In this collaborative presentation, Dr. Simone Pulver provides a summary of contemporary sociological theory, organizing theorists, and schools of thought in terms of their historical genesis and the level of analysis on which they focus. Several sociologists then present the key ideas of specific contemporary theorists. Dr. Dana Fisher discusses Giddens’ idea of structuration, which integrates structure and agency, and Habermas’ notions of deliberative democracy. Dr. Lori Peek summarizes symbolic interactionism, highlighting the focus on symbols and their interpretation based on individual and social experience. Dr. Andrew Jorgenson presents world systems theory from the Chase-Dunn perspective, and focuses on the trends in interstate relationships and structures. Finally, Dr. Kristal Jones discusses Polanyi and Bourdieu’s theories about the institution and maintenance of economic structures embedded in social systems.
Ritzer, G. (2007). A historical sketch of sociological theory: The later years. In G. Ritzer, Modern Sociological Theory (pp. 51–95).
- Dr. Simone Pulver, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, University of California Santa Barbara
- Dr. Dana Fisher, Professor of Sociology, University of Maryland
- Dr. Lori Peek, Associate Professor of Sociology, Colorado State University
- Dr. Andrew Jorgenson, Professor of Sociology and Environmental Studies, Boston College
- Dr. Kristal Jones, Assistant Research Scientist, National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, University of Maryland