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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
“A brilliant tour of class analysis, covering the core theoretical debates and also the key research areas of social mobility, education, health and politics. The book is also a powerful argument … which everyone interested in this key topic will need to engage with.”
Mike Savage, The London School of Economics and Political Science
Bradley: Fractured Identities 2nd Edition
This new edition explores current patterns of inequality in the context of globalization, world recession and neoliberal policies of austerity. Within a framework of intersectionality, Bradley discusses theories for understanding inequalities of class, gender, ethnicity, age, disabilities, non-heterosexual orientations and religious affiliation.
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.
Giulianotti: Sport: A Critical Sociology 2nd Edition
In this new edition of his acclaimed book, Richard Giulianotti provides a critical sociological interpretation of modern sport. As global festivals such as the Olympic Games and football’s World Cup demonstrate, sport’s social, political, economic and cultural significance is becoming ever more apparent across the world.
Erickson: Science, Culture and Society 2nd Edition
“After ten years, Science, Culture and Society remains the best all-round entry point to the world of science and technology studies. It is the one book that I would recommend to a student interested in this field, regardless of starting point - the arts, the social sciences or, indeed, the natural sciences.”
Steve Fuller, University of Warwick
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
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.
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
"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
“Ken Browne’s 5th edition is fully updated to meet the requirements of the new AQA AS and A level specifications and is a must-read for both teachers and students to gain an understanding of the contemporary issues in Sociology.”
Andy Leach, Head of Studies at York College, Senior Examiner, A Level Trainer, Ex-Principal Moderator
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
Pountney & Marić: Introducing Anthropology
"A lively and comprehensive introduction to a broad range of anthropological themes, peppered with ethnographic examples showcasing the diversity of human lives and societies, this book fills a gap and not only reveals the knowledge contributions of anthropology but also gives a hint of its magic."
Thomas Hylland Eriksen, University of Oslo
"A classroom text written by teachers for teachers. I cannot recommend it highly enough."
David Shankland, Director, Royal Anthropological Institute
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."
"This extraordinary book gives us a sharp and illuminating examination of a condition that it is easy to think we understand – until we read this book. We may all be touched by it but Walby shows us all that is actually mobilized in producing the outcomes."
Saskia Sassen, Columbia University
In this innovative and path-breaking book, Beck introduces a new concept – metamorphosis – to describe what is happening in our world today. Change implies that some things change but other things remain the same. Metamorphosis implies a much more radical transformation in which the old certainties of modern society are falling away and something quite new is emerging.
Castells: Networks of Outrage and Hope 2nd Edition
“A thousand words are too few to cover the riches of this incredibly timely account of contemporary movements.”
American Journal of Sociology
“A must for those who are interested in how social movements communicate in the network society to realize changes of value in society.”
International Journal of Public Opinion Research
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
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.