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Key Concepts in Classical Social Theory

Key Concepts in Classical Social Theory

  • Alex Law - University of Abertay, Dundee

December 2010 | 240 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
"I think this will prove to be a very useful text for undergraduate students. Alex Law has produced a comprehensive list of key classical social theory concepts and provides an accessible account of the meaning of central terms, their place in the work of the classical analysts considered and the contemporary significance of their ideas. In addition he has offered useful additional reading guidance from which students will derive considerable benefit."
- Barry Smart, University of Portsmouth

This book's individual entries introduce, explain and contextualise the key topics within classical social theory. Definitions, summaries and key words are developed throughout with careful cross-referencing allowing students to move effortlessly between core ideas and themes. Each entry provides:
  • clear definitions
  • lucid accounts of key issues
  • up-to-date suggestions for further reading
  • informative cross-referencing.

Relevant, focused and accessible this book will provide students across the social sciences with an indispensible guide to the central concepts of classical social theory.

Introduction: Classical Social Theory
Base and Superstructure
Civil Society
Class, Status and Party
Collective Effervescence
Collective Representations
Commodity Fetishism
Conscience Collective
Division of Labour (Smith and Ferguson)
Division of Labour (Marx)
Division of Labour in Society (Durkheim)
Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft
Historical Materialism
Legitimate Domination
Mechanical and Organic Solidarity
Mode of Production
Normal and Pathological
Primitive Accumulation
Protestant Ethic and the 'Spirit of Capitalism'
Rationality and Rationalization
Sacred and Profane
Social Action
Social Facts
Social Forms and Sociation
Social Morphology
Social Space
Value Freedom

A well structured, and clearly and elegantly written introduction to classical sociological theory. The concepts are well explained and well organised.

Dr Stephen Brown
School of Applied Social Sciences, Brighton University
March 24, 2011

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Introduction: Classical Social Theory

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ISBN: 9781847876027
ISBN: 9781847876010

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