13 Best Sociology of Social Theory

List Updated July 2020

Bestselling Sociology of Social Theory in 2020


Social Theory: Roots and Branches

Social Theory: Roots and Branches
BESTSELLER NO. 1 in 2020

The Women Founders: Sociology and Social Theory 1830-1930

The Women Founders: Sociology and Social Theory 1830-1930
BESTSELLER NO. 2 in 2020
  • Used Book in Good Condition

Social Theory: The Multicultural, Global, and Classic Readings

Social Theory: The Multicultural, Global, and Classic Readings
BESTSELLER NO. 3 in 2020

Social Theory: Continuity and Confrontation: A Reader, Third Edition

Social Theory: Continuity and Confrontation: A Reader, Third Edition
BESTSELLER NO. 4 in 2020

Social Theory: The Multicultural, Global, and Classic Readings

Social Theory: The Multicultural, Global, and Classic Readings
BESTSELLER NO. 5 in 2020

The Oxford Handbook of Sociology, Social Theory, and Organization Studies: Contemporary Currents (Oxford Handbooks)

The Oxford Handbook of Sociology, Social Theory, and Organization Studies: Contemporary Currents (Oxford Handbooks)
BESTSELLER NO. 6 in 2020

Social Theory: Ideas in Profile

Social Theory: Ideas in Profile
BESTSELLER NO. 7 in 2020

Social Theory: Roots and Branches

Social Theory: Roots and Branches
BESTSELLER NO. 8 in 2020

Social Theory Re-Wired: New Connections to Classical and Contemporary Perspectives (Sociology Re-Wired)

Social Theory Re-Wired: New Connections to Classical and Contemporary Perspectives (Sociology Re-Wired)
BESTSELLER NO. 9 in 2020
  • Used Book in Good Condition

The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge

The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge
BESTSELLER NO. 10 in 2020

Social Theory: A Historical Introduction. Second edition.

Social Theory: A Historical Introduction. Second edition.
BESTSELLER NO. 11 in 2020

The 48 Laws of Power

The 48 Laws of Power
BESTSELLER NO. 12 in 2020
  • Penguin Putnam

Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness

Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness
BESTSELLER NO. 13 in 2020
  • Great product!

Crime Through the Eyes of Functionalism and Conflict Theory

A comparison of the functionalist and conflict theorist's view of life.

Conflict theorists, on the other hand, such as Karl Marx and David Hume, view society as constantly changing in response to social inequality and social conflict. (Tischler, pg. 21)

Yet another theory, the Symbolic Interactionist theory, promoted by George Herbert Mead and Charles H. Cooley, is concerned with the meanings that people place on their own and others' behavior. (Tischler, pg 23)

Unlike functionalists, interactionists focus on subjective aspects of social life, instead of the objective structural aspects of social systems. For interactionists, focus is shifted away from stable norms and values, and toward continually readjusting social processes.

Functionalism highlights order and cohesion of society as the backbone of social order. Conflict theorists emphasize inequality and power in society as the ruling power of the masses. Finally, Symbolic Interactionists emphasize the meanings that humans give to their behavior, and their interpretations of them.

The social situation that I would like to address in this essay is the problem of crime in our society. We all know that crime is on the rise, most likely due to inequalities in race, education, social class, skills, financial status, and religious beliefs and values. Of course, both functionalists and conflict theorists have differing views on the reasons for, and reactions to, crime in our society today.

Crime - The Functionalist View

Functionalists believe that crime and deviance are inevitable and necessary for a society. Crime shows other member of the society what is right and wrong. Social consensus decides how right and wrong is determined. Crime can lead to social change, say functionalists, because the existence of crime proves to the people in the society that the government does not overly control the citizens. Crime can also help the economy of a society by creating jobs for law enforcement officers, psychiatrists, probation officers and the like. However, even in a functionalist society, too much crime can be bad for the group, causing it to lose the standard harmony and eventually causing the society to collapse. (www.criminology.fsu.edu)

Crime - The Conflict Theory View

Conflict theorists feel that crime, and the laws governing them, are products of a struggle for power and control. According to a conflict theorist, a select few powerful individuals and groups make the laws, and those laws are enforced to outlaw any behavior that threatens their interests. The poor and powerless are much more likely to be arrested and convicted for serious crimes such as rape and murder, than the more powerful and wealthy are. The crime rate among the poor is so high because of a lack of opportunities meant to improve their economical status and living conditions. The poor also lack education, skills, and the strong support systems that are necessary for individuals to become productive, valued members of society. (www.unc.edu)

Functionalists such as Charles Darwin and Emile Durkheim view society as a system of highly interrelated structures or parts that operate harmoniously. (Tischler, pg. 21)

Conflict theorists, on the other hand, such as Karl Marx and David Hume, view society as constantly changing in response to social inequality and social conflict. (Tischler, pg. 21)

Yet another theory, the Symbolic Interactionist theory, promoted by George Herbert Mead and Charles H. Cooley, is concerned with the meanings that people place on their own and others' behavior. (Tischler, pg 23)

Unlike functionalists, interactionists focus on subjective aspects of social life, instead of the objective structural aspects of social systems. For interactionists, focus is shifted away from stable norms and values, and toward continually readjusting social processes.

Functionalism highlights order and cohesion of society as the backbone of social order. Conflict theorists emphasize inequality and power in society as the ruling power of the masses. Finally, Symbolic Interactionists emphasize the meanings that humans give to their behavior, and their interpretations of them.

The social situation that I would like to address in this essay is the problem of crime in our society. We all know that crime is on the rise, most likely due to inequalities in race, education, social class, skills, financial status, and religious beliefs and values. Of course, both functionalists and conflict theorists have differing views on the reasons for, and reactions to, crime in our society today.

Crime - The Functionalist View

Functionalists believe that crime and deviance are inevitable and necessary for a society. Crime shows other member of the society what is right and wrong. Social consensus decides how right and wrong is determined. Crime can lead to social change, say functionalists, because the existence of crime proves to the people in the society that the government does not overly control the citizens. Crime can also help the economy of a society by creating jobs for law enforcement officers, psychiatrists, probation officers and the like. However, even in a functionalist society, too much crime can be bad for the group, causing it to lose the standard harmony and eventually causing the society to collapse. (www.criminology.fsu.edu)

Crime - The Conflict Theory View

Conflict theorists feel that crime, and the laws governing them, are products of a struggle for power and control. According to a conflict theorist, a select few powerful individuals and groups make the laws, and those laws are enforced to outlaw any behavior that threatens their interests. The poor and powerless are much more likely to be arrested and convicted for serious crimes such as rape and murder, than the more powerful and wealthy are. The crime rate among the poor is so high because of a lack of opportunities meant to improve their economical status and living conditions. The poor also lack education, skills, and the strong support systems that are necessary for individuals to become productive, valued members of society. (www.unc.edu)