢ Merton ¢ Network and Social Capital Theory ¢ Parsons ¢ Rational Choice Theory ¢ Schutz and Phenomenalism ¢ Structuralism ¢ Symbolic Interactionism An accessible and informative treatment of the central approaches in sociology over the course of the last century, this volume marks a significant contribution to sociological theory and constitutes an essential addition to library collections in the areas of the history of sociology and contemporary social theory.
Sandro Segre is Professor of Sociology at the University of Genoa, Italy and author of A Weberian Analysis of Business Groups and Financial Markets, Introduction to Habermas and Talcott Parsons: An Introduction.
’This book by Sandro Segre is much recommended, not only for the expert but also for use in undergraduate and graduate courses in sociological theory. Segre writes, as always, with insight, imagination and analytical sharpness.’ Richard Swedberg, Cornell University, USA ’A stimulating, thorough, and balanced exposition of current thinking in sociological theory, provided by an old hand in the theory business whose work is always reliable and interesting. This book will prove particularly suitable for advanced students who want to fill in the gaps in their knowledge of today's theorizing.’ Alan Sica, Pennsylvania State University, USA ’In many years of teaching contemporary social theory, I have never found an introduction to the topic as wonderfully concise, readable, thoughtful, and reflective as this terrific volume by Sandro Segre. His essays on recent social theorists and schools of thought are gems of explication, assessment, and critique. Highly recommended for advanced students and specialists alike.’ Mustafa Emirbayer, University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA