Sociological Theory explores the principal trends and lines of division within contemporary sociology. Combining accessibility with intellectual rigour, this systematic and comprehensive text presents clear arguments about the relative merits of the different positions within sociological theory.
Beginning with the work of Talcott Parsons, which sets the scene for subsequent debates, the book considers symbolic interactionism, rational choice and exchange theories, conflict theories, and structuralism. Sociological Theory also examines the development of neofunctionalism, the rise of post-structuralism, and the recent work of Anthony Giddens. The central argument expounded by Professor Scott is that further advances in sociological understanding will arise from the synthesis of rival ideas. The book concludes with an examination of the new synthesis produced by Jurgen Habermas.
Authoritative, comprehensive and written in an accessible style, this text will appeal to students, teachers and specialists in sociological theory. While the focus of the book is on contemporary theory, an introductory chapter reviews trends in `classical' sociological theory, providing students with an understanding of the origins of the subject.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
`Scott's thorough mastery of sociological theory is clearly evident in this work. Moreover, he is a gifted explicator of complex and frequently obfuscated theoretical positions. . . His scholarship here is first-rate, and his considered reflections deserve the attention of students and professional colleagues alike.' -- W.P. Nye, Choice, Outstanding Academic Book of the Year 1995