First published in 1971, this is a clear, straightforward introductory discussion of the importance of sociological knowledge, and particularly sociological theory, for the understanding of political life. The topics covered include sociology and the discipline of politics, the elementary forms of political life, and the relationship between theory, evidence and insight. Francis Castles also looks at functionalism and the analysis of conflict as sociological meta-theories, and at the idea of anomie and the theory of mass society.
The book should be of prime interest to students of politics and to students of the social sciences in general.
1. Sociology and the Discipline of Politics 2. The Elementary Forms of the Political Life 3. On Theory, Evidence and Insight 4. Functionalism as Metatheory 5. The Analysis of Conflict as a Metatheoretical Orientation 6. Anomie and the Theory of Mass Society