Top 10 Best Books to Read in Sociology of Social Theory - August 2021



Here are our top ten recommendations if you are looking for the best books to read in Sociology of Social Theory. We have made sure our list is diverse to cater to the interests of different types of readers.

1. Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don't Know


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Sociology of Social Theory - August 2021

Malcolm Gladwell, host of the podcast Revisionist History and author of the number-one New York Times best seller Outliers , reinvents the audiobook in this immersive production of Talking to Strangers , a powerful examination of our interactions with people we don’t know.  How did Fidel Castro fool the CIA for a generation? Why did Neville Chamberlain think he could trust Adolf Hitler? Why are campus sexual assaults on the rise? Do television sitcoms teach us something about the way we relate to each other that isn't true?  While tackling these questions, Malcolm Gladwell was not solely writing a book for the page. He was also producing for the ear. In the audiobook version of Talking to Strangers , you’ll hear the voices of people he interviewed - scientists, criminologists, military psychologists. Court transcripts are brought to life with re-enactments. You actually hear the contentious arrest of Sandra Bland by the side of the road in Texas. As Gladwell revisits the deceptions of Bernie Madoff, the trial of Amanda Knox, and the suicide of Sylvia Plath, you hear directly from many of the players in these real-life tragedies. There’s even a theme song - Janelle Monae’s “Hell You Talmbout”.  Something is very wrong, Gladwell argues, with the tools and strategies we use to make sense of people we don't know. And because we don't know how to talk to strangers, we are inviting conflict and misunderstanding in ways that have a profound effect on our lives and our world.  The audiobook edition of Talking to Strangers was an instant number-one best seller, and was one of the most pre-ordered audiobooks in history. It seamlessly marries audiobooks and podcasts, creating a completely new and real listening experience.

  • Author: Malcolm Gladwell
  • Genre: Audible Books & Originals, Health & Wellness, Psychology & Mental Health, Psychology, Social Psychology & Interactions

                 

2. Caste (Oprah's Book Club): The Origins of Our Discontents


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Sociology of Social Theory - August 2021

#1  NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB PICK • NATIONAL BOOK AWARD LONGLIST •  “An instant American classic and almost certainly the keynote nonfiction book of the American century thus far.”—Dwight Garner,  The New York Times The Pulitzer Prize–winning, bestselling author of  The Warmth of Other Suns  examines the unspoken caste system that has shaped America and shows how our lives today are still defined by a hierarchy of human divisions. NAMED THE #1 NONFICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR BY TIME,  ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY People • The Washington Post • Publishers Weekly  AND ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • O: The Oprah Magazine  • NPR • Bloomberg  • Christian Science Monitor • New York Post • The New York Public Library • Fortune •  Smithsonian Magazine •  Marie Claire • Town & Country • Slate  •  Library Journal • Kirkus Reviews • LibraryReads • PopMatters Winner of the  Los Angeles Times Book Prize • National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist • PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction Finalist • PEN/Jean Stein Book Award Longlist “As we go about our daily lives, caste is the wordless usher in a darkened theater, flashlight cast down in the aisles, guiding us to our assigned seats for a performance. The hierarchy of caste is not about feelings or morality. It is about power—which groups have it and which do not.”   In this brilliant book, Isabel Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America as she explores, through an immersive, deeply researched narrative and stories about real people, how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings.   Beyond race, class, or other factors, there is a powerful caste system that influences people’s lives and behavior and the nation’s fate. Linking the caste systems of America, India, and Nazi Germany, Wilkerson explores eight pillars that underlie caste systems across civilizations, including divine will, bloodlines, stigma, and more. Using riveting stories about people—including Martin Luther King, Jr., baseball’s Satchel Paige, a single father and his toddler son, Wilkerson herself, and many others—she shows the ways that the insidious undertow of caste is experienced every day. She documents how the Nazis studied the racial systems in America to plan their out-cast of the Jews; she discusses why the cruel logic of caste requires that there be a bottom rung for those in the middle to measure themselves against; she writes about the surprising health costs of caste, in depression and life expectancy, and the effects of this hierarchy on our culture and politics. Finally, she points forward to ways America can move beyond the artificial and destructive separations of human divisions, toward hope in our common humanity. Beautifully written, original, and revealing,  Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents  is an eye-opening story of people and history, and a reexamination of what lies under the surface of ordinary lives and of American life today.

  • Author: Isabel Wilkerson
  • Publisher: Random House; Reprint edition (August 4, 2020)
  • Genre: History, Americas
  • ISBN: 978-0593230251
  • Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.6 inches

                 

3. Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Sociology of Social Theory - August 2021

From the Nobel Prize-winning author of  Thinking, Fast and Slow  and the coauthor of  Nudge,  a revolutionary exploration of why people make bad judgments and how to make better ones--"a tour de force” ( New York Times ).  Imagine that two doctors in the same city give different diagnoses to identical patients—or that two judges in the same courthouse give markedly different sentences to people who have committed the same crime. Suppose that different interviewers at the same firm make different decisions about indistinguishable job applicants—or that when a company is handling customer complaints, the resolution depends on who happens to answer the phone. Now imagine that the same doctor, the same judge, the same interviewer, or the same customer service agent makes different decisions depending on whether it is morning or afternoon, or Monday rather than Wednesday. These are examples of noise: variability in judgments that should be identical.   In  Noise , Daniel Kahneman, Olivier Sibony, and Cass R. Sunstein show the detrimental effects of noise in many fields, including medicine, law, economic forecasting, forensic science, bail, child protection, strategy, performance reviews, and personnel selection. Wherever there is judgment, there is noise. Yet, most of the time, individuals and organizations alike are unaware of it. They neglect noise. With a few simple remedies, people can reduce both noise and bias, and so make far better decisions.   Packed with original ideas, and offering the same kinds of research-based insights that made  Thinking, Fast and Slow  and  Nudge  groundbreaking  New York Times  bestsellers,  Noise  explains how and why humans are so susceptible to noise in judgment—and what we can do about it.

  • Author: Daniel Kahneman
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Spark (May 18, 2021)
  • Genre: Business & Money, Management & Leadership
  • ISBN: 978-0316451406
  • Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.85 x 9.6 inches

                 

4. Nudge: The Final Edition


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Sociology of Social Theory - August 2021

An essential new edition―revised and updated from cover to cover―of one of the most important books of the last two decades, by Nobel Prize winner Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein * More than 2 million copies sold * New York Times bestseller Since the original publication of Nudge more than a decade ago, the title has entered the vocabulary of businesspeople, policy makers, engaged citizens, and consumers everywhere. The book has given rise to more than 400 “nudge units” in governments around the world and countless groups of behavioral scientists in every part of the economy. It has taught us how to use thoughtful “choice architecture”—a concept the authors invented—to help us make better decisions for ourselves, our families, and our society. Now, the authors have rewritten the book from cover to cover, making use of their experiences in and out of government over the past dozen years as well as an explosion of new research in numerous academic disciplines. To commit themselves to never undertaking this daunting task again, they are calling this the “final edition.” It offers a wealth of new insights, for both its avowed fans and newcomers to the field, about a wide variety of issues that we face in our daily lives—COVID-19, health, personal finance, retirement savings, credit card debt, home mortgages, medical care, organ donation, climate change, and “sludge” (paperwork and other nuisances we don’t want, and that keep us from getting what we do want)—all while honoring one of the cardinal rules of nudging: make it fun!

  • Author: Richard H. Thaler
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Revised edition (August 3, 2021)
  • Genre: Business & Money, Management & Leadership
  • ISBN: 978-0143137009
  • Dimensions: 5.52 x 0.8 x 8.44 inches

                 

5. The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter--And How to Make the Most of Them Now


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Sociology of Social Theory - August 2021

The Defining Decade  has changed the way millions of twentysomethings think about their twenties—and themselves. Revised and reissued for a new generation, let it change how you think about you and yours. Our "thirty-is-the-new-twenty" culture tells us the twentysomething years don't matter. Some say they are an extended adolescence. Others call them an emerging adulthood. In  The Defining Decade , Meg Jay argues that twentysomethings have been caught in a swirl of hype and misinformation, much of which has trivialized the most transformative time of our lives. Drawing from more than two decades of work with thousands of clients and students, Jay weaves the latest science of the twentysomething years with behind-closed-doors stories from twentysomethings themselves. The result is a provocative read that provides the tools necessary to take the most of your twenties, and shows us how work, relationships, personality, identity and even the brain can change more during this decade than at any other time in adulthood—if we use the time well. Also included in this updated edition:  Up-to-date research on work, love, the brain, friendship, technology, and fertility What a decade of device use has taught us about looking at friends—and looking for love—online 29 conversations to have with your partner—or to keep in mind as you search for one A social experiment in which "digital natives" go without their phones A Reader's Guide for book clubs, classrooms, or further self-reflection

  • Author: Meg Jay
  • Publisher: Twelve; Revised edition (March 16, 2021)
  • Genre: Self-Help, Relationships
  • ISBN: 978-1538754238
  • Dimensions: 5.45 x 1.2 x 8.25 inches

                 



6. David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Sociology of Social Theory - August 2021

Explore the power of the underdog in Malcolm Gladwell's dazzling examination of success, motivation, and the role of adversity in shaping our lives, from the bestselling author of  The Bomber Mafia . Three thousand years ago on a battlefield in ancient Palestine, a shepherd boy felled a mighty warrior with nothing more than a stone and a sling, and ever since then the names of David and Goliath have stood for battles between underdogs and giants. David's victory was improbable and miraculous. He shouldn't have won. Or should he have? In David and Goliath , Malcolm Gladwell challenges how we think about obstacles and disadvantages, offering a new interpretation of what it means to be discriminated against, or cope with a disability, or lose a parent, or attend a mediocre school, or suffer from any number of other apparent setbacks. Gladwell begins with the real story of what happened between the giant and the shepherd boy those many years ago. From there, David and Goliath examines Northern Ireland's Troubles, the minds of cancer researchers and civil rights leaders, murder and the high costs of revenge, and the dynamics of successful and unsuccessful classrooms—all to demonstrate how much of what is beautiful and important in the world arises from what looks like suffering and adversity. In the tradition of Gladwell's previous bestsellers— The Tipping Point , Blink , Outliers and What the Dog Saw — David and Goliath draws upon history, psychology, and powerful storytelling to reshape the way we think of the world around us.

  • Author: Malcolm Gladwell
  • Publisher: Back Bay Books; 1st edition (April 1, 2015)
  • Genre: Business & Money, Business Culture
  • ISBN: 978-0316204378

                 

7. Time to Eat: Delicious Meals for Busy Lives: A Cookbook


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Sociology of Social Theory - August 2021

From the host of the beloved Netflix series Time to Eat and winner of The Great British Baking Show come over 100 time-smart recipes to tackle family mealtime. Nadiya Hussain knows that feeding a family and juggling a full work load can be challenging. Time to Eat solves mealtime on weeknights and busy days with quick and easy recipes that the whole family will love. Nadiya shares all her tips and tricks for making meal prep as simple as possible, including ideas for repurposing leftovers and components of dishes into new recipes, creating second meals to keep in the freezer, and using shortcuts--like frozen foods--to cut your prep time significantly. In Time to Eat , Nadiya teaches you to make recipes from her hit Netflix show, including Peanut Butter & Jelly Traybake, Instant Noodles, Egg Rolls, and zesty Marmalade Haddock. Each recipe also notes exactly how long it will take to prepare and cook, making planning easy. Helpful icons identify which recipes can be made ahead, which ones are freezer-friendly, and which ones can be easily doubled.

  • Author: Nadiya Hussain
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter; Illustrated edition (November 10, 2020)
  • Genre: Politics & Social Sciences, Politics & Government
  • ISBN: 978-0593233535
  • Dimensions: 7.8 x 0.8 x 10.01 inches

                 

8. Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness [Expanded Edition]


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Sociology of Social Theory - August 2021

Every day, we make decisions on topics ranging from personal investments to schools for our children to the meals we eat to the causes we champion. Unfortunately, we often choose poorly. The reason, the authors explain, is that, being human, we are all susceptible to various biases that can lead us to blunder. Our mistakes make us poorer and less healthy; we often make bad decisions involving education, personal finance, health care, mortgages and credit cards, the family, and even the planet itself. Thaler and Sunstein invite us to enter an alternative world, one that takes our humanness as a given. They show that by knowing how people think, we can design choice environments that make it easier for people to choose what is best for themselves, their families, and their society. Using colorful examples from the most important aspects of life, Thaler and Sunstein demonstrate how thoughtful "choice architecture" can be established to nudge us in beneficial directions without restricting freedom of choice. Nudge offers a unique new take - from neither the left nor the right - on many hot-button issues, for individuals and governments alike. This is one of the most engaging and provocative audiobooks to come along in many years. Included in this recording are a bonus chapter and a Postscript that was added in the paperback edition.

  • Author: Richard H. Thaler
  • Genre: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Psychology & Counseling, Applied Psychology

                 

9. The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Sociology of Social Theory - August 2021

Thomas Sowell's provocative critique of liberalism's failures The Vision of the Anointed is a devastating critique of the mind-set behind the failed social policies of the past thirty years. Thomas Sowell sees what has happened not as a series of isolated mistakes but as a logical consequence of a vision whose defects have led to disasters in education, crime, family disintegration, and other social pathology. In this book, "politically correct" theory is repeatedly confronted with facts -- and sharp contradictions between the two are explained in terms of a whole set of self-congratulatory assumptions held by political and intellectual elites. These elites -- the anointed -- often consider themselves "thinking people," but much of what they call thinking turns out, on examination, to be rhetorical assertion, followed by evasions of mounting evidence against those assertions.

  • Author: Thomas Sowell
  • Publisher: Basic Books (June 28, 1996)
  • Genre: Politics & Social Sciences, Politics & Government
  • ISBN: 978-0465089956
  • Dimensions: 5.38 x 1 x 8 inches

                 

10. Humankind: A Hopeful History


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Sociology of Social Theory - August 2021

Instant New York Times best seller "The Sapiens of 2020." ( The Guardian ) From the author of the New York Times best seller Utopia for Realists comes "the riveting pick-me-up we all need right now" ( People ), the number one Dutch best seller Humankind , which offers a "bold" (Daniel H. Pink), "extraordinary" (Susan Cain) argument that humans thrive in a crisis and that our innate kindness and cooperation have been the greatest factors in our long-term success on the planet. " Humankind made me see humanity from a fresh perspective." (Yuval Noah Harari, author of the number one best seller Sapiens ) One of Washington Post 's 50 Notable Works in 2020 If there is one belief that has united the left and the right, psychologists and philosophers, ancient thinkers and modern ones, it is the tacit assumption that humans are bad. It's a notion that drives newspaper headlines and guides the laws that shape our lives. From Machiavelli to Hobbes, Freud to Pinker, the roots of this belief have sunk deep into Western thought. Human beings, we're taught, are by nature selfish and governed primarily by self-interest. But what if it isn't true? International best seller Rutger Bregman provides new perspective on the past 200,000 years of human history, setting out to prove that we are hardwired for kindness, geared toward cooperation rather than competition, and more inclined to trust rather than distrust one another. In fact this instinct has a firm evolutionary basis going back to the beginning of Homo sapiens .  From the real-life Lord of the Flies to the solidarity in the aftermath of the Blitz, the hidden flaws in the Stanford prison experiment to the true story of twin brothers on opposite sides who helped Mandela end apartheid, Bregman shows us that believing in human generosity and collaboration isn't merely optimistic - it's realistic. Moreover, it has huge implications for how society functions. When we think the worst of people, it brings out the worst in our politics and economics. But if we believe in the reality of humanity's kindness and altruism, it will form the foundation for achieving true change in society, a case that Bregman makes convincingly with his signature wit, refreshing frankness, and memorable storytelling.

  • Author: Rutger Bregman
  • Genre: Audible Books & Originals, Health & Wellness, Psychology & Mental Health, Psychology, Social Psychology & Interactions