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Introductory Sociology - A Highly Selective Guide to the Discipline

praxishabitus "reader, researcher, reflector"
The list author says: "A highly selective guide to influential frameworks and interesting books in sociology."
Our Social World: Introduction to Sociology
Our Social World: Introduction to Sociology
"Brief, clear introductory textbook."
A Short History of Sociological Thought
A Short History of Sociological Thought
"Good, concise history of sociological theory from its beginnings.  Many ideas covered much too briefly, but good bibliography for further reading helps for later study."
Karl Marx: His Life and Environment
Karl Marx: His Life and Environment
"Karl Marx remains fundamental for an understanding of structural dynamics in modern society.  Don't think sociologists agree with everything he said as he said it, but the analytic frameworks embedded within his works continue to be important."
The Elementary Forms of Religious Life
The Elementary Forms of Religious Life
"Appreciation for Durkheim's last published work grows with a string of new translations in the past decade.  The book appears to be about religion (and it is), but the analysis is about how individuals create societies.  Favorite sections: Intro, Bk. I Ch. 1, Bk. II Ch. 7, Bk. III Ch. 2, Conclusion.  See also "Suicide" and "Rules of Sociological Method"."
The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism: and Other Writings (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics)
The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism: and Other Writings (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics)
"Weber's essays looking at the relationship between Protestantism and the rise of Capitalism are among the most important in the history of sociology. Weber takes seriously the social meanings individuals attribute to their actions such that they can fundamentally transform the structure of society. See also "Economy & Society", "Methodology of the Social Sciences",  and "Sociology of Religion"."
The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge
The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge
"Society lives in our heads as much as in the "world".  Provides a paradigm for how individuals ongoingly re-construct the world.  This book represents a culmination of thinking about the social world, synthesizing many of the most important ideas up until the mid-20th century. Very important, and very interesting.  See "The Sacred Canopy" and "The Homeless Mind" among others."
The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life
The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life
"Students may find this text redundant, but the dramaturgical approach to social interaction is both compelling and influential."
Asylums: Essays on the Social Situation of Mental Patients and Other Inmates
Asylums: Essays on the Social Situation of Mental Patients and Other Inmates
"Another Goffman text, this time showing how the self is constructed and constrained within institutions."
The Managed Heart: Commercialization of Human Feeling, Twentieth Anniversary Edition, With a New Afterword
The Managed Heart: Commercialization of Human Feeling, Twentieth Anniversary Edition, With a New Afterword
"Fascinating and important, Hochschild produced a modern sociological classic that extends Marx and Goffman's insights into the modern service industry."
The McDonaldization of Society
The McDonaldization of Society
"A compelling look at the processes of bureacracy that are now so "natural" to the modern world."
Hollywood Faith: Holiness, Prosperity, and Ambition in a Los Angeles Church
Hollywood Faith: Holiness, Prosperity, and Ambition in a Los Angeles Church
"Provocative and interesting look at religion and popular culture -- entertainment workers relligious devotion in a Hollywood church.  Includes historical overview of Christianity and Hollywoood."
The Hidden Injuries of Class
The Hidden Injuries of Class
"A provocative look at social class dynamics through the experience of those that live it."
A Mosaic of Believers: Diversity and Innovation in a Multiethnic Church
A Mosaic of Believers: Diversity and Innovation in a Multiethnic Church
"Interesting and accessible work looking at religion and race in the contemporary world."
The Power Elite
The Power Elite
"Persuasively demonstrates the concentration of power among few elite groups in society on a local and national level."
The Souls of Black Folk, A Norton Critical Edition
The Souls of Black Folk, A Norton Critical Edition
"Poetic exploration of the problem of the "color line" by a giant in race studies."
The Wretched of the Earth
The Wretched of the Earth
"Influential book on the colonization of consciousness by dominant groups."
Escape from Freedom
Escape from Freedom
"Interesting and readable analysis of how human beings prefer structure to freedom and the consequences it has for the order of society."
Discipline & Punish: The Birth of the Prison
Discipline & Punish: The Birth of the Prison
"A compelling book showing the transformation from public executions to private rehabilitation.  In the process, Foucault demonstrates how modern society effectively manages our bodies.  Pay close attention to the "panopticon" chapter with all its attendant implications."
Ideology and Utopia: An Introduction to the Sociology of Knowledge
Ideology and Utopia: An Introduction to the Sociology of Knowledge
"A more difficult read overall, but important for understanding how group interests shape individual consciousness."
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
"Foundational work in understanding the socially contingent nature of knowledge, even the most "objective" knowledge found among scientists.  So much scholarship is based on insights contained in this one book."
American Occupational Structure
American Occupational Structure
"More technical, but definitive, book on the structuring of occupational prestige.  Where the future of one's life is dominated by their work, this book captures the structure of occupations and how it affects people's lives."
Wayward Puritans: A Study in the Sociology of Deviance, Classic Edition
Wayward Puritans: A Study in the Sociology of Deviance, Classic Edition
"Great use of historical data to describe the use of deviance to provide order in society."
Explaining Society: An Introduction to Critical Realism in the Social Sciences (Critical Realism: Interventions)
Explaining Society: An Introduction to Critical Realism in the Social Sciences (Critical Realism: Interventions)
"Written from the perspective of "critical realism", a dense discussion of theory and method in sociology today."