Category Archives: Book summaries

Forging the American Empire

Is it possible to perceive the making of modern America as a sort of colonial project? One in which the new American capitalist class colonizes the so called American wilderness for the benefit of Capitalism? This is the argument Andrew … Continue reading

Posted in Book summaries, countries, Global Development, Theories of development, USA | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The End of Development?

A summary of The End of Development: A Global History of Poverty and Prosperity, by Andrew Brooks (2017) This blog post covers Part 1: Making the Modern World Chapter 1: environmental determinism and early human history The argument in this … Continue reading

Posted in Book summaries | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Capitalist Mode of Production

Understanding the Capitalist Mode of Production is crucial to an understanding of both Modernisation Theory and Dependency Theory – I thought the passage below did a nice job of summarizing what the ‘capitalist mode of production’ is. A a special … Continue reading

Posted in Book summaries, Marxism | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Mars Trilogy – Good Sociology Novels!

I thought I’d take the unusual step of plugging a series of novels in this post…. The ‘Mars Trilogy’ by Kim Stanley Robinson (1990s) may well be a work of science fiction, but it’s full of sociological themes. I guess … Continue reading

Posted in Book summaries | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why Intelligence Doesn’t Explain Success

A summary of Malcom Gladwell’s ‘Outliers’ chapter 3: The Trouble With Genius, Part 1. Over the past Decade, Chris Langan has become the public face of genius in American life. He has an IQ of 195, compared to Einstein who … Continue reading

Posted in Book summaries, Education | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The 10,000 Hour Rule

The 10, 000 Hour Rule is the theory that it takes 10 000 hours of practice to become an expert in something – and seems to be most frequently applied to the fields of sport and music. Below is a … Continue reading

Posted in Book summaries | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Mathew Effect: A Summary of ‘Outliers’ Chapter One.

Outliers: The Story of Success (2008) by Malcom Gladwell is a great work of sociology, so I thought it’s worth summarizing in some depth. The gist of the book is that it’s not exceptional individual talent which explains success, but … Continue reading

Posted in Book summaries | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Bauman’s ‘The Individualised Society’ – A Summary of the Preface

It may sound odd doing a summary of a preface, but there is a lot of heavy stuff in here…. According to Bauman ‘Sociology can help us link our individual decisions and actions to the deeper cause of our troubles … Continue reading

Posted in Book summaries, Social Theory (A2) | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Summary of Zygmunt Bauman’s ‘The Individualised Society’ (part 1/3)

Chapter One  – The Rise and Fall of Labour This chapter explains that the decline of the labour movement is due the extraterritorial power of Capital. The industrial revolution led to labour being uprooted from its age old link to … Continue reading

Posted in Book summaries | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Summary of Zygmunt Bauman’s ‘The Individualised Society’, Part Two – The Way We Think

Part Two – The Way We Think Chapter Seven – Critique – Privatised and Disarmed More than anything else so far this chapter represents a good summary of some of Bauman’s major ideas. What is wrong with our society is … Continue reading

Posted in Book summaries | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment