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Modern Sociological Theory
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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.
 
Biographical and Autobiographical Sketches
 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Authors
 
PART I. INTRODUCTION TO CLASSICAL SOCIOLOGICAL THEORY
 
Chapter 1. A Historical Sketch of Sociological Theory: The Early Years
Introduction

 
Premodern Sociological Theory

 
Social Forces in the Development of Sociological Theory

 
Intellectual Forces and the Rise of Sociological Theory

 
The Development of French Sociology

 
The Development of German Sociology

 
The Origins of British Sociology

 
The Key Figure in Early Italian Sociology

 
Non-European Classical Theory

 
 
Chapter 2. A Historical Sketch of Sociological Theory: The Later Years
Early American Sociological Theory

 
Sociological Theory to Midcentury

 
Sociological Theory From Midcentury

 
Late-Twentieth-Century Integrative Theory

 
Theories of Modernity and Postmodernity

 
Social Theory in the Twenty-First Century

 
 
PART II. MODERN SOCIOLOGICAL THEORY: THE MAJOR SCHOOLS
 
Chapter 3. Structural Functionalism, Systems Theory, and Conflict Theory
Structural Functionalism

 
Systems Theory

 
Conflict Theory

 
 
Chapter 4. Varieties of Neo-Marxian Theory
Economic Determinism

 
Hegelian Marxism

 
Critical Theory

 
Neo-Marxian Economic Sociology

 
Historically Oriented Marxism

 
Neo-Marxian Spatial Analysis

 
Post-Marxist Theory

 
 
Chapter 5. Symbolic Interactionism
The Major Historical Roots

 
The Ideas of George Herbert Mead

 
Symbolic Interactionism: The Basic Principles

 
The Self and the Work of Erving Goffman

 
The Sociology of Emotions

 
Criticisms

 
The Future of Symbolic Interactionism

 
 
Chapter 6. Ethnomethodology
Defining Ethnomethodology

 
The Diversification of Ethnomethodology

 
Some Early Examples

 
Conversation Analysis

 
Studies of Institutions

 
Criticisms of Traditional Sociology

 
Stresses and Strains in Ethnomethodology

 
Synthesis and Integration

 
 
Chapter 7. Exchange, Network, and Rational Choice Theories
Exchange Theory

 
Network Theory

 
Network Exchange Theory

 
Rational Choice Theory

 
 
Chapter 8. Contemporary Feminist Theory
Feminism’s Basic Questions

 
Historical Framing—The Second Wave: Feminism, Sociology, and Gender

 
Varieties of Contemporary Feminist Theory

 
Challenges to Feminism

 
Feminist Sociological Theorizing

 
 
Chapter 9. Micro-Macro and Agency-Structure Integration
Micro-Macro Integration

 
Agency-Structure Integration

 
Agency-Structure and Micro-Macro Linkages: Fundamental Differences

 
 
PART III . FROM MODERN TO POSTMODERN SOCIAL THEORY (AND BEYOND)
 
Chapter 10. Contemporary Theories of Modernity
Classical Theorists on Modernity

 
The Juggernaut of Modernity

 
The Risk Society

 
The Holocaust and Liquid Modernity

 
Modernity’s Unfinished Project

 
Self, Society, and Religion

 
Informationalism and the Network Society

 
 
Chapter 11. Structuralism, Poststructuralism, and Postmodern Social Theory
Structuralism

 
Poststructuralism

 
Postmodern Social Theory

 
Criticisms

 
 
Chapter 12. Theories of Race and Colonialism
Fanon and the Colonial Subject

 
Postcolonial Theory

 
Critical Theories of Race and Racism

 
Racial Formation

 
A Systematic Theory of Race

 
Southern Theory and Indigenous Resurgence

 
 
Chapter 13. Globalization Theory
Major Contemporary Theorists on Globalization

 
Cultural Theory

 
Economic Theory

 
Political Theory

 
Neoliberalism

 
 
Chapter 14. Science, Technology, and Nature
Affect Theory

 
Science Studies and Actor-Network Theory

 
Theories of the Anthropocene

 
Consumption and Prosumption Theory

 
 
References
 
Name Index
 
Subject Index
Key features

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.