Borin Van Loon: Intro SociologyIntroducing... Sociology - a graphic guide

Icon Books (UK), Totem Books (USA).

Written by Richard Osborne, Illustrated / designed by Borin Van Loon
What is sociology? Simply, it is the study of how science functions, or in some cases, does not function. Various competeing schools of sociology have attempted to fit observations of social phenomena into different conceptual systems.

Introducing Sociology traces the origins of these systems from Enlightenment thought and the pioneering work of Auguste Comte to subsequent developments in Karl Marx, Herbert Spencer, Emile Durkheim and Max Weber. The rapid expansion of sociology in twentieth century America and Britain, the post World War II dominanace of Talcott parsons, the Chicago School and the rise of structuralism are oulined in a clear graphic form. The book also examines the array of concepts and methiods of research that have been applied to the study of society by the key analysts.

Borin Van Loon: Sociology collageSewing machine!

This was my first 'pure collage' documentary comic book and it involved about double the amount of visual research usually devoted to an 'Introducing' title. I have drawn on every strand of reference that lateral thinking could lead me. At this point I believed that, given the generic nature of sociology and the fact that it's all about people, I wouldn't be able to pull this approach with any other topic. That was, until Introducing Mathematics. It must be noted that this was 'pre-internet', so I was still reliant on the author, public libraries and my own resources for reference material.

The author Richard Osborne has his own website, see Links.

Well, the book (believe it or not) deals with introductory sociology. I quite enjoyed it. It was easy to understand, but still offered some intellectual challenges if you really wanted to get into the material. Morgan (Mar 11, 08).

I'm sure my Soc Theory professor borrowed from this book. It outlines the history of Sociology in a concise and easiy accessible way. The dry humor is great, too. atiya  Aug 25, 2007

This book, by approaching the study of sociology chronologically and thematically, provides a basic, if not superficial, introduction to the subject. To those who are already acquainted with the subject of sociology, this book would thus perhaps not gain anything new from this book. But for those totally unfamiliar with the subject of sociology, this book would perhaps provide a good starting point to understand and learn more about this broad and complex field of study.
Choong Chiat (Jul 30, 2011).

Fragmented, bitty, and unilluminating. It bounces around and is hard to follow unless you are already familiar with the main elements of sociology. The graphics are unenlightening clipart - a man with a penis for a head having dinner, with a woman at the table commenting that she never liked Richard Head, doesn't add greatly to my understanding of sociology. (Rose)


Introducing Sociology.
This book provides a very good overview of the main stages in the historical development of sociology. It also gives a potted version of some of the main schools of sociological theory. This book is to be recommended for students who have begun to study sociology and are looking for a quick guide to its history and theory. However a anyone using this book as an introduction would still require further information to understnd the full breadth of the social issues that sociology deals with as only some of these themes are touched on in the last few pages of the book.

Good beginners read.
This book was a great start for me on this topic i already had knowledge of Sociology but reading this book filled some gaps i have in the basics now i am ready for a more in depth book with a better understanding worth a read.

Introducing Sociology by Richard Osborne and Borin Van Loon
Scans of pages 1-17 of the book. I'll check the site and insert the web address! Interesting to see such a slab of our book on another site, though.

_Introducing Sociology_ by Richard Osborne and heavily-illustrated surrealistic-comic-book-style by Borin Van Loon gives a beginner's outline to the science, study, discipline or whatever you want to call it, of sociology. Sociology attempts to figure out how society, especially how the ever-increasingly complex, modern Western societies are constructed, structured, operate, interact, and what the role of class, race, gender and above all, economics, plays in them. This book goes through all the major theories and thinkers, but is overly-confused by smoke from the crack-pipes of Marxism and radical feminism. A central point is noted toward the end of the book: that of the transformation of the West in the 19th and 20th centuries from an agricultural, Christian and aristocratic base to industrialism, secularism, pleasure-seeking hedonism and sensualism. This is the root of the predicament that Western society is in today, but you won't hear a whole lot about it in the PC New Left and neoconservative academia. The author also dismisses in an offensively condescending manner sociobiology and the evoloutionary Darwinist perspective--that the determining factors of how different cultural groups, races and genders in society act are rooted in heredity rather than in social conditioning. This of course will lead to "racism and the holocaust." _Introducing Sociology_ is a rather quirky yet serious overview of sociology, and the author at the end admits that he cannot come to any decisive conclusion about the study of society in our ever-morphing postmodern world, where individuals live in "hyperreality"; learning more from mass-media and its contrived, false images than from the real world itself. I wish I knew the reasoning behind the cover illustration, a half-human, half-robot woman in a bikini with a human embryo attached to her hip in a huge test-tube, reading a book upside down.
It's easy to get lost in the spew of "-isms" and sub-disciplines that pervades the social sciences and humanities these days. This illustrated intro to sociology illustrates fairly clearly how we got there from a few simple questions (E.g., what is the nature of society?) The book provides a broad, historically structured overview that accounts for most of the major thinkers, from Comte and Spencer to Adorno and Baudrillard.I've read most of the books in this series, and this is one of the best. It is concise, not condescending. And although it offers a wide range of theories and thinkers, it takes pains to distinguish between all of the information presented, even offering some comparisons between different sociological perspectives. This covers methodology, Marxism, Functionalism, Symbolic Interactionism, Chicago School, Frankfurt School, Feminism, Media Studies, Culture, and almost everything else. Of course, you only get a few paragraphs on each, but then that it what this book is designed to do...give a short introduction to each of the sub-areas as well as a general overview. The illustrations are of a fairly good quality, and while they don't really enhance a reader's understanding of the material, they help sustain interest in it. Rating: 5 (

Eastern Philosophy...
Cultural Studies...
Media Studies...
Critical Theory...

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