Max Weber (1864 – 1920) Weber's contributions to sociology are too many to count, but chief among them is his articulation of the way cultural change produced the conditions necessary for the rise of capitalism. [click on this image to find a short clip on Weber's Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism]
Weber's Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism
Auguste Comte (1798 - 1857) Comte is often noted as the founder of sociology, which is certainly an accomplishment worthy of Facebook photo. However, reminding people that he was the one who started it all seems to be the only cause for ever citing Comte in a published article.
Anthony Giddens (1938- ) is a well known social theorist who developed the theory of Structuration. He observed what he called a Duality of structure, which he describes as "the essential recursiveness of social life, as constituted in social practices: structure is both medium & outcome of reproduction of practices. Structure enters simultaneously into the constitution of the agent & social practices, & 'exists' in the generating moments of this constitution."
Jürgen Habermas (1929-) is a German sociologist working at the intersection of Critical Theory & Pragmatism. He is perhaps best known for his theory on the concepts of Communicative rationality & the Public sphere. His work has been used to analyze advanced capitalist societies & democracy. Habermas' theory is devoted to revealing the possibility of reason, emancipation, & rational-critical communication & in the human capacity to deliberate & pursue rational interests (Wikipedia).
Noam Chomsky (1928- ) Before he was widely cited by sociologists, Chomsky engineered a revolution in linguistics. In linguistics he is widely known for his theory about a "universal grammar." He has also written on war, politics, & mass media, & is the author of over 100 books. According to the Arts and Humanities Citation Index in 1992, Chomsky was cited as a source more often than any other living scholar from 1980 to 1992, and was the eighth most cited source overall (Wikipedia).
Marcel Mauss (1872-1950) was a French sociologist, following in the footsteps of his uncle, Émile Durkheim. He's known for his analysis of unusual topics, such as magic, sacrifice & gift exchange in different cultures around the world. In his classic work The Gift, Mauss argued that gifts R never "free". Rather, human history is full of examples that gifts lead 2 reciprocal exchange. He famously asked: "What power resides in the object given that causes its recipient 2 pay it back?"…
Pierre Bourdieu (1930 - 2002) was a French sociologist, anthropologist, and philosopher. He pioneered investigative frameworks and terminologies such as cultural, social, and symbolic capital, and the concepts of habitus, field, and symbolic violence to reveal the dynamics of power relations in social life. [click on this image to find a short video and analysis of Bourdieu's concept of habitus]