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The Social Lens: An Invitation to Social and Sociological Theory, Second Edition, is an undergraduate social theory textbook organized around the issues of modernity and the influences of Talcott Parsons and the Frankfurt school. Author Kenneth Allan engages students in the history of social change that spawned the major sociological theories and shows how these theories can be applied to current social influences. Chosen for the diversity of their perspectives and their suitability for introducing students to contemporary theory, a wide variety of theorists materialize in the text, with their individual voices vividly intact. The extensive use of relevant quotes throughout the book demonstrates the power and poetry of theory to students exploring this area for the first time.
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Kenneth Allan received his PhD in sociology from the University of California, Riverside (1995), and is currently professor of Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). Before moving to UNCG, he directed the Teaching Assistant Development Program at the University of California, Riverside, and coedited Training Teaching Assistants, 2nd Edition (1997), published by the American Sociological Association. In addition to teaching classical and contemporary theory at UNCG, Allan also supervised UNCG’s sociology iSchool program, which offered online introduction to sociology classes to high school students across North Carolina, has designed several online courses for both the college and department, and has regularly taught graduate pedagogy courses. Allan’s research areas include theory, culture, and the self. He has authored several works in the area of theory, including multiple textbooks covering classical and contemporary theory, as well as The Meaning of Culture: Moving the Postmodern Critique Forward, and A Primer in Social and Sociological Theory: Toward a Sociology of Citizenship. His current projects include a social history of American individualism, a sociological analysis of consciousness and self, as well as a novel based in early 20th century American life.Review:
"This textbook’s tone invites the student reader in to explore with the author each new chapter of uncovered ground. . . . Allan also encourages students to think beyond the theory on the page to its implications for global society by providing what he calls ‘theory you can use’ . . . a fresh, new and bold approach to the theory textbook."(Barbara J. Denison TEACHING SOCIOLOGY 2010-07-08)
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