Theoretical Sociology : The Future of a Disciplinary Foundation book cover
1st Edition

Theoretical Sociology
The Future of a Disciplinary Foundation

ISBN 9780367693251
Published March 31, 2021 by Routledge
376 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Since Durkheim’s influential work a century ago, sociological theory has been among the most integrative and useful tools for social scientists across many disciplines. Sociological theory has nevertheless, due to its usefulness, expanded so very broadly that some wonder whether the concept of "general theory," or even the attempt to link middle-range theories, is still of any use. This book, a collection of top theorists reflecting on the present and future of the craft, addresses this most important question.

Taking their lead from Jonathan Turner’s important recent work, and drawing on their own broad experience, Seth Abrutyn and Kevin McCaffree have organized the chapters in this book from the general, integrative and review-focused bookend chapters to more specific chapters on innovations in theory construction at the micro, meso and macro levels. Moreover, the book’s microsociological content on interpersonal violence, solidarity, identity and emotion coheres with chapters in mesosociological dynamics on class, education and networks, which in turn integrate with the chapters on inequality, justice, morality and cultural evolution found in the section on macrosociology. The distinguished contributors share a distinct commitment to the development, innovation and relevance of general sociological theory. This volume is an invaluable sourcebook for advanced students and social science faculty interested in understanding how sociological theory’s past and present are informing its future.

Table of Contents

Preface – Jon Turner
Introduction – Seth Abrutyn and Kevin McCaffree

Part 1: Theoretical Sociology

1. Sociology Must Continue to Become More Interdisciplinary
Kevin McCaffree

2. Kevin McCaffree on Interdisciplinary Theorizing
Jonathan Turner

3. Evolution as the Key to Process Sociology: Relational Sociology According to History
Erika Summers-Effler

4. Erika Summers-Effler’s Comments on Evolutionary Analysis
Jonathan Turner

5. The Evolutionary Sociology of Macrodynamics
Seth Abrutyn

6. Seth Abrutyn on Macro Theorizing
Jonathan Turner

7. Jonathan Turner’s Macro-Micro-Meso Theory
Randall Collins

8. Randall Collins on Micro-Meso-Macro Theorizing
Jonathan Turner

Part 2: Foundational Areas of Inquiry

9. Theorizing Nested Group Ties
Edward Lawler, Shane R. Thye and Jeongkoo Yoon

10. Lawler, Thye and Yoon on Theorizing Nested Group Ties
Jonathan Turner

11. Social Exchange Theory: Current Status and Future Directions
Karen Cook and Michael Hahn: Social Exchange Theory

12. Karen S. Cook and Michael Hahn on of Exchange Theory
Jonathan Turner

13. Inequality and Justice
Guillermina Jasso

14. Guillermina Jasso on Inequality and Justice
Jonathan Turner

15. The Micro-Sociology of Self and Identity
Jan Stets and Peter Burke

16. Peter J. Burke and Jan E. Stets on Self and Identity
Jonathan Turner

17. Humanizing Sociological Theory: A 21st Century Solution to a 20th Century Problem Yet to Be Solved
Richard Machalek

18. Richard Machalek on Bringing Biology Back into Sociology
Jonathan Turner

Part 3: The Social Processes of Knowledge Production

19. Reflections on Turner and Theory Development
Michael Carter

20. Theoretical Sociology
Rebecca Li

21. General Impressions about Turner’s Teaching, Research and Influence
Michael L. Walker

Section 4: Reflections

22. On Jonathan Turner: A Brief Personal Biography
Alexandra Maryanski

23. On Becoming and Being a General Theorist in Sociology: A Most Improbable Journey
Jonathan Turner

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Seth Abrutyn is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of British Columbia. Abrutyn’s theoretical and empirical work examines how local structure and culture shape how we feel, think, and act. His work on suicide has won several national awards and can be found in journals such as the American Sociological Review, Sociological Theory, Journal of Health and Social Behavior and the American Journal of Public Health.

Kevin McCaffree
is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of North Texas, where he teaches graduate courses in research methods and theory. He is the author of four books and several peer-reviewed articles and handbook chapters. His work has appeared in Journal for the Theory of Social Behavior, Religion, Brain and Behavior and Handbook of Contemporary Sociological Theory.