Making Sense of Social Theory
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Making Sense of Social Theory

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Charles H. Powers
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Making Sense of Social Theory is unusual in treating sociology as a real science with a body of understandable, robust, and powerful theoretical insights. These theoretical insights are formalized in twelve simple axioms and twenty-three more detailed principles readers can use to predict (1) differences among people in how they think, feel, and respond, (b) changes in the structure, culture, and effectiveness of organizations, and (c) trends in societal values, conflict, and priorities.
Making Sense of Social Theory opens by carefully exploring what it means to follow the scientific method in a field like sociology. The book goes on to analyze sociology as a genuine science with a body of explanatory insights. Sociological theory is applied in ways that make its relevance and power apparent so that theory no longer stands divorced from real world research or practice. Making Sense of Social Theory clearly establishes the pertinence of sociology's great theoretical insights for all social science researchers and practitioners.
Part 1 Part 1: Understanding What Theory Is About
Chapter 2 Ch. 1: Becoming a Better Social Scientist by Learning More about Social Theory

Chapter 3 Ch. 2: Theory Is Not as Hard as It Sounds!

Chapter 4 Ch. 3: Sociological Theory and the Scientific Method

Part 5 Part 2: Thinking About the Roots, Methods, and Uses of Sociological Theory

Chapter 6 Chapter 4: The Historical Context for a Science of Society

Chapter 7 Chapter 5: Being Conscious about Theory Construction

Chapter 8 Chapter 6: Economics was not Enough: The Need for Sociological Principles

Part 9 Part 3: Sociology's Most Prominent Founding Figures: Durkheim, Marx, Weber, and Mead

Chapter 10 Chapter 7: Emile Durkheim and the Birth of Scientific Sociology

Chapter 11 Chapter 8: Karl Marx on Resistance from Below: Recognizing the Opposing Interests of Different Groups

Chapter 12 Chapter 9: Max Weber and the Primacy of Values: Moving Past Economic Determinism

Chapter 13 Chapter 10: Agency in the Work of George Herbert Mead: Individuals Working Together to Produce Social Reality

Part 14 Part 4: Making Sense of Sociology's Theoretical Paradigms— Grasping the Basics

Chapter 15 Chapter 11: Talcott Parsons and Structural-Functionalism Made Easy: Systems Change When Needs Are Not Met

Chapter 16 Chapter 12: Conflict Theory: Always Ask Who Benefits

Chapter 17 Chapter 13: Symbolic Interactionism in Everyday Life: People Make a Difference

Chapter 18 Chapter 14: Exchange Theory in the Background

Part 19 Part 5: Taking Stock of Sociological Theory - A Recap

Chapter 20 Chapter 15: From Metatheory to Theory in Sociology: A Compendium of Axioms and Principles

Chapter 21 Chapter 16: Sociology as a Coherent Discipline

Chapter 22 Chapter 17: Writing for Impact in the Social Sciences: Some Practical Remarks for Students

Chapter 23 Postscript

Chapter 24 An Invitation to Further Dialogue