- Hardcover: 563 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press (2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0195123719
- ISBN-13: 978-0195123715
- Product Dimensions: 10 x 1.6 x 7.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,544,441 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Dictionary of the Social Sciences
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From Library Journal
Aimed at the academic nonspecialist, this new dictionary does more than provide definitions of key terms, offering entries that also discuss the intellectual issues behind the terms' usage. The entries cover all the social sciences except for law, education, and public administration but are weighted more toward economics and anthropology than history and psychology, with an overall emphasis on interdisciplinary usage. Some 275 biographies are included. Within entries, there are cross references and references to major works, which are given complete listings in the bibliography. The entries are unattributed, and only 11 American contributors are listed, with the rest being unnamed scholars. As author of the well-known textbook Sociology and president of the Social Science Research Council in New York City, Calhoun has solid credentials. However, libraries should purchase this title only if they already own Routledge's The Social Science Encyclopedia. Though it has 600 entries compared with Oxford's 1500, the very usable Routledge has signed articles, twice the number of pages, and a wider scope that includes education, law, business, crime, penology, etc. Another competitor for the same shelf space is the two-volume Reader's Guide to the Social Sciences, which is also in A-to-Z format but is unique in functioning as a review of key books and articles for each topic. Elsevier's recent 26-volume International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences covers the same subject matter in considerably more depth. The Oxford dictionary is recommended for comprehensive collections only.
Janice Dunham, John Jay Coll. Lib., CUNY
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Social science language has become an essential feature of literary studies and the humanities and is increasingly becoming part of the lexicon of the popular media. Today it is difficult to read a newspaper or hear or see the news on the radio or television without encountering terms like civil society, paradigm, real income, or welfare economics. Designed for students and nonspecialists, the Dictionary of the Social Sciences serves to orient readers to the concepts, theories, methodologies, schools of thought, and individuals that define classic and contemporary scholarship in the social sciences. Offering jargon-free definitions of key terms across a wide spectrum of separate, but interconnected, disciplines, the dictionary features more than 1,500 entries ranging in length from 50 to 500 words and covers the vocabularies of anthropology, cultural studies, economics, human geography, political science, sociology, and numerous other important fields within this arena. A lengthy bibliography concludes the volume. See references at the end of the entries provide added value.
Despite its ambitious scope, readers are advised that the social sciences are not covered equally in this volume. A careful reading of the preface sheds light on the guidelines that influenced entry selection. For example, law is not included, and history and psychology are treated more selectively than economics, politics, and sociology. The dictionary succeeds because it is a carefully written and researched work, but some readers will need to supplement their use of it with additional and more specialized dictionaries.
The last decade has seen the publication of several works that provide coverage of the social sciences in a convenient one-volume format. Among these are The Blackwell Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Social Thought (Blackwell, 1993); The Social Science Encyclopedia (2d ed., Routledge, 1996); and The Dictionary of Critical Social Sciences (Westview, 1999). This volume complements these titles and should be a useful addition to academic library collections, particularly those that support programs in the social sciences. Large public libraries will want to take a look to ascertain its potential usefulness in their settings. RBB
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