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Classical Sociological Theory

A Reader

Ian McIntosh


An introduction and a sourcebook for all students and teachers of social theory

This reader brings together a generous selection of readings from the original texts of the three major classical sociological theorists: Karl Marx, Max Weber and Emile Durkheim. The readings, are long enough for students to gain a full understanding of the texts. Each reading is introduced by an editorial commentary which explains the importance of the piece within the context of the theorist's other work.


Section 1 Karl Marx: alienated labour
the theses on Feuerbach
"The German Ideology" and historical materialism
"The Communist Manifesto"
wage labour and capital
the preface to "A Critique of Political Economy"
the fetishism of commodities
the so-called primitive accumulation
selected correspondence. Section 2 Max Weber: "The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism"
class, status and party
science as a vocation
definitions of sociology and social action
legitimacy and authority. Section 3 Emile Durkheim: "The Division of Labour in Society"
sanctions and mechanical and organic solidarity
the division of labour - causes of abnormal forms
"The Rules of Sociological Method"
"Suicide: a Study in Sociology"
religion and society.

About the Author

Ian McIntosh is Lecturer in Sociology in the Department of Applied Social Science at the University of Stirling. He is an experienced teacher of Sociology and has published extensively in academic journals and textbooks.