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Sociological Theory

Articles Introducing General Sociological Theory

Below are a few articles explaining some of the basic sociological theories.  These theories provide a basic framework through which to understand sociological issues such as gender.

The Social Construction of Gender

This article describes the perspective of gender as a socially constructed.

Schools of Feminist Thought from Feminism: A Beginner's Guide (Scholz, Sally)

This book chapter from Feminism: A Beginner's Guide, examines the different theoretical feminist perspectives.

Queer Theory

Queer theory is a sociological theory that examines the social foundations of issues of gender, identity, and sexuality.

Feminism and Marxism - A Place to Begin, a way to Go (Dorothy Smith)

This chapter from Contemporary Sociological Though examines gender through both perspectives of feminism and Marxism.

Introduction to The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life (Erving Goffman)

In this article Erving Goffman examines how we project our "selves" into our social reality.

The Varieties of Gender Theory in Sociology (Chafetz, Janet Saltzman)

As the name of this article suggests, this article examines a variety of gender theories in sociology.

Theoretical Understandings of Gender

This article is a sample of different theoretical foundations of gender.


Contemporary Sociological Themes and Theories
by Hier, Sean P.

9781551302881Sean P. Hier (Editor)Contemporary Sociological Thought: Themes and TheoriesThis innovative new reader on contemporary sociological theory has a Canadian emphasis. This volume unites 21 influential European and American social theorists with 13 Canadian thinkers and writers to offer a strong Canadian interpretation of international theoretical currents spanning almost 80 years. Ideally designed for undergraduate courses as an introduction to modern sociological theory, the first section masterfully introduces the major theoretical offerings of the 20th century: structural functionalism, symbolic interaction, and feminist analysis. It also profiles themes of class conflict and the state; and modernism, culture, and change. The second section is devoted to critical themes for the 21st century. This includes postmodernity and its critics; society, subjects, and the self; globalization and global consciousness; and postcolonialism, diaspora, citizenship, and identity. Unique features of the book are its provocative presentation of 21st-century themes, and the inclusion of many of today's most influential social thinkers, such as Edward Said, Stuart Hall, Jurgen Habermas, Ulrich Beck, Jean Baudrillard, and Pierre Bourdieu. The Canadian content includes readings from key Canadian scholars and social critics, such as Dorothy Smith, Naomi Klein, Mariana Valverde, Leo Panitch, John Porter, Charles Taylor, David Lyon, and Will Kymlicka. This book will be an essential text for modern sociological theory courses offered in sociology departments across Canada. - Description from Syndetics
Contemporary Sociological Themes and Theories Book Cover

Handbook of the Sociology of Gender
by Chafetz, Janet Saltzman

9780306459788Janet Saltzman Chafetz (Editor)Handbook of the Sociology of GenderDuring the past three decades, feminist scholars have successfully demonstrated the ubiq­ uity and omnirelevance of gender as a sociocultural construction in virtually all human collectivities, past and present. Intrapsychic, interactional, and collective social processes are gendered, as are micro, meso, and macro social structures. Gender shapes, and is shaped, in all arenas of social life, from the most mundane practices of everyday life to those of the most powerful corporate actors. Contemporary understandings of gender emanate from a large community of primarily feminist scholars that spans the gamut of learned disciplines and also includes non-academic activist thinkers. However, while in­ corporating some cross-disciplinary material, this volume focuses specifically on socio­ logical theories and research concerning gender, which are discussed across the full array of social processes, structures, and institutions. As editor, I have explicitly tried to shape the contributions to this volume along several lines that reflect my long-standing views about sociology in general, and gender sociology in particular. First, I asked authors to include cross-national and historical material as much as possible. This request reflects my belief that understanding and evaluating the here-and-now and working realistically for a better future can only be accomplished from a comparative perspective. Too often, American sociology has been both tempero- and ethnocentric. Second, I have asked authors to be sensitive to within-gender differences along class, racial/ethnic, sexual preference, and age cohort lines. - Description from Syndetics
Handbook of the Sociology of Gender Book Cover

Queer Theories
by Hall, Donald E.

9780333775394Donald E. HallQueer TheoriesThis essential introductory guide explores and aggressively expands the provocative new field of sexual identity studies. It explains the history of sexual identity categories, such as 'gay' and 'lesbian', covers the reclamation of 'queer' as a term of radical self-identification, and details recent challenges to sexual identity studies posed by transgender and bisexual theories. Donald E. Hall offers concrete applications of the abstract theories he explores, with imaginative new readings of such works as 'The Yellow Wallpaper', Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Orlando and The Color Purple. Throughout, Hall urges the reader to grapple with the changing nature of sexual identity in the twenty-first century and asks searching questions about how we might identify ourselves differently given new technologies and new possibilities for sexual experimentation. To students, theorists and activists alike, Queer Theories issues a challenge to continue to disrupt narrow, traditional notions of sexual 'normality' and to resist setting up new and confining categories of 'true' sexual identity. - Description from Syndetics
Queer Theories Book Cover

Books in the Library

Sociology: The Basics
by Plummer, Kenneth

9780415472050Ken PlummerSociology: The BasicsA lively, accessible and comprehensive introduction to the diverse ways of thinking about social life, Sociology: The Basicsexamines: the scope, history and purpose of sociology ways of understanding 'the social' the state of the world we live in today suffering and social inequalities key tools for researching and thinking about 'the social' the impact of new technologies. The reader is encouraged to think critically about the structures, meanings, histories and cultures found in the rapidly changing world we live in. With tasks to stimulate the sociological mind and suggestions for further reading both within the text and on an accompanying webpage, this book is essential reading for all those studying sociology, and those with an interest in how the modern world works. - Description from Syndetics
Glendale CC Library - GENERAL - HM585 .P58 2010
Sociology: The Basics Book Cover

Investigating gender: developing a feminist sociological imagination
by Thompson, Martha; Armato, Michael

9780745651866Martha E. Thompson; Michael ArmatoInvestigating Gender: Developing a Feminist Sociological ImaginationGender analysis remains central to understanding social life, yet focusing on gender alone is inadequate. Recent feminist sociological scholarship highlights how gender intersects with other systems of privilege and oppression. This exciting new text combines these insights with an innovative, student-centered pedagogical approach. Taking knowledge acquisition as an important first step, the book goes beyond this to provide students with tools and skills necessary to become critical thinkers and, ultimately, investigate gender on their own from a global feminist sociological perspective. Five themes are carried forward throughout the text: the social construction of gender differences; gendered inequalities; intersections of gender with other systems of privilege and oppression; a relational global perspective; and the necessity of working toward social justice. Investigating Gender employs creative features that engage students in feminist sociological inquiry from the outset. "Learning Activities" help students link their own lives to broader gender patterns, conduct gender analyses of their own, and consider ways they can work toward social justice. "Research Examples" introduce students to specific studies and model how to critically engage with contemporary scholarship from a feminist sociological perspective. Boxed inserts on "The Power of One" and "The Power of Many" provide examples of individuals and groups that are working toward social justice. The text also cultivates students' global perspective by framing issues internationally and guiding them through data and analyses from four diverse countries outside the US: China, Kenya, Mexico, and Sweden. Investigating Gender will appeal to instructors who teach courses in the Sociology of Gender, Women's Studies, and Gender Communication; it will be an invaluable introduction to students taking any courses in which gender is the focus or a significant component. - Description from Syndetics
Glendale CC Library - GENERAL - HQ1075 .T45 2012
Investigating gender: developing a feminist sociological imagination Book Cover

The Promise of Sociology
by Beamish, Rob

9781442601871Rob B. BeamishThe Promise of Sociology: The Classical Tradition and Contemporary Sociological ThinkingUnlike most introductory texts that take a topical approach to studying sociology, this smart, challenging, and accessibly written text looks at the core principles of the discipline, making links to a contemporary context. Both students and instructors will find in these pages a fresh and original approach to teaching sociology. Beamish begins by providing a sociological profile of today's students, juxtaposing their collective biography against the current historical moment. He builds on this discussion by introducing Mills's concept of the sociological imagination and outlining a method for thinking sociologically; then, he uses Hitchcock's film Psycho to illustrate the difference between psychological and sociological analysis. Having established the usefulness of sociological thinking, Beamish moves back to the classical theorists, outlining in depth their important contributions to sociology. He concludes the book by applying concepts from the classical tradition to a sociological discussion of culture--ending with an analysis of Bob Dylan's artistry to illustrate how these concepts have an enduring quality in contemporary times. - Description from Syndetics
Glendale CC Library - GENERAL - HM586 .B43 2010
The Promise of Sociology Book Cover

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