"Illuminating Social Life is an excellent text, which offers something unique and valuable for teaching social theory. The chapters that are most valuable are those that present an important theoretical argument, which is then developed through the use of a contemporary example."
-Stephen Adair, Central Connecticut State University
"The book is well written and very accessible for students. This is the only text in the market with an accessible set of full-length articles on major strands of social thought."
-David K. Brown, Illinois State University
"Kivisto's book is a very good supplement because it makes theory more accessible and students can easily relate the theory to everyday life. . . . It is very relevant and speaks to the students in an interesting way."
-Chien Ju Huang, North Carolina Central University
In Illuminating Social Life: Classical and Contemporary Theory Revisited, Third Edition editor Peter Kivisto once again shows today’s students how classical and contemporary social theories can be used to make sense of the world they inhabit. Through thirteen essays, the book applies various social theories from the past and the present to select facets of modern life, such as the Internet, the world of work, fast food restaurants, shopping malls, alcohol use, body building, sales and service, and new religious movements. All of the contributors to this collection of essays share a common purpose-to illustrate how different social theories are capable of providing significant understanding that, without theory, would not be grasped.
Illuminating Social Life is designed to reveal to students that, as philosopher of science N.R. Hanson put it, "All observation is theory-laden activity"-meaning everyone, not just social theorists, should look at the world through a variety of implicit theoretical lenses that allow them to see their surroundings in novel ways. Part I addresses the theories of four influential figures from the formative period of sociology-Karl Marx, Max Weber, Emile Durkheim, and Georg Simmel. Part II then goes on to examine nine contemporary theoretical perspectives that have had a profound impact on sociology in recent years.
New to the Third Edition
Illuminating Social Life is an excellent supplemental text for undergraduate social theory and social problems courses. It can also be used in introductory sociology courses to link sociological concepts and theory to everyday life in an accessible format....Continua