The Sociological Ambition

Elementary Forms of Social and Moral Life

by Chris Shilling, Philip A Mellor

Series: Published in association with Theory, Culture & Society

`The Sociological Ambition is a superb book... It is beautifully written, expertly edited and renders complex and original ideas entirely accessible... This is a modern classic' - Journal of Contemporary Religion

`For all social scientists who are fed up with corporate-style textbooks, which appeal to the lowest common denominator The Sociological Ambition must come as a relief. Shilling and Mellor have written an account of their discipline but they have done so with a multi-purpose task in mind' - Irish Journal of Sociology

In a comprehensive reassessment of the field, Chris Shilling and Philip A Mellor examine the various attempts that have been made to reconstruct sociology over the last century, arguing that classical and contemporary social theories must be studied in relation to the ambition that first shaped and established the discipline.

The authors begin by situating sociology in its historical, philosophical and theological contexts; examining how the founders of the discipline developed competing analyses of the processes elementary to social and moral life through their unique contributions.

The result is a landmark work in recent sociological study. Accomplished and erudite, this book will be required reading for students of sociology, social theory, religious studies and cultural studies.

In The Press

'The Sociological Ambition is a superb book... It is beautifully written, expertly edited and renders complex and original ideas entirely accessible... This is a modern classic' -Journal of Contemporary Religion

`If sociology is to retain a sophisticated rationality and an ultimate concern for social well being, plus a commitment to combining scholarly protocols with moral obligations then The Sociological Ambition will be one of its key works' - Auto/Biography 2001

`The Sociological Ambition can be read both as a first-rate account of the sociological enterprise from its inception and as a critical evaluation of sociology today... Shilling and Mellor challenge contemporary sociology to regain its integral vision and its moral purpose. Conceived as a provocative and constructive intervention this work nonetheless can be seen as a chilling indictment' - Mike Gane, University of Loughborough

`The Sociological Ambition is a refreshing, innovative and very well written addition to social theory, which will also serve as an important new text for those who teach courses in the field' - George Ritzer, University of Maryland