How are our passions regulated by social norms? How is suicide influenced by social relations? How has religion shaped the development of modern society? Why do some people live to work and others work to live? This Topic reviews these pressing social questions by introducing students to classical social theories and theorists. Core issues explored include: how suicide reflects break downs in social integration and regulation (Durkheim); how power operates through an 'iron cage' of rationality and bureacracy (Weber); how the dynamics of capitalist modes of production continually re-shape interpersonal and class relations through processes of alienation and commodification (Marx); and how everday social interactions, such as flirting, is part of the 'play' of social life governed by unspoken interaction rules (Simmel). This topic provides students with a grounding in sociology's intellectual roots and a conceptual toolkit for critically understanding the enduring problems of modern social life.
This topic aims to:
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