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Theoretical sociology; 1830 to the present.


Theoretical sociology; 1830 to the present.

Turner, Jonathan H.



906 pages




Turner (sociology, UC Riverside) presents an ambitiously comprehensive introduction to theoretical sociology, which could easily double as a lifelong reference. He focuses on the major theories and theorists of Western sociology. His first chapter grounds the text in the new ways of thinking about society speculatively and scientifically to come out of the European Enlightenment. The following twenty-five chapters are organized into three sections on the giants of the classical period of sociology (1830-1935), the theoretical paradigms of modern sociology, and a relatively brief survey of the state of contemporary sociology. This is a text focused on theory and not empirical research, but it is not bereft of concrete arguments. He devotes whole chapters to Herbert Spencer, Karl Marx, Georg Simmel, Emile Durkheim, George Herbert Mead, but also systems theory, evolutionary theorizing, conflict theory, exchange theory, symbolic interactionist theory, phenomenology, ethnomethodological theories, American and European Critical Theory, and more. The final section turns to the structure of sociological theory as such, considering how we can have theoretical pluralism and whether sociology can be consider a natural science.

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Publication:Reference & Research Book News
Article Type:Book review
Date:Aug 1, 2013
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