Introduction to Sociology Scandinavian Sensibilities

Prentice Hall
Michael Hviid Jacobsen / Gunnar Colbjørnsen Aakvaag / Thomas Johansson / Willy Guneriussen / Johanna Esseveld / Mai Heide Ottosen  
Total pages
March 2012
Related Titles


Sociology is a constantly changing scientific endeavour, adventure and practice that was born with the advent of modernity. One of the main reasons for the rise of sociology was modern society’s wish to understand itself. In this introduction to sociology, the authors emphasize the importance and centrality of the idea of the sociological imagination, as it was conceived by sociologist C. Wright Mills.


This book enhances and further develops the sociological imagination of its readers with a ‘sensibility’ that has its breeding ground in the Scandinavian countries; this is the first comprehensive attempt to write an international/Nordic text book and introductory text to sociology.


This book is aimed primarily at first year students in sociology but will be of interest to anyone who is looking for a comprehensive guide to the exciting field of sociology.


  • Scandinavian perspective on this international subject, making the subject more relevant for students in Scandinavia
  • Learning aids such as boxes introducing key thinkers, key concepts and key conflicts from within each field help students identify and understand crucial elements of the discipline
  • The book is structured in 3 main parts: society; the main institutions of society; and social phenomena, breaking the subject down into understandable sections
  • Each chapter presents key ideas and theories from the specific field it addresses and provides empirical data and illustrations, guiding the student through the different aspects of sociology
  • At the end of each chapter, there is a brief summary of the main points, questions for further discussion, and an annotated bibliography with some informative suggestions for further reading to help develop the student’s learning and understanding

Table of Contents




 The legacy of the sociological imagination

 Scandinavian sensibility

 Structure and content of the book


              Think for yourself

              Further reading

Chapter 1. What is society? Contested concepts and shifting metaphors

Chapter 2. The sociology of work

Chapter 3. The sociology of power

Chapter 4. The sociology of the family

Chapter 5. The sociology of education

Chapter 6. The sociology of religion

Chapter 7. The sociology of media and information technologies

Chapter 8. The sociology of health

Chapter 9. The sociology of class and social stratification

Chapter 10. The sociology of deviance

Chapter 11. The sociology of gender

Chapter 12. The sociology of micro-social interaction and everyday life

Chapter 13. The sociology of globalisation

Chapter 14. The sociology of culture

Chapter 15. The sociology of ethnicity

Chapter 16. The sociology of the self

Chapter 17. The sociology of social change






Back Cover

Introduction to Sociology: Scandinavian Sensibilities is an ideal textbook for sociology students across Scandinavia. The book provides a comprehensive introduction and overview of central topics, themes and debates within modern sociology. It is not only an excellent companion for any student beginning a course in sociology, it is also designed to be invaluable throughout the course.

Introduction to Sociology: Scandinavian Sensibilities is informed by a Scandinavian perspective. All the chapters contain updated sections on international as well as Nordic research, providing the reader with valuable resources as well as a fresh perspective that highlights the interesting work that is being done within sociology in Scandinavia.

The book iswritten by leading Scandinavian sociologists and contains chapters on a wide range of classic and contemporary sociological sub-disciplines and specialities.

Introduction to Sociology: Scandinavian Sensibilities provides the reader with:

-                           chapters on media and technology, work life, globalisation, social stratification, family life, culture, religion and values, everyday life, education, ethnicity, politics and power, social change and sexuality

-                           conceptual, theoretical and empirical insights

-                           relevant Scandinavian examples, cases and literature

-                           lists of key texts and recommended reading

-                           lively and student-friendly features to help readers engage critically with the topics discussed.


The book enhances and develops the sociological imagination of its readers. It strengthens the development of a certain ‘sensibility’ when it comes to understanding and analysing the connections between the individual, society and history. Using inspiration from C. Wright Mills’ sociological imagination and stretching this vision into contemporary society and our time, Introduction to Sociology:Scandinavian Sensibilities aims to show how sociological thinking can be used to understand, criticise and develop society.


The book is edited by Gunnar C. Aakvaag, University of Oslo, Professor Michael Hviid Jacobsen, Aalborg University, and Professor Thomas Johansson, University of Gothenburg.

Gunnar C. Aakvaag has a PhD in sociology from the University of Oslo, where he is currently a postdoctoral researcher. His main research interests are social theory, ‘grand’ theories of Modernity and the sociology of freedom. He has published extensively in all these areas. His latest book is Modern Sociological Theory, Abstrakt, 2008.

Michael Hviid Jacobsen is Professor of Sociology at Aalborg University. His main research areas are contemporary social theory, everyday life, death and dying and the sociology of science. His latest books include Encountering the Everyday, Palgrave, 2008, The Sociology of Zygmunt Bauman, Ashgate, 2008, and The Contemporary Goffman, Routledge, 2010.

Thomas Johansson is Professor of Education at the University of Gothenburg. His main research areas are family studies, youth research and cultural studies in general. He has published widely in journals such

Instructor Resources