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The Blackwell Companion to Political Sociology brings together thirty-eight original essays covering the wide inter-disciplinary field of political sociology. Represents the most comprehensive overview available in the field of political sociology Covers traditional questions as well as emerging topics including recent debates on gender, citizenship, and political identity Includes detailed editorial introduction, abstracts, further reading lists, and a consolidated bibliography.
In this book Anthony Giddens addresses a range of issues concerning current developments in social theory, relating them to the prospects for sociology in the closing decades of the twentieth-century.
Introducing the fundamental theories and debates in the sociology of art, this broad ranging book, the only edited reader of the sociology of art available, uses extracts from the core foundational and most influential contemporary writers in the field. As such it is essential reading both for students of the sociology of art, and of art history. Divided into five sections, it explores the following key themes: * classical sociological theory and the sociology of art * the social production of art * the sociology of the artist * museums and the social construction of high culture * sociology aesthetic form and the specificity of art. With the addition of an introductory essay that contextualizes the readings within the traditions of sociology and art history, and draws fascinating parallels between the origins and development of these two disciplines, this book opens up a productive interdisciplinary dialogue between sociology and art history as well as providing a fascinating introduction to the subject.
Most social scientists and philosophers claim that sociology and philosophy are disjointed fields of inquiry. Some have wondered how to trace the precise boundary between them. Mario Bunge argues the two fields are so entangled with one another that no demarcation is possible or, indeed, desirable. In fact, sociological research has demonstrably philosophical presuppositions. In turn, some findings of sociology are bound to correct or enrich the philosophical theories that deal with the world, our knowledge of it, or the ways of acting upon it. While Bunge's thesis would hardly have shocked Mill, Marx, Durkheim, or Weber, it is alien to the current sociological mainstream and dominant philosophical schools. Bunge demonstrates that philosophical problematics arise in social science research. A fertile philosophy of social science unearths critical presuppositions, analyzes key concepts, refines effective research strategies, crafts coherent and realistic syntheses, and identifies important new problems. Bunge examines Marx's and Durkheim's thesis that social facts are as objective as physical facts; the so-called Thomas theorem that refutes the behaviorist thesis that social agents react to social stimuli rather than to the way we perceive them; and Merton's thesis on the ethos of basic science which shows that science and morality are intertwined. He then considers selected philosophical problems raised by contemporary social studies. In a concluding chapter, Bunge argues forcefully against tolerance of shabby work in academic social science and philosophy alike.
There would be no need for sociology if everyone understood the social frameworks within which we operate. That we do have a connection to the larger picture is largely thanks to the pioneering thinker Émile Durkheim. He recognized that, if anything can explain how we as individuals relate to society, then it is suicide: Why does it happen? What goes wrong? Why is it more common in some places than others? In seeking answers to these questions, Durkheim wrote a work that has fascinated, challenged and informed its readers for over a hundred years. Far-sighted and trail-blazing in its conclusions, Suicide makes an immense contribution to our understanding to what must surely be one of the least understandable of acts. A brilliant study, it is regarded as one of the most important books Durkheim ever wrote.
Some of the most important questions of the social sciences in the twentieth century have been posed by scholars working at the intersections of social theory and history viewed on a grand scale. The core essays of this book focus on the careers and contributions of nine of these scholars: Marc Bloch, Karl Polanyi, S. N. Eisenstadt, Reinhard Bendix, Perry Anderson, E. P. Thompson, Charles Tilly, Immanuel Wallerstein, and Barrington Moore, Jr. The essays convey a vivid sense of the vision and values each of these major scholars brings (or bought) to his work and analyze and evaluate the research designs and methods each used in his most important works. The introduction and conclusion discuss the long-running tradition of historically grounded research in sociology, while the conclusion also provides a detailed discussion and comparison of three recurrent strategies for bringing historical evidence and theoretical ideas to bear upon one another. informative, thought-provoking, and unusually practical, the book offers fascinating and relevant reading to sociologists, social historians, historically oriented political economists, and anthropologists - and, indeed, to anyone who wants to learn more about the ideas and methods of some of the best-known scholars in the modern social sciences.

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