Classical Sociological Theory

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9781405148535: Classical Sociological Theory

This comprehensive collection of classical sociological theory is a definitive guide to the roots of sociology from its undisciplined beginnings to its current guideposts and reference points in contemporary sociological debate.


  • A definitive guide to the roots of sociology through a collection of key writings from the founders of the discipline
  • Explores influential works of Marx, Durkheim, Weber, Mead, Simmel, Freud, Du Bois, Adorno, Marcuse, Parsons, and Merton
  • Editorial introductions lend historical and intellectual perspective to the substantial readings
  • Includes a new section with new readings on the immediate "pre-history" of sociological theory, including the Enlightenment and de Tocqueville
  • Individual reading selections are updated throughout

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Book Description:

This comprehensive collection of classical sociological theory is a definitive guide to the roots of sociology. The volume explores the pioneering minds of Marx, Durkheim, and Weber, who developed our modern idea of society; and looks at the powerful influence of the works of early the sociologists Mead, Simmel, Freud, and Du Bois. It concludes with the major works and theoretical perspectives of the mid-twentieth century, including those of Adorno, Marcuse, Parsons, and Merton. As a whole, the reader traces the evolution of social science from its undisciplined beginnings to its current guideposts and reference points in contemporary sociological debate. Updated throughout, this second edition includes selected readings which provide clearer introductions to classical theory, providing examples and showing connections to current sociology. This title's approach of giving substantial primary source texts rather than merely snippets, and backing these up with generous introductions, is maintained in the new edition. There is an entirely new section with new readings on the immediate pre-history of sociological theory, including the Enlightenment and de Tocqueville. Editorial introductions lend historical and intellectual perspective to the readings, making this an authoritative and compact survey of the most representative works of classical social theory, and an essential text for undergraduate courses. Classical Sociological Theory, in conjunction with its complement, Contemporary Sociological Theory, offers readers a complete overview of sociological theory.

About the Author:

Craig Calhoun is University Professor and Professor of Sociology and History at New York University, and President of the Social Science Research Council. Joseph Gerteis is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. James Moody is Associate Professor of Sociology at Duke University, North Carolina. Steven Pfaff is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Washington. Indermohan Virk is Visiting Lecturer in Sociology at Indiana University, Bloomington.

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