This text provides an overview of the major classical theorists, contemporary schools of sociological thought, and spans the history of sociological theory from its inception to the present. This edition has been updated and revised to include a number of sections on new developments in the field, such as theories of consumption and the new means of consumption, multiculturism, and criticisms and applications of postmodernism and post-post modernism.
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New chapter on systems theory with a strong focus on the work of one of the most important German theorists, Niklas Luhmann.
In addition to increased coverage on theories of consumption, multiculturalism, and criticisms of and applications of postmodernism and post-post modernism, the fifth edition now includes a new section on Manuel Castells' theory of the informational/network society,
Careful streamlining of material, along with the addition of many new headings and subheadings, make the fifth edition more student-friendly and accessible.
The fifth edition continues to present modern sociological theory in the clear, unbiased writing style Ritzer's readers have come to expect. All theories and concepts are thoroughly explained so students emerge with a solid understanding of the subject.
All of the major modern schools of thought are covered, as are the key works and concepts associated with each.
Chronological organization allows for easy use of supplementary readers to enhance classroom discussion, or to broaden students' understanding of theories and concepts.
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.
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