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Explaining Social Life

A Guide to Using Social Theory

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Red Globe Press

Pages: 336
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Paperback - 9781137007643

02 January 2015

$46.99

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Hardcover - 9781137487735

02 January 2015

$123.99

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Ebook - 9781137038678

16 September 2017

$39.99

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This distinctive text makes social theory accessible to and usable by students. Whereas social theory is often seen as abstract, esoteric and separate from our understanding of the social world, here it is shown to be a...

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This distinctive text makes social theory accessible to and usable by students. Whereas social theory is often seen as abstract, esoteric and separate from our understanding of the social world, here it is shown to be a flexible and practical resource for anyone wanting to explain social phenomena.This expanded and updated second edition actively encourages readers to develop and practice their own capacities for social explanation:• providing readers with a powerful 'tool kit' of five social theoretical concepts – Individuals, Nature, Culture, Action and Social Structure – that are fundamental to social explanation;• drawing on a historically and geographically wide range of examples of social phenomena to show how these theoretical concepts operate and why they're important;• offering end of chapter questions that enable readers to put theory into practice and begin theorising for themselves.Explaining Social Life is ideal for anyone interested in social theory, including students of sociology, anthropology and related social sciences - both those engaging with social theory for the first time, and more advanced students looking to build upon their understanding.

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Unique approach shows students how to be active theorists rather than passive observers of others' ideas
Genuinely appeals across the social sciences and across levels of study given choice of topics
Authors are experienced teachers of social theory with many years of experience


Introduction: Social theory as a tool kit for social explanation
PART I: THE CONCEPT OF THE INDIVIDUAL
1.What Do Individuals Explain?
2.Testing the Explanatory Value of Individuals
PART II: THE CONCEPT OF NATURE
3. What Does Nature Explain?
4. Testing the Explanatory Value of Nature
PART III: THE CONCEPT OF CULTURE
5. What Does Culture Explain?
6.Testing the Explanatory Value of Culture
PART IV: THE CONCEPT OF ACTION
7. What Does Action Explain?
8. Testing the Explanatory Value of Action
PART V: THE CONCEPT OF SOCIAL STRUCTURE
9. What Does Social Structure Explain?
10. Testing the Explanatory Value of Social Structure
PART VI: CONCLUSION
11. Get Real: A Perspective on Social Science
12. Being Practical: The Uses and Payoffs of Social Explanation
Coda: the quest for explanation.

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John Parker and Hilary Stanworth are Honorary Research Associates and former Lecturers in Sociology at Swansea University, UK. Both have spent many years teaching Sociology to university students at different levels and pursuing multi-disciplinary research.

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John Parker and Hilary Stanworth are Honorary Research Associates and former Lecturers in Sociology at Swansea University, UK. Both have spent many years teaching Sociology to university students at different levels and pursuing multi-disciplinary research.

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