'This book is not an encyclopaedic survey of the most influential or important sociological theories of the 20th century; nor is it an institutional history of sociological theory; it is not a textbook, a distillation of the accumulated knowledge of a particular discipline; nor is it a crib, a set of ready-made and easily-remembered answers to imagined examination questions. It is more of a reader's guide, a series of hints and suggestions for those who, whether students or teachers, believe that sociology is a profession and a discipline but also something more...' - Charles Turner in the introduction to "Investigating Sociological Theory". This is an accessible, enlivening introductory book that provides a shot in the arm for all those who maintain the relevance of sociology for understanding the modern world. It will inspire discussion in classes, and provide teachers with an opportunity to discuss the big questions in theory, history, social order and social change. Turner provides a wealth of concrete examples which demonstrate what a sociological perspective can do to unpack and illuminate everyday life.
The book allows students to understand sociological theory from the inside. It moves effortlessly beyond the mere parade of great names and core ideas to introduce concepts that can be used to understand the social world in which we live, where this world has come from and where it might be heading. Original, informed, and deftly written with the needs of students in mind, this book is an antidote to arid theorising and the dull recitation of the grand sociological tradition.
Charles Turner is Associate Professor of Sociology and Co-Director of the Social Theory Centre at Warwick University. He graduated from Durham University and completed his PhD at Goldsmiths College, University of London. His research and teaching interests have also taken him to the Bavarian Academy of Sciences, Munich (1990-1991), the University of Warsaw (1992-1994) and the Jagiellonian University, Krakow (1999). His publications include Modernity and Politics in the Work of Max Weber (Routledge, 1992) and a collection edited with Robert Fine entitled Social Theory After the Holocaust (LUP, 2000). He teaches undergraduate modules in Theoretical Ideas in Sociology and Contemporary Social Theory and the masters options Sociology of Modernity and the Idea of Europe. His research interests are in the areas of social and political theory, the sociology of collective memory and history, and the future of Europe. He is co-director of the Centre for Social Theory.
Introduction Classic and Canon Description Categories Metaphors Diagrams Cynicism and Scepticism: Two Intellectual Styles Sociological Theory and the Art of Living Conclusion
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