Sociology, Department of


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Hill, Michael R. 1988. Review of Sociology: A Brief but Critical Introduction, 2nd edition, by Anthony Giddens. Teaching Sociology 16 (July): 302-304.


Copyright 1988 Michael R. Hill


As Giddens announces correctly in the preface, "This book differs from most other introductory texts in sociology in several ways" (p. vii). It concentrates on theory, "the core of theoretical concerns which sociology shares with all the social sciences" (p. vii). Giddens asserts, "I do not adopt the usual view that these issues are unimportant to those seeking to achieve an initial acquaintance with sociology. Neither do I accept the equally common idea that such matters are too complex to be grasped before the reader has a mastery of the more empirical content of the subject" (pp. vii-viii). On the basis of my own experience in teaching this book in freshman-level introductory sociology courses, I am pleased to report that Giddens's assumptions are fully justified.