The sociological ambition: elementary forms of social and moral life

Thousand Oaks: SAGE. Edited by Philip A. Mellor (2001)
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Abstract

In a comprehensive and innovative reassessment of the discipline, this book argues that classical and contemporary social theories must be studied in relation to the ambition that shaped and established sociology: the ambition to comprehend the relationship between social and moral life. Surveying a range of sociological analyses from Comte to feminism, postmodernism and rational choice theory, this book examines the various attempts that have been made to reconstruct the discipline over the last century, and the challenges facing it today. The book situates sociology in its historical, philosophical and theological contexts and examines how the founders of the discipline developed competing analyses of the processes elementary to social and moral life through their distinctive sociological contributions. Individual chapters examine `Human Sociology', `Sacred Sociology', `Tragic Sociology', `Heroic Sociology' and `Normative Sociology'. The book moves on to discuss post-classical thought, and the attempted reconstruction of the subject. Separate chapters are devoted to `Conflict Sociology', `Feminist Sociology', `Racial Sociology', `Rational Sociology' and `Post//Modern Sociology'. The result is a landmark work in recent sociological study. Accomplished, erudite and alive with ideas, the book will be required reading for students of sociology, social theory, religious studies and cultural studies.

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