Cover of Contemporary Social Psychological Theories by Edited by Peter J. Burke
Contemporary Social Psychological Theories
Edited by Peter J. Burke


400 pages.

Paper ISBN: 9780804753470
Digital ISBN: 9780804768047


Excerpts and More

This text presents the most important and influential social psychological theories and research programs in contemporary sociology. Original chapters by the scholars who initiated and developed these theoretical perspectives provide full descriptions of each theory, its background, development, and future.

The first four chapters cover general approaches, organized around fundamental principles and issues—symbolic interaction, social exchange, distributive justice, and rational choice. The following chapters focus on specific research programs and theories, examining identity, affect, comparison processes, power and dependence, social exchange, status construction, and legitimacy. A concluding chapter provides an analysis of and commentary on the state of the theoretical programs in sociological social psychology.

Contributors: Peter J. Burke, Joseph Berger, Coye Cheshire, Karen S. Cook, Pamela Emanuelson, Alexandra Gerbasi, Karen A. Hegtvedt, Michael A. Hogg, Guillermina Jasso, Edward J. Lawler, Michael W. Macy, George J. McCall, Linda D. Molm, Cecilia L. Ridgeway, Dawn T. Robinson, Lynn Smith-Lovin, Jan E. Stets, Jonathan H. Turner, Murray Webster Jr., David Willer, and Morris Zelditch, Jr.

About the author

Peter J. Burke is Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Riverside. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the 2003 winner of the Cooley-Mead Award from the American Sociological Association for lifetime contributions to social psychology.

“This book presents the most current and rigorously tested theories in sociological social psychology. Never before have all major branches of this tradition been brought together in such a comprehensive manner, with such emphasis on the theories that will propel the discipline forward. This state of the art collection will certainly find a niche among individuals intersted in group processes and, more generally, social psychology.”—Shane R. Thye, University of South Carolina

“This volume makes an immense contribution to the field, organizing and summarizing recent empirical findings within the context of larger theoretical ambitions. The theories discussed here represent the best programs of quantitative theory construction and the authors are among the most influential scholars in the discipline.”—Peter Callero, Western Oregon University

“Burke has brought together a distinguished set of sociological (and one psychological) contributors to social psychology, producing an important volume whose hallmark is an emphasis on programmatic, cumulative research as the way to build sound social psychological theory. I am especially impressed (and pleased) by the commonalities demonstrated in chapters rooted in very different intellectual frameworks—rational choice, symbolic interaction, exchange—that take interaction and meaning as the fundamental building blocks of social psychological theory. Students of social psychology and their professors, whatever their preferred topics and methods, have much to gain by absorbing the lessons inherent in pursuing research programs rather than isolated studies. They will, as well, profit from recognizing that what most have come to believe are opposing ‘frameworks’ or theories have much in common.”—Sheldon Stryker, Indiana University