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Welcome to the new location of the Dead Sociologists' Society at Pfeiffer University! A list of the various theorists, some biographical information, and a summary of their work can be found in the Dead Sociologists' Index, or you can look at the Dead Sociologists Gallery or the original chart from which I developed this.

The idea started a few years ago, after Robin Williams' movie "Dead Poets' Society," of course. I was trying to get my Introductory students interested in the Theory section of a summer school class. As I was reading in another text I came across a table which listed something like "The Major Contributors to Sociology." That was when the idea struck me! I copied the table, changed the title to "Dead Sociologists' Society" and made a transparency of it for my class. That was the original chart listed above. Now it has progressed, with the development of the WWW, into a much larger project than what I had originally anticipated. The WWW is just that -- a WORLD WIDE WEB. For a recent report on some of the problems I have experienced on the Web see "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly in Cyberspace: Ups and Downs of the Dead Sociologists' Society." This paper was presented in a session on Social Sciences in the World Wide Web at the International Sociological Association, World Congress of Sociology meetings in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, July 27, 1998.

I can't take all the credit for the Dead Sociologists' Society, I just pieced some old ideas together. In order to give credit to where it is due, I have listed my references below. The pics were borrowed from Don Martindale's classic book The Nature and Types of Sociological Theory, mostly from the original 1960 version which is what I cut my teeth on. There is also a second edition which has some of the same pictures with some new ones and an updated text. These are listed below if you're interested in some additional reading.

The other material, which is most of the text that you find here, is borrowed from Lewis Coser's classic work, (which is what I had as an undergraduate) and still one of the best overall sociological theory texts around, Masters of Sociological Thought. It is also referenced below.

The Nature and Types of Sociological Theory by Don Martindale. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1960.

The Nature and Types of Sociological Theory (2nd Ed.) by Don Martindale. Prospect Heights, Illinois, 1981. ISBN 0-88133-353-0

Masters of Sociological Thought: Ideas in Historical and Social Context (2nd Ed.) by Lewis A. Coser. Fort Worth, Texas: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1977. ISBN 0-15-555130-2 (I learned on the original version of this one too, but I am referencing the second edition because it was also updated like Martindale.)

I am in the process of adding to and expanding the Dead Sociologists' Society with some of the original works of the theorists. My goal is to make this a mini-digital library for sociological material. It is a time consuming project, so bear with me as I add more to the Web. If you have any comments and/or suggestions, please feel free to send them to Dead Sociologists' Society.  

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For additional reading of some of the original works see my Social Theory Syllabus.



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This site supported in part by (1) the American Sociological Association's Fund for the Advancement of the Discipline Award supported by the American Sociological Association and the National Science Foundation and (2) a research grant from the Office of Sponsored Research, Radford University, Radford, Virginia.

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