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Classical Sociological Theory Paperback – Apr 19 2010

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About the Author

George Ritzer is Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland, where he has been a Distinguished Scholar-Teacher and won a Teaching Excellence award by the American Sociological Association, and in 2004, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by LaTrobe University, Melborune, Australia. He has served as Chair of the American Sociological Association's Sections on Theoretical Sociology and organizations and Occupations. He held the UNESCO Chair in Social Theory at the Russian Academy of Sciences, a Fulbright-Hay Chair at York University in Canada, and a Fulbright-Hays award to the Netherlands. He has been Scholar-in-Residence at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study and the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study in the Social Sciences. Dr. Ritzer's main theoretical interests lie in metatheory as well as applied social theory. In metatheory, his contributions include Metatheorizing in Sociology(Lexington Books, 1991), Sociology: A Multiple Paradigm Science (Allyn and Bacon, 1975, 1980), and Toward an Integrated Sociological Paradigm (Allyn and Bacon). Professor Ritzer is perhaps best known for the McDonaldization of Society (4/e, 2004); translated into more than a dozen languages) and several related books (also with a number of translations, including Expressing America: A Critique of the Global Credit Card Society (1995), Enchanting a Disenchanted World: Revolutionizing the Means of Consumption (2/e, 2005),The Globalization of Nothing (2/e, 2007), and (with Craig Lair) Outsourcing: Globalization and Beyond. He edited the Encyclopedia of Social Theory (2005), and is the founding editor of the Journal of Consumer Culture. He just completed editing the eleven-volume Encyclopedia of Sociology (2007) and The Blackwell Companion to Globalization (2007). In 2006, McGraw-Hill published the second edition of Professor Ritzer's Contemporary Sociological Theory and Its Classic Roots: The Basics. In 2007, McGraw-Hill will publish the seventh edition of Modern Sociological Theory, and the fifth edition of Classical Sociological Theory. The latter texts, as well as this one, have been translated into a number of languages.

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First Sentence
By classical sociological theory we mean theories of great scope and ambition that either were created during sociology's classical age in Europe (roughly the early 1800s through the early 1900s) or had their roots in that period and culture. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Amazon.com: 18 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
One edition after another May 30 2009
By not a natural - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I have benefited from reading various editions of Ritzer's text on classical sociological theory. He gives a good deal of attention to the social contexts in which authors work, and covers a broad range of theorists.

In some ways, however, the strengths of Ritzer's treatment of classical theorists are also its weaknesses. If one were looking for applications to contemporary circumstances, it is difficult to make the case for Comte and Spencer. For historical reasons they certainly belong in an introductory overview of the development of the discipline. However, even with the current antiquarian revival of interest in Spencer, Ritzer has written a very conventional theory textbook. A good one, yes, since his prose is clear, his accounts are informative, and he does not trivialize important issues, but quite conventional nonetheless.

For someone interested in efforts to synthesize differing perspectives and hoping to think about contemporary issues within a framework provided by classical theory, Ritzer's book is a bit off the mark. Nevertheless, it is well suited for beginning undergraduates and others making a first foray into sociological theory. It serves best those who are comfortable with list-like presentation of material that is more descriptive than evaluative, and who are not concerned with synthesis or application.
Excellent Complement to the Original Texts April 10 2014
By Pandora - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Reading this alone I suspect you won't get much out of it. It's meant to be read with the original texts, but that said it is incredibly helpful. I still return to it often to help me understand something.

It is VERY VERY dry, but it's classical sociological theory, so you're going to find that regardless. Still, it provides details that can make the original texts much more approachable and give an idea what you're supposed to be getting out of it where you might otherwise be stuck with a big "okay, so...?" from the original texts.

Do yourself a favor and give this book a chance even if at first it is difficult. Sometimes it takes reading the passages in it, the source material, and then back again before stuff clicks, but it worth the effort if you need to do well with classical theory.
Please, God, Keep me AWAKE. March 28 2015
By Limitless - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Sure... it's a textbook... and I rented it (thank GOD!) but does it have to be the ultimate cure to my insomnia?? Mind you, I DO enjoy their individual review of each sociologist during that person's chapter -- who they were as people (not just dinosaurs we're required to learn about...) but the rest of it made me feel I was TRULY EARNING my degree. I don't even have constructive criticism to give the authors a heads-up about HOW to "save themselves" -- it's done quite well if you're looking for well referenced, and concise information... but if you're just looking to SURVIVE A REQUIREMENT, rent the book and spend the difference in price of buying it used on COFFEE! ;)
very dry Feb. 24 2013
By Mario Marquez - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
not much to be said about text books. typical historical factual account of the origins of a field of study
Classical theory Feb. 12 2013
By TC - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is filled with interesting and valuable information. I enjoyed learning about the early sociologist. I would encourage anyone just starting off in sociology to read this book.