Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim, and Max Weber are indispensable for understanding the sociological enterprise.
They are among the chief founders of the discipline and among the foremost theorists of modernity, and their work can stimulate readers to reflect on their own identities and worldviews.
Classical Social Theory and Modern Society introduces students to these three thinkers and shows their continued relevance today. The first chapter sets the stage by situating the work of Marx, Durkheim, and Weber in the context of three modernizing revolutions: the Enlightenment, the French Revolution of 1789, and the Industrial Revolution.
Three overview chapters follow that summarize the key ideas of each thinker, focusing on their contributions to the development of sociology and their conceptions of modern society.
The last portion of the book explores the thinking of Marx, Durkheim, and Weber on four themes-the pathologies of modern society, the predicament of the modern individual, the state and democracy, and socialism versus capitalism.
These thematic chapters place Marx, Durkheim, and Weber in dialogue with one another, offering students the opportunity to wrestle with conflicting ideas on issues that are still significant today. Classical sociology is essential to the teaching of sociology and also an invaluable tool in the education of citizens.