The Promise of Sociology: Classical Approaches to Contemporary Society, Second Edition

The Promise of Sociology: Classical Approaches to Contemporary Society, Second Edition

Weight 0.00 lbs
By Rob Beamish
University of Toronto Press, Higher Education Division © 2016
416 Pages
ISBN 9781442634046
Published Aug 2016
ISBN 9781442634053
Published Aug 2016
ebook (EPUB format)
ISBN 9781442634060
Published Aug 2016
Full purchase $39.95
ebook (PDF format)
ISBN 9781442634077
Published Sep 2016
Full purchase $39.95

Unlike most introductory texts that take a topical approach to studying sociology, this smart, challenging, and accessibly written text looks at the core principles of the discipline, making links to a contemporary context.

The second edition of this award-winning book has been substantially revised, making more direct connections between Generation Z, Mills’s concept of the sociological imagination, and the challenges students face in higher education today. The section on popular culture contains a new chapter on the history of popular music from early rock ’n’ roll to contemporary pop and R&B. New chapter objectives, end-of-chapter review and reflection questions, key terms, and glossary, as well as an instructor’s manual, make this text much more useful in the classroom.

Rob Beamish is head of the Department of Sociology at Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada, where he has taught for 30 years. He is the author of Marx, Method, and the Division of Labor (1992); Fastest, Highest, Strongest: A Critique of High Performance Sport (2006, with Ian Ritchie), and Steroids: A New Look at Performance-Enhancing Drugs (2011).



Part One: Why Think Sociologically?

1. Visions and Profiles of Students Today
2. Generation Z and the Promise of Sociology
3. The Light of Reason: Higher Education’s Challenges

Part Two: The Classical Tradition

4. Marx and the Dialectic of Dynamic, Unstable Social Formations
5. Marx, the Communist Manifesto, and Modernity
6. From Descartes to Durkheim: Toward a Science of Society
7. Durkheim and the Systematic Study of Social Facts
8. Weber and the Interpretive Understanding of Social Action
9. The Spirit of Capitalism, Modernity, and the Postmodern World

Part Three: Sociology and Contemporary Popular Culture

10. Culture and Critique
11. The Dialectics of Popular Culture
12. Rock ’n’ Roll as Complex Culture
13. The Promise of Sociology

Glossary of Key Terms and Names

This is sociology as it should be introduced—gripping and elucidating.

Neil Guppy, University of British Columbia

Rob Beamish has done it again! The first edition of this textbook changed the way I taught introductory sociology. In the second edition, Beamish’s respect for higher education and students shines through, making it an innovative and inspiring contribution.

Francine Tremblay, Concordia University

Challenging, unconventional, and able to convey the classical sociological imagination without sacrificing any of its nuances, The Promise of Sociology has been my favorite book to use in the introductory classroom. My students have been fascinated by it, and appreciate most of all the maturity with which the book engages their imaginations. The new edition surely won’t disappoint.

Mickey Vallee, Athabasca University

Beamish thoughtfully champions the authentic vision of sociology: freedom to explore, discover, and learn; freedom to disagree, dispute, and reject; freedom to be enabled by the rubrics and toolkit of sociology; freedom to be critical; freedom to be passionate about sociological inquiry; freedom to make the world a more equitable, safer, and better place for humanity. Such is the quest unveiled afresh in the new edition of The Promise of Sociology.

Henry Allen, Wheaton College

Engaging, accessible, and written in a lively and often humorous style. Highly recommended.


An introduction to the discipline and an exercise in critical thinking and learning.

Teaching Sociology