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Problematics of Sociology: The Georg Simmel Lectures, 1995 Hardcover – February 26, 1997

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Editorial Reviews

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"Filled with original and arresting observations, this is a creative, elegant, and systematic statement of some of the most important themes faced both by contemporary society and contemporary sociology."—Jeffrey Alexander, University of California, Los Angeles

From the Back Cover

Based on the Georg Simmel Lectures delivered at Humboldt University in the spring of 1995, Problematics of Sociology is a distillation of Neil Smelser's reflections after nearly four decades of research, teaching, and thought in the field of sociology. Each chapter considers a different level of analysis: micro, meso, macro, and global. Within this framework, the themes considered range over a variety of topics, including the place of the rational and nonrational in social action and in social science theory; social institutions as imagined entities; the eclipse of social class; and the decline of the nation-state as a focus of solidarity.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 138 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (February 26, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520206754
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520206755
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,568,015 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
I started learning sociology when I was accepted into a PhD program, and this is the book I wish I'd been given first. Smelser skillfully combines information about structure, theory, levels of analysis, and problematics into a very readable -- and, I might add, short -- work that covers the subject of sociology more clearly and concisely than anything else I've read. Smelser writes in good, conversational English: there's little academic style here. And I find that it covers a broad subject well, despite its short length.

If I were asked to recommend an introductory book that has it all, this would be it.
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