Guillaume Vallet published in this academic year two books by the Presses Universitaires de Grenoble. The first is entitled the Authors and main currents of economic thought, and the second Small manual sociology for the use of economists. We are interested here in the second installment.
This “little” manual of 115 pages provides an introduction to the discipline of sociology for students preparing for the contests of teaching in economics and social sciences (Capes and Aggregation). The will is therefore immediately didactic and pragmatic, and that the short format of this album, makes it easier.
From this point of view, the title of the book seems to us equivocal1. As called for by the first sentence of the summary of the editor-in-fourth-hedging ” sociology has much to contribute to the economic analysis “, I thought that this book was intended to demonstrate to economists heuristicité of sociology and is meant to be a sort of “anti-manual” economy in the use of economists. In fact it is not the case and the manual fits, although the more traditional in the publishing world already full of textbooks to students preparing for the contest of HIS.
As such, this manual meets the requirements of form and format. The first chapter is this, as in almost any “manual” of initiation, such as a history of thought. The second chapter draws a broad outline of the main currents of the discipline and introduces them to the thought of the “great” sociologists and the third chapter sketches the outlines of an epistemology of the discipline.
The format picked up this book, constraints, and editorial forces, directs the reader to the essential, as each author is presented through a single key reading2. For Durkheim, this will be the social link, for Weber rationality is the honor. The research themes of Bourdieu are summarized in a few paragraphs… Among sociologists the contemporary, are selected as the four “big names” of the sociology according to the title chosen : in the menu, Boudon, Bourdieu, Touraine, and Elias. The speed of the presentation, in fact, a tool first aimed at the general beginner in sociology and I would advise, for example, gladly this book to my students in the first year of the degree in sociology… The ambition is to establish a panorama as wide as possible in order to arouse the curiosity of students and encourage them to read by themselves.