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The Theory Primer


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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Theories and Theorizing Chapter 2 Karl Marx and Capitalism Chapter 3 Historical Materialism and Its Legacy Chapter 4 Max Weber and Capitalism Chapter 5 Max Weber and Analytic Typologies Chapter 6 Emile Durkheim on the Division of Labor and Suicide Chapter 7 Emile Durkheim and Functionalism Chapter 8 G. H. Mead and Symbolic Interaction

About the Author

Mark A. Schneider is associate professor of sociology at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale.


Well organized and clearly written, this strong book avoids the common trap of only addressing the social-historical analysis of theorists. [Schneider] focuses on the merger between theory and methods and thereby heightens the focus on how sociologists think and do their work. Recommended. -- Theodore Wagenaar, Miami University of Ohio
For Mark Schneider, "theory" becomes a verb. Instead of forcing students to memorize ancient definitions, this text provides the conceptual tools for them to do sociology. His grasp of the classics is solid and sure, and the prose is vivid enough to engage even the most reluctant student. If you desire a book that displays how Durkheim, Marx, Weber and others formulated their problems and worked their way methodically to some very famous conclusions, look no further. -- Thomas F. Gieryn, Indiana University
Schneider's achievement is to maintain a smooth-reading clarity throughout a presentation of astonishing and complex detail. Eschewing intellectual history and biography in favor of underlying theoretical substance and logic, he lays out the classic ideas of Marx, Weber, Durkheim and their successors. For the student who wants to understand theorizing, and not just theorists, Schneider's book is an invaluable guide. -- Daniel F. Chambliss, Hamilton College
Clearly written, sophisticated, and focused on student understanding and skill development, this primer fills a genuine gap in the theory texts available. Schneider offers us a range of persuasive examples, a tone that engages students without talking down to them, motivating explanations of classical theorists' important ideas, graphs and figures that are enormously creative and helpful, a template for practicing theorizing skills, and footnotes that actually enhance rather than distract. The modeling of effective pedagogy and love of the discipline make this book a terrific contribution. -- Diane Pike, Augsburg College

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