In this sociology text the contributors provide an introduction to the subject without over-simplifying or `writing-down' to their audience. The book aims to furnish undergraduates with the knowledge that will help them to understand and practice sociology and also to develop a self-perpetuating sociological imagination to enable them to think through new issues and new problems.
It consists of a series of specially commissioned chapters around binary or dichotomous themes. Although many sociologists are critical of dichotomous models of sociological theory and research, the device crops up again and again in the history and practice of the subject. Jenks and his colleagues use the dichotomies to situate students in current sociological arguments and topical debates. For example, by examining contradictory pairs of concepts like structure/agency, local/global, continuity/change, students are introduced to alternative explanations for aspects of human conduct over a whole series of issues.
`Chris Jenks and his colleagues from the Department of Sociology at Goldsmiths College, London, have compiled an impressive contribution to a growing body of literature associated with the relatively recent resurgence of interest in sociology and sociological theory.... All in all this is a successful text that will almost certainly be extensively used by undergraduates and their teachers. Jenks and his colleagues have produced what amounts to a high-quality introduction to significant empirical concerns in sociology, and to the core theoretical concepts and themes that relate closely to the revitalization and development of the discipline.' - British Journal of Sociology