Explorations in Social Theory

From Metatheorizing to Rationalization

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Author: George Ritzer

Publisher: SAGE

ISBN: 1412933285

Category: Social Science

Page: 320

View: 4400

George Ritzer is one of the leading social and cultural commentators of the present day. In this essential new book he considers some of the main tendencies in contemporary social theory. Included here are Ritzer's latest reflections on the uses and misuses of metatheory. According to Ritzer, sociology is a multiparadigm science. The differences and intensities of rivalries between paradigms are often very confusing for students and even for professional sociologists. This book seeks to find a way out of the confusion by sketching out the lineaments of a new integrated sociological paradigm and demonstrates how this paradigm can be applied. It shows the various ways in which Ritzer has developed rationalization theory to shed light on professional integration, the shape of consumer culture, hyperrationality and the state of sociology today.

The Body and Society

Explorations in Social Theory

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Author: Bryan S Turner

Publisher: SAGE

ISBN: 1849205418

Category: Social Science

Page: 296

View: 3471

"This truly deserves to be considered a classic and I strongly encourage my students to read it from cover to cover. Turner's work on the body needs to be considered in its own right within courses on the sociology of the body." - Dr Robert Meadows, Surrey University "Remains the foundational text for courses in the sociology of the body, replete with insights and a depth of analysis that has largely inspired an entire new area of studies across the social sciences." - Dr Michael Drake, Hull University "This is THE contemporary text for both academics and students exploring the sociology of the body." - Jessica Clark, University Campus Suffolk This is a fully revised edition of a book that may fairly claim to have re-opened the sociology of the body as a legitimate area of enquiry. Providing an unparalleled guide to all aspects of the subject, each chapter has been revised and updated while the book contains new material that reflects both recent changes in the field and Turner's developing position on the centrality of vulnerability. Assured and innovative, this book provides the most authoritative statement of work on the sociology of the body by one of the leading writers in the field.

Explorations in Classical Sociological Theory

Seeing the Social World

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Author: Kenneth Allan,Sarah Daynes

Publisher: SAGE Publications

ISBN: 148335668X

Category: Social Science

Page: 368

View: 5343

Praised for its conversational tone, personal examples, and helpful pedagogical tools, the Fourth Edition of Explorations in Classical Sociological Theory: Seeing the Social World is organized around the modern ideas of progress, knowledge, and democracy. With this historical thread woven throughout the chapters, the book examines the works and intellectual contributions of major classical theorists, including Marx, Spencer, Durkheim, Weber, Mead, Simmel, Martineau, Gilman, Douglass, Du Bois, Parsons, and the Frankfurt School. Kenneth Allan and new co-author Sarah Daynes focus on the specific views of each theorist, rather than schools of thought, and highlight modernity and postmodernity to help contemporary readers understand how classical sociological theory applies to their lives.

Spatial practices

critical explorations in social/spatial theory

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Author: Helen Liggett,David C. Perry

Publisher: Sage Publications, Inc

ISBN: 9780803951143

Category: Social Science

Page: 293

View: 8988

Spatial Practices makes a timely and significant contribution to the growing literature on social/spatial theory. In it the notion of spacial practice takes on a rich and layered meaning for some of America's leading scholars as they critically link the theoretical practices of the space of their disciplines to the practical social space of everyday political and economic urban life. Original essays provide compelling insights into the space of racial politics, the unavoidability of recognizing a radical planning practice, and the imagistic face of the contemporary "figured" city. The reader will find rich conceptual tools presented in discussions that grapple with issues raised by the production of reduced public space in common interest developments and the ubiquitous mall, the ideologies of economic restructuring, the rhetorical politics of urban revitalization, and the analytic potential of the photo/text. Students and scholars interested in how spatial theory has enriched and renewed urban theory will find Spatial Practices invaluable. It will be useful in a wide range of classes across disciplines including urban studies, urban planning, architecture, political science, sociology, geography, economics, and policy studies. "This collection explores the exciting analytical edge where investigations of urban political economy converge with cultural studies. In their exploration of theory and practice as they relate to the production of space, the authors cover a dazzling range of topics. Yet despite their varying preoccupations, the essays merge into a unified inquiry that reveals the functions and meanings of contemporary spatial forms. All those who are interested in the forces shaping urban and regional development, as well as in the impact of space on social relations, must read this book." --Susan S. Fainstein, Rutgers University "Spatial Practices, at the very least, provokes consideration of how, for example, symbolic everyday and representational space are constituted through sites of everyday practice such as housing and the home." --Housing Studies

Explorations in Planning Theory

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Author: Seymour J. Mandelbaum,Luigi Mazza,Robert W. Burchell

Publisher: Transaction Publishers

ISBN: 1412847079

Category: Political Science

Page: 543

View: 4280

What is this thing called planning? What is its domain? What do planners do? How do they talk? What are the limits and possibilities for planning imposed by power, politics, knowledge, technology, interpretation, ethics, and institutional design? In this comprehensive volume, the foremost voices in planning explore the foundational ideas and issues of the profession. Explorations in Planning Theory is an extended inquiry into the practice of the profession. As such, it is a landmark text that defines the field for today's planners and the next generation. As Seymour J. Mandelbaum notes in the introduction, "the shared framework of these essays captures a pervasive interest in the behavior, values, character, and experience of professional planners at work." All of the chapters in this volume are written to address arguments that are important in the community of planning theoreticians and are crafted in the language of that community. While many of the contributors included here differ in their styles, the editors note that students, experienced practitioners, and scholars of city and regional planning will find this work illuminating and helpful in their research.

The Body and Social Theory

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Author: Chris Shilling

Publisher: SAGE

ISBN: 1446290514

Category: Social Science

Page: 336

View: 422

"Great to have a new edition - this is essential reading and provides a clear, accessible yet original overview of social theory and the body." - Sarah Nettleton, University of York "Lucidly argued and accessibly written, this book avoids the pitfalls of either too much naturalism or too much social constructivism. It is a book with something for everyone, from the classics in social theory on the body to contemporary bodily phenomena like genetics, body modification, and cultural anxieties about death." - Kathy Davis, Utrecht University Unrivalled in its clarity and coverage, this sparkling new edition of Chris Shilling's classic text is a masterful account of the emergence and development of body matters in sociology and related disciplines. A timely, well reasoned response to current concerns and controversies across the globe, it provides chapter-by-chapter coverage of the major theories, approaches and studies conducted in the field. Each chapter has been revised and updated, with new discussions of 'actor-network theory', bodywork, pragmatism, the global resurgence of religious identities, 'new genetics', biological citizenship, neuroscience, and figurations of the living and dead. Packed full of critical analysis and relevant empirical studies the book engages with the major classical and contemporary theories within body studies including the: naturalistic, interactionist, constructionist, feminist, structuralist, phenomenological, and realist. Original, logical and indispensable this is a must-have title for students and researchers engaged with the study of the body.

Metatheorizing

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Author: George Ritzer

Publisher: Sage Publications, Inc

ISBN: N.A

Category: Social Science

Page: 178

View: 8638

Metatheorizing has come of age in sociology and other social science fields, forming the backdrop for serious intellectual debates over agency and structure, micro and macro level analysis, positivism and interpretivism, modernist and postmodernist thought. These debates are highlighted in this focused collection of essays. Contributors are among the leading figures in sociological theory - and represent a wide array of theoretical `camps'. Many of the debates in sociological theory are carried forward in the book. Collectively the contributors point out the importance of building overarching theoretical models and suggest new directions for metatheoretical work.

Explorations in Economic Sociology

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Author: Richard Swedberg

Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation

ISBN: 1610445228

Category: Social Science

Page: 476

View: 2453

Since the mid-1980s, as public discourse has focused increasingly on the troubled economy, many social scientists have argued the need for more analysis of the social relationships that undergird economic life. The original essays in Explorations in Economic Sociology represent the most important work in this renewed field and employ a rich variety of research methods—theoretical, ethnographic, and historical—to illustrate its key concerns. Explorations in Economic Sociology forges innovative social theories of such economic institutions as money, markets, and industry. Although traditional economists have identified markets as driven solely by the forces of supply and demand, social factors frequently intervene. Sales at auction are determined not simply by a seller's personal knowledge of customers. Shareholder attitudes and employee organization influence everything from the way firms borrow money to the way corporate performance is measured. Firms themselves operate in social networks in which trust is a crucial factor in settling the terms for cooperation or competition. Throughout the essays in this volume, the contributors point the way to developing a more healthy economy by fostering productive industrial networks, avoiding disintegration at management levels, and anticipating the consequences of the shift from manufacturing to service industries. Explorations in Economic Sociology is a pioneering work that bridges the gap between social theory and economic analysis and demonstrates the importance of this union in achieving an effective understanding of economic issues. The book should stimulate new interest in economic sociology by bringing together many of its most fundamental voices.

Explorations in the Sociology of Consumption

Fast Food, Credit Cards and Casinos

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Author: George Ritzer

Publisher: SAGE

ISBN: 9780761971207

Category: Social Science

Page: 257

View: 3444

In this book, one of the leading social theorists and cultural commentators of modern times, turns his gaze on consumption. George Ritzer, author of the famous McDonaldization Thesis, demonstrates the irrational consequences of the rational desire to consume and commodify. He examines how McDonaldization might be resisted, and situates the reader in the new cultural spaces that are emerging in society: shopping malls, casino hotels, Disneyfied theme parks and Las Vegas -- the new `cathedrals of consumption' as he calls them. The book shows how new processes of consumption relate to globalization theory. In illuminating discussions of the work of Thorstein Veblen and the French situationists, Ritzer unearths the roots of problems of consumption in older sociological traditions. He indicates how transgression is bound up with consumption, through an investigation of the obscene in popular and postmodern culture.

The Politics of Nature

Explorations in Green Political Theory

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Author: Andrew Dobson,Paul Lucardie

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134803001

Category: Political Science

Page: 256

View: 9842

This book presents a uniquely comprehensive and balanced survey of current green political ideas. It analyses the ability of these ideas to provide plausible answers to fundamental problems in political theory, concerning justice and democracy, individual rights and freedom, human nature and gender. The authors, who come from a range of different disciplines, explore the relationship between green ideas and other traditions including liberalism, anarchism, feminism and Christianity.

Sociological Theory in the Contemporary Era

Text and Readings

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Author: Scott Appelrouth,Laura Desfor Edles

Publisher: Pine Forge Press

ISBN: 141298761X

Category: Education

Page: 676

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Sociological Theory in the Contemporary Era, Second Edition, combines well-edited, important original writings from sociology’s core contemporary theorists with introductory text that provides a historical and theoretical framework for understanding them. Authors Scott Appelrouth and Laura Desfor Edles use this unique text/reader approach to introduce students to contemporary sociological theory in a lively and engaging fashion. The text/reader provides not only a biographical and theoretical summary of each theorist’s works but also an overarching scaffolding that students can use to examine, compare, and contrast each theorist’s major themes and concepts. The book also offers discussions of past social and intellectual milieus to provide a holistic picture of the development of the theories discussed.

Contemporary Social and Sociological Theory

Visualizing Social Worlds

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Author: Kenneth Allan

Publisher: SAGE Publications

ISBN: 1506319394

Category: Social Science

Page: 488

View: 6139

In the Third Edition of Ken Allan's highly-praised Contemporary Social and Sociological Theory book, sociological theories and theorists are explored using a straightforward approach and conversational, jargon-free language. Filled with examples drawn from everyday life, this edition highlights diversity in contemporary society, exploring theories of race, gender, and sexuality that address some of today's most important social concerns. Through this textbook students will learn to think theoretically and apply to their own lives.

Of Literature and Knowledge

Explorations in Narrative Thought Experiments, Evolution and Game Theory

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Author: Peter Swirski

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134104405

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 208

View: 5070

"Of Literature and Knowledge looks ... like an important advance in this new and very important subject... literature is about to become even more interesting." – Edward O. Wilson, Pellegrino University Professor, Harvard University. Framed by the theory of evolution, this colourful and engaging volume presents a new understanding of the mechanisms by which we transfer information from narrative make-believe to real life. Ranging across game theory and philosophy of science, as well as poetics and aesthetics, Peter Swirski explains how literary fictions perform as a systematic tool of enquiry, driven by thought experiments. Crucially, he argues for a continuum between the cognitive tools employed by scientists, philosophers and scholars or writers of fiction. The result is a provocative study of our talent and propensity for creating imaginary worlds, different from the world we know yet invaluable to our understanding of it. Of Literature and Knowledge is a noteworthy challenge to contemporary critical theory, arguing that by bridging the gap between literature and science we might not only reinvigorate literary studies but, above all, further our understanding of literature.

Social Theory in the Twentieth Century

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Author: Patrick Baert

Publisher: NYU Press

ISBN: 0814713394

Category: Political Science

Page: 240

View: 2653

Popular calls to transform our current welfare system and supplant it with effective and inexpensive faith-based providers are gaining political support and engendering heated debate about the separation of church and state. Yet we lack concrete information from which to anticipate how such initiatives might actually work if adopted. Despite the assumption that congregations can help many needy people in our society, it remains to be seen how extensive they wish their involvement to be, or if they have the necessary tools to become significant providers in the social service arena. Moreover, how will such practices, which will move faith-based organizations towards professionalization, ultimately affect the spirit of volunteerism now prevalent in America's religious institutions? We lack sufficient knowledge about congregational life and its ability to play a key role in social service provision. The Invisible Caring Hand attempts to fill that void. Based on in-depth interviews with clergy and lay leaders in 251 congregations nationwide, it reveals the many ways in which congregations are already working, beneath the radar, to care for people in need. This ground-breaking volume will provide much-sought empirical data to social scientists, religious studies scholars, and those involved in the debates over the role of faith-based organizations in faith-based services, as well as to clergy and congregation members themselves.

Social Representations

Essays in Social Psychology

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Author: Serge Moscovici

Publisher: NYU Press

ISBN: 0814756301

Category: Psychology

Page: 313

View: 3866

Considered the leading contemporary European social psychologist for his groundbreaking work on social influence and crowd psychology, Serge Moscovici has played a definitive role in shaping the trajectory of modern social inquiry. Bringing together the key texts in which he outlines and defines his benchmark theory of social representationsincluding several essays never previously published in Englishhis indispensable sourcebook illustrates the enormous range and scope of Moscovici's work. Moscovici purports a theory of social representations remarkably distinct from the dominant themes in contemporary U.S. social psychology. In contrast to the traditionally individualistic emphasis, Moscovici's work is embedded in a broader social and cultural tradition and is passionately concerned with the social context in which meaning is constructed and lives are enacted. His radical and lucid approach offers fresh and multifarious ways of seeing the world while his clear and coherent perspective provides a rich contribution to a discipline which has been notoriously fragmented. Addressing contemporary social phenomena rather than being trapped within the artificial limits of laboratory experimentation, Moscovici draws upon the diverse traditions of the wider social sciences, making him a primary voice within the community of social theorists. Sure to fascinate any researcher, scholar, student, or practitioner of social psychology, Social Representations provides a representative and long overdue collection of Moscovici's unique and important work.

Explorations in Structural Analysis (RLE Social Theory)

Dual and Multiple Networks of Social Interaction

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Author: Ronald L. Breiger

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317657586

Category: Social Science

Page: 202

View: 7891

At a time when most of the innovative techniques in empirical sociology concern themselves with networks of relations among variables (such as indices of occupational prestige, education and income), the central theme of this volume is that there is much substantive insight and analytical leverage to be gained from a conceptualization of social structure directly, as regularities in the patterning of relations among concrete entities. The view adopted here is that variate distributions measure selected consequences of structural pattern (of the actual connections among individuals or organizations) and, as such, they are useful indicators of questions to be asked in analyzing social structures directly, but they are neither descriptions nor analyses of the structure itself.

For Humanism

Explorations in Contemporary Theory

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Author: David Alderson,Robert Spencer

Publisher: Pluto Press (UK)

ISBN: 9780745336190

Category: Social Science

Page: 240

View: 2449

Today, anti-humanism is a dominant, even definitive, feature of contemporary theory. This book sets out to challenge this by establishing the historical context that resulted in humanism's eclipse, critiquing anti-humanism, and exploring alternative, neglected traditions and possible new directions. Humanism is a diverse and complex tradition that may facilitate the renewal of progressive theory through the championing of human subjectivity, agency and freedom. Across four extended essays, David Alderson, Kevin Anderson, Barbara Epstein and Robert Spencer engage critically with the Marxist tradition, recent developments in poststructuralism, postcolonialism and queer theory.