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Classical Sociological Theory

Classical Sociological Theory

  • Steven Loyal - University College Dublin, Ireland
  • Sinisa Malesevic - University College Dublin, Ireland, University College, Dublin, Ireland

Other Titles in:
Social Theory | Sociology

October 2020 | 280 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Introducing the founders of sociological theory – from Marx, Weber, Durkheim and Martineau through to Simmel, DuBois, Mead and others – this accessible textbook locates each thinker within their own social, political and historical context. By doing so, it helps readers to understand the development of central sociological concepts and how they can help us understand the contemporary world.

The book includes:

  • Lively biographical sections to help readers get to know each thinker
  • Clear and easy-to-understand accounts of each theorist’s arguments - and the most common criticisms
  • Key concept boxes highlighting the most influential ideas

This comprehensive, enlightening text brings the rich and diverse field of classical sociological theory to life.

Plato and Aristotle
Confucius and Ibn Khaldun
Tocqueville and Martineau
Pareto, Mosca and Michels
Hintze, Gumplowicz, Ratzenhofer, Ward and Small
Du Bois

I can enthusiastically recommend this thoughtful new survey of classical theorists. Many Western sociologists have argued for broadening the traditional Eurocentric masculine canon: Loyal and Maleševic have actually acted on this. They have addressed those Ancient and Modern writers whose historical context led them to analyse in depth the nature of social reality. Here the great tradition is intriguingly extended - to Confucius, Aristotle and Ibn Khaldun, de Tocqueville, Harriet Martineau and W.E.B. Du Bois - their master ideas being conveyed succinctly, without once lapsing into vulgarisation.

Bridget Fowler, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, University of Glasgow.

Malesevic and Loyal have given us the most comprehensive, accessible, international and up-to-date guide to sociological theory, ancient and modern: a magnificent achievement.

Professor Emeritus Stephen Mennell, School of Sociology, University College Dublin

Two seasoned and very well-established sociologists have written a book that offers a masterly survey of the major social theorist from Plato to such 20th century masters as Habermas, Luhmann and Foucault. Written in a clear and lively style, incorporating historical, political and social context as well as the main ideas of the theorists, this book proves itself a worthy successor to Lewis Coser’s very successful Masters of Sociological Thought, whose inspiration it acknowledges. A boon to all students embarking on the study of classical and contemporary social thought.

Krishan Kumar, University of Virginia

These two volumes [Classical Sociological Theory and Contemporary Social Theory] succeed brilliantly where introductory textbooks typically fail. Viewing sociology as a tradition with many variants, they present the lives and works of its ancestors and major exponents across its history to the present. They do so vividly, clearly and accurately, setting the distinctive ideas of each in their historical and intellectual context, commenting on where they continue to have present-day relevance and where they need to be criticized and sometimes rejected. Comprehensive, reliable, precise and concise, they are a much-needed successor to Lewis Coser’s magisterial Masters of Sociological Thought.

Steven Lukes, New York University

Loyal and Malesivic offer a tour de force through the rise and transformation of social thought – one that never compromises on social thought’s dynamic character, its place in a historical and political context, and the insights it provides into social dynamics of the contemporary world.

Benedikte Brincker
Head of Department, Department of Sociology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

All sociological theory is, at its core, an effort to better understand the social world and our experience within it. As such it may be seen as both an intellectual endeavour and a tool of empowerment. Loyal and Malesevic have brought together key social thinkers from across the ages and drawn out why it is that their theories have been so influential. The authors explain and evaluate sociological theories in light of the thinkers’ own social contexts in a way that is both fresh and illuminating. Readers at all levels will appreciate the breadth and ambition of these books, the depth of the authors’ research and the quality of their analysis. Classical Sociological Theory and Contemporary Sociological Theory are themselves a remarkable contribution to sociological scholarship.

Katy Hayward
Professor of Political Sociology, Queen’s University Belfast

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 2: Confucius and Ibn Khaldun

Steven Loyal

Steven Loyal is an Associate Professor in Sociology at University College Dublin More About Author

Siniša Malesevic

Sinisa Malesevic is Professor and Head/Chair of UCD School of Sociology. Previously, he held research and teaching appointments at the Institute for International Relations (Zagreb), the Centre for the Study of Nationalism, CEU (Prague) and at the National University of Ireland, Galway. He also held visiting research fellowships at the London School of Economics and the Institute for Human Sciences (Vienna). He is also a Member of the Royal Irish Academy. Professor Malesevic is a comparative historical and political sociologist whose main research interests include the study of war and organized violence, ethnicity and nationalism,... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781529725711
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