Berger, Peter. 1967. The Sacred Canopy: Elements of a Sociological Theory of Religion. Garden City, NY: Doubleday.
Berger extends his theory of social constructionism to illustrate how religion gives cosmic support to more precarious social institutions.
Douglas, Mary. 1996 . Natural Symbols: Explorations in Cosmology. London: Routledge.
This foundational work by cultural theorist and anthropologist Mary Douglas introduces her ideas on “group” commitments and “grid” regulations. Consider pairing her chapter, “Away from Ritual,” with Durkheim’s Elementary Forms.
Hacking, Ian. 1999. The Social Construction of What? Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
In the decades since Berger and Luckmann’s famous treatise, the paradigm of social constructionism has exploded into a veritable theoretical industry. In this very smart and useful book, the philosopher Ian Hacking tells us that to sort out what social construction actually means as a theoretical paradigm, we need to think more critically about what exactly, people are arguing is being constructed. A critical but even-handed guide to social constructionism as it is used today.
Latour, Bruno. 2007. Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory. New York: Oxford University Press.
Inspired by fieldwork in scientific laboratories and ethnomethodological insights, a prominent social theorist introduces readers to Actor-Network-Theory, a novel approach that argues non-humans are just as integral a part of making social order as humans.
Meyrowitz, Joshua. 1986. No Sense of Place: The Impact of Electronic Media on Social Behavior. New York: Oxford University Press.
Meyrowitz examines the effect electronic media, most notably television, have had on not only how we interact with one another, but also what we know of each other and how we experience reality itself.
Parsons, Talcott and Edward Shils. 1951. Toward a General Theory of Action. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
A classic examination of structural-functionalism that examines how people navigate the demands of both individual needs and social expectations in making decisions and taking action, with the ultimate goal of maintaining social consensus.
Sherif, Muzafer, O. J. Harvey, William R. Hood, Carolyn W. Sherif, and Jack White. 1961. The Robbers Cave Experiment: Intergroup Conflict and Cooperation. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma.
This “true life” Lord of the Flies describes a classic experiment by social psychologist Muzafer Sherif in which 24 twelve-year-old boys experience in-group solidarity and out-group hostility on a campground in an Oklahoma state park.
Smith, Christian. 2003. Moral, Believing Animals: Human Personhood and Culture. New York: Oxford University Press.
Smith argues that humans are fundamentally moral and believing animals, providing a nuanced take on social constructionism and a rethinking of Durkheim’s view of the sacred and the social order.
Turkle, Sherry. 2011. Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other. New York: Basic Books.
A leading sociologist of technology explores technology’s effects on contemporary social order, especially the quality of human relationships.
Watts, Duncan J. 2004. Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age. New York: W. W. Norton.
An explanation of network theory, a cutting-edge science of social order, by one of its most prominent proponents.