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Sociology 6th edition by Anthony Giddens



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Author: Anthony Giddens

Publisher: Polity Press

Genres:

Publish Date: June 2, 2009

ISBN-10: 745643582

Pages: 1000

File Type: PDF

Language: English

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Book Preface

I t is now 20 years since the first edition of Sociology was published. In 1989, when the book first came out, some readers of the current edition weren’t even born. That year was a time of dramatic social change, with the end of the Cold War and the opening up of former Soviet bloc countries. Events such as the Tiananmen Square massacre in China made headlines worldwide. Throughout the 1980s, more and more people in the developed world had acquired luxury goods such as microwaves and video rrcorders. Yet at that time the current pervasiveness of the Internet, email and other digital media in everyday life was unimaginable. I dictated much of the first edition onto tape, and it was then typed up on a word processor, a kind of electronic typewriter.

Over the years, consecutive editions have mapped out the myriad changes we have experienced in the social world, as well as sociologists’ attempts to understand them. This sixth edition has been carefully revised to make sure it takes account of recent global developments and new ideas in sociology. You’ll see that there is now a chapter dedicated to war and terrorism, as well as substantive new material in the chapters on the media, education, theoretical thinking, politics and government. Other revisions have been made throughout.

I have all the previous editions of Sociology on my shelves at home, as well as copies in the mUltiple languages into which the book has been translated. What all previous editions of this book have in common is their attempt to help readers see the value of thinking sociologically. I hope this sixth edition will again serve that purpose.

Students sometimes find sociological ideas and evidence difficult to understand. In part, I think that’s because sociology demands a concerted attempt to set aside personal beliefs and opinions when analysing research findings and theories. In this sense, thinking sociologically involves a profound intellectual challenge. Most people who study sociology are changed by the experience. The reason is that sociology offers a different perspective on the world from that which most people have when they start out in the subject. Sociology helps us look beyond the immediate contexts of our lives and so helps us understand the causes of our own actions better. Sociology can also help us change the world for the better. I hope you enjoy the book.


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