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This is a list of important publications in sociology, organized by field.
Some reasons why a particular publication might be regarded as important:
- Topic creator – A publication that created a new topic
- Breakthrough – A publication that changed scientific knowledge significantly
- Introduction – A publication that is a good introduction or survey of a topic
- Influence – A publication which has significantly influenced the world
- Latest and greatest – The current most advanced result in a topic
- Comte, A.; Bridges, J.H. (tr.); A General View of Positivism; Trubner and Co., 1865 (reissued by Cambridge University Press, 2009; ISBN 9781108000642)
The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of CapitalismEdit
Description: In The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, Weber puts forward a thesis that Puritan ethic and ideas had influenced the development of capitalism. However religious devotion usually was accompanied by rejection of mundane affairs including economic pursuit. Why was that not the case with Protestantism? Weber addresses that paradox in that work.
Importance: Topic creator, Breakthrough, Influence
The Division of LaborEdit
The Elementary Forms of Religious LifeEdit
- Karl Marx
- Das Kapital
The Forms of CapitalEdit
- Boltanski, Luc, and Ève Chiapello. 2005. The New Spirit of Capitalism, London–New York, Verso.
- Boltanski, Luc and Laurent Thévenot. 2006. On Justification. The Economies of Worth, Princeton, Princeton University Press.
- Durkheim, Émile (1893). The Division of Labour in Society.
- Granovetter, Mark. 1985. "Economic Action and Social Structure: The Problem of Embeddedness", The American Journal of Sociology, 91:481–510.
- Hirschman, Albert O. 1982. "Rival Interpretations of Market Society: Civilizing, Destructive, or Feeble?" Journal of Economic Literature. vol. 20(4):1463–84.
Smelser, Neil and Richard Swedberg (eds.). 2005 (2nd ed.). The Handbook of Economic Sociology.
- Polanyi, Karl. 1944. The Great Transformation. Boston: Beacon.
- Simmel, George. 1907 The Philosophy of Money
- Tocqueville, Alexis De. [The Old Regime and the French Revolution]. New York: Anchor Books (1955) - Translated by Stuart Gilbert.
- Tocqueville, Alexis De. Democracy in America (Arthur Goldhammer, trans.; Olivier Zunz, ed.) (The Library of America, 2004) ISBN 1-931082-54-5
- Weber, Max.  1978. Economy and Society. Berkeley: University of California Press.
- White, Harrison C. 2002. Markets from Networks: Socioeconomic Models of Production. Princeton: Princeton University Press
Rachel Carson, Silent Spring, 1962
John A. Hannigan: Environmental Sociology: A Social Constructionist Perspective.
London and New York: Routledge, 1995 ISBN 0-415-11254 (hbk), 0-415-11255 (pbk)
Importance: Why is that not all environmental problems attract the same public attention? In his revealing approach to the environment, Hannigan agrues that a society's willingness to recognize and solve environmental problems depends more upon the way these claims are presented by a limited number of interest groups than upon the severity of the threat they pose.
Importance: Schnaiberg and Gould demonstrate how our global economy requires increasing levels of economic expansion, which in turn requires increasing withdrawals for the natural environment
Handbook of Environmental Sociology Edited by Riley E. Dunlap and William Michelson Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2002.
Provides an overview of the field of environmental sociology and its various research emphases.
Daniel Bell The Coming of Post-Industrial Society
Harry Braverman Labor and Monopoly Capital
Michael Burawoy Manufacturing Consent
Ronald Dore British factory, Japanese factory; the origins of national diversity in industrial relations
John Goldthorpe, David Lockwood, Frank Bechhofer and Jennifer Platt The Affluent Worker: Industrial Attitudes and Behaviour
William Kornblum Blue Collar
Paul Thompson Nature of Work: An Introduction to Debates on the Labour Process
The Social SystemEdit
- Parsons, Talcott
- The Free Press, 1951.
Description: In a description of the patient's role in the doctor-patient relationship, Parsons coined the term the 'Sick Role' as opposed to the 'Social Role'.
Importance: Talcott Parsons is considered the father of Medical Sociology (along with Rene Fox as the mother). This book is a classic. Warning: it is a broad discussion of many things, not just medical sociology, and it is very difficult to read.
Ideas about illness : an intellectual history of medical sociologyEdit
- Gerhardt, Uta E.
- Basingstoke : Macmillan Education, 1989.
Description:Re-analyzes Parsons' work, and made the 'Sick Role' famous.
Perspectives in Medical SociologyEdit
- Brown, Phil, ed.
- Waveland Press, 2000.
Description: The third edition of Perspectives in Medical Sociology 's central theme is that health and illness cannot be understood simply by looking at biological phenomena and medical knowledge. Rather, it is necessary to bring to bear a variety of political, economic, and cultural forces. Editor Phil Brown takes this focus on largescale social structural factors and links it with the equally important microlevel approach that explores lay illness experience and the interaction between people and their health providers. In addition to retaining some of the classic works, the third edition offers new selections with modern perspectives on managed care, worker health and safety, the nursing profession, gender/femininity and health, experiences of illness and narrative understanding, and the effects of race and socioeconomic status on health. The 36 readings represent a broad range of research methods, data sources, and perspectives reflecting the diversity of material employed by medical sociologists.
- Cockerham, William C.
- Prentice Hall, 2003
Description: The standard reference in the field—in the US—this best-selling introduction to medical sociology presents the most recent and relevant ideas, concepts, themes, issues, debates, and research findings at the cutting-edge of the field. It contains first-person accounts from patients, physicians, and other health care providers; is based on a worldwide review of the literature but mainly focuses on the US; provides the most recent US health statistics, data, and American studies available.
Importance:Perhaps the most widely used textbook on Medical Sociology in the US.
Profession of Medicine: A Study of the Sociology of Applied KnowledgeEdit
- Freidson E.
- New York, Harper & Row, 1970.
Professional Dominance: The Social Structure of Medical CareEdit
- Freidson E.
- New York, Atherton Press, 1970.
Professionalism: The Third LogicEdit
- Freidson E.
- Chicago, IL; University of Chicago Press, 2001.
Foucault, Health and MedicineEdit
- Peterson, Alan and Robin Bunton, eds.
- Routledge, 1997.
Description: Foucault, Health and Medicine shows how key researchers in the sociology of health and illness are currently engaging with Michel Foucault's ideas. The book's twelve chapters explore: Foucault's concept of discourse; the critique of the medicalization thesis; analysis of the body and the self; Foucault's concepts for feminist research on embodiment and gendered subjectivities; the application of Foucault's notion of governmentality to the analysis of health policy, health promotion and the consumption of health. Offering a state-of-the-art overview of Foucaludian scholarship in the area of health and medicine, this volume will provide a key reference for those working in the areas of medical sociology, health policy, health promotion and feminist studies.
Importance: A "state of the art" overview of Foucaldian scholarship in health and medicine. Assesses the profound impact of Foucault's work and shows how key researchers in the sociology of health and illness are currently engaging with his work.
Debating Biology: Sociological reflections on health, medicine and societyEdit
- Williams, Simon, Lynda Birke and Gillian A. Bendelow, eds.
- Routledge, 2003.
Description: Text takes a look at the relationship between biology and society in the arena of health and medicine. Discusses the interplay between biological and social factors in the patterning of health and illness. Addresses the relationships between biology, science, and technology. For students and researchers in the social sciences.
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Challenge and ChangeEdit
- Kelner, Merrijoy, Beverly Wellman, Bernice Pescosolido and Mike Saks, eds.
- Reading, UK: Harwood (now part of Taylor and Francis), 2001.
Description:An edited book of original articles that is the first comprehensive sociological analysis of the practitioners, users and social organization of the growing area of complementary and alternative medicine, such as chiropractic, naturopathy, homeopathy, Alexander Technique, etc.
Importance: A pioneering book, well-edited
Why Americans Don't VoteEdit
Who Rules AmericaEdit
- G. William Domhoff,
- (McGraw Hill, 2001)
States and Social RevolutionsEdit
- Theda Skocpol
(Cambridge University Press, 1979)
The Power EliteEdit
(Oxford University Press, 1956)
Sociology of GenderEdit
- Acker, Joan 2005. Class Questions: Feminist Answers. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield. 2006
- Bem, Sandra Lipsitz. 1994. Lenses of Gender: Transforming the Debate on Sexual Inequality. Yale University Press.
- Chodorow, Nancy. 1978 . The Reproduction of Mothering. Berkeley: University of California Press.
- Collins, Patricia Hill. 2000. Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment, 2nd Edition. Boston: Unwin Hyman.
- Connell, R. W. 1987. Gender and Power: Society, the Person, and Sexual Politics. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
- Connell, R.W. 2002. Gender: Short Introductions. Blackwell.
- Harding, S. Feminism & Methodology.
- Harding, S. Whose Science/Whose Knowledge.
- Mohanty, Chandra Talpede, Ann Russo, and Lourdes Torres (eds.) 1991. Third World Women and the Politics of Feminism. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press
- Scott, J.W. 1999. “Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis.” American Historical Review (December): 1053-1075.
Gender and MasculinityEdit
- Bederman, G. (1995). Manliness and Civilization: A Cultural History of Gender and race in the United States, 1880-1917. Chicago, U of Chicago Press.
- Messner, M. (1990). “Boyhood, Organized Sports, and the Construction of Masculinities.” Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 18(4): 416-444.
Donald T. Campbell, "Reforms as Experiments," American Psychologist, April 1969, p. 409.
Rational Choice TheoryEdit
- Wilkinson, K.P. 1991. The Community in Rural America 
(Description: A revision of rural and community sociology, from classics to new concepts)
Sociology of knowledgeEdit
Ideology and UtopiaEdit
Genesis of Scientific FactEdit
The Strengths of the Strong ProgrammeEdit
- David Bloor
- Philosophy of the Social Sciences, 1981
Description: Proposal for a research program in the sociology of knowledge based around symmetric explanations for scientific discoveries that are true or false and rational or irrational. Program also required that whatever findings are made are applied to the sociology of knowledge itself. Importance: Created a new paradigm for a sociology of knowledge that attempted to explain all knowledge (and not just wrong knowledge) as socially constructed.
Description: Ethnography of microbiologists working at the Salk Institute. Explains the elevation of observations to the level of fact through a system of credibility. Importance: Started the ethnographic laboratory studies movement in the sociology of knowledge.
The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of KnowledgeEdit
Sociology of religionEdit
The Elementary Forms of the Religious LifeEdit
The Sacred Canopy: Elements of a Sociological Theory of ReligionEdit
A Rumor of Angels: Modern Society and the Rediscovery of the SupernaturalEdit
Eastern Origins of the Portuguese Popular Religion Followed of Essay On Old ToponimyEdit
Banathy, B (1996) Designing Social Systems in a Changing World, New York, Plenum
Bateson, G. (1972). Steps to an ecology of mind. New York: Ballantine.
Bateson, G. (1979). Mind and nature: A necessary unity. New York: Ballantine
Bateson, G., & Bateson, M.C. (1987). Angels fear. New York: Macmillan
von Bertalanffy, Ludwig, "An Outline for General Systems Theory", Journal for the Philosophy of Science (U.K), Vol 1, No. 2, 1950
von Bertalanffy, Ludwig, General System Theory: Foundations, development, applications. New York: George Braziller, 1968
Laszlo, E. The systems view of the world. The natural philosophy of the new developments in the sciences. New York: George Brazillier, 1972. ISBN 0-8076-0636-7
Wiener, Norbert, Cybernetics or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine, 1948
Clausen, L., Social Differentiation and the Long-Term Origin of Disasters, in: Natural Hazards, 1992 (VI), No. 2, p. 181-190, ISSN 0921-030X
Sociology of disasterEdit
New Species of Crisis: The Human Experience of Modern DisastersEdit
- Verta Taylor. 1978. "Future Directions for Study." Pp. 252-280 in Disaster: Theory and Research, ed. E. L. Quarantelli. London: Sage Publications .E. L. Quarantelli and Verta A. Taylor. 1978.
- Lars Clausen, Elke M. Geenen, Elísio Macamo: "Entsetzliche soziale Prozesse. Theorie und Empirie der Katastrophen", Münster: LIT. 2003.
Description: Disasters caused by human beings have become a "new species of social crises" that afflict persons and groups in particularly disruptive ways.
Social Network AnalysisEdit
Scott, John. 2000. Social Network Analysis: A Handbook. 2nd ed. London: Sage.
Wasserman, Stanley, and Katherine Faust. 1994. Social Network Analysis: Methods and Applications. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Wellman, Barry, and S.D. Berkowitz (Eds.). 1988. Social Structures: A Network Approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Description and Importance: These three books present a good basic introduction to social network analysis. Scott is the most general and most recent. Wasserman and Faust presents thorough methodological coverage. Wellman and Berkowitz is the most readable, theoretical and provides many case studies.
Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961) New York: Random House. ISBN 0-679-60047-7
Robert E. Park, Ernest W. Burgess, Roderick D. MacKenzie, Morris Janowitz, "The City": 1925.
- Foundational text in American sociology, Chicago school, Urban sociology, and #Human ecology
Molotch, Harvey and John Logan, "Urban Fortunes: Political Economy of Place", University of California Press: 1988.
- Turned mainstream sociological opinion against the Human Ecology school by foregrounding the influence of institutions and political settings in the growth of cities.
The New Urban SociologyEdit
- Guy Ankerl, Urbanization Overspeed in Tropical Africa, Geneva: INUPRESS,1986 ISBN 2-88155-000-2.
- Mark Gottdiener, Ray Hutchison
- Westview Press, 2006.
Description: Representing a major contribution to the field, authors Mark Gottdiener and Ray Hutchison present their breakthrough text in a new third edition, now completely revised and streamlined to provide students with a solid grounding on the topic. The book is organized around an integrated paradigm--the sociospatial perspective--which considers the role played by social factors such as race, class, gender, lifestyle, economics, culture, and politics on the development of metropolitan areas. New case studies throughout the text represent the most recent work in the field, as well as key terms and discussion questions at the end of each chapter. Additional updates include discussions of globalism, suburbanization, the multi-centered region as the new urban form, the new urbanism, and critical perspectives on planning and policy.
The urban question : a Marxist approachEdit
- Manuel Castells
- Edward Arnold, 1977.
Experiencing Cities (2007)
- Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, online no-fee open access journal leading in this multi-disciplinary field.
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