A Critical Dictionary of Sociology by Raymond Boudon, Francois Bourricaud

By Raymond Boudon, Francois Bourricaud

Unlike so much different sociology or social technology dictionaries, during this translation of the Critical Dictionary of Sociology, taken from the second one French variation of the Dictionary and edited by way of the English sociologist Peter Hamilton, the severe worth of this certain paintings is finally made to be had for a much wider audience.

Each access grapples at once with a subject, even if theoretical, epistemological, philosophical, political or empirical, and offers a powerful assertion of what the authors give it some thought. The discussions are thought of yet argumentative.  through reaffirming non-marxist variety of critique continues to be attainable, Boudon and Bourricaud have awarded a particular method of the main concerns which confront the societies of the 20th and Twenty-First centuries.

For a few this paintings may be a textbook, for others an vital sourcebook of sociological suggestions, and for many a fashion of beginning our eyes to new dimensions in our knowing of the nice rules and theories of sociology.

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Solidarity and collective action could thus be more easily expressed. The ‘federal’ structure also explains why the unionization of printers developed through a process of selforganization, while industrial unions were often organized by entrepreneurs (to use the term employed by Schumpeter) who did not come from the working class. A fifth illustrative case is provided by what can be termed the ‘external’ organization of latent groups. The recent history of consumer groups is typical in this respect.

The range of semi-organized groups naturally includes numerous forms which are distinguished from each other by the nature of the relationship between latent groups and their ‘representative’ organizations. Thus, the French Communist Party (PCF) does not represent the French working class in the same sense as the French Parlément represents the citizens of the French State, because many of those who vote for the PCF are not workers and many workers do not recognize the PCF as their ‘natural’ party.

It generally supposes that the observer will both inform himself and distance himself from the actor: to understand the action of the other, the observer must be conscious of the differences which distinguish his situation from that of the actor observed. The celebrated Weberian concept of understanding has two important consequences. The first is that an observer, on condition that he has the necessary information, can always in principle explain the behaviour of an actor. However great the cultural distance between an observer and an actor, the first is able in principle to ‘understand’ the second.

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