“Power, Politics, and Society: An Introduction to Political Sociology” by Betty A. Dobratz, professor of sociology, Lisa K. Waldner, and Timothy Buzzell discusses how sociologists have organized the study of politics into conceptual frameworks, and how each of these frameworks foster a sociological perspective on power and politics in society. This includes discussing how these frameworks can be applied to understanding current issues and other “real-life” aspects of politics. The second edition published by Routledge incorporates new material on cultural divides in American politics, emerging roles of the state, the ongoing effects of the Great Recession and recovery, the 2016 and 2018 elections, social media, and the various policies introduced during the Trump administration and how they affect people’s lives.
The book has received accolades from experts in the field.
“This book provides a comprehensive overview and very thorough treatment of the main ideas and arguments within political sociology. I especially like the authors’ attention to culture, and their detailed presentations of the ways in which politics and the state frame and permeate so many elements of everyday life. Truly they will help you to see, as Antonio Gramsci noted, that all of social life is, in some way or other, political,” said Paul Mclean, professor of sociology Rutgers University.
Not only does the book shine a light on important aspects of everyday life. It does it in a way that is accessible and appealing to students.
“Dobratz, Buzzell, and Waldner masterfully present the principal themes in political sociology in ways that compel students to see how their lives are shaped by power and politics and highlights how they can reshape power relations through social networks, organizations, and social institutions.” said Robert Futrell, professor and chair of the Department of Sociology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Dobratz’s co-authors Lisa K. Waldner and Timothy Buzzell both received their Ph.D.s from Iowa State University, as did Brandon Hofstedt who collaborated and wrote much of the chapter on social movements. Waldner is currently professor of sociology and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of St. Thomas. Buzzell is a professor of sociology in the Department of History, Culture and Society at Baker University in Baldwin City, Kansas. Hofstedt is Associate Professor of Sustainable Community Development and Faculty Director of the Center for Rural Communities at Northland College.
Two Iowa State University undergraduate students Madison Wiegand and Luke Turck also provided textboxes for the book. Wiegand’s textbox was on the roles of law enforcement and protest groups during the Charlottesville 2017 rallies. She was a political science major and is currently a graduate student at Washington University School of Law. Turck’s textbox was on the alt-right, and he will graduate in May 2019 with co-majors in sociology and political science.