Engaging ideas, transforming minds
Engaging ideas, transforming minds
Canadian Scholars’ Press
483 pages
6.5 x 9.5 inches
November 2005
Print ISBN: 9781551302881
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Overview

This innovative new reader on contemporary sociological theory has a Canadian emphasis. This volume unites 21 influential European and American social theorists with 13 Canadian thinkers and writers to offer a strong Canadian interpretation of international theoretical currents spanning almost 80 years.

Ideally designed for undergraduate courses as an introduction to modern sociological theory, the first section masterfully introduces the major theoretical offerings of the 20th century: structural functionalism, symbolic interaction, and feminist analysis. It also profiles themes of class conflict and the state; and modernism, culture, and change.

The second section is devoted to critical themes for the 21st century. This includes postmodernity and its critics; society, subjects, and the self; globalization and global consciousness; and postcolonialism, diaspora, citizenship, and identity.

Unique features of the book are its provocative presentation of 21st-century themes, and the inclusion of many of today's most influential social thinkers, such as Edward Said, Stuart Hall, Jurgen Habermas, Ulrich Beck, Jean Baudrillard, and Pierre Bourdieu.

The Canadian content includes readings from key Canadian scholars and social critics, such as Dorothy Smith, Naomi Klein, Mariana Valverde, Leo Panitch, John Porter, Charles Taylor, David Lyon, and Will Kymlicka.

This book will be an essential text for modern sociological theory courses offered in sociology departments across Canada.


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Table of Contents

Introduction: Themes and Theories in Contemporary Sociological Thought

SECTION 1: THEORETICAL OFFERINGS OF THE 20TH CENTURY

Part I: Structural Functionalism
Chapter 1: [Extracts from] The Social System - Talcott Parsons
Chapter 2: Introduction to Social Theory and Social Structure - Robert K. Merton

Part II: Class, Conflict, and the State
Chapter 3: Class and Power: The Major Themes - John Porter
Chapter 4: The Intellectuals - Antonio Gramsci
Chapter 5: The Rise and Future Demise of the World Capitalist System: Concepts for Comparative Analysis - Immanuel Wallerstein
Chapter 6: The Impoverishment of State Theory - Leo Panitch

Part III: Perspectives in Symbolic Interaction
Chapter 7: Society as Symbolic Interaction - Herbert Blumer
Chapter 8: Introduction to The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life
Chapter 9: Becoming a Marihuana User - Howard Becker
Chapter 10: Symbolic Interactionism and Ethnomethodology: A Proposed Synthesis - Norman K. Denzin

Part IV: Modernism, Culture, and Change
Chapter 11: The Metropolis and Mental Life - Georg Simmel
Chapter 12: The New Forms of Control - Herbert Marcuse
Chapter 13: Modernity--An Incomplete Project - Jurgen Habermas
Chapter 14: The Dynamics of the Fields - Pierre Bourdieu
Chapter 15: Moral Capital - Mariana Valverde

Part V: Feminist Social Thought
Chapter 16: The Social Relation of the Sexes: Methodological Implications of Women's History - Joan Kelly-Gadol
Chapter 17: Feminism and Marxism--A Place to Begin, A Way to Go - Dorothy Smith
Chapter 18: The Significance of Feminism - bell hooks

SECTION II: CRITICAL THEMES FOR THE 21ST CENTURY

Part VI: Postmodernism and Its Critics
Chapter 19: Postmodernity: The History of an Idea - David Lyon
Chapter 20: The End of Sociological Theory: The Postmodern Hope - Steven Seidman
Chapter 21: Call Yourself a Sociologist--And You've Never Even Been Arrested?! - Marilyn Porter
Chapter 22: Forward: On Being Light and Liquid - Zygmunt Bauman
Chapter 23: [Extracts from] The Spirit of Terrorism and Requiem for the Twin Towers - Jean Baudrillard

Part VII: Society, Subjects, and the Self
Chapter 24: Reforming Foucault: A Critique of the Social Control Thesis - Dany Lacombe
Chapter 25: The Emergence of Life Politics - Anthony Giddens
Chapter 26: Introduction: The Cosmopolitan Manifesto - Ulrich Beck

Part VIII: Globalization and Global Consciousness
Chapter 27: Running Out of Control: Understanding Globalization - R. Alan Hedley
Chapter 28: [Extracts from] Fences and Windoes: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Globalization Debate - Naomi Klein
Chapter 29: Cosmopolitianism and the Future of Democracy: Politics, Culture, and the Self - Nick Stevenson

Part IX: Postcolonialism, Diaspora, Citizenship, and Identity
Chapter 30: Latent and Manifest Orientalism - Edward Said
Chapter 31: Cultural Identity and Diaspora - Stuart Hall
Chapter 32: Citizenship in an Era of Globalization - Will Kymlicka
Chapter 33: The Politics of Recognition - Charles Taylor

Sean P. Hier

Sean P. Hier is Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Victoria, where he teaches in the areas of race and social issues. He is also the general editor of Contemporary Sociological Thought: Themes and Theories.

Contemporary Sociological Thought, Identity and Belonging

Reviews

"It looks good. In many ways, it parallels what I have done in my social theory course. I have not used a reader of this sort but would be very interested in this one. Especially welcome are readings from Kymlicka, Seidman, Baudrillard, and others often not included in a social theory reader."

"This selection of readings reflects the current state of modern social theory, and provides an excellent overview of a field in which few good anthologies exist."

"This selection of readings reflects the current state of modern social theory, and provides an excellent overview of a field in which few good anthologies exist."
—  Tracey Adams, University of Western Ontario

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