Alternative ways to understanding sociological ideas..

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Theorists in short

This is a list of sociological thinkers that was created by Mike Goodman (with some input from Tom Conroy and Andrew Miller (see the Sociology Server for details.)

Karl Marx

Life’s not fair, let’s all share!

Emile Durkheim

You get the ankles, I’ll get the wrists.

Max Weber

All work and no play…

Georg Simmel

I feel like I am ze Country Mouse in ze Zitty, Ja?

Jurgen Habermas

Why can’t we all just get along?

Talcott Parsons

I have a diagram that explains EVERYTHING!

Pierre Bourdieu

Kids, stay in school.

Michel Foucault

Er… donnez-moi le gagball.

Erving Goffman

Where’s that #$@%!! waiter?

Jean Baudrillard

Real=fake; life=Disneyland

Robert Merton

Sometimes things happen for bad reasons and sometimes we can’t see the reasons right away.

Herbert Blumer

It’s all in your mind.

Louis Althusser

It’s not in your mind.

C. Levi-Strauss

Myths are cool.

Amitai Etzioni

C’mon people now, smile on your brother, everybody get together, we’ve got to love one another right now.

Clifford Geertz

Ooh, look, a cock fight! How Shakespearean!

Randall Collins

(sung) Let me entertain you…

Rational Choice Theory

Choose, or lose.

British Cultural Studies

It’s not so bad to spend time in front of the telly.

DISCLAIMER: The original authors (and moi) take NO responsibility for the following:

  • Failed exams as a result of your referring solely to this list for a study guide.
  • Rejected papers as a result of quoting these gems in an attempt to “set up a theoretical framework.”
  • Boos and hisses at the ASA meeting for using these gems in your presentations.


After applying some simple algebra to some trite phrases and cliches a new understanding can be reached of the secret to wealth and success.

    Here it goes.

  • Knowledge is Power
  • Time is Money and as every engineer knows,
  • Power is Work over Time.
    So, substituting algebraic equations for these time worn bits of wisdom, we get:

  • K = P (1)
  • T = M (2)
  • P = W/T (3)
    Now, do a few simple substitutions:

  • Put W/T in for P in equation (1), which yields:
  • K = W/T (4)
    Put M in for T into equation (4), which yields:

  • K = W/M (5).
    Now we’ve got something. Expanding back into English, we get:

  • Knowledge equals Work over Money.
    What this MEANS is that:

  • 1. The More You Know, the More Work You Do, and
  • 2. The More You Know, the Less Money You Make.
    Solving for Money, we get:

  • M = W/K (6)
  • Money equals Work Over Knowledge.

From equation (6) we see that Money approaches infinity as Knowledge approaches 0, regardless of the Work done.

    What THIS MEANS is:

  • The More you Make, the Less you Know.
    Solving for Work, we get

  • W = M K (7)
  • Work equals Money times Knowledge

From equation (7) we see that Work approaches 0 as Knowledge approaches 0.

    What THIS MEANS is:

  • The stupid rich do little or no work.

Working out the socioeconomic implications of this breakthrough is left as an exercise for the reader.


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