Contemporary Sociological Theory and Its Classical Roots: The Basics

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9780072997590: Contemporary Sociological Theory and Its Classical Roots: The Basics

This text is the teaching solution for instructors who need a brief, accessible text for sociological theory. An affordable alternative to a standard text, this volume still includes a range of pedagogical features; it is concise yet comprehensive, informative, and engaging for a wide range of students.

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From the Publisher:

Classical theory is covered in this volume in two relatively brief chapters (2 and 3). Contemporary theory is dealt with in just five chapters (4-8). Postmodern theory is covered in one chapter (9).
The introductory chapter is brief, but it quickly and efficiently defines the nature of sociological theory, discusses some of the controversy surrounding the traditional definition of theory (and traditional theories), analyzes the alternate perspective and offers some non-traditional (multicultural) examples, and introduces the book as a whole.
Boxes on important concepts are throughout the text, brief biographical vignettes (with photos) appear throughout the book, and many examples are included.
There are no complex quotations from the theorists themselves. Extensive quotations have been paraphrased to make the material more accessible. There is no long list of citations. Instead, there is a very short annotated bibliography at the end of each chapter.
Feminist theory (by Patricia Lengermann and Jill Niebrugge) is discussed in several places in this text (rather than in one complex chapter): chapter eight, as well as in appropriate places in chapters four, six, seven and nine.
Other complex topics are covered in relatively brief discussions appearing in two, or more, chapters (e.g. Weber's and Simmel's work is dealt with in chapters 2 and 3).

About the Author:

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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