Changing Theories: New Directions in Sociology
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.
- World Rights
- Page Count: 256 pages
- Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.6in x 9.1in
ReviewsChanging 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.
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
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
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
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
Author InformationRoberta 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
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?
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?
Chapter 2: Changes in Theory
Introduction: Making Theories
How and Why Have Sociological Theories Changed in the Past Forty Years?
Toward Contemporary Theories
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
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- )
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
The Move to Ethnicity
Thinking about Multiculturalism
Intellectual Labor and Politics of Resistance
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
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)
Subjects and Courses