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Books of the (20th) Century

In a 1997 survey, one thousand books were voted by members of the International Sociological Association to be the most influential to their work. Below is a list of the top fifty. Click on the title of the book to find it in Ablah Library. Click on the (highlighted) names of the authors to read more about them. The biographical information comes from either SocioSite or the Encyclopedia Britannica.

Click here to see the complete results of the ISA survey.


_1. Max Weber Economy and Society: An Outline of Interpretive Sociology
_2. Charles Wright Mills The Sociological Imagination
_3. Robert K. Merton Social Theory and Social Structure
_4. Max Weber The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism
_5. P.L. Berger & T. Luckmann The Social Construction of Reality
_6. Pierre Bourdieu Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste
_7. Norbert Elias The Civilizing Process: Sociogenetic and Psychogenetic Investigations
_8. Jürgen Habermas The Theory of Communicative Action
_9. Talcott Parsons The Structure of Social Action
10. Erving Goffman The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life
11. George Herbert Mead Mind, Self and Society from the Standpoint of a Social Behaviorist
12. Talcott Parsons The Social System
13. Emile Durkheim The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life
14. Anthony Giddens The Constitution of Society: Outline of the Theory of Structuration
15. Immanuel Wallerstein The Modern World-System
16. Michel Foucault Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison
17. Thomas S. Kuhn The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
18. Georg Simmel Sociology (The Sociology of Georg Simmel)
19. Ulrich Beck Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity (On Order)
20. Harry Braverman Labour and Monopoly Capital: The Degradation of Work in the 20th Century
21. Theodor W. Adorno and Max Horkheimer Dialectic of Enlightenment
22. Antonio Gramsci Prison Notebooks
23. James Samuel Coleman Foundations of Social Theory
24. Jürgen Habermas Knowledge and Human Interests
25. Barrington Moore The Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy
26. Karl Polanyi The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time
27. Peter Michael Blau and Otis Dudley Duncan The American Occupational Structure
28. Alvin W. Gouldner The Coming Crisis of Western Sociology
29. Niklas Luhmann Social Systems
30. Karl Mannheim Ideology and Utopia: An Introduction to the Sociology of Knowledge
31. Howard S. Becker Outsiders: Studies in the Sociology of Deviance
32. Karl Marx Capital: A Critique of Political Economy
33. Mancur Olson The Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups
34. Emile Durkheim The Division of Labor in Society
35. Emile Durkheim The Rules of Sociological Method
36. Harold Garfinkel Studies in Ethnomethodology
37. Erving Goffman Asylums: Essays on the Social Situation of Mental Patients & Other Inmates
38. Seymour Martin Lipset Political Man: The Social Bases of Politics
39. Charles Wright Mills The Power Elite
40. Pierre Bourdieu The Logic of Practice
41. Fernando Henrique Cardoso & Enzo Faletto Dependency and Development in Latin America (On Order)
42. Ralf Dahrendorf Class and Class Conflict in Industrial Society
43. Anthony Giddens The Consequences of Modernity
44. Erving Goffman Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity
45. Rosabeth Moss Kanter Men and Women of the Corporation
46. Alfred Schütz The Phenomenology of the Social World
47. Peter L. Berger Invitation to Sociology: A Humanistic Perspective
48. Pierre Bourdieu and Jean-Claude Passeron Reproduction in Education, Society and Culture
49. Amitai Etzioni The Active Society: A Theory of Societal and Political Processes
50. Barney G Glaser and Anselm L. Strauss The Discovery of Grounded Theory: Strategies for Qualitative Research

This page was updated on 2010 January 19, (Tuesday) by C. Craig.
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