Summary and Info
“Introducing Sociology” is an exciting and wholly original text which is, first and foremost, an introduction to sociological ideas and practice, not an exhaustive summary. It is written in a style which, at no sacrifice of scientific rigour, is refreshingly free from jargon. Its subject matter is drawn from the common life-experiences of most people born into the mid-twentieth century. Indeed, the examples used in the book have been deliberately chosen from a wide range of cultures and societies to underline the international roots and relevance of modern sociology.The first part of the text begins by examining the relationship between sociology, as a profession and a discipline, and contemporary society. It stresses the way moral choices are implicit in all inquiries into human affairs and discusses the implications of this for the other two themes of the first section: the logic and methods of sociological inquiry. Part Two looks at the four major areas of social experience through which an individual passes: family, education, work and community. Each chapter in this section has the dual purpose of introducing the reader to a substantive area of social life, and familiarizing him with a range of fundamental concepts and theoretical ideas. In doing so it demonstrates firmly that 'description' and 'theorizing' are inextricably linked.The final section of the text picks up certain themes introduced in Part One. It examines the way in which societies hold together in spite of the divisions discussed in Part Two, and in spite of the existence of groups who reject the norms of orthodox social behaviour. In addition to the three main sections there is an extensive list of books for further reading, and author and subject indexes.“Introducing Sociology” was specially commissioned by Penguin Education from a team in the Department of Social Anthropology and Sociology at Manchester University. A first draft was tested with a wide range of students. Their comments have been taken into account in the revised draft, and the book is therefore very much a collective product, reflecting — as much as arousing — the excitement of those coming to sociology for the first time, whether in school, college or university.
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