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Modern Sociological Theory

Modern Sociological Theory

Ninth Edition

Other Titles in:
Social Theory

February 2021 | 688 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
The authors are proud sponsors of the SAGE Keith Roberts Teaching Innovations Award—enabling graduate students and early career faculty to attend the annual ASA pre-conference teaching and learning workshop.

Modern Sociological Theory
 gives readers a comprehensive overview of the major theorists and schools of sociological thought, from sociology's 19th century origins through the mid-20th century. Written by an author team that includes one of the leading contemporary thinkers, the text integrates key theories with with biographical sketches of theorists, placing them in historical and intellectual context.
1. A Historical Sketch of Sociological Theory: The Early Years
2. A Historical Sketch of Sociological Theory: The Later Years
3. Structural Functionalism, Systems Theory, and Conflict Theory
4. Varieties of Neo-Marxian Theory
5. Symbolic Interactionism
6. Ethnomethodology
7. Exchange, Network, and Rational Choice Theories
8. Contemporary Feminist Theory
9. Micro–Macro and Agency–Structure Integration
10. Contemporary Theories of Modernity
11. Structuralism, Poststructuralism, and Postmodern Social Theory
12. Theories of Race and Colonialism
13. Globalization Theory
14. Science, Technology, and Nature
Key features


  • A clear, unbiased style of presenting sociological theory, which Ritzer's readers have come to expect, makes the text accessible to students.
  • The comprehensive approach covers all of the major schools of thought, as well as 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.
  • Biographical boxes help students place sociological theories within a personal and social context.

In order to improve the flow of the text the chapter on poststructuralism and postmodernism (formerly Ch.13, now Ch. 11) has been moved to follow the chapter on modernity (Ch. 10).

The piece on queer theory, formerly part of Ch. 14, has been moved into the chapter on postructuralism and postmodernism (Ch. 11).

Ch. 1 has several new additions: a stand-alone section on Ibn Khaldun to provide the reader with an example of premodern sociological theory; a section on Harriet Martineau to better contextualize her feminist writings within the history of sociological thought; and a section on “non-European” classical theory.

New biographies on Hannah Ardent (Ch. 2), Raewyn Connell (Ch. 8), Bruno Latour (Ch. 14), and Donna Harway (Ch. 14).

Ch. 8 has been updated with new sections on Hegemonic Masculinity, Postcolonial feminism, Neoliberalism and a biography on Raewyn Connell

Ch. 13, on globalization, includes a new section on the work of historical comparative sociologist Saskia Sassen and her concepts of the global city and expulsions.

Ch. 14 has been redesigned with a focus on science, technology, nature, and consumption and an opening discussion of the relevance of these themes for sociological theory. The largest new addition is a section Theories of the Anthropocene, a set of theories that theorize the connection between climate change and human society.

The Ch. 14 section on actor-network theory and posthumanism has been significantly rewritten with a more detailed focus on Bruno Latour and Donna Haraway, especially Haraway’s work on cyborgs and companion species.



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