Professor John Rex was one of Britain’s most eminent sociologists, and a teacher of a whole generation of sociology students. In this book he presents a stimulating introduction to the major issues of sociological theory and gives an account of the perspective which has informed his thinking and writing. He deals with the objectives of sociological investigation, the methods it uses and how in these respects it resembles or differs from natural science and history. He goes on to discuss the work of Weber, Durkheim, Marx, Engels, Mills and other important theorists, and concludes with a convincing demonstration of the continuing relevance of the Weberian tradition to the study of sociology.
Part 1. Sociology and the Layman 1. Towards a Significant Sociology 2. The Uses of Social Statistics 3. The Need for Theory 4. Understanding and Sociological Theory 5. Types of Sociological Theory in Britain 6. The Main Types of Sociological Theory 7. Institutions and Men 8. The Likely Future of British Sociology Part 2. The Grand Masters of Sociology 9. The Sociological Tradition and its Ideological Context 10. Max Weber 11. Emile Durkheim 12. Karl Marx, Speaking for Himself 13. Marx and Malinowski 14. Friedrich Engels 15. C. Wright Mills Part 3. Theoretical Themes and Contemporary Sociology 16. Sociological Theory: Retrospect and Prospect 17. Ideal Types and the Comparative Study of Social Structures 18. Thirty Theses on Epistemology and Method in Sociology 19. Sociological Theory and Deviance Theory 20. The Domestication of Sociology