Reading List

This page contains a list of the things we’ll read this semester: books, articles, websites, etc.  Please consult the Schedule page for the exact dates by which you should have finished each of the assigned readings.


  1. Wesley Longhofer & Daniel Winchester (eds): Social Theory Re-Wired: New Connections to Classical and Contemporary Perspectives  2nd edition. (Routledge, 2015; ISBN 978-1138015807
  2. Emile Durkheim: Suicide: A Study in Sociology (Free Press, various dates; ISBN 978-0-6848-3632-4)
    • There are several editions and translations of this book.  Simpson’s (this one) is solid; buy it used, as there are lots of cheap used copies available.
  3. Max Weber: The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism and Other Writings (Penguin, n.d.: ISBN 978-0-1404-3921-2
    • There are many editions and translations of this book.  This one’s advantage is that it is the cheapest that is not so badly printed and bound that it can’t be read.  It also has some useful additional articles, in which Weber clarifies his views.  The Parsons translation is the most famous; Kalberg’s is the most accurate.  The various Kindle versions are apparently very hard to read.
    • The whole book (Parsons translation) can be found online at and at
  4. W.E.B. Du Bois: The Souls of Black Folk (Dover, 1994; ISBN 978-0-4862-8041-7)


In scholarly journals:
  • Robert Putnam: “Bowling Alone” Journal of Democracy 6/1 (1995) 65-78
  • Anthony Giddens: ““Classical Social Theory and the Origins of Modern Sociology” American Journal of Sociology 81/4: 703-729, 1976
  • George Boyer: “The Historical Background of the Communist Manifesto”  Journal of Economic Perspectives 12/4: 151-174, 1998. [recommended]
  • David Wagner: “Donald Duck: An InterviewRadical America 7 (Jan-Feb): 1-19, 1973
    [posted because it is extremely hard to find: also on Library Reserve]
  • Charles Lemert: Thinking the Unthinkable/Global Realities: Eleven Theses on Marx’s Eleventh ThesisSociological Inquiry 80/2: 283–295, 2010  [recommended]
  • Whitney Pope: “Explanatory Structure in Suicide” British Journal of Sociology 26/4: 417-434, 1975
  • Spickard: “Ethnocentrism, Social Theory, and Non-Western Sociologies of Religion” International Sociology, 13/2: 173-194, 1998 [recommended]
  • Fischoff, “The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism: The History of a Controversy”  Social Research 11/1: 53-77, 1944
    [hard to find: also on Library Reserve]
  • W.E.B. Du Bois: “Bound by the Color Line” New Masses Feb 12, 1946: 8
  • Julian Go: “The Case for Scholarly Reparations”  Berkeley Journal of Sociology Jan 16, 2015
  • W.E.B. Du Bois: “The Shape of Fear” North American Review Summer 1926: 291-304  [recommended]
  • Nathaniel Rich: “James Baldwin and the Fear of a Nation”  New York Review of Books 5/12/16, pp 36-43 [recommended]
Available on the Internet:
On Library Reserve:
  • George Ritzer: “McDonaldization”
  • Beth Rubin: “Shifts in the Social Contract”
  • Raymond Aron: “The Sociologists and the Revolution of 1848”
  • Manuel Vásquez: “Grappling with the Legacy of Modernity” [recommended]
  • David Wagner: “Donald Duck: An Interview”
  • Durkheim: “The Division of Labor in Society: Introduction” [recommended]
  • Durkheim: “Sanctions” and “Mechanical & Organic Solidarity” [recommended]
  • Durkhiem: “The Division of Labor: Causes and Abnormal Forms” [recommended]
  • Douglas: “Preface” to Implicit Meanings
  • Durkheim: “Sociology of Knowledge” [recommended]
  • Durkheim: “Secularisation and Rationality” [recommended]
  • Fischoff, “The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism: The History of a Controversy”  
  • Sennett: Culture of the New Capitalism: “Bureaucracy” (pp 15-82) [recommended]
  • Sennett: The Corrosion of Character: “The Work Ethic” (pp 98-117″ [recommended]