Sociology: Books & Reference Resources

Books

  • Title: The Practice of Social Research
  • Author: Earl Babbie
  • Year: 1975
  • Permanent URL for this record: http://suncat.csun.edu/record=b1472811
  • Contents: A straightforward, comprehensive, and approachable guide to research as practiced by social scientists, the Thirteenth Edition of Babbie's "gold-standard" text gives you the tools you need to apply research concepts practically, as both a researcher and a consumer. Babbie emphasizes the process by showing you how to design and construct projects, introducing the various observation modes in use today, and answering critical questions about research methods—such as how to conduct online surveys and analyze both qualitative and quantitative data.

 

  • Title: Suicide: Mind, Self, and Society: From the Standpoint of a Social Behaviorist
  • Author: George Herbert Mead
  • Year: 1934
  • Permanent URL for this record: http://suncat.csun.edu/record=b1245020
  • Contents: Social psychology for Mead is the discipline that "studies the activity or behavior of the individual as it lies within the social process. The behavior of an individual can be understood only in terms of the behavior of the whole social group of which he is a member, since his individual acts are involved in larger, social acts which go beyond himself and which implicate the other members of that group." While earlier social psychology had dealt with social experience from the individual psychological standpoint, Mead suggested that individual experience be dealt with "from the standpoint of society, at least from the standpoint of communication as essential to the social order." His social psychology presupposed "an approach to experience from the standpoint of the individual," and was therefore at variance with Watsonian behaviorism, but it undertook "to determine in particular that which belongs to this ex- perience because the individual himself belongs to a social structure, a social order." 

 

  • Title: Suicide: A study in sociology
  • Author: Emile Durkheim
  • Year: 1897
  • Permanent URL for this record: http://suncat.csun.edu/record=b1127812
  • Contents: Durkheim explores the differing suicide rates among Protestants and Catholics, explaining that stronger social control among Catholics results in lower suicide rates. According to Durkheim, people have a certain level of attachment to their groups, which he calls social integration. Abnormally high or low levels of social integration may result in increased suicide rates; low levels have this effect because low social integration results in disorganized society, alienation and loneliness in the individual, causing people to turn to suicide as a last resort, while high levels cause people to kill themselves to avoid becoming burdens on society, or because the social pressure becomes too great and oppressive. According to Durkheim, Catholic society has normal levels of integration while Protestant society has low levels. This work has influenced proponents of control theory, and is often mentioned as a classic sociological study. 

 

 

  • Title: The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism and Other Writings
  • Author: Max Weber
  • Year: 1930
  • Permanent URL for this record: http://suncat.csun.edu/record=b1854481
  • Contents: In the Protestant Ethic and the "Spirit" Of Capitalism, Max Weber opposes the Marxist concept of dialectical materialism and relates the rise of capitalist economy to the Calvinist belief in the moral value of hard work and the fulfillment of one's worldly duties. Based on the original German 1905 edition, this volume included, along with Weber's treatise, an illuminating introduction, a wealth of explanatory notes, and exemplary responses and remarks- both from Weber and his critic- that were sparked by its publication. 

 

  • Title: Savage Inequalities: Children in America's Schools
  • Author: Jonathan Kozol
  • Year: 1991
  • Permanent URL for this record: http://suncat.csun.edu/record=b1628835
  • Contents:  In 1967, in DEATH AT AN EARLY AGE, Kozol accused the Boston public school system of miseducating black school children. In 1991, in SAVAGE INEQUALITIES, Kozol, having visited inner-city schools in East St. Louis, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and New Jersey, finds black and Hispanic schoolchildren to be isolated from white schoolchildren and shortchanged educationally. Only by closing the gap between rich and poor school districts in the amount of tax money spent on education, Kozol contends, can we give poor minority children an equal chance. To show just how high are the barriers to learning arising from inadequate school funding, Kozol paints a bleak picture of severe overcrowding; dilapidated school buildings; a shortage of supplies and aids to learning; and teacher salaries too low to let a school either attract good teachers or do without substitute teachers. He repeatedly contrasts inner-city austerity with the bounty of suburban schools. 

 

  • Title: The Division of Labour in Society
  • Author: Emile Durkheim
  • Year: 1893
  • Permanent URL for this record: http://suncat.csun.edu/record=b1516232
  • Contents: In The Division of Labor in Society, Durkheim discusses how the division of labor is beneficial for society because it increases the reproductive capacity, the skill of the workman, and it creates a feeling of solidarity between people. The division of labor goes beyond economic interests; it also establishes social and moral order within a society. There are two kinds of social solidarity, according to Durkheim: mechanical solidarity and organic solidarity. Mechanical solidarity connects the individual to society without any intermediary. That is, society is organized collectively and all members of the group share the same beliefs. The bond that binds the individual to society is this collective conscious, this shared belief system.

 

  • Title: The Power Elite
  • Author: Charles Wright Mills
  • Year: 1957
  • Permanent URL for this record: http://suncat.csun.edu/record=b1508591
  • Contents: Mills calls attention to the interwoven interests of the leaders of the military, corporate, and political elements of society and suggests that the ordinary citizen is a relatively powerless subject of manipulation by those entities. The structural basis of The Power Elite is that, following World War II, the United States was the leading country in military and economic terms.

 

  • Title: The History of Sexuality
  • Author: Michel Foucault
  • Year: 1976
  • Permanent URL for this record: http://suncat.csun.edu/record=b1342555
  • Contents: Foucault argues that in the Western world during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, people's identities became increasingly tied to their sexuality.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Title: The Sociological Imagination
  • Author: Charles Wright Mills
  • Year: 1959
  • Permanent URL for this record: http://suncat.csun.edu/record=b1042887
  • Contents: Mills was trying to reconcile two varying, abstract conceptions of social reality—the "individual" and "society"—and thereby challenged the dominant sociological discourse to define some of its most basic terms and be forthright about the premises behind its definitions. He began the project of reconciliation and challenge with critiques of "grand theory" and "abstracted empiricism," outlining and criticizing their use in the current sociology of the day.

 

  • Title: The Marx-Engels Reader
  • Author: Friedrich Engels & Karl Marx
  • Editor: Robert C. Tucker
  • Year: 1978
  • Permanent URL for this record: http://suncat.csun.edu/record=b1761312
  • Contents: This revised and enlarged edition of the leading anthology provides the essential writings of Marx and Engels--those works necessary for an introduction to Marxist thought and ideology.