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Books in the Library collection
Introducing Sociology by
Call Number: 301 OSB
Publication Date: 1999
Various competing schools of sociology have attempted to fit observations of social phenomena into different conceptual systems. This book traces the origins of these systems from the enlightenment thought to subsequent developments in Karl Marx, Herbert Spencer, and Max Weber.
Not for Profit by
Call Number: 370.115 NUS
Publication Date: 2010
In this short and powerful book, celebrated philosopher Martha Nussbaum makes a passionate case for the importance of the liberal arts at all levels of education. Historically, the humanities have been central to education because they have rightly been seen as essential for creating competent democratic citizens. But recently, Nussbaum argues, thinking about the aims of education has gone disturbingly awry both in the United States and abroad. Anxiously focused on national economic growth, we increasingly treat education as though its primary goal were to teach students to be economically productive rather than to think critically and become knowledgeable and empathetic citizens. This shortsighted focus on profitable skills has eroded our ability to criticize authority, reduced our sympathy with the marginalized and different, and damaged our competence to deal with complex global problems. And the loss of these basic capacities jeopardizes the health of democracies and the hope of a decent world. In response to this dire situation, Nussbaum argues that we must resist efforts to reduce education to a tool of the gross national product. Rather, we must work to reconnect education to the humanities in order to give students the capacity to be true democratic citizens of their countries and the world. Drawing on the stories of troubling--and hopeful--educational developments from around the world, Nussbaum offers a manifesto that should be a rallying cry for anyone who cares about the deepest purposes of education.
Articles and video
See also Chapter 11 The Social Sciences (especially for an explanation of the Verstehen position) in Reuben Abel's book Man is the Measure, available in the Dover Campus library.
Books in the library collection
Ten Questions: a sociological perspective by
Call Number: 301 CHA
Publication Date: 1997
Examines the concepts of social reality, freedom, ethnocentrism, society, individuals, generalisations and stereotypes.
The Philosophy of the Social Sciences by
Call Number: 300.01 PRA
Publication Date: 1978
Although old, specific chapters may be of interest, i.e. social study and objectivity; explanation and prediction; social study and bias; meaningful behaviour.
Knowledge (Sociology in focus series) by
Call Number: 306.42 BOR
Publication Date: 1987
Looks at the sources of knowledge in society, covering perspectives of science, religion and education.
Economic Philosophy by
Call Number: 330.1 ROB
Publication Date: 2006
"Economics has always been partly a vehicle" for the ruling ideology of each period as well as partly a method of scientific investigation. It limps along with one foot in untested hypotheses and the other in untestable slogans. Here our task is to sort out as best we may this mixture of ideology and science." With these provocative words, Joan Robinson introduces this lively and iconoclastic book. "In what follows," she says, "this theme is illustrated by reference to one or two of the leading ideas of the economists from Adam Smith onwards, not in a learned manner, tracing the development of thought, nor historically, to show how ideas arose out of the problems of each age, but rather an attempt to puzzle out the mysterious way that metaphysical propositions, without any logical content, can yet be a powerful influence on thought and action." Robinson is responsible for some of the most austerely professional contributions to economic theory, but here in effect she takes the reader behind the scenes and cheerfully exposes the dogmatic content of economic orthodoxy. In its place, she offers the possibility that with obsolete metaphysics cleared out of the way economics can make a substantial advance toward science. (UWCSEA Librarian note: it may be sufficient just to read chapter 1)
Call Number: 330 LEV
Publication Date: 2005
"Steven D. Levitt and co-author Stephen J. Dubner show that economics is, at root, the study of incentives - how people get what they want, or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing. In Freakonomics, they set out to explore the hidden side of...well, everything. The inner workings of a crack gang. The truth about real-estate agents. The myths of campaign finance. The telltale marks of a cheating schoolteacher. The secrets of the Ku Klux Klan."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
In addition to the suggestions above, you can also try databases, such as JSTOR, Project Muse and ProQuest Central, on the Reference Sites page of the College Portal (website).