The Sociological Vision: an interpretive introduction

This is a brief introduction to major sociological theoretical themes:

The publisher’s summary blurb and an out-take from the book itself. It now has a different front cover in its second impression:

The Sociological Vision presents to the reader far more than a bland and blithe introduction to some of the discipline’s major thinkers. It rather sets them together as aspects of an holistic lens through which we are made to see the world transformed. The author’s ongoing interpretive narrative and intriguing insights are the glue that holds this historical rendition of sociological thought together. Coupled with a spontaneous ability to make well-known models and analyses current, this text is a refreshing alternative to any didactic and perhaps over-compensatory corpus of details. It concludes with a brief chapter on how sociological thinking aids us in the quest for a general human freedom, and thus should be of interest not merely to students of the discipline in question, but to any humanist who has not abandoned the mortal sensibility that we remain more than we appear to be.

“Human freedom demands the honesty of ‘good faith’. It demands also the distinction between goals we can see and evaluate and those we can only imagine and value. It demands that we abandon the idea of the singular self, and take on the social roles we play in the day to day as sincere representations of someone that we actually are as well as being true to the sense that we can be much more than we currently might be. Freedom demands that we make objects an extension of human potential rather than being subjected to the fetish of borrowed inanimate status, and it demands that we question all forms of authority, whether by confronting the tradition in the manner of the charismatic, doubting the charismatic in the manner of the skeptic, or interrogating the rational and the legal by means of an historical consciousness that knows their pedigrees better than do their officials. Sociology is one strong thread in the tapestry of overcoming, and in its strength is contained all of the doubt of the mortal being who lives on in a world unmade in its remaking and unmasked in its waking. That we too should be as the world already is by asking of the world all of its secrets; this is both the promise and the premise of any study of humanity that is also an exercise in its ultimate liberty.” (from the book).