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Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim, and Max Weber are indispensable for understanding the sociological enterprise. They are among the chief founders of the discipline and among the foremost theorists of modernity, and their work can stimulate readers to reflect on their own identities and worldviews. Classical Social Theory and Modern Society introduces students to these three thinkers and shows their continued relevance today. The first chapter sets the stage by situating the work of Marx, Durkheim, and Weber in the context of three modernizing revolutions: the Enlightenment, the French Revolution of 1789, and the industrial revolution. Three overview chapters follow that summarize the key ideas of each thinker, focusing on their contributions to the development of sociology and their conceptions of modern society. The last portion of the book explores the thinking of Marx, Durkheim, and Weber on four themes—the pathologies of modern society, the predicament of the modern individual, the state and democracy, and socialism versus capitalism. These thematic chapters place Marx, Durkheim, and Weber in dialogue with one another, offering students the opportunity to wrestle with conflicting ideas on issues that are still significant today. Classical sociology is essential to the teaching of sociology and also an invaluable tool in the education of citizens.
Beginning classical social theory introduces students and educated general readers to thirteen key social theorists by way of examining a single, exemplary text by each author, ranging from Comte to Adorno. It answers the need for a book that helps students develop the skill to critically read theory. Rather than learning how to admire the canonical theorists, readers are alerted to the flow of their arguments and the texts' contradictions and limitations. Having gotten 'under the skin' of one key text by each author will provide readers with a solid starting point for further study. The book will be suitable as the principal textbook in social theory modules as much as alongside a more conventional textbook as a recommended additional tool for self-study. It will appeal to undergraduate and postgraduate students as well as educated lay readers.
Complements Contemporary sociological theory.
Living Theory: The Application of Classical Social Theory to Contemporary Life, 2nd edition analyzes major features of modern society from the classical theory point of view, and suggests how modern life might be explained from this viewpoint. The author examines the works of four classical figures - Marx, Durkheim, Simmel, and Weber - because of their continuing influence on social theory, and because they addressed many of the central issues we confront in modern society. Topics new to this edition include: New electronic technologies The battle over valued property The role of trust in society Governmental secrecy Trafficking in human organs
Capitalism and Classical Social Theory, Second Edition offers solid coverage of the classical triumvirate (Marx, Durkheim, and Weber), but also extends the canon strategically to include Simmel, four early female theorists, and the writings of Du Bois.
Praise for the First Edition: 'Totally reliable... the authors have produced a book urgently needed by all those charged with introducing students to the classics... quite indispensable' - Times Higher Education Supplement This is a fully updated and expanded new edition of the successful undergraduate text. Providing a lucid examination of the pivotal theories of Marx, Durkheim and Weber, the authors submit that these figures have decisively shaped the discipline. They show how the classical apparatus is in use, even though it is being directed in new ways in response to the changing character of society. Written with the needs of undergraduates in mind, the text is essential reading for students in sociology and social theory.
"This is one of the sharpest and most rewarding textbooks for teaching classical social theory. The emphasis on depth over breadth pays off handsomely, providing students with a badly needed foundation in the classics of sociology." - Philip Walsh, York University

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