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Classical Social Theory

Ian Craib

June 1997

ISBN: 9780198781172

328 pages

Price: £47.99



This is an excellent textbook on classical social theory, concentrating on the founding thinkers of sociology - Marx, Weber, Durkheim, and Simmel - and written in an accessible and engaging style. It will become a key text allowing students to assess the enduring significance of these writers in our epoch of major social change, and will be essential reading on classical social theory, sociological theory, and introduction to sociology courses.

  • Ian Craib is author of another, well-regarded, textbook: Modern Social Theory

About the Author(s)

Ian Craib, Reader in Sociology, University of Essex


is there anything to add to the vast amount of textbooks introducing classic thinkers to students in the social sciences? Craib's book answers this question; yes, there is...More importantly, Craib succeeds where many introductions to the classics fail...this book not only tells us about the classic thinkers. It brings their thoughts alive, and shows us why they matter, too./Talja Blokland/The European Legacy, Vol.5, No.2, 2000. -

Clear, readable, and intelligent. - J.J.R. Thomas, University of the West of England

This is the book I've been waiting for. I'm very impressed with its style, clarity, and thoroughness. For the first time, I have a book I can recommend as a core text ... Excellent for students who fear theory and good jumping off point for the better ones. - Malcolm Williams, University of Plymouth

Written in a clear, at times colloquial style, the book provides an essential guide not only to specific sociologists but to the development of sociology itself. - Aslib Book Guide, Vol 62, no 12

This is a gem of a book. It is an accessible and authoritative treatment of classical theory, written in the definitive 'user-friendly' style. Craib's text is suitable both for undergraduates, and for those graduate students who have no prior training in classical sociological theory. - Dr Roger Sibeon, University of Liverpool

"We appreciate the presence of a summary inside every chapter, and, at the end of the bool a precious analytical index of the concepts as well as a short biography of the authors who are quoted in the book. But it above all the in the text that we appreciate Craib's ability to synthesise...The book's orginality lies also in the fact that the four authors are studies in parallel, centred around three main topis: the view of society and the paradigm to study it; the analysis of the social structure; the history and the social change. The reader is helped by a summary of the line of argument in each chapter and many diagrams", Felice Dassetto, Recherches Sociologique, 1998/2. Relegion et sante -