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Introduction to Sociology Scandinavian Sensibilities
  • Bandtyp: Pocket
  • Språk: Engelska
  • Utgiven: 201203
  • Antal sidor: 416
  • Vikt i gram: 998
  • ISBN10:0273727397
  • ISBN13:9780273727392

Introduction to Sociology Scandinavian Sensibilities


Sociology is a constantly changing scientific endeavour, adventure and practice that was born with the advent of modernity. One of the main reasons for the rise of sociology was modern society’s wish to understand itself. In this introduction to sociology, the authors emphasize the importance and centrality of the idea of the sociological imagination, as it was conceived by sociologist C. Wright Mills.


This book will enhance and further develop your sociological imagination with a ‘sensibility’ that has its breeding ground in the Scandinavian countries; this is the first comprehensive attempt to write an international/Nordic text book and introductory text to sociology.


This book is aimed primarily at first year students in sociology but will be of interest to anyone who is looking for a comprehensive guide to the exciting field of sociology.



The legacy of the sociological imagination

Scandinavian sensibility

Structure and content of the book


Think for yourself

Further reading

Chapter 1. What is society? Contested concepts and shifting metaphors

Willy Guneriussen, University of Tromsø


Individualism vs holism: methodological and ontological controversies

Sociology – an explanatory or interpretive science?

Structure or action?

Society – a material or symbolic reality?

The symbolic turn

Combining distinctions

The theoretical landscape of sociology

Several theories – one reality?

Beyond traditions – towards a minimalist model of society

Biology and society

Combining traditions

The first synthesis: Talcott Parsons’ sociology

Modifying Parsons’ theory of society

Metaphors, science and sociological imagination


Changing conceptions or changing realities?

Concluding reflections


Think for yourself

Further reading

Chapter 2. The sociology of work

Inger Marie Hagen, Fafo


The labour contract – labour as commodity in the market

From work to labour

Modern labour – work as commodity

The two parties to the contract: labour and managerial prerogative

The labour contract and the social context – different models

The collective agreement

Labour and self-expression

Working conditions

Other answers to `why work?’

Motivation and management

The work organisation

From command to self-management?

An example – the modern work organisation – the three different company systems

Employer and employee – equal partners

Management as superior to employees

Employee and management as parties in an ongoing dialogue

Working life and distribution – industrial democracy

Norms of distribution and norms of democracy

Three notions of industrial democracy

Industrial democracy and participation – individual and representative participation

The Nordic labour market

The Nordic model of labour relations

When contemporary labour is a part of the past . . .


Think for yourself

Further reading

Chapter 3. The sociology of power

Fredrik Engelstad, University of Oslo


The interpretation of `power’

Power as concept

Dimensions in social action

Expectations and legitimacy

From micro to macro

State, democracy, politics

State, rights and informal power relations

Shaping and articulation of interests

Political participation on a broad scale

Fragmentation and globalisation: abdication of politics?

Civil society

Networks and organising capacity

Gender power and attitudes toward gender

Encounters with welfare state institutions

Economy and working life

Business life, markets and power

Management and leadership in enterprises

Participation and industrial democracy

Ideas and communication

Power in the public sphere

Aesthetics, culture and national values

Social elites: who governs?

Power and democratisation


Think for yourself

Further reading

Chapter 4. The sociology of the family

Mai Heide Ottosen, The Danish National Centre for Social Research


What is a family?

Sociological perspectives on the family

Kinship vs family studies

The family as a social institution

The family as a social group

Family as social practice

Demographic trends

The `bean-pole’ family

The crisis of the patriarchal family

Structuring family networks

Family policies

Inside the family: marriage, parenthood and childhood

The de-institutionalisation of marriage

From fatherhood and motherhood to parenthood



Think for yourself

Further reading

Chapter 5. The sociology of education

Nihad Bunar and Rickard Jonsson, Stockholm University


Sociological perspectives on education

The functionalist approach

Education and socialisation

Social integration

Education and gatekeeping: screening and selecting

Education as an agent of social change

The conflict approach

The correspondence principle

Reproduction through expectations and opposition

Subjective expectation of objective probability

Restricted and elaborated codes

The subjective-interpretative approach

Education and the market

The market-oriented position

The market-sceptical position

The market-ambivalent position

Education and ethnicity

Urban schools

Refugee and migrant students

Education and gender

Gender and school achievement


Think for yourself

Further reading

Chapter 6. The sociology of religion

Ola Sigurdson, University of Gothenburg


What is the sociology of religion?

Sociology, the secularisation thesis and the return of religion

Religion in the Scandinavian nation-states: an example

The continuities and discontinuities of secularised religion

The future of religion: towards a post-secular society?


Think for yourself

Further reading

Chapter 7. The sociology of media and information technologies

Simon Lindgren, UmeS University


Constructions and representations

The media `effects’ model

Media, ideology and struggles over hegemony

New media and participatory culture


Think for yourself

Further reading

Chapter 8. The sociology of health

Thomas Johansson, University of Gothenburg


Historical perspectives

Health inequalities

Gender and health

Lifestyles, risks and health

The face of health

Global health


Think for yourself

Further reading

Chapter 9. The sociology of class and social stratification

Gunnar C. Aakvaag, University of Oslo


Marx’s definition of class

The class structure of modern capitalism

Max Weber: a multidimensional approach to stratification and class

Weber’s general approach to social stratification: class, status and party

Weber’s class theory

Contemporary class analysis

A neo-Marxian approach: Erik Olin Wright and exploitation

Wright’s class schema

A neo-Weberian approach: John H. Goldthorpe and life chances

Service and labour contracts

Goldthorpe’s class schema

Pierre Bourdieu: classes and lifestyles

The social space

Bourdieu’s class schema

Habitus and class

Class, habitus and lifestyle

Class and social mobility

Social relationships

Intergenerational mobility


Think for yourself

Further reading

Chapter 10. The sociology of deviance

Philip Lalander, Malmö University


Labelling, ambivalence and counter-labelling

Different types of deviance

Diagnosis and identity

Indulgence at the margins of society

Escape from everyday life/escaping everyday life


Think for yourself

Further reading

Chapter 11. The sociology of gender

Johanna Esseveld and Sara Eldén, Lund University


Gender and sex

Beyond dichotomies

A sociological definition of gender

Theorising gender

Classical texts

Men’s and women’s roles

Gender oppression and structural inequality

New themes in the sociology of gender

Gender as a social practice


Scandinavian sociology of gender today



Think for yourself

Further reading

Chapter 12. The sociology of micro-social interaction and everyday life

Søren Kristiansen and Michael Hviid Jacobsen, Aalborg University


Everyday life as a social domain

Micro-social interaction

The basis of micro-social interaction: common sense, meaning and intersubjectivity

Phenomenological sociology

Symbolic interactionism


The syntax of interaction: rules, rituals and ceremonies

Goffman and dramaturgical sociology

Conversation analysis


Think for yourself

Further reading

Chapter 13. The sociology of globalisation

Thomas Hylland Eriksen, University of Oslo


Origins of contemporary globalisation

Globalisation today

Globalisers and sceptics

Dimensions of globalisation

Disembedding, including de-localisation







Central questions about globalisation

The dialectics of globalisation


Think for yourself

Further reading

Chapter 14. The sociology of culture

Bjorn Schiermer, University of Copenhagen


Sociology of culture and popular culture

The Frankfurt School: the critique and the potential of modern mass culture

Siegfried Kracauer: the dialectics of commodified culture

Theodor W. Adorno: the critical potential of autonomous art

Walter Benjamin: art and politics

The Birmingham School: culture as `a way of life’

Poststructuralism and semiotics: culture as `text’

The `material turn’: re-extending the shortened concept of culture

Cultural studies: leaving the high/low dichotomy behind

Ironic sensibilities: kitsch and camp and new ways of being together


Think for yourself

Further reading

Chapter 15. The sociology of ethnicity

Nihad Bunar and Marko Valenta, Stockholm University and NTNU


Defining ethnicity

Theoretical approaches to ethnicity



New ethnicities

The importance of ethnic networks

Symbolic ethnicity

Theories and policies for managing ethnic diversity

Ethnicity and other sociologically relevant concepts of categorisation

Ethnicity and class

Ethnicity and gender

Ethnicity and race

Ethnicity, racism and discrimination

Ethnicity and nation

Ethnicity and citizenship


Think for yourself

Further reading

Chapter 16. The sociology of the self

Thomas Johansson, University of Gothenburg


The sociology of the body: classical texts

Consuming the Other

Cyborgs and transvestites

Lifestyle, fashion and the body

Bodybuilding, fitness and gender

Plastic surgery and body modifications


Think for yourself

Further reading

Chapter 17. The sociology of social change

Gunnar C. Aakvaag, University of Oslo


What are the `general characteristics’ of a society?

Functional differentiation

Consequences for the individual: facing social complexity

Institutional `colonisation’

Consequences for the individual: facing commercialisation and bureaucratisation


Industrial modernity

Individualised modernity

Consequences for the individual: facing the decline of standard biographies

Risk society

Objective side-effects

Subjective perception

Consequences for the individual: facing uncertainty

Social change: all that is solid melts into air?


Think for yourself

Further reading




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