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Polity is one of the world's leading publishers in sociology and social theory. We publish many of the key scholars in the field and our list has earned a reputation for innovative, cutting-edge publications. We also have a strong list of textbooks in sociology which are widely adopted at colleges and universities around the world.
Our authors include internationally renowned sociologists and social thinkers such as Pierre Bourdieu, Anthony Giddens, Ulrich Beck, Jürgen Habermas, Theodor W. Adorno, Zygmunt Bauman, Walter Benjamin, Norbert Elias, Jacques Derrida, Cornelius Castoriadis, André Gorz, Stuart Hall, Raewyn Connell, Jeffrey Weeks, Ann Oakley, Michèle Barrett, Lynne Segal, Nancy Fraser, Seyla Benhabib, Michael Mann, Anthony Smith, Claus Offe, Gøsta Esping-Andersen, Immanuel Wallerstein, Stan Cohen, Ray Pahl, Harold Garfinkel and Clifford Geertz.
Visit our highlights page for more information on our new and forthcoming general interest titles.
Giddens & Sutton: Sociology 7th Edition
The seventh edition of this indispensable resource continues from strength to strength to provide a vibrant, engaging and authoritative introduction to sociology. Revised and updated throughout, it provides in an accessible and easy-to-follow style a commanding overview of recent global developments and new ideas in sociology.
Holborn: Contemporary Sociology
Contemporary Sociology is an introductory textbook with angles and arguments. Responding to the need for a different kind of introductory textbook, its 21 chapters, written by leading experts in each field, provide more focused, in-depth explorations of the most exciting and contemporary dynamics driving sociology today.
Giddens & Sutton: Essential Concepts in Sociology
This clear and jargon-free book introduces a careful selection of essential concepts that have helped to shape sociology, and others that continue to do so. Organized in ten thematic sections, it will be essential reading for all those new to sociology, as well as those seeking a reliable route map for a rapidly changing world.
Buy Sociology and Essential Concepts in Sociology in a discounted bundle
Jones, Bradbury & Le Boutillier: Introducing Social Theory 2nd Edition
"An excellent primer for both undergraduate and postgraduate
students interested in the theoretical and philosophical dimensions of the discipline. The
work provides a clear and comprehensive account of the main positions and controversies in
social theory. It will be required reading on university courses."
Anthony King, University of Exeter
Bauman: What Use is Sociology?
What's the use of sociology? The question has been asked often enough
and it leaves a lingering doubt in the minds of many. In a series of conversations with
Michael Hviid Jacobsen and Keith Tester, Zygmunt Bauman explains why sociology is necessary
if we hope to live fully human lives.
Grint & Nixon: The Sociology of Work 4th Edition
This leading, authoritative textbook has been carefully and
substantially revised to provide the indispensable foundational resource for the sociology
of work. The fourth edition has been transformed to combine unrivalled explanations of
classic theories with the most cutting-edge research, data and debates.
Williams, Bradley, Devadason & Erickson: Globalization and Work
This engaging book offers a lively and rigorous synthesis of the varied interconnections between work and globalization. The authors highlight the importance of integrating a grounded, bottom-up perspective, revealing the fascinating extent to which workers actively engage in producing globalization.
Dennis, Philburn & Smith: Sociologies of Interaction
Social interaction lies at the heart of our everyday experience. This book provides an invaluable introduction to the theoretical foundations and practical applications of interactionist approaches to everyday life, and how understanding of the social world can be deepened by exploring the 'sociologies of interaction'.
"Wells provides a lucid, topical and up-to-date exposition of key
issues concerning contemporary children and childhoods. Wells's ability to skilfully
combine broad discussion with close analyses makes this a necessary, insightful and
Sarada Balagopalan, Rutgers University
Frezzo: The Sociology of Human Rights
"Mark Frezzo invites a sociological voice to the human rights conversation, which has so far been dominated by the disciplines of law and international relations. If readers wish to study rights claims of social and global movements, sociological tools remain indispensable. Frezzo's refreshing engagement is a significant contribution to the field of human rights."
Micheline Ishay, University of Denver
"James Jasper's Protest is a thorough, thoughtful, sophisticated, wide-ranging, and – if that weren't enough – wise handbook on, and for, the social movements on which the world so dearly counts."
Todd Gitlin, Columbia University
Sarah Nettleton's book has become a cornerstone text, popular with students and academics alike for its rigorous and accessible overview of the field. Thoroughly revised and fully updated, the third edition will prove invaluable to anyone looking for a clear, engaging introduction to contemporary debates within the sociology of health and illness.
Edwards: Civil Society 3rd Edition
Civil Society has become a standard work of reference for all those who seek to understand the role of voluntary citizen action in the contemporary world. In this thoroughly revised edition, Michael Edwards updates the arguments and evidence presented in the original to tell the underlying story of civil society on the world stage.
Pierson, Castles & Naumann: The Welfare State Reader 3rd Edition
"The value of this, the third edition, has been enhanced tremendously by its strong reorientation towards the dilemmas and difficulties that contemporary welfare states face. This book will surely remain the cornerstone reading in any respectable social policy course worldwide."
Gøsta Esping-Andersen, Pompeu Fabra University
"The revised edition of this valuable guide to designing research in the social sciences maintains its hallmark qualities: it is clearly organized yet broad ranging, and identifies the key issues which all robust social science research must confront while sharpening its approach to some of the most intractable and perennial research design questions. Above all, it is readable, versatile and intuitively applicable."
Randall Germain, Carleton University
"Ken Browne's text is an excellent introduction to sociology for students of all ages and aptitudes - clearly structured, well-organized and written in a way that is both informative and accessible. With the 4th edition, the best GCSE Sociology text just got even better..."
Chris Livesey, Sociology Central
Browne: Sociology for AS AQA 4th Edition
"This is a detailed yet very accessible book which provides both a general introduction to the subject and highly specific guidance on material focused on the AS examination. There is a good balance of sociological theory and up-to-date research evidence. Both students and teachers should find it invaluable as they embark on the study of sociology."
David Gilmore, Cardinal Newman College, and Senior Examiner
Browne, Blundell, Law & Whalley: Sociology for A2 AQA 2nd Edition
"A magnificent text. It won't just be another text on A2 Sociology for students but will serve as the leader in the area. It has key concepts but with inspirational examples. It's the best textbook I have ever read for AQA A2 for Sociology."
Jason L. Powell, Coventry University
Fournier: Émile Durkheim: A Biography
“Fournier is the greatest living scholar of French sociology. With this work, he gives us a new Durkheim, a man broiled in the political controversies of his time, an academic patriarch who laid the foundations for a more cultural sociology.”
Jeffrey C. Alexander, Yale University
Radkau: Max Weber: A Biography
"Radkau has provided a comprehensive, authoritative, balanced and nuanced view of the man we have come to know as the conflicted, driven, enigmatic genius of 20th-century modernity."
Therborn: The Killing Fields of Inequality
"Lucid, persuasive and learned, The Killing Fields of Inequality is a must-read for those concerned about the most pressing topic of our time."
Michael Burawoy, University of California, Berkeley
It is commonly assumed that the best way to help the poor out of their misery is to allow the rich to get richer, and that in the final analysis the richness of the few benefits us all. And yet these commonly held beliefs are flatly contradicted by our daily experience, an abundance of research findings and, indeed, logic. Such bizarre discrepancy between hard facts and popular opinions makes one pause and ask: why are these opinions so widespread and resistant to accumulated and fast-growing evidence to the contrary?
Bourdieu: On the State
In this major work the great sociologist Pierre Bourdieu addresses the following questions: What is the nature of the modern state? How did it come into being and what are the characteristics of this distinctive field of power that has come to play such a central role in the shaping of all spheres of social, political and economic life?
Beck & Beck-Gernsheim: Distant Love
"A rich and provocative book … There are some very big ideas here, and the huge themes and issues are brought on from the wings to take a bow – this is from beginning to end an invitation to open up research into the plethora of issues and areas it brings into the light."
Times Higher Education Supplement
"Exposing capitalism’s expanding economy of secrecy, John Urry reveals a terrifying picture of catastrophes waiting to happen, of global inequalities difficult to comprehend, and of human rights violations on an appalling scale. Sociology at its best, warning us of the worst. Offshoring should be required reading for all undergraduates."
Michael Burawoy, University of California, Berkeley
Polity's series of short volumes in the Economy and Society series provide sophisticated and engaging insight into key topics in economic sociology.
Polity's series of short volumes in the Political Sociology series provide sophisticated and engaging insight into key topics at the intersection of sociology and political science.
Polity's series of short volumes in the Immigration & Society series provide sophisticated and engaging insight into key topics of contemporary interest.
These short books grapple with the key questions at the heart of sub-disciplines of sociology, and what these areas of study are all about.