The great sociologists, a new manual for students

Les grands sociologues, un nouveau manuel à destination des étudiantsThe book, published under the direction of Alain Bruno, published by Editions Ellipses, will not surprise the reader, the student or teacher familiar with the works of synthesis on the discipline. Entitled The great sociologists, it offers to present in a synthetic way the authors founders of the discipline. The economy of the book is a manual for the students, and as such it is meeting its objectives.

The book is organized without surprise of how thematic and partly chronological. Als first part presents the two founders of the discipline : Marx and Tocqueville. The second revolves around the sociologists focusing on the collective (Durkheim, Halbwachs, Lefebvre, Friedmann, Touraine), the third around of the sociologists who support the individual (Weber, Boudon), the last round of “sociologists focused on the person” (Tarde, Simmel, Elias, Lapassage and Bourdieu). If there was however a surprise, it is the presence among these “great sociologists” by Georges Lapassade, unfamiliar, introductions to sociology, aimed at an audience new to sociology.

We may regret the partition of the contents according to a logic of “Holism – Individualism” which if it remains conventional, does not lack its character and simplified schematic, to be reproduced, amplifée and systematized by the students. However, this organization remains essentially a way to organize the table of contents and the authors remind us in the foreword, that”it should be noted that these three approaches are simplified representations of the theories actually developed by the authors presented in this collection “, it would also be necessary that the students read…

What is the merit of the book is his character ample : big, 576 pages, each of the records of the author can deploy over 30 pages of large format. Each author is first presented with a biography, to which is added an analysis of his work and concepts that he has developed, as well as a bibliography and a glossary of terms restricted. A chronological table, a final and an index complement the pedagogical device.

Still have to agree on the definition of what are “the major sociologists” : the authors agree in the foreword on a minimal definition, are defined as “major sociologists” authors ” who were marked by their views, the constitution of sociology. Their theoretical analyses have contributed to the construction of sociology as it exists today. […] The authors presented in this book, without doubt, more than others, but with others, have made sociology a real science of man “. We can regret that to be left out of Howard Becker, Erving Goffman…

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