Required Reading: Sociology's Most Influential Books by Dan Clawson

By Dan Clawson

Whilst the editors of latest Sociology chosen the 10 such a lot influential books of the previous twenty-five years and released new essays on their value, the characteristic sparked enthusiasm, debate, and controversy. This quantity responds to and extends that dialogue by means of increasing the record to seventeen books, incorporating a section at the bestsellers of sociology, and including 4 essays at the "most influential" controversy itself. even supposing the checklist facilities on sociology, in simple terms half the books have been written through sociologists.

The cost to the reviewers used to be to not make a case for a e-book, yet fairly to research the nature and volume of its effect. simply because those works are already well-known as milestones of their fields, and as the reviewers are well-known figures who themselves usually performed significant roles within the dramas surrounding those titles, the studies are as noteworthy for his or her serious aspect as for his or her party of the books' contributions. the result's a thought-provoking quantity that engages some of the key highbrow problems with our time.

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Required Reading: Sociology's Most Influential Books

While the editors of up to date Sociology chosen the 10 such a lot influential books of the prior twenty-five years and released new essays on their value, the function sparked enthusiasm, debate, and controversy. This quantity responds to and extends that dialogue by means of increasing the checklist to seventeen books, incorporating a bit at the bestsellers of sociology, and including 4 essays at the "most influential" controversy itself.

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Instead, I ranked by numerical intervals and in order of reported sales the top sellers for which I obtained data. I except only two books from my practice of not publishing sales figures. One is the sole title known to have sold over one million copies: David Riesman, Nathan Glazer, and Reuel Denney's The Lonely Crowd. That book had already sold one million copies by 1971; by the end of 1995 Nathan Glazer reported (personal communication) that it had sold 1,434,000 copies. The runner-up to The Lonely Crowd was Elliot Liebow's Tally's Corner, which had sold 701,000 copies through 1995.

And, as Jonathan Simon points out in his essay in this volume, something of the same sort might be said for Foucault. On the one hand, Foucault is arguably the single figure of the past several decades who has most influenced the way theorists talk about theory; and a great number of social scientists (along with an even greater number of scholars in the humanities) identify themselves either as Foucauldians or, in muted tribute, as post-Foucauldians. On the other hand, Foucault's theoretical stance is rarely explicit, developed primarily in a series of exemplary empirical studies, each limited to a particular discourse.

7. Sociology editors whom I knew personally or to whom I could write by name were more helpful than other people to whom I wrote, such as sociology editors or social science editors. 8. In addition, some big publishers that bought smaller ones did not get or keep data on the individual book sales of the smaller companies they bought. Moreover, publishers are required by the tax law to retain sales records for only seven years, and some seem to have gotten rid of them after the required period. 9.

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Required Reading: Sociology's Most Influential Books by Dan Clawson
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