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This book examines the assumptions and concepts of the five major sociological theories and the classical roots of the modern theories. It focuses specifically on functionalism, conflict theory, theories of rational choice, symbolic interactionism, and phenomenology. Focusing on writers whose work has most influenced social theory, this book explores the key concepts of each theory, the background of the major theorists, empirical applications, and everyday "lay" use of each perspective. The book also features examples of research based on actual theory, direct quotations from major theorists, and feminist contributions and critiques on each major perspective. The fifth edition of Contemporary Sociological Theory: Continuing the Classical Tradition has been revised to include more feminist contributions, a new chapter on Evolution and Modernity: Macrosociological Perspectives, and updated material on Rediscovering the Body. An essential reference for every professional whose work is related to sociology.