Drawing on studies of social class, crime and deviance, education, work in bureaucracies and changes in religious and political organizations, this Very Short Introduction explores the tension between the individual's place in society and society's role in shaping the individual, and demonstrates the value of sociology for understanding the modern world. In this new edition Steve Bruce discusses the continuing arguments for social egalitarianism, considering issues such as gay marriage, women in combat roles, and the 2010 Equality Act to debunk contemporary arguments against parity. As gender divisions are increasingly questioned he looks ahead to the likely consequences of this for society. Delving into the theory of sociology, Bruce also argues that the habit of dividing sociology into apparently competing 'sects' is misleading, and shows how a new understanding of the disciplinary background of many of the most famous theorists, which shows that much social theory is actually philosophy or literary theory, will prove useful to today's sociologists. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Im Alter von 35 Jahren schrieb Peter L. Berger seine charmante Einführung „Invitation to Sociology“, welche in zahlreiche Sprachen übersetzt wurde. Mit seiner konkurrenz- und zeitlosen »Einladung zur Soziologie« eröffnet er auf möglichst leichtfüßige und eingängige Art einen Zugang in die Denk- und Arbeitsweisen des Fachs. Ergänzt wird das Werk durch ein aktuelles Interview, das die Herausgeberin Michaela Pfadenhauer mit Peter L. Berger über dieses Buch und sein heutiges Verständnis von Soziologie führte. Peter L. Berger gilt als bedeutendster Vertreter der „neueren Wissenssoziologie“ und scharfer Analytiker der Gegenwart. Er leitete 30 Jahre lang das von ihm gegründete „Institute for Culture, Religion and World Affairs“ (CURA) an der Boston University. Mit dieser utb-Studienausgabe wird das wichtige Werk Studienanfängern wieder zugänglich gemacht.
Racism exists in many different forms, in almost every facet of society. This Very Short Introduction demystifies the subject and explores its history, science, and culture.Shedding light on how racism has evolved since its earliest beginnings, and examining the notion of race from a modern genetic viewpoint, Ali Rattansi considers the numerous embodiments of racism - from ethnic cleansing and cultural imperialism to discrimination in politics and everyday life.
Work is deeply embedded in the moral and political character of most societies. For many, work becomes fused with our personal and social identities - who we are and how we define ourselves. Steve Fineman explores the key debates about work and the factors that affect it including topics such as globalization, feminism, and technology.
Sociolinguistics deals with the social life of language, language in its sociocultural context. It is a branch of linguistics that looks less at the shape or sound of words--morphology or phonology--and more at how our words and sentences are influenced by the society around us--for instance, how the accent or the dialect we use has been shaped by where we come from or which social class we belong to. In this Very Short Introduction, John Edwards offers the most up-to-date brief overview available of sociolinguistics, with side trips into the sociology of language and psycholinguistics. He considers such topics as the different social evaluations of languages and dialects, the loaded significance of names, and the importance of politically-driven language planning and policy. The relationship between language and gender, sexist language, the language of poverty, and the intertwining of language and religion are also dealt with here. Edwards stresses that, while linguists see all dialects as equally valid, in the wider world powerful attitudes have always placed language varieties in social hierarchies. The author also looks at language more broadly, examining the ways in which languages rise or fall, the attempts to revive flagging or endangered varieties, the reasons why some languages came to dominate others, and the special dynamics that affect contact between "big" and "small" languages. In both its role as our most powerful tool of communication and as the most immediate symbolic marker of human affiliation, language is pre-eminently a social phenomenon. This compact volume offers an invaluable introduction to this vital aspect of language. About the Series: Oxford's Very Short Introductions series offers concise and original introductions to a wide range of subjects--from Islam to Sociology, Politics to Classics, Literary Theory to History, and Archaeology to the Bible. Not simply a textbook of definitions, each volume in this series provides trenchant and provocative--yet always balanced and complete--discussions of the central issues in a given discipline or field. Every Very Short Introduction gives a readable evolution of the subject in question, demonstrating how the subject has developed and how it has influenced society. Eventually, the series will encompass every major academic discipline, offering all students an accessible and abundant reference library. Whatever the area of study that one deems important or appealing, whatever the topic that fascinates the general reader, the Very Short Introductions series has a handy and affordable guide that will likely prove indispensable.
Luciano Floridi unpacks this fundamental concept - what information is, how it is measured, its value and meaning - cutting across the sciences and humanities, from DNA to the Internet, and the ethical issues related to privacy, copyright, and accessibility.
In this Very Short Introduction, John Hendry provides a lively introduction to the nature and principles of management. Tracing its development over the past century, Hendry looks not only at the jobs managers do today and their place in the culture of work, but also provides an insight into modern management theory.
At a time when Christianity is flourishing in the Southern hemisphere but declining in much of the West, this Very Short Introduction offers an important overview of the world's largest religion. Exploring the cultural and institutional dimensions of Christianity, and tracing its course over two millennia, Linda Woodhead provides a fresh, lively, and candid portrait of Christianity's past and present. Addressing topics including the competition for power between different forms of Christianity, the churches' use of power, and its struggles with modernity, this new edition includes up to date information on the growth and geographical spread of Eastern Christianity, reflecting the global nature of Christianity in our ever-shifting contemporary culture. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly.Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
The concept of law lies at the heart of our social and political life, shaping the character of our community and underlying issues from racism and abortion to human rights and international war. The revised edition of this Very Short Introduction examines the central questions about law's relation to justice, morality, and democracy.
William Allan's Very Short Introduction provides a concise and lively guide to the major authors, genres, and periods of classical literature. Drawing upon a wealth of material, he reveals just what makes the 'classics' such masterpieces and why they continue to influence and fascinate today.
This is an introduction to the subject of academic theology. Its basic approach is interrogative, raising key questions so as to lead into a range of selected topics such as knowledge community, salvation, God, prayer and evil.
Welfare states vary across nations and change over time. And the balance between markets and government; free enterprise and social protection is perennially in question. But all developed societies have welfare states of one kind or another - they are a fundamental dimension of modern government. And even after decades of free-market criticism and reform, their core institutions have proven resilient and popular. This Very Short Introduction describes the modern welfare state, explaining its historical and contemporary significance and arguing that far from being 'a failure' or 'a problem', welfare states are an essential element of contemporary capitalism, and a vital concomitant of democratic government. In this accessible and entertaining account, David Garland cuts through the fog of misunderstandings to explain in clear and simple terms, what welfare states are, how they work, and why they matter. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
"In an era of warming climate, the study of the ice age past is now more important than ever. This book examines the wonders of the Quaternary ice age - to show how ice age landscapes and ecosystems were repeatedly and rapidly transformed as plants, animals, and humans reorganized their worlds." --Publisher.
From the schools of ancient times to the present day, Gary Thomas looks at how and why education evolved as it has. By exploring some of the big questions, he examines the ways in which schools work, considers the differences around the world, and concludes by considering the future of education worldwide.
The human body is thought of conventionally as a biological entity, with its longevity, morbidity, size and even appearance determined by genetic factors immune to the influence of society or culture. Since the mid-1980s, however, there has been a rising awareness of how our bodies, and our perception of them, are influenced by the social, cultural and material contexts in which humans live. Drawing on studies of sex and gender, education, governance, the economy, and religion, Chris Shilling demonstrates how our physical being allows us to affect the material and virtual world around us, yet also enables governments to shape and direct our thoughts and actions. Revealing how social relationships, cultural images, and technological and medical advances shape our perceptions and awareness, he exposes the limitations of traditional Western traditions of thought that elevate the mind over the body as that which defines us as human. Dealing with issues ranging from cosmetic and transplant surgery, the performance of gendered identities, the commodification of bodies and body parts, and the violent consequences of competing conceptions of the body as sacred, Shilling provides a compelling account of why body matters present contemporary societies with a series of urgent and inescapable challenges. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
There are many debates about utopia - What constitutes a utopia? Are utopias benign or dangerous? Is the idea of utopianism essential to Christianity or heretical? What is the relationship between utopia and ideology? This Very Short Introduction explores these issues and examines utopianism and its history. Lyman Sargent discusses the role of utopianism in literature, and in the development of colonies and in immigration. The idea of utopia has become commonplace in social and political thought, both negatively and positively. Some thinkers see a trajectory from utopia to totalitarianism with violence an inevitable part of the mix. Others see utopia directly connected to freedom and as a necessary element in the fight against totalitarianism. In Christianity utopia is labelled as both heretical and as a fundamental part of Christian belief, and such debates are also central to such fields as architecture, town and city planning, and sociology among many others Sargent introduces and summarizes the debates over the utopia in literature, communal studies, social and political theory, and theology. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Is our sexuality a product of our genes, or of society, culture, and politics? How have views of sexual norms changed over time? And how have feminism, religion, and HIV/AIDS affected our attitudes to sex? This Very Short Introduction examines these questions and many more, exploring what shapes our sexuality, and how our sexuality shapes us.
Organization happens in the act of working with others to accomplish a desired future state. It can happen through intentionally designed activity, spontaneous improvisation, or some combination of the two, but it always requires coordinated effort. This Very Short Introduction provides a lively and thought provoking introduction to the topic.