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Thinking Sociologically, 2nd Edition

Zygmunt Bauman, Tim May

ISBN: 978-1-119-05171-8 October 2014 Wiley-Blackwell 208 Pages


In this lucid, stimulating and original book, Zygmunt Bauman and Tim May explore the underlying assumptions and tacit expectations which structure our view of the world. The authors elucidate key concepts in sociology: for example, individualism versus community, and privilege versus deprivation. While charting a course through sociology's main concerns, Bauman and May also examine the applicability of sociology to everyday life.

Preface to the Second Edition.

Introduction: The Discipline of Sociology.

Part I: Action, Identity and Understanding in Everyday Life.

1. Oneself with Others.

2. Viewing and Sustaining Our Lives.

3. The Bonds that Unite: Speaking of 'We'.

Part II: Living our Lives: Challenges, Choices and Constraints.

4. Decisions and Actions: Power, Choice and Moral Duty.

5. Making it Happen: Gifts, Exchange and Intimacy in Relationships.

6. Care of Our Selves: The Body, Health and Sexuality.

7. Time, Space and (Dis)Order.

8. Drawing Boundaries: Culture, Nature, State and Territory.

9. The Business in Everyday Life: Consumption, Technology and Lifestyles.

Part III: Looking Back and Looking Forward.

10. Thinking Sociologically.

Questions for Reflection and Further Reading.


"Sociological thinking is an adventure in self-understanding and moral reflection as well as systemic analysis. Thinking Sociologically is one of the best available introductions to this adventure." Craig Calhoun, New York University

"In the first edition of Thinking Sociologically, Bauman created a very personal yet inspiring view of Sociology as a liberating discipline. In the second edition, Bauman and collaborator Tim May have added new topics - Time and Space, Intimacy, and Risk - that have kept the visionary gleam of the original. In showing how Sociology can illuminate the rhythms of everyday life, this new edition will enthuse a new generation of students." -- Nick Abercrombie, Lancaster University

"In this revised edition, Tim May has done a brilliant job of reworking Bauman's text while keeping the directness and verve of the original version." -- William Outhwaite, University of Sussex

"Bauman and May have produced a new edition of a book whcih will serve us well for a second decade" Community Care

"Highly recommended for undergraduate and general readers". Choice

Of the Previous Edition:

"Bauman skilfully weaves in the contributions of major theorists and introduces important concepts of sociology as they become relevant." Choice

<!--end-->"Bauman finds sociology exciting and subversive: so will his readers." Laurie Taylor, University of York

"Bauman's commitment to sociology as a sophisticated, yet manageable, mode of thought stays with my students and lends depth to their reading of other texts in the course. I am impressed with the book. But my students' spontaneous enthusiasm for Thinking Sociologically is the highest praise of all." Ira Cohen, Professor of Sociology, Rutgers University

"A wise, introduction to sociology." Contemporary Sociology

Sample Chapters from book
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Introduction: The Discipline of Sociology
Chapter 6: Care of Ourselves: The Body, Health and Sexuality
Questions for Reflection and Further Reading
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Data Resources
Data Resources on the World Wide Web This file is a PDF. If your computer is not capable of opening PDF files, you can download Acrobat Reader here.

About the Authors

Zygmunt Bauman

Zygmunt Bauman is a world-renowned sociologist, known for his recent groundbreaking work in social theory. His book Modernity and the Holocaust won the distinguished Amalfi prize for the best sociology book of 1989. He is also the author of Postmodern Ethics (Blackwell, 1993), Life in Fragments: Essays in Postmodern Morality (Blackwell, 1995), Liquid Modernity (Polity, 2000) and Individualized Society(Polity, 2000).

Tim May

Tim May is Professor of Sociology at the University of Salford. He is the author of Social Research: Issues, Methods, and Process (third edition, 2001); Situating Social Theory (1996) and editor of Qualitative Research in Action (2002); co-author, with Malcolm Williams, of Introduction to the Philosophy of Social Research (1996), with whom he also co-edited Knowing the Social World (1998).

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  • Fully revised and expanded edition.
  • Includes two new essays on time and space and health and fitness.
  • Contains new coverage of contemporary issues such as intimacy, risk, globalization, organizations, and new technologies.

  • Includes improved pedagogical features such as chapter introductions, end of chapter summaries and detailed recommended reading lists.