The organization of this popular social theory reader, which pairs classical articles with contemporary theoretical and empirical studies, highlights the historical flow of social theory and demonstrates how disagreements and confrontations shape theory over time. Written in clear, down-to-earth language, the introductions to each selection link theorists to one another, illustrating how theoretical traditions are not rigidly separate but are always in conversation, addressing and challenging each other. The third edition incorporates significant changes: more readings reflecting a wide diversity of theorists, a completely revamped chapter on gender, new chapters on race and culture, and unique material on the "transitional giants" who have helped to transform classical theory into contemporary theory. As well, new contextual and biographical materials surround each reading and each chapter includes a study guide with key terms and innovative discussion questions and classroom exercises. The result is a fresh take on social theory that foregrounds a plurality of perspectives and reflects contemporary trends in the field, while still managing to be a teachable and affordable text.