CC -- Sociology

Soziologielexikon [Lexicon of Sociology]. Ed. Gerd Reinhold. With the assistance of Siegfried Lamnek. 4th ed. München: Oldenbourg, 2000. xi, 750 p. ill. 22 cm. ISBN 3-486-25440-5: DM 68.00 [01-1-115]

The second (1992) edition of this lexicon was a useful and dependable reference work. However, neither the current edition nor the "completely revised" third edition on which it is based show much updating. Twelve new major concepts were added in that edition. Otherwise, changes were minimal or nonexistent: there have been no additions or changes to the bibliographies of the other articles since the first edition in 1991; content has not been brought up to date and neither has information about the contributors. Those who need more current information will turn first to the Lexikon zur Soziologie (Opladen, 1994) or the Wörterbuch der Soziologie (Stuttgart, 1994). [jpl/vh]


Hauptwerke der Soziologie [Major Works of Sociology]. Ed. Dirk Kaesler and Ludgera Vogt. Stuttgart: Kröner, 2000. xviii, 501 p. 18 cm. (Kröners Taschenausgabe, 396). ISBN 3-520-39601-7: DM 49.80 [01-2-388]

Schlüsselwerke der Soziologie [Key Works of Sociology]. Ed. Sven Papcke and Georg W. Oesterdiekhoff. Wiesbaden: Westdeutscher Verlag, 2001. xii, 547 p. 23 cm. ISBN 3-531-13235-0: DM 74.00 [01-2-389]

Lexikon der soziologischen Werke [Encyclopedia of Works in Sociology]. Ed. Georg W. Oesterdiekhoff. Wiesbaden: Westdeutscher Verlag, 2001. 759 p. 25 cm. ISBN 3-531-13255-5: DM 98.00 [01-2-390]

In 2001 three reference works were published that introduce the "classics" of sociology: Hauptwerke der Soziologie, Schlüsselwerke der Soziologie, and Lexikon der soziologischen Werke. Each treats the subject differently through selection and structure, providing a complementary overview of the core texts in sociology.

The aim of the Hauptwerke der Soziologie is to introduce and illuminate the field of sociology by way of its most important publications. The editor, Dirk Kaesler, has had experience publishing similar histories of sociology and was able to involve many of the big names in German sociology in this project. The articles include summaries of the selected works and their historical significance, current relevance, and author biographies. Although this type of work cannot provide a comprehensive view of the development of sociology, it offers a quick entrance to the most important theoretical discussions in the field. Of the three works discussed here, Hauptwerke der Soziologie is the least comprehensive but perhaps the most accessible for the interested reader as well as the researcher.

Schlüsselwerke der Soziologie is a well conceived and balanced reference work. The editor and contributors are well known in the field of sociology. The articles are consistently of high quality, giving summaries and explanations of the works' content and their influence in the history of sociology. Schlüsselwerke der Soziologie covers nearly twice as many works as Hauptwerke. The carefully selected bibliographies include both secondary sources and additional titles by the author. One failing of the Schlüsselwerke der Soziologie is the lack of a subject index.

The Lexikon der soziologischen Werke has the most extensive coverage of the three reference works examined here, introducing around 750 works of sociology, although the articles are generally shorter than in Hauptwerke and Schlüsselwerke. Related fields such as political science, history, and economics are integrated into the coverage. The articles are uneven in quality; many only summarize the works whereas others also provide a critical evaluation and discussion of their relevance. The short bibliographies that accompany each article do not seem to follow a set format, and a keyword index is lacking. Despite these shortcomings, in its breadth of coverage the Lexikon fulfills its promise to introduce the reader to the classics of sociology. [jpl/ldb]

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