This text provides an overview of the schools of modern sociological thought. It focuses on topics such as the history of sociological theory, modern sociological theory and recent integrative developments.
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George Ritzer is Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland where he has also been a Distinguished Scholar-Teacher and won a Teaching Excellence Award. He was awarded the 2000 Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award by the American Sociological Association. He has served as Chair of two Sections of the American Sociological Association- Organizations and Occupations and Theoretical Sociology. In addition to The McDonaldization of Society (1993, 1996, 2000; translated into a dozen languages), his other efforts to apply social theory to the everyday realms of the economy and consumption include Expressing America: A Critique of the Global Credit Card Society (1995), The McDonaldization Thesis: Explorations and Extensions (1998), and Enchanting a Disenchanted World: Revolutionizing the Means of Consumption (1999). At the other end of the spectrum, his contributions to metatheorizing include Sociology: A Multiple Paradigm Science (1975), Toward an Integrated Sociological Paradigm (1981), and Metatheorizing in Sociology (1991). He has recently edited The Blackwell Companion to Major Social Theorists (2000), as well as The Handbook of Social Theory (with Barry Smart), and is co-founding editor (with Don Slater) of the Journal of Consumer Culture. In 2001 Sage of England published two volumes of his collected works- Explorations in Social Theory: From Metatheorizing to Rationalization and Explorations in the Sociology of Consumption: Fast Food Restaurants, Credit Cards and Casinos. Among his forthcoming works are the Handbook of International Social Problems and the two-volume Encyclopedia of Social Theory. His next original book, The Globalization of Nothing: So Many Making So Much of So Little will be published in 2003. In 2002 McGraw-Hill published Ritzer's Contemporary Sociological Theory and Its Classical Roots: The Basics. Douglas J. Goodman is an Assistant Professor at the University of Puget Sound in the Department of Comparative Sociology. He was given a Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellowship at Wellesley College and an Excellence in Teaching award at the University of Maryland. His publications can be divided into three areas. First are those related to communicating theory to students. These include, "Postmodern Theory," (with G. Ritzer) Handbook of Sociological Theory (2002); "Habermas's Social Theory," (with R. Brown) Handbook of Social Theory (2000); "A Sociological Approach to Social Problems," (with C. Calhoun & G. Ritzer) Primus Social Problem (2000); "The Study of Social Problems," (with G. Ritzer) Primus Social Problems. (2000); and "Jacques Lacan: The Imaginary, the Symbolic, the Real," in Postmodern Social Theory (1997). Second, are those works on theory addressed more to other theorists and general intellectuals. These include "Dream Kitsch and the Debris of History: An Interview with Martin Jay," Journal of Consumer Culture (forthcoming); "Defending the Liberal Arts from the Law," Law and the Liberal Arts (forthcoming); "What Collins' The Sociology of Philosophies Says About Sociological Theory," Sociological Theory (2001); and his dissertation, A Sociology of Freedom. Finally there are the publications relating to consumer culture. These include, Consumer Culture (forthcoming); "Consumption as a Social Problem," International Handbook of Social Problems (forthcoming); and "Theories of Consumption," (with G. Ritzer & W. Wiedenhoft) Handbook of Social Theory (2000).
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