Changing Theories: New Directions in Sociology

By Black Hawk Hancock and Roberta Garner

© 2009

Influenced by Thomas Kuhn's work on paradigm shifts in the social sciences, this overview of contemporary theory identifies major themes, charts the impact of social change on theories, acquaints readers with a sample of individual theorists (the "transitional giants" who shaped contemporary theories), explores the impact of contemporary theories on various areas of sociology, and traces how the great social theories of the past are being reinterpreted and incorporated into new theories. The result is an original interpretation of the important role that theory plays both in the real world and in the shaping of an academic discipline.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 256 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.6in x 9.1in
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SKU# HE000037

  • PUBLISHED MAR 2009

    From: $34.81

    Regular Price: $40.95

    ISBN 9780802096821
  • PUBLISHED MAR 2009

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    Regular Price: $32.95

Quick Overview

"This is exactly what we need for contemporary theory courses. Hancock and Garner brilliantly dissect the four most eminent theorists who will continue to define the future of sociological theory well into the twenty-first century." - Ron Mize, Cornell University

Changing Theories: New Directions in Sociology

By Black Hawk Hancock and Roberta Garner

© 2009

Influenced by Thomas Kuhn's work on paradigm shifts in the social sciences, this overview of contemporary theory identifies major themes, charts the impact of social change on theories, acquaints readers with a sample of individual theorists (the "transitional giants" who shaped contemporary theories), explores the impact of contemporary theories on various areas of sociology, and traces how the great social theories of the past are being reinterpreted and incorporated into new theories. The result is an original interpretation of the important role that theory plays both in the real world and in the shaping of an academic discipline.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 256 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.6in x 9.1in
  • Reviews

    The authors manage effectively to paint the bigger picture for their readers, exploring the difficulties of theory and cementing it in the real world, and that's an achievement of which they should be proud. Changing Theories could be an indispensable tool for encouraging new students to engage with theory. More importantly, it could also go a long way to break misconceptions about the inaccessibility of theory.
    Times Higher Education

    Changing Theories makes for a warm and engaging read. The authors have given us a good history and summation of some of the most important contemporary theories in the discipline. [...] Changing Theories would make a strong contribution to the critically engaged contemporary theory course as well as graduate courses on the history of sociology and the sociology of knowledge.
    Teaching Sociology

    This is exactly what we need for contemporary theory courses. Hancock and Garner brilliantly dissect the four most eminent theorists who will continue to define the future of sociological theory well into the twenty-first century.


    Ron Mize, Cornell University

    The ideas presented in Changing Theories are rich and subtle enough to challenge graduate students, but the presentation is straightforward and accessible enough for undergraduates. This book could be used as the core text in a contemporary theory course, but the idea of 'transitional giants' makes this book uniquely suitable for those of us who want to create a systematic analytical bridge between classical theory and theory as it is practiced today. In the end, the best thing I can say about Hancock and Garner's work is that it makes me want to get into the classroom and teach.


    David Yamane, Wake Forest University

    A terrific book that should leave a significant imprint on the way we teach and think about social theory. The authors have crafted a text that offers an accessible introduction to the subject while making a bold argument about the nature of theory itself.


    Gianpaolo Baiocchi, Brown University
  • Author Information

    Roberta Garner is Professor of Sociology at DePaul University in Chicago. She is the author of The Joy of Stats: A Short Guide to Introductory Statistics in the Social Sciences, Second Edition (2010). She teaches courses on theory, research design, statistics, and Greek mythology.


    Black Hawk Hancock is Associate Professor of Sociology at DePaul University in Chicago. He is the co-author with Roberta Garner of Changing Theories: New Directions in Sociology (2009) and author of American Allegory: Lindy Hop and the Racial Imagination (2013).
  • Table of contents

    Preface

    Introduction: What is Theory and Why Does it Change?

    Periods of Social Theory
    The Organization of the Book 

    Part I: Changes

    Chapter 1: 1968-2009: What Happened?

    Why 1968?
    A New Global Order: Globalization, Neoliberalism and Market Expansion, and Hyper-Industrialization
    Issues without Borders: Population Growth, Urbanization, Health and Environmental Problems, and Regional Conflicts
    The Emerging Distribution of Economic Inequality
    Cultural Consequences: Postmodern Culture and Ironic Hopelessness
    How and Why Did All These Changes Happen?
    Conclusion

    Chapter 2: Changes in Theory

    Introduction: Making Theories
    How and Why Have Sociological Theories Changed in the Past Forty Years?
    Toward Contemporary Theories
    Conclusion

    Part II: Transitional Giants

    Chapter 3: Erving Goffman (1922-1982)

    Major Works, Ideas, and Concepts
    Total Institutions and Labels
    Interaction Order and Behavior
    Frames of Reference and Discourse
    The Politics and Feeling-Tone of Goffman's Work
    Rupture and Continuity: Goffman as a Transitional Giant and Postmodernist

    Chapter 4: Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

    Major Works, Ideas, and Concepts
    Foucault and the Traditions of Social Theory
    Foucault's Impact and Method
    Foucault's Politics
    Conclusion: Foucault and the Transition to Contemporary Theory

    Chapter 5:  Pierre Bourdieu (1930-2002)

    The Craft of Sociology
    Habitus, Body, Practice
    Symbolic Power, Symbolic Violence, and Misrecognition
    Fields, Spaces, and Capitals
    Taste, Distinction, and Naturalized Categories
    Public Intellectuals and Politics
    The Critique of Neoliberalism
    Conclusion: A Note on Foucault and Bourdieu

    Chapter 6: Stuart Hall (1932- )

    Hegemony
    Ideology
    Articulation
    Overdetermination
    False Consciousness
    The Function of Common Sense
    Interpellation and Ideological Subjects
    Hegemony, Ideology, and Societies Structured in Dominance
    Race: The Floating Signifier
    Media: The Politics of Representation
    Critical Politics of Contesting Images
    Culture as the Arena of Struggle
    Identity
    The Move to Ethnicity
    Thinking about Multiculturalism
    Intellectual Labor and Politics of Resistance
    Conclusion

    Conclusion

    The Uneven Impact of Contemporary Theory on Sociology
    Legacies, Reinterpretations, and New Paradigms
    Beyond Legacies: What's New?
    What Will Happen Next?

    References and Suggestions for Further Reading

    Note to Readers
    General Theoretical References (with Jose Soltero)
    References and Reading Suggestions for the Transitional Giants

    Erving Goffman
    Michel Foucault
    Pierre Bourdieu
    Stuart Hall

    Two Specialized Areas: References and Reading Suggestions

    Theoretical Development in the Sociology of Families (prepared by Tait Runnfeldt Medina and Julie Artis)
    Sociology of Health (prepared by Grace Budrys)

    Index

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