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Classical Sociological Theory: Rediscovering the Promise of Sociology 1st Edition

Glenn A. Goodwin, Joseph A. Scimecca

  • Published
  • 320 Pages


Based on the theme that the authors call "rediscovering the promise of sociology," CLASSICAL SOCIOLOGICAL THEORY covers the period from the early 19th century and the emergence of the distinct field of sociology through the first decades of the 20th century. The three major theories of functionalism, conflict perspective and the beginning of symbolic interactionism are all developed in the classical phase. After identifying the emergence of a social philosophy dating back to the Enlightenment in chapter one, the text then follows a pattern in which each chapter is devoted to one of the major theorists and their work. Theorists are placed into their social and intellectual context. Each chapter devotes considerable content to an explanation of the writers core principles, and then submits each principle to a series of four fundamental questions. The chapter ends by providing an assessment of each of the theorists.

Glenn A. Goodwin, University of La Verne

Glenn A. Goodwin is Emeritus Professor of Sociology, Pitzer College, Claremont, California, and is currently (Adjunct) Professor of Sociology at the University of La Verne in La Verne, California. He has served on the faculties of Wayne State University, Claremont Graduate University, The American University in Cairo, Egypt, University of California, San Francisco, Ohio University, and Chapman University. Goodwin's work has appeared in a variety of professional journals and books, and he is co-editor of the volume 'PROFESSING' HUMANIST SOCIOLOGY (American Sociological Association). He received his Ph.D from Tulane University.

Joseph A. Scimecca, George Mason University

Joseph A. Scimecca is Professor of Sociology, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia. He was formerly Chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and Director of the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University. He has served on the faculties of St. John's University, Upsala College, Herbert H. Lehman College - CUNY, University of Maine, and SUNY-Albany. A prolific author, Dr. Scimecca is the author of CRISIS AT ST. JOHN'S: STRIKE AND REVOLUTION ON THE CATHOLIC CAMPUS, THE SOCIOLOGICAL THEORY OF C. WRIGHT MILLS, EDUCATION AND SOCIETY, SOCIOLOGY: ANALYSIS AND APPLICATION, SOCIETY AND FREEDOM: AN INTRODUCTION TO HUMANIST SOCIOLOGY, and co-editor of CONFLICT RESOLUTION: CROSS CULTURAL PERSPECTIVES. He received his Ph.D from New York University.
Introduction. The enlightenment and legacy of the philosophies: Science and Morals. Social/Societal Influences. Political Revolutions in France and elsewhere. The Industrial Revolution, Urbanization, and Capitalism. Religion, Ideology, and Politics. A New Conception of Knowledge. German Idealism. The American Experience. Pragmatism. Pragmatism and Methodology. The Promise of Sociology. Classical Sociological theory and the Four Fundamental Questions. References.
2. AUGUSTE COMTE (1798-1857).
Introduction. Biography. The Lycee. The Ecole Polytechnique. Paris in the Early Nineteenth Century. Marginal Intellectual. From Positivism to Religion. The Intellectual Context. The Enlightenment Philosophes. St. Simon. Comte''s Sociology. Sociology as the Science of Society. From Science to the Religion of Humanity. The Four Questions. Assessment: Auguste Comte and the Promise of Sociology. References.
3. HARRIET MARTINEAU (1802-1876).
Introduction. Biography. A Significant Decade. The Successful Author. Religion and Women''s Issues. Intellectual Context. Unitarianism. Classical Economics. The Role of Women in the Nineteenth Century. Martineau''s Sociology. Methodology and Morals. Methodology Continued: Women and Slavery. Feminist Sociology. Sociology of Religion. Sociology of Inequality. Sociology of Work and Occupations. Sociology of Illness and Disability. The Four Questions. Assessment: Harriet Martineau and the Promise of Sociology. References.
4. KARL MARX (1818-1883).
Introduction. Biography. The Early Years. The University Years, Marriage and Family. Intellectual Context. Berlin: The Young Hegelians. Paris, Brussels, and the Move to London. The International and the Twilight Years. Marx'' Sociology. German Philosophy. Hegel and the Dialectic. Metaphysics Out, Materialism In. English Political Economy/Classical Economic Theory. Surplus Value, Unpaid Wages, and Increasing Misery. French Socialism. Toward Revolution (Dialectic Materialism). Alienation. Summary: It All Comes Together. No Marxist Revolution: A Brief Critical Assessment. The Four Questions. Assessment: Karl Marx and the Promise of Sociology. References.
5. HERBERT SPENCER (1820-1903).
Introduction. Biography. The Early Years: Nonconformity, Independence. Travels/Observations/Inventions. Intellectual Context. Early Influences. Middle and Later Years. Spencer''s Sociology. Evolutionary Theory. Assumptions. Adaptation, struggle for existence, and the birth of society. Organicism. Societies are not organisms. Social Darwinism. The Four Questions. Assessment: Herbert Spencer and the Promise of Sociology. References. V. THE FOUR QUESTIONS.
6. EMILE DURKHEIM (1855-1917).
Introductin. Biography. The Early Years: Education and Anti-Semitism. Middle Years: Patriot, Husband, Father, Activist, and Scholar. The Twilight Years: Senior Scholar, War, Personal Devastation. Intellectual Context. French Intellectual History. Other Influences. Durkheim''s Sociology. Introduction: Sociologism, Positivism, Major Works, Spencer. On the Division of Labor in Society (1893). Mechanical solidarity. Organic solidarity. Causes of the division of labor and why it weakens the collective conscience. The Rules of Sociological Method (1895). Suicide (1897). Introduction: Positivism, Sociologism, Definition and Types of Suicide. Egoistic Suicide. Altruistic Suicide. Anomic and Fatalistic Suicide. The Elementary Forms of Religious Life (1912). Introduction. Durkheim''s Theory of Religion. Durkheim''s New Methodological/Epistemological Positions. The sociology of knowledge. Social psychology. Positivism. The Four Questions. Assessment: Emile Durkheim and the Promise of Sociology. References.
7. GEORG SIMMEL (1858-1918).
Introduction. Biography. Ties to Berlin. The Later Years. Intellectual Context. Darwin and Spencer. Kant. Positivism and Idealism. Simmel''s Sociology. Content and Form. Dyads and Triads. Conflict. Role Theory, Multiple Statuses and Freedom. The Four Questions. Assessment: Georg Simmel and the Promise of Sociology. References.
8. MAX WEBER (1864-1920).
Introduction. Biography. Early Years: Family, Education. Career, Psychological Demons, The War Years. Intellectual Context. The Making of An Encyclopedic Mind. German Intellectual History, Teaching, and Writing. Weber''s Sociology. Introduction: Levels of Analysis, Rationality, Iron Cage. Role of Ideas. Historical individual. Verstehen, ideal types. Weber''s Epistemology/Methodology: The Protestant Ethic Thesis. Overview of PE. Part I: The problem. Part II: The practical ethics of the ascetic branches of Protestantism. How ideas structure social action: the PE example. Power and Authority Structures. Ideal type: a quick review. Power. Class. Status. Party. Authority structures. Rational legal authority. Traditional authority. Charismatic authority. Summary: Weber and Marx. The Four Questions. Assessment: Max Weber and the Promise of Sociology. References.
9. GEORGE HERBERT MEAD (1863-1931).
Introduction. Biography. Undergraduate Education. Graduate Education. The Chicago Years: Mead the Social Reformer. The Chicago Years: Mead the Professor. Intellectual Context. Darwinism. Behaviorism. Pragmatism. Mead''s Sociology. Mind, Self, and Society. The Mind and Significant Symbols. Language and Mind. Social Order. The Preparatory Stage. The Play Stage. The Game Stage. The "I" and the "Me". An Integrated Sociology. The Four Questions. Assessment: George Herbert Mead and the Promise of Sociology. References.
10. JANE ADDAMS (1860-1935).
Introduction. Biography. The Early Years. Rockford Female Seminary. Travel in Europe. Beginnings of Hull House. Later Years. Intellectual Context. The Social Gospel. Pragmatism. Marxism and Socialism. Women''s Suffrage. Tolstoy and Pacifism. Addams'' Sociology. Critical-Emancipatory Theory. Feminist Sociology. The Four Questions. Assessment: Jane Addams and the Promise of Sociology. References.
Introduction. Biography. Higher Education. Early Career. The NAACP, Crisis Magazine, and Marxism. Social Critic and the Later Years. Intellectual Context. Pragmatism. William James, Pragmatism and Science. Social Darwinism. Pan-Africanism. Marxism. Du Bois'' Sociology. Sociological Methods. Sociology of Race. Sociology of Self. Sociology of Religion. The Four Questions. Assessment: W.E.B. DuBois and the Promise of Sociology. References.
Introduction. The Origins of American Sociology. William Graham Sumer (1840-1910). Lester Frank Ward (1841-1913). Albion Woodbury Small (1854-1926). Charles Horton Cooley (1864-1929). Edward Alsworth Ross (1866-1951). Franklin Giddings (1855-1931). Florence Kelley (1859-1932). Charlette Perkins Gilman (1860-1935). The Rise of the Objective Sociology. The Historical Development of the American College. The Rise of the American University. Robert Park (1864-1944). The Giddings Men. William Fielding Ogburn. Assessment: Classical American Sociology and the Promise of Sociology. References.