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Exploring the Roots of Social Theory and Inquiry

Making Sense of Social Life (First Edition)
Devereaux Kennedy
©2018, 222 pages

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Exploring the Roots of Social Theory and Inquiry

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Summary
    Cognella Active Learning is available with this title

    Cognella Active Learning
    is available with this title.
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    Exploring the Roots of Social Theory and Inquiry: Making Sense of Social Life gives students the tools they need to uncover, describe, and evaluate the theorizing that underlies social studies, and then shows them how to do their own theorizing.

    This hybrid text analyzes well-known social studies addressing contemporary issues of interest to students. It instructs through examples that demonstrate how social scientists use concepts, data, and methods as raw materials to construct images of social reality in order to address specific problems. Through these examples readers learn to evaluate the soundness of theorizing, assess the coherence of concepts, weigh the merits of methodological approaches, and consider how data is employed to address social and intellectual problems.

    Study questions and assignments in each chapter show students how to do their theorizing on topics and problems of interest to them. The first undergraduate text of its kind to focus on the actual work of theorizing, rather than simply surveying already established theories, Exploring the Roots of Social Theory and Inquiry is an engaging text for undergraduate social theory and social problems courses.

    Devereaux Kennedy earned his Ph.D. in sociology at Binghamton University. Dr. Kennedy is currently a professor in the Sociology Department at Grand Valley State University in Michigan, where he teaches courses in sociological theory, and social deviance and social control. His research interests include social control and long-range, global social change.
    Cognella Active Learning is available for this title! Adopting instructors can provide students with dynamic online learning activities that reinforce key concepts from the text, provide engaging educational experiences, support various learning styles, and make coursework fun. Please note: students must purchase the Cognella Active Learning component to access the course activities online.

    Cognella Active Learning activities for this title include:

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    Adopting instructors will receive 14 PowerPoint presentations, one for each chapter of the book, and an instructor's manual featuring detailed chapter summaries, suggested assignments, and recommendations for additional readings.
    “Devereaux Kennedy's book is the best attempt I have seen to date to leave behind the conventional, and mainly unsuccessful, way of teaching social theory - i.e. as a body of doctrine developed by pantheon of 'great thinkers' the 'basic concepts' of which students must simply learn and regurgitate. In its place Professor Kennedy puts the organising notion that theoretical ideas and concepts are tools or instruments to be put to use in undertaking, and assessing, empirical work. Most importantly of all the book shows students - through its analysis of a group of important works on American society - both what this means and how it is to be done. He shows how the authors of these texts use theoretical ideas in different ways, and how students can assess them for themselves by querying their theoretical assumptions and assertions. And as students grasp how theoretical ideas form and structure the empirical work of others they simultaneously learn how to use such ideas in their own work.

    I think Professor Kennedy's book will be particularly helpful to the host of students who are required to study social theory in vocationally-oriented courses (in social work, community work or social psychology) who often have difficulty seeing the practical 'point' or 'relevance' of theoretical ideas. I strongly recommend
    Exploring the Roots of Social Theory to such students and their teachers, but also to everyone and anyone who has found the traditional 'Great Thinkers' approach to social theory to be pedagogically stultifying.”
    Gavin Kitching, Emeritus Professor, School of Social Sciences, University of New South Wales

    “Devereaux Kennedy does a fantastic and thorough job of presenting construction of theoretical perspectives. The theorizing process is complex, but the author allows the reader to understand its sophistication in simplistic and relevant terms.”
    Dr. Kim MacInnis, Professor of Sociology, Bridgewater State University

    “Kennedy enables students to understand and evaluate the connection between the world of academic social science and the work of public intellectuals. Equally important, he give students the tools they need to engage in their own theoretical enterprises.”
    Dr. Robert Cadigan, Associate Professor Emeritus of Applied Social Sciences, Boston University

    “Application of theory is an underdeveloped area in the curriculum of teaching social theory. This text provides a solid source that introduces students to this all-important skill.”
    Dr. Erin Robinson, Professor of Sociology, Canisius College

    “Kennedy's is an accessible and rich text for social theory, drawing on some of the best contemporary research to illustrate theory construction.”
    Dr. Michael Plekon, Professor of Sociology, Baruch College, CUNY