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


416 pages.

Paperback ISBN: 9781503603653
Ebook ISBN: 9781503605626

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Excerpts and More

This text, first published in 2006, 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 and its background, development, and future. This second edition has been revised and updated to reflect developments within each theory, and in the field of social psychology more broadly.

The opening chapters of Contemporary Social Psychological Theories cover general approaches, organized around fundamental principles and issues: symbolic interaction, social exchange, and distributive justice. Following chapters focus on specific research programs and theories, examining identity, affect, comparison processes, power and dependence, status construction, and legitimacy. A new, original piece examines the state and trajectory of social network theory. A mainstay in teaching social psychology, this revised and updated edition offers a valuable survey of the field.

About the author

Peter J. Burke is Distinguished Professor of Sociology at 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.

"Bringing together leading sociologists, this volume elucidates recent developments in the theoretical foundations of social psychology and the major research programs that they have inspired. It is essential reading for social psychologists and will surely become a staple of graduate seminars in the years to come."

—Jeylan Mortimer, University of Minnesota

"This is an invaluable contribution to sociological social psychology. Written by the most renowned scholars in the field, it offers a marvelously comprehensive review of the major theoretical traditions and programs. The breadth and depth of coverage, and attention to recent theoretical developments, make this volume essential reading for sociologists and others interested in the field."

—Brian Powell, Indiana University

"Peter J. Burke has gathered developers and expert practitioners from fourteen different social psychological paradigms to provide up-to-date accounts. A superb teaching and research resource, the book will be indispensable to social psychologists, and an efficient introduction to key macro implications of social psychological theories and research for those who study large-scale social structures and processes."

—Robin Stryker, University of Arizona