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Reconstructing Sociology
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Table of Contents

1. Seven myths of American sociology; 2. Do realists run regressions?; 3. What is truth?; 4. Whatever happened to social structure?; 5. Are we not men - or, rather, persons?; 6. What and where is culture?; 7. Do we need critical realism?; 8. So what do we do with it?

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A general critique of sociology, particularly sociology in the United States, from a critical realist perspective.

About the Author

Douglas V. Porpora is a Professor of Sociology at Drexel University, Philadelphia. His previous publications include Post-Ethical Society: The Iraq War, Abu Ghraib, and the Moral Failure of the Secular (2013).

Reviews

'American sociology badly needs to learn critical realism and to rethink its assumptions, practices, and standards in realist terms. Doug Porpora here provides an easy but smart on-ramp into critical realism for sociology that I hope serves as an introduction to realism that many students and scholars use to gain a new perspective on our discipline.' Christian Smith, Wm. R. Kenan, Jr Professor of Sociology, University of Notre Dame, and author of To Flourish or Destruct: A Personalist Theory of Human Goods, Motivations, Failure, and Evil
'Doug Porpora has written a wonderful new book - clear, sensible, engaging, comprehensive and very, very smart - designed to demystify critical realism for sociologists, social theorists, social ontologists or anyone else interested in the nature of social reality or in the methods and philosophy of realist social science. It is bound to become a classic point of entry for readers new to the topic.' Ruth Groff, Saint Louis University
'For years we lacked Porpora's book to situate critical realism in the sociological landscape. His bold engagement with current theorizing is consistently sure-footed; an exceptionally intelligent and unusually readable feat.' Margaret S. Archer, University of Warwick
'Critical realism is hard to categorize. It appears to be a philosophy of science, which Porpora thinks sociology should adopt ... Sociologists should abandon the vision of 'value neutrality' and instead proudly proclaim themselves as engaged and trying to transform the world. Summing up: recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above.' Y. R. Magrass, Choice
'This is a book that is needed, especially by doctoral students and early career researchers.' Margaret S. Archer, Journal of Critical Realism
`American sociology badly needs to learn critical realism and to rethink its assumptions, practices, and standards in realist terms. Doug Porpora here provides an easy but smart on-ramp into critical realism for sociology that I hope serves as an introduction to realism that many students and scholars use to gain a new perspective on our discipline.' Christian Smith, Wm. R. Kenan, Jr Professor of Sociology, University of Notre Dame, and author of To Flourish or Destruct: A Personalist Theory of Human Goods, Motivations, Failure, and Evil
`Doug Porpora has written a wonderful new book - clear, sensible, engaging, comprehensive and very, very smart - designed to demystify critical realism for sociologists, social theorists, social ontologists or anyone else interested in the nature of social reality or in the methods and philosophy of realist social science. It is bound to become a classic point of entry for readers new to the topic.' Ruth Groff, Saint Louis University
`For years we lacked Porpora's book to situate critical realism in the sociological landscape. His bold engagement with current theorizing is consistently sure-footed; an exceptionally intelligent and unusually readable feat.' Margaret S. Archer, University of Warwick
'Critical realism is hard to categorize. It appears to be a philosophy of science, which Porpora thinks sociology should adopt ... Sociologists should abandon the vision of 'value neutrality' and instead proudly proclaim themselves as engaged and trying to transform the world. Summing up: recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above.' Y. R. Magrass, Choice

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