Invitation to Sociology

A Humanistic Perspective
Author: Peter L. Berger
Publisher: Open Road Media
ISBN: 1453215409
Category: Social Science
Page: 191
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The most popularly read, adapted, anthologized, and incorporated primer on sociology ever written for modern readers Acclaimed scholar and sociologist Peter L. Berger lays the groundwork for a clear understanding of sociology in his straightforward introduction to the field, much loved by students, professors, and general readers. Berger aligns sociology in the humanist tradition—revealing its relationship to the humanities and philosophy—and establishes its importance in thinking critically about the modern world. Throughout, Berger presents the contributions of some of the most important sociologists of the time, including Max Weber, Émile Durkheim, Vilfredo Pareto, and Thorstein Veblen.

Adventures of an Accidental Sociologist

How to Explain the World Without Becoming a Bore
Author: Peter L. Berger
Publisher: Prometheus Books
ISBN: 1616143908
Category: Social Science
Page: 264
View: 1798
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Peter L. Berger is arguably the best-known American sociologist living today. Since the 1960s he has been publishing books on many facets of the American social scene, and several are now considered classics. So it may be hard to believe Professor Berger’s description of himself as an "accidental sociologist." But that in fact accurately describes how he stumbled into sociology. In this witty, intellectually stimulating memoir, Berger explains not only how he became a social scientist, but the many adventures that this calling has led to. Rather than writing an autobiography, he focuses on the main intellectual issues that motivated his work and the various people and situations he encountered in the course of his career. Full of memorable vignettes and colorful characters depicted in a lively narrative often laced with humor, Berger’s memoir conveys the excitement that a study of social life can bring. The first part of the book describes Berger’s initiation into sociology through the New School for Social Research, "a European enclave in the midst of Greenwich Village bohemia." Berger was first a student at the New School and later a young professor amidst a clique of like-minded individuals. There he published The Social Construction of Reality (with colleague Thomas Luckmann), one of his most successful books, followed by The Sacred Canopy on the sociology of religion, also still widely cited. The book covers Berger’s experience as a "globe-trekking sociologist" including trips to Mexico, where he studied approaches to Third World poverty; to East Asia, where he discovered the potential of capitalism to improve social conditions; and to South Africa, where he chaired an international study group on the future of post-Apartheid society. Berger then tells about his role as the director of a research center at Boston University. For over two decades he and his colleagues have been tackling such important issues as globalization, the secularization of Europe, and the ongoing dialectic between relativism and fundamentalism in contemporary culture. What comes across throughout is Berger’s boundless curiosity with the many ways in which people interact in society. This book offers longtime Berger readers as well as newcomers to sociology proof that the sociologist’s attempt to explain the world is anything but boring. From the Hardcover edition.

Invitation to Law and Society, Second Edition

An Introduction to the Study of Real Law
Author: Kitty Calavita
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022629661X
Category: Social Science
Page: 240
View: 4831
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Law and society is a rapidly growing field that turns the conventional view of law as mythical abstraction on its head. Kitty Calavita brilliantly brings to life the ways in which law is found not only in statutes and courtrooms but in our institutions and interactions, while inviting readers into conversations that introduce the field’s dominant themes and most lively disagreements. Deftly interweaving scholarship with familiar examples, Calavita shows how scholars in the discipline are collectively engaged in a subversive exposé of law’s public mythology. While surveying prominent issues and distinctive approaches to both law as it is written and actual legal practices, as well as the law’s potential as a tool for social change, this volume provides a view of law that is more real but just as compelling as its mythic counterpart. With this second edition of Invitation to Law and Society, Calavita brings up to date what is arguably the leading introduction to this exciting, evolving field of inquiry and adds a new chapter on the growing law and cultural studies movement.

Four Sociological Traditions


Author: Randall Collins
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 9780195082081
Category: Social Science
Page: 321
View: 3038
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The updated version of Collins's critically-acclaimed Three Sociological Traditions, this text presents a concise intellectual history of sociology organized around the development of four classic schools of thought: the conflict tradition of Marx and Weber, the ritual solidarity of Durkheim, the microinteractionist tradition of Mead, Blumer, and Garfinkel, and - new to this edition - the utilitarian/rational choice tradition. Collins, one of the liveliest and most exciting writers in sociology today, traces the intellectual highlights of these four main schools from classical theories to current developments, introducing the roots of sociology and indicating the areas where progress has been made in our understanding, the areas where controversy still exists, and the direction in which sociology is headed.

The Logic of Science in Sociology


Author: Walter Wallace
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1351479970
Category: Social Science
Page: 139
View: 4224
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The subject of this book is limited to the abstract form or "logic" of science, as applied particularly to scientific sociology. But the discussion presented here goes beyond abstraction and serves a practical role in the sociology and history of science by providing a framework for reducing the enormous variety of scientific researches-both within a given field and across all fields-to a limited number of interrelated formal elements. Such a framework may prove useful in assessing empirical relationships between the formal aspects of scientific work and its substantive social, economic, political, and historical aspects. This is a work of synthesis that merits close attention. It provides an area for viewing theory as something more than a review of the history of any single social science discipline.

Our Studies, Ourselves

Sociologists' Lives and Work
Author: Barry Glassner,Rosanna Hertz
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198033516
Category: Social Science
Page: 296
View: 1530
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What motivates a lifelong scholarly pursuit, and how do one's studies inform life outside the academy? Sociologists, who live in families but also study families, who go to work but also study work, who participate in communities but also try to understand communities, have an especially intimate relation to their research. Growing up poor, struggling as a woman in a male-dominated profession, participating in protests against the Vietnam War; facts of life influence research agendas, individual understandings of the world, and ultimately the shape of the discipline as a whole. Barry Glassner and Rosanna Hertz asked twenty-two of America's most prominent sociologists to reflect upon how their personal lives influenced their research, and vice versa, how their research has influenced their lives. In this volume, the authors reveal with candor and discernment how world events, political commitments and unanticipated constraints influenced the course of their careers. They disclose how race, class, and gender proved to be pivotal elements in the course of their individual lives, and in how they carry out their research. Faced with academic institutions that did not hire or promote persons of their gender, race, sexual orientation, or physical disability, they invented new routes to success within their fields. Faced with disappointments in political organizations to which they were devoted, they found ways to integrate their disillusionment into their research agendas. While some of the contributors radically changed their political commitments, and others saw more stability, none stood still. An intimate look at biography and craft, these snapshots provide a fascinating glimpse of the sociological life for colleagues, other academics, and aspiring young sociologists. The collection demonstrates how inequalities and injustices can be made into motors for scholarly research, which in turn have the power to change individual life courses and entire societies.

Social Theory and Modern Sociology


Author: Anthony Giddens
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 0745666647
Category: Social Science
Page: 320
View: 1519
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In this book Anthony Giddens addresses a range of issues concerning current developments in social theory, relating them to the prospects for sociology in the closing decades of the twentieth century. Composed of closely integrated papers, all written over the past few years, the book includes seven essays not previously published, plus two have not appeared in English before. In assessing the likely future evolution of sociology in particular, and the social sciences in general, the author both draws upon ideas established in his more abstract theoretical writings and examines critically competing traditions of thought. Those looking for an accessible introduction to Gidden's writing will find in this book a set of clear expositions of his basic ideas. By situating these ideas in relation to the critical assessment of the views of others, however, the author provides new sources of insight into the distinctiveness of his own claims.

Phenomenology of Consciousness and Sociology of the Life-world

An Introductory Study
Author: Helmut R. Wagner
Publisher: University of Alberta
ISBN: 9780888640321
Category: Philosophy
Page: 225
View: 9880
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A method of inquiry largely formulated by the German Edmund Husserl and later adapted by Alfred Schutz, phenomenological psychology is explained in this introductory study. It shows how phenomenology can be used in examining the reality of the world of everyday life, and how it provides an antidote to behaviorism, symbolic logic and other positivist systems.

A Rumor of Angels

Modern Society and the Rediscovery of the Supernatural
Author: Peter L. Berger
Publisher: Open Road Media
ISBN: 1453215433
Category: Social Science
Page: 129
View: 2037
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Influential scholar Peter L. Berger reveals five signs that point to the supernatural and its place in a modern secular society Acclaimed scholar and sociologist Peter L. Berger examines religion in twentieth-century Western society, exploring the social nature of knowledge and its effect on religious belief. Using five signs evident in ordinary life—order, play, hope, damnation, and humor—Berger calls for a rediscovery of the supernatural as a crucial, rich dimension of humanity. Conceived as a response to his influential book The Sacred Canopy, Berger eschews technical jargon and speaks directly and systematically to those, like himself, who wish to explore religious questions.

Cultural Analysis

The Work of Peter L. Berger, Mary Douglas, Michel Foucault, and Jürgen Habermas
Author: Robert Wuthnow,James Davison Hunter,Albert J. Bergesen,Edith Kurzweil
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135174733
Category: Philosophy
Page: 280
View: 5622
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First published in 1984, Cultural Analysis is a systematic examination of the theories of culture contained in the writings of four contemporary social theorists: Peter L. Berger, Mary Douglas, Michel Foucault, and Jürgen Habermas. This study of their work clarifies their contributions to the analysis of culture and shows the converging assumptions that the authors believe are laying the foundation for a new approach to the study of culture. The focus is specifically on culture, a concept that remains subject to ambiguities of treatment, and concentrates on questions concerning the definition and content of culture, its construction, its relations with social conditions, and the manner in which it may be changing. The books demonstrates how these writers have made strides towards defining culture as an objective element of social interaction which can be subjected to critical investigation.

The Sacred Project of American Sociology


Author: Christian Smith
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199377146
Category: Religion
Page: 176
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Counter to popular perceptions, contemporary American sociology is and promotes a profoundly sacred project at heart. Sociology today is in fact animated by sacred impulses, driven by sacred commitments, and serves a sacred project. Sociology appears on the surface to be a secular, scientific enterprise--its founding fathers were mostly atheists. Its basic operating premises are secular and naturalistic. Sociologists today are disproportionately not religious, compared to all Americans, and often irreligious. The Sacred Project of American Sociology shows, counter-intuitively, that the secular enterprise that everyday sociology appears to be pursuing is actually not what is really going on at sociology's deepest level. Christian Smith conducts a self-reflexive, tables-turning, cultural and institutional sociology of the profession of American sociology itself, showing that this allegedly secular discipline ironically expresses Emile Durkheim's inescapable sacred, exemplifies its own versions of Marxist false consciousness, and generates a spirited reaction against Max Weber's melancholically observed disenchantment of the world. American sociology does not escape the analytical net that it casts over the rest of the ordinary world. Sociology itself is a part of that very human, very social, often very sacred and spiritual world. And sociology's ironic mis-recognition of its own sacred project leads to a variety of arguably self-destructive and distorting tendencies. This book re-asserts a vision for what sociology is most important for, in contrast with its current commitments, and calls sociologists back to a more honest, fair, and healthy vision of its purpose.

The Sacred Canopy

Elements of a Sociological Theory of Religion
Author: Peter L. Berger
Publisher: Open Road Media
ISBN: 1453215379
Category: Social Science
Page: 229
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Influential scholar Peter L. Berger explores the sociological underpinnings of religion and the rise of a modern secular society Acclaimed scholar and sociologist Peter L. Berger carefully lays out an understanding of religion as a historical, societal mechanism in this classic work of social theory. Berger examines the roots of religious belief and its gradual dissolution in modern times, applying a general theoretical perspective to specific examples from religions throughout the ages. Building upon the author’s previous work, The Social Construction of Reality, with Thomas Luckmann, this book makes Berger’s case that human societies build a “sacred canopy” to protect, stabilize, and give meaning to their worldview.

Redeeming Laughter

The Comic Dimension of Human Experience
Author: Peter L. Berger
Publisher: Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG
ISBN: 3110354004
Category: Social Science
Page: 222
View: 474
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Amid the variety of human experiences, the comic occupies a distinctive place. It is simultaneously ubiquitous, relative, and fragile. In this book, Peter L. Berger reflects on the nature of the comic and its relationship to other human experiences. Originally published in 1997, the second edition includes a new preface reflecting on Berger’s work in the intervening years, particularly on the relationship between humor and modernity.