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Social Blueprints

Conceptual Foundations of Sociology

David K. Brown

Publication Date - 19 February 2004

ISBN: 9780195162264

288 pages
5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches


Social Blueprints is a concise introduction to sociological thought that is a refreshing alternative to the approaches of traditional textbooks and other brief introductions to the field. David K. Brown introduces students to concepts and theories that form the foundation of sociological reasoning. In a highly engaging style, he uses personal experiences, salient cultural examples, and pressing social issues to ground these ideas in the everyday experiences of students.
In five cogent chapters, Brown explores how core sociological ideas such as culture, social structure, identities, power, and globalization can better inform our understanding of the social world. He uses contemporary, historical, and global examples drawn from realms such as music, professional sports, fashion, film, government, warfare, protests, corporations, workplaces, education, crime, poverty, architecture, and tourism to lend immediate relevance to sociological endeavor. Acutely focused and written with a clear, critical point of view, Social Blueprints is ideal for use in introductory and other sociology courses as either a primary or supplemental text.

Table of Contents

    Each chapter ends with Suggestions for Further Study
    1. Individuality, Society, and Identity: Cornerstones of Sociological Reasoning
    Vivifying the Mundane: The Sociological Imagination
    The Sociological Imagination: C. Wright Mills
    Individual v. Social Problems
    The Sociology of Celebrities: Individuals in Social Context
    The American Preoccupation with Individualism in Cultural, Political, & Economic Life
    The Sociology of Identities
    Individuals as Webs of Group Affiliation
    Social Identities: Repertoire Selection, Multiple Consciousness, and Ambiguity
    The Contested Terrain of Sociological Knowledge
    Some Cautionary Notes about Sociology v. Psychology
    The Reality of the Social: Social Facts
    The Logical Gulf Between Fact and Value Statements
    Muddying the Waters: The Politics of Social Knowledge
    2. Social Theories: Their Interplay and Contradictions
    The Nature and Relevance of Social Theories
    Theories as Paradigms
    Theoretical Reasoning: Inductive and Deductive
    Four Broad Types of Social Theory
    Rational Choice Theories: Individuals Pursuing Interests
    Where Do Desires Come From?
    The Free-Rider Problem: Are Rational People Honest?
    Do People Choose to be Unequal?
    Functional Theories: Harmony and Necessary Differences
    Basic Functionalist Imagery
    Is Social Inequality Simply Necessary?
    Symbolic Interactionist and Social Constructionist Theories
    Interaction, Meaning, and Everyday Life
    Mind, Self, and Society
    Modern Symbolic Interactionism
    Symbolic Interactionism/Constructionism: Are the Trees Hiding the Forest?
    Conflict Theories: Arenas of Power and Inequality
    The Interplay of Conflict Theory with Other Perspectives
    Karl Marx's Enduring Legacy
    Weber's Multidimensional Conflict Theory
    Conflict Theories: Too Much Pessimism, or Sober Realism?
    3. Culture, Structure, and Interaction: Unraveling the Fibers of Everyday Life
    Distinguishing Social Structure, Culture, and Interaction
    Social Structural Determinism or Cultural Autonomy
    Beyond Good and Evil: Religion as an Emblem of Society
    Beyond Cold Hard Cash: The Sociology of Money
    Understanding Culture and Social Power
    Cashing in on Culture: The Flow of Cultural, Social, and Economic Capital
    Roads Between High Culture and Popular Culture
    Interpreting Pink Flamingoes: Everyday Expressions of Social Positions
    "Lions & Tigers & Bears--Oh My!": The Cultural and Political Construction of Social Problems
    Cultural Production, Distribution, and Interpretation
    A Basic Model of Cultural Production Processes
    Making Chili Peppers: Organizational Processes in the Rise of a Band
    Pets or Meat? The Interpretation of Cultural Products
    4. Power and Authority: In Social Movements, States, and Organization
    A Sociological Perspective on Power
    The Power Prism and its Refractions: An analytical Tool
    Social Power and Social Movements
    Reading Power into Political Protests
    Power, States, and Legitimacy
    Spreading Social Power in Authoritarian Regimes
    Theaters of War: The Social Construction of State Legitimacy
    Power in Organizations
    Power and Control in Work Places
    Bureaucratic Organizations and Abstract Social Power
    The Symbolic Architecture of Organizational Power
    5. Globalization: Conteptualizing 21st Century Social Change
    Is Globalization Really New?
    Economic and Political Aspects of Globalization
    The Ideological and Policy Basis of The New World Order: Neoliberalism and It's Critics
    The Global Power of Transnational Corporations
    International Governmental and Non-governmental Organizations: International Monetary Fund, World Bank, World Trade Organization, and the G-8
    Bittersweet Chocolate: Abuse of Child Slave Labor in West Africa
    So Long Nation, Hello Corporation
    International Social Movements
    Mexico: Poverty and Protest in a "Model" free Trade Nation
    Cultural Globalization
    Limiting Factors Concerning Cultural Globalization
    Global Consumerism: You Gotta Shop Around, Even If It's All the Same
    Global Tourism: Individual Freedom or Structural Determinism?

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