This third edition of the bestselling An Introduction to Sociology: Feminist Perspectives confirms the ongoing centrality of feminist perspectives and research to the sociological enterprise and introduces students to the wide range of feminist contributions to key areas of sociological concern. This completely revised edition includes: · new chapters on sexuality and the media · additional material on race and ethnicity, disability and the body · many new international and comparative examples · the influence of theories of globalization and (...) post-colonial studies. The theoretical elements have also been fully rethought in light of recent developments in social theory. Written by three experienced academics, this book gives students of sociology and women's studies an accessible overview of the feminist contribution to all the key areas of sociological concern. (shrink)
This volume concerns philosophical issues that arise from the practice of anthropology and sociology. The essays cover a wide range of issues, including traditional questions in the philosophy of social science as well as those specific to these disciplines. Authors attend to the historical development of the current debates and set the stage for future work. · Comprehensive survey of philosophical issues in anthropology and sociology · Historical discussion of important debates · Applications to current research in anthropology (...) and sociology. (shrink)
Drawing upon Marxist, French structuralist and American pragmatist traditions, this lively and accessible introduction to the sociology of knowledge gives to its classic texts a fresh reading, arguing that various bodies of knowledge operate within culture to create powerful cultural dispositions, meanings, and categories. It looks at the cultural impact of the forms and images of mass media, the authority of science, medicine, and law as bodies of contemporary knowledge and practice. Finally, it considers the concept of "engendered knowledge" (...) through a consideration of the complex and often troubled relationship between women and science. The sociology of knowledge has sometimes been marginalized as a narrow academic specialization. This lucid study reclaims it as an essential tool for all serious students of culture in all its forms. (shrink)
In recent years methodological debates in the social sciences have increasingly focused on issues relating to epistemology. Realism and Sociology makes an original contribution to the debate, charting a middle ground between postmodernism and positivism.
What is phenomenological sociology? Why is it significant? This innovative and thought-provoking book argues that phenomenology was the most significant, wide-ranging and influential philosophy to emerge in the twentieth century. The social character of phenomenology is explored in its relation to the concern in twentieth century sociology with questions of modern experience. Phenomenology and sociology come together as 'ethnographies of the present'. As such, they break free of the self-imposed limitations of each to establish a new, critical (...) understanding of contemporary life. By reading phenomenology sociologically and sociology phenomenologically, this book reconstructs a phenomenological sociology of modern experience. Erudite and assured, this book opens up a series of new questions for contemporary social theory that theorists and students of theory can ill-afford to ignore. The text contains a treasure trove of insights and propositions that will stimulate debate and research in both sociology and philosophy. (shrink)
This unusually innovative book treats reflexivity, not as a philosophical conundrum, but as a practical issue that arises in the course of scholarly research and argument. In order to demonstrate the concrete and consequential nature of reflexivity, Malcolm Ashmore concentrates on an area in which reflexive "problems" are acute: the sociology of scientific knowledge. At the forefront of recent radical changes in our understanding of science, this increasingly influential mode of analysis specializes in rigorous deconstructions of the research practices (...) and textual products of the scientific enterprise. Through a series of detailed examinations of the practices and products of the sociology of scientific knowledge, Ashmore turns its own claims and findings back onto itself and opens up a whole new era of exploration beyond the common fear of reflexive self-destruction. (shrink)
1. The Place of Intellectual Life: The University -- The University as an Institutional Solution to the Problem of Knowledge -- The Alienability of Knowledge in Our So-called Knowledge Society -- The Knowledge Society as Capitalism of the Third Order -- Will the University Survive the Era of Knowledge Management? -- Postmodernism as an Anti-university Movement -- Regaining the University's Critical Edge by Historicizing the Curriculum -- Affirmative Action as a Strategy for Redressing the Balance Between Research and Teaching -- (...) Academics Rediscover Their Soul: The Rebirth of Academic Freedom' -- 2. The Stuff of Intellectual Life: Philosophy -- Epistemology as 'Always Already' Social Epistemology -- From Social Epistemology to the Sociology of Philosophy: The Codification of Professional Prejudices? -- Interlude: Seeds of an Alternative Sociology of Philosophy -- Prolegomena to a Critical Sociology of Twentieth-century Anglophone Philosophy -- Analytic Philosophy's Ambivalence Toward the Empirical Sciences -- Professionalism as Differentiating American and British Philosophy -- Conclusion: Anglophone Philosophy as a Victim of Its Own Success -- 3. The People of Intellectual Life: Intellectuals -- Can Intellectuals Survive if the Academy Is a No-fool Zone? -- How Intellectuals Became an Endangered Species in Our Times: The Trail of Psychologism -- A Genealogy of Anti-intellectualism: From Invisible Hand to Social Contagion -- Re-defining the Intellectual as an Agent of Distributive Justice -- The Critique of Intellectuals in a Time of Pragmatist Captivity -- Pierre Bourdieu: The Academic Sociologist as Public Intellectual -- 4. The Improvisational Nature of Intellectual Life -- Academics Caught Between Plagiarism and Bullshit -- Bullshit: A Disease Whose Cure Is Always Worse -- The Scientific Method as a Search for the (Piled) Higher (and Deeper) Bullshit -- Conclusion: How to Improvize on the World-historic Stage -- Summary of the Argument. (shrink)
The rise, fall and return of a concept -- Fundamental concepts : society and community -- Roles for sociology in society -- Societal sociology : walking the tight-rope -- Simmel and war -- Simmel and the modern condition -- Towards a wider concept of interaction -- Money -- Mass media -- The state.
Much has been written in the last decade about how we should understand the value of the sociology of bioethics. Increasingly the value of the sociology of bioethics is interpreted by its advocates directly in terms of its relationship to bioethics. It is claimed that the sociology of bioethics (and related disciplinary approaches) should be seen as an important component of work in bioethics. In this paper we wish to examine whether, and how, the sociology of (...) bioethics can be defended as a valid and justified research activity, in the context of debates about the nature of bioethics. We begin by presenting and arguing for an account of bioethics that does justice to the content of the field, the range of questions that belong within this field, and the justificatory standards (and methodological orientations) that can provide convincing answers to these questions. We then consider the role of sociology in bioethics and show how and under what conditions it can contribute to answering questions within bioethics. In the final section, we return to the sociology of bioethics to show that it can make only a limited contribution to the field. (shrink)
This book reformulates the sociological subdiscipline known as the sociology of knowledge. Knowledge is presented as more than ideology, including as well false consciousness, propaganda, science and art.
This four-volume set presents an unrivalled collection of the key literature in European sociology. The prestigious texts range across the European tradition from enlightenment to contemporary theory. The collection explodes the myth that the European tradition in sociology is a debate with the ghosts of Karl Marx and Max Weber, demonstrating that the tradition is far more deeply rooted and broadly based. Volume 1 is devoted to the emergence of European sociology. The contribution of classical political economy (...) and the Enlightenment is examined. Commentaries on the work of Hobbes, Locke, Montesquieu, Taine, Rousseau, de Tocqueville, Comte and St. Simon are included. The volume creates a vivid and compelling picture of the origins of European sociology. Volume 2 covers the rise of the classical period in social theory. It includes commentaries on the contribution of Marx, Spencer, Dilthey, Weber, Durkheim and Simmel. An overview of the main contributions of the founding fathers is also included. Volume 3 moves on to explore the main developments in the first half of the twentieth century. The contributions of the Durkheimian Tradition, Mauss, Mannheim, Lukacs, Gramsci and British sociology are presented. The volume provides a synoptic view of the diversity and emerging complexity of European sociology. Volume 4 identifies the main developments from post-industrial theory to the present day. The volume includes commentaries on the work of Aron, Foucault, Habermas, Giddens, Bourdieu, Boudon and Gellner. Selections on structuralism, polysemy, the positivist dispute and the neo-liberal tradition widen out the picture. The collection is the benchmark work for understanding the history, contribution and dilemmas of the European tradition. Full account is taken of the reference needs of students as well as of academics. Each hardcover volume of 416 pages is bound to the highest standards. The lettering on the cover is gold embossed. The slip case for the four volumes is also embossed. The volumes are not available separately. (shrink)
This collection of 13 specially commissioned essays expands a new intellectual terrain for sociology: virtue ethics. Using a variety of religious perspectives, of Catholicism, Protestantism, Hinduism, Quakerism, with considerations of Islam and the New Age, this engaged and topical collection deals with properties of virtue in relation to the person, celibacy, hope, the apocalypse, mourning, and moral ambiguity. It also treats the concept of virtue in response to MacIntyre, Bauman, Weber, Durkheim, and Giddens. It seeks to move sociology (...) past disabling effects of postmodernity. (shrink)
The political and sociological project -- Knowledge and epistemology -- Agency -- Social structure -- Time, space, and historical sociology -- Modernity -- Rationality and reflexivity -- Politics and the third way -- An alternative sociology.
Foundations of medical ethics and law -- Professionalism and medical ethics -- The doctor, the patient, and society -- Ethics and law at the beginning and end of life -- Healthcare commissioning and resource allocation -- Introduction to sociology and disease -- Experience of health and illness -- Organization of health care provision in the UK -- Inequalities in health and health care provision -- Epidemiology and public health -- Clinical governance.
Computational sociology models social phenomena using the concepts of emergence and downward causation. However, the theoretical status of these concepts is ambiguous; they suppose too much ontology and are invoked by two opposed sociological interpretations of social reality: the individualistic and the holistic. This paper aims to clarify those concepts and argue in favour of their heuristic value for social simulation. It does so by proposing a link between the concept of emergence and Luhmann's theory of communication. For Luhmann, (...) society emerges from the bottom-up as communication and he describes the process by which society limits the possible selections of individuals as downward causation. It is argued that this theory is well positioned to overcome some epistemological drawbacks in computational sociology. (shrink)
Farhad Dalal argues that people differentiate between races in order to make a distinction between the "haves" and "must-not-haves", and that this process is cognitive, emotional and political rather than biological. Examining the subject over the past thousand years, Race, Colour and the Process of Racialisation covers theories of racism and a general theory of difference based on the works of Fanon, Elias, Matte-Blanco and Foulkes, as well as application of this theory to race and racism. Farhad Dalal concludes that (...) the structures of society are reflected in the structures of the psyche, and both of these are colour coded. This book will be invaluable to students, academics and practitioners in the areas of psychoanalysis, group analysis, psychotherapy and counseling. (shrink)
This paper presents the history of the Frankfurt School’s inclusion of normative concerns in social science research programs during the period 1930-1955. After examining the relevant methodology, I present a model of how such a program could look today. I argue that such an approach is both valuable to contemporary social science programs and overlooked by current philosophers and social scientists.
Machine generated contents note: Chapter 1. Environmental Problems and Society Part I: The Material Chapter 2. Consumption and Materialism Chapter 3. Money and Machines Chapter 4. Population and Development Chapter 5. Body and Health Part II: The Ideal Chapter 6. The Ideology of Environmental Domination Chapter 7. The Ideology of Environmental Concern Chapter 8. The Human Nature of Nature Chapter 9. The Rationality of Risk Part III: The Practical Chapter 10. Mobilizing the Ecological Society Chapter 11. Governing the Ecological Society (...) . (shrink)
Combining perspectives on the interplay of two areas of primary importance to our lives--business and society--this anthology brings together a wide range of readings on the subject. Topics covered include the historical evolution of the business enterprise, the emergence and development of the labor force, and the impact of the international marketplace. Barry Castro concentrates on the moral and social aspects of business, the way it affects national economy, the environment, careers, the disadvantaged, government, and public opinion. Considering the abundance (...) of socioeconomic issues in everyday life, he shows that business ethics is particularly relevant to the business student of today, and that the historical, social and ethical dimensions of business are an inseparable and necessary component of business education. (shrink)
Understanding Elias -- Origins of Elias's synthesis -- Norbert Elias and Karl Mannheim -- The civilizing process : the structure of a classic -- Involved detachment : knowledge and self-knowledge in Elias -- The symbol theory : secular humanism as a research programme -- Concluding remarks : the fourth blow to man's narcissism.
The institutionalization of modern military science -- Frame awareness -- A critique of "the usual suspects" for military design -- Relationalism -- The reconstruction of military profession -- Un petit récit from the field -- Coda : designing meanings in-and on-action.
Many people still believe in life after death, but modern institutions operate as though this were the only world - eternity is now eclipsed from view in society and even in the church. This book carefully observes the eclipse - what caused it, how full is it, what are its consequences, will it last? How significant is recent interest in near-death experiences and reincarnation?
This essay argues that the material conditions of capitalist patriarchal societies are more integrally linked to institutionalized heterosexuality than they are to gender. Building on the critical strategies of early feminist sociology through the articulation of a materialist feminist theoretical framework, the author provides a critique of contemporary sex-gender theory. She argues that the heterosexual imaginary in feminist sociological theories of gender conceals the operation of heterosexuality in structuring gender and closes off any critical analysis of heterosexuality as an (...) organizing institution.... every sociological concept and thesis, as well as the overall patterning of these concepts and theses, is potentially open for reconsideration... With the emergence of feminist sociological theory, the critical emphases in sociology are strengthened by an insistence that sociological work be critical and change-oriented... in an intensely reflexive way towards sociology itself (Lengermann and Niebrugge-Brantley 1990:318). We must produce a political transformation of the key concepts, that is of the concepts which are strategic for us (Wittig 1992:30). (shrink)
The term queer has recently come into wide use to designate distinctive emphases in the politics and the intellectual study of sexuality. This article explores the unfortunate irony that most work falling under the rubric of queer theory has been undertaken largely at some remove from the discipline of sociology, despite the pioneering role that an earlier generation of sociologists played in formulating influential conceptions of the social construction of sexuality. The article suggests important continuities between the earlier sociological (...) theories and recent queer theory, but also analyzes the new challenges that queer theorists have posed by insisting on the indispensability of questions of sexual "marginality" to the larger understanding of social and cultural organization. The article concludes by suggesting how sociologists might engage with such a project. (shrink)
The English translation of Habermas's The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere converges with a recent trend toward the revival of the "political culture concept" in the social sciences. Surprisingly, Habermas's account of the Western bourgeois public sphere has much in common with the original political culture concept associated with Parsonian modernization theory in the 1950s and 1960s. In both cases, the concept of political culture is used in a way that is neither political nor cultural. Explaining this peculiarity is (...) the central problem addressed in this article and one to follow. I hypothesize that this is the case because the concept itself is embedded in an historically constituted political culture (here called a conceptual network)-a structured web of conceptual relationships that combine into Anglo-American citizenship theory. The method of an historical sociology of concept formation is introduced to analyze historically and empirically the internal constraints and dynamics of this conceptual network. The method draws from new work in cultural history and sociology, social studies, and network, narrative, and institutional analysis. This research yields three empirical findings: this conceptual network has a narrative structure, here called the Anglo-American citizenship story; this narrative is grafted onto an epistemology of social naturalism; and these elements combine in a metanarrative that continues to constrain empirical research in political sociology. (shrink)
This article investigates the place of postmodernism in sociology today by making a distinction between its epistemological and empirical forms. During the 1980s and early 1990s, sociologists exposited, appropriated, and normalized an epistemological postmodernism that thematizes the tentative, reflective, and possibly shifting nature of knowledge. More recently, however, sociologists have recognized the potential of a postmodern theory that turns its attention to empirical concerns. Empirical postmodernists challenge classical modern concepts to develop research programs based on new concepts like time-space (...) reorganization, risk society, consumer capitalism, and postmodern ethics. But they do so with an appreciation for the uncertainty of the social world, ourselves, our concepts, and our commitment to our concepts that results from the encounter with postmodern epistemology. Ultimately, this article suggests that understanding postmodernism as a combination of these two moments can lead to a sociology whose epistemological modesty and empirical sensitivity encourage a deeper and broader approach to the contemporary social world. (shrink)
This paper proposes a reconsideration of Karl Mannheim and his work from the viewpoint of the needs of sociological theory. It points out certain affinities between Mannheim and some contemporary theorists, such as Gramsci and Foucault, and then reflects on certain problems in Mannheim's work, particularly the response to "relativism" and the hope of creating new "syntheses" through the sociology of knowledge. Finally, it proposes ways to draw on the sociology of intellectuals, inspired by Mannheim, in order to (...) advance the understanding of social theory. (shrink)
Unlike older sciences such as physics and biology, sociology has never had a revolution. Modern sociology is still classical-largely psychological, teleological, and individualistic-and even less scientific than classical sociology. But pure sociology is different: It predicts and explains the behavior of social life with its location and direction in social space-its geometry. Here I Illustrate pure sociology with formulations about the behavior of ideas, including a theory of scienticity that predicts and explains the degree to (...) which an idea is likely to be scientific (testable, general, simple, valid, and original). For example: Scienticity is a curvilinear function of social distance from the subject. This formulation explains numerous facts about the history and practice of science, such as why some sciences evolved earlier and faster than others and why so much sociology is so unscientific. Because scientific theory is the most scientific science, the theory of scienticity also implies a theory of theory and a methodology for the development of theory. (shrink)
Sociologists tend to eschew biological explanations of human social behavior. Accordingly, when evolutionary biologists began to apply neo-Darwinian theory to the study of human social behavior, the reactions of sociologists typically ranged from indifference to overt hostility. Since the mid-1960s, however, neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory has stimulated a "second Darwinian revolution" in traditional social scientific conceptions of human nature and social behavior, even while most sociologists remain largely uninformed about neo-Darwinian theory and research. This article traces sociology's long-standing isolation from (...) the life sciences, especially evolutionary biology, to divergence in the metatheoretical assumptions that typify conventional sociological thought versus contemporary evolutionary biology. We conclude with a discussion of the recent emergence of a nascent "evolutionary sociology" that integrates sociobiological reasoning with contemporary sociological thought. (shrink)
As rational choice theory has moved from economics into political science and sociology, it has been dramatically transformed. The intellectual diffusion of agency theory illustrates this process. Agency theory is a general model of social relations involving the delegation of authority, and generally resulting in problems of control, which has been applied to a broad range of substantive contexts. This paper analyzes applications of agency theory to state policy implementation in economics, political science, and sociology. After documenting variations (...) in the theory across disciplinary contexts, the strengths and weaknesses of these different varieties of agency theory are assessed. Sociological versions of agency theory, incorporating both broader microfoundations and richer models of social structure, are in many respects the most promising. This type of agency theory illustrates the potential of an emerging sociological version of rational choice theory. (shrink)
In previous decades, a regrettable divorce has arisen between two currents of theorizing and research about knowledge and science: the Mannheimian and Wittgensteinian traditions. The radical impulse of the new social studies of science in the early 1970s was initiated not by followers of Mannheim, but by Wittgensteinians such as Kuhn, Bloor, and Collins. This paper inquires whether this Wittgensteinian program is not presently running into difficulties that might be resolved to some extent by reverting to a more traditional and (...) broader agenda of research. A social theory of knowledge (or social epistemology) along Mannheimian lines would not only reinstate the "magic triangle" of epistemology, sociology, and ethics, and hence revive the vexed problem of "ideology critique," but would also need to reincorporate the social analysis of science into a broader macrosocial theory about the "knowledge society.". (shrink)
The field of science studies is the site of an explicit reflection on the ontological premises of sociology, with rival approaches defined by distinctive ways of specifying the basic constituents of reality. This article takes advantage of this debate to compare three types of ontological schemes in terms of their internal coherence and their consequences for sociology. Sociological humanism-represented by proponents of the sociology of scientific knowledge (SSK)-distinguishes between an immanent domain of social relations, a transcendent and (...) meaningless material reality, and an intermediate, socially constructed level of knowledge, meaning, and culture. Symmetrical humanism-as found in the recent writings of Andrew Pickering-insists that society too should be placed among the constructions, thereby disqualifying it as a source of explanations for human agency and leaving a detached and self-moving human agent. The relational ontology-exemplified by the "actor-network" approach of Bruno Latour and others-makes no a priori distinctions between humans and others, or between transcendent reality and construction, treating these properties as outcomes. The two humanist approaches are found to be incoherent as ontological schemes and also, contrary to the assumptions of the current debate, inimical to sociological explanation. And contrary to the antisociological stance of the actor-network approach, it is found that the relational ontology provides a consistent basis for sociological explanations of human practices. (shrink)
Conventionally, proposals to improve working relations between sociology and history have been interdisciplinary. The present essay advances an alternative approach-consolidation of sociohistorical inquiry as a transdisciplinary enterprise. All socio-historical inquiry depends on four elemental forms of discourse: discourse on values, narrative discourse, social theoretical discourse, and the discourse of explanation. Though inquiry is transdisciplinary in the problematics of these discourses, concrete methodology typically is oriented either toward theorization in relation to cases (historical sociology) or toward comprehensive analysis of (...) a single phenomenon (sociological history). Varying the articulated relations among the four forms of discourse once for historical sociology and again for sociological history yields eight ideal typical strategies of inquiry. The four strategies of historical sociology include universal history, theory application, macro-analytic history, and contrast-oriented comparison. The parallel strategies for sociological history are situational history, specific history, configurational history, and historicism. These ideal types offer standard reference points that help clarify the underpinnings of a diverse range of scholarly practices. (shrink)
This paper argues the case for a renewed interest in Schutz's work by extending his theory of the conscious subject to the feminist concern with the issue of domination. We present a theoretical analysis of the subjective and intersubjective experiences of individuals relating to each other as dominant and subordinate; as our theoretical point of departure we use Schutz's concepts of the we-relation, the assumption of reciprocity of perspectives, typification, working, taken-for-grantedness, and relevance. Schutz's sociology of the conscious subject (...) is striking in its lack of any extended consideration of power, perhaps one reason why support for his work has diminished since the mid-1970s. Our overlayering of feminist sociological theory's interest in domination with Schutz's concerns about subjectivity and intersubjectivity produces an elaboration and a critique of Schutz and expands feminist understanding of relationships of domination. (shrink)
The recent worldwide resurgence of militant nationalism, fundamentalist intolerance and right-wing authoritarianism has again put the issues of violence and xenophobia at the center of social science research and theory. German psychoanalyst and sociologist Erich Fromm's work provides a useful theoretical microfoundation for contemporary work on nationalism, the politics of identity, and the roots of war and violence. Fromm's analysis of Nasism in Escape from Freedom (1941), in particular, outlines a compelling theory of irrationality, and his later writings on nationalism (...) provide an existential psychoanalysis that can be useful for contemporary social theory and sociology of emotions. Escape from Freedom synthesizes Marxist, Freudian, Weberian, and existentialist insights to offer an Original theoretical explanation of Nazism that combines both Macrostructural and micropsychological levels of analysis. After forty-five Years of research into the social origins of fascism and with recent Theorizing in the sociology of nationalism and emotions, Escape from Freedom, its analysis of Nazism, and Fromm's larger theoretical perspective are worth reconsidering. (shrink)