Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Line-In Publishing: Sociology - Exploring Human Society

What is it about?

This is a basic text on sociology, like a basic undergraduate textbook on "Sociology 101" course.

Hence, it starts with describing what sociology is (as an academic and intellectual discipline) and how sociological research is conducted, and then proceeds to discuss key themes in sociology such as the society, organizations and organizational behavior, the family, crime etc.

As a very notable feature, all the major topics are discussed through three sociological lenses: functionalist theory, conflict theory and symbolic interaction,

Was it good?

The book is extremely accessible - it discusses the topics in a very down-to-earth way and with no particular hurry or an use of highly specialized vocabulary. At times, this may convey a slowly progressing impression, but every once in a while I found myself really contemplating quite basic issues such as my conception of the family, or how very basic processes operate in my workplace. Thus, the very basic nature of the book actually turned out to be a benefit for me.

Moreover, the choice to run all the key themes through the three lenses - functionalist theory, conflict theory and symbolic interaction is a very good choice: in this manner all the themes appear in different light depending on which of the lenses one uses to look at issues.

The main take-away for me?

My take-away perhaps is at a meta level. Namely, that sociologists have accumulated quite a bit of well-reasoned and researched knowledge which is fully applicable but undervalued in many walks of life. For example, I would claim that at most workplaces people are perplexed by issues (say, for example, difficulty of making changes in work processes) which would be crystal clear and obvious for a sociologist - and even for a sociologist living half a century ago.

Who should read the book?

I would recommend the book for absolutely everyone. Especially if one has not studied sociology before, this book is a stellar place to start.

The book on Sociology

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