This textbook offers a new approach to understanding social theory. Framed around paired theoretical perspectives on a series of sociological problems, the book shows how distinctive viewpoints shed light on different facets of social phenomena. The book includes sociology’s "founding fathers", major 20th-century thinkers and recent voices such as Butler and Zizek. Philosophically grounded and focused on interpretation and analysis, the book provides a clear understanding of theory’s scope while developing students’ skills in evaluating, applying and comparing theories.
Table of Contents
1. What is Sociology?
2. Capitalism and Alienation: Marx and Weber
3. Recognition and Anomie: Durkheim and Honneth
4. Social Interaction and Marginalisation: Simmel and the Chicago School
5. Power and Stratification: Foucault and Bourdieu
6. System and Differentiation: Luhmann and Habermas
7. State and Market: Althusser and Boltanski & Chiapello
8. Uncertainty and Risk: Bauman and Beck
9. The Reflective Self: Goffman and Giddens
10. Family and Work: Sennett and Hochschild
11. Gender, Body and Identity: Butler and Haraway
12. Factish and Fetish: Latour and Žižek
13. Sociology as an Analytic Praxis
Carsten Bagge Laustsen is Associate Professor at the Department of Political Science, Aarhus University.
Lars Thorup Larsen is Associate Professor at the Department of Political Science, Aarhus University.
Mathias Wullum Nielsen is a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of History, Stanford University.
Tine Ravn is a doctoral fellow at the Danish Centre for Studies in Research and Research Policy, Department of Political Science, Aarhus University.
Mads P. Sørensen is Senior Researcher at the Danish Centre for Studies in Research and Research Policy, Department of Political Science, Aarhus University.
'Students often experience social theory as intimidating. The braver ones sometimes question its point: why do we have to learn about Durkheim? This welcome new text should go some way towards answering that question, while also encouraging students to see theory as a 'necessary good' rather than an 'unnecessary evil'. Some of their teachers may also breathe a sigh of relief. An impressive achievement.' - Professor Emeritus Richard Jenkins, University of Sheffield