The only compact and portable book for undergraduate readers that links issues regarding post-modern society to the ideas and individuals that gave rise to sociological thinking in the late 19th century. Students too often learn about social theorists as unconnected with one another. Key Ideas in Sociology shows how ideas developed by one theorist evolve and are further shaped by subsequent theorists, reflecting on different historical circumstances. Peter Kivisto offers a genuinely integrated view of the history of social thought, linking classical sociological ideas to today's thinking about contemporary life. He shows how theorizing is not a dry, abstract exercise, but a practical human necessity in the ongoing quest to understand and cope with our complex and ever-changing social conditions.