A Handful of Thistles: Collected Papers

Coser, Lewis A.

Published by Transaction Publishers, 1988
ISBN 10: 0887382088 / ISBN 13: 9780887382086
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Synopsis: This selection of essays by one of the most eminent sociologists of our time represents a selection of his analytical and moral or political writing over a lifetime of work. The book is organized thematically rather than chronologi-cally, and is divided into four parts: pa-pers on the uses of sociology, on ideas and ideologies, on sociological analysis, and a final section entitled professing sociology. While the collection demon-strates maturation, the author's central preoccupations have remained constant over the years. A reflective auto-biographical introduction places the au-thors choice of problems and the development of his ideas in the social and cultural context of his life and his work. He confesses to having experienced, in his life and his work, being a "stranger within the gate," and believes that this sense of marginality has both informed and influenced his thinking. And he sees the social conflicts that shook the world during his young adulthood as having creative as well as destructive consequences.

About the Author:

Lewis A. Coser (1913-2003) began his career teaching at the University of Chicago followed by the University of California. Upon leaving California he went to teach for fifteen years at Brandeis University, where he founded the sociology department, before finally settling in at the State University of New York, Stony Brook. He was the first sociologist to bring together the ideas of conflict theory and structural functionalism. He is a past American Sociologist Association president and author of many works, including Conflict and Consensus, Masters of Sociological Thought, and The Functions of Social Conflict.

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Bibliographic Details

Title: A Handful of Thistles: Collected Papers
Publisher: Transaction Publishers
Publication Date: 1988
Book Condition: Fair
Edition: First.

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