Carl Slawski
Systematic Set-up
  The Introduction to the book sets the stage for beginning students by defining philosophical and technical terms, presenting four criteria for evaluating theories, and providing a general approach for comparing theories.
  Each chapter begins with a brief preview page summarizing one theory in social psychology, then discussing it in simple, applied terms at a level that beginning students can easily understand.
  Chapters are grouped in Parts according to the tradition they represent for comparative purposes, allowing students to focus on their favorite theory and compare it to others.  Both psychological and sociological points of view are presented.  Library readings are recommended for each theory.

  Following the presentation in each Part, a Critique section helps students evaluate each theory on the basis of the four criteria (especially explanatory power and information value) as well as to see the relationships among the theories.  In evaluating each theory, two questions are asked: 1) How can one achieve self-actualization with this theory?  2) How can this theory help one to change a person?
  An alternate topical table of contents is included.  The Conclusion to the text briefly classifies the perspectives by disciplinary domain and approach to research, providing guidelines for larger scale comparison and possible syntheses of the theories in social psychology.  Triangulation of theories is advocated for greater understanding of the field.

Graphic Diagrams
  The two flow chart templates for each theory aid visual memory of the central concepts; they make for easier comparison and intuitive review of competing theories; they help to show the deficiencies and areas of conceptual neglect of each theory by easy demonstration of the blank areas appearing in the boxes; they help promote a high level of critical thinking and suggest syntheses.  The "Social Problem Solver" templates suggest key questions to be asked by a counselor or consultant who is an expert in that theory.

Utilizing the learners' experiences
  Instructions are given for a number of exercises and activities that encourage students to apply the perspectives to their everyday lives, thereby reinforcing their knowledge of a theory in practice.  Application activities include write-ups, with one complete sample student write-up, study questions for each chapter, and instructions for classroom simulation games, including application of scenes from theater plays.  Video-taped film scenes are also easy to evaluate with the approach outlined.

Solidly presented
  This text is not a standard social psychology text.  It provides undergraduates with a wide range of readable theories, then makes them active participants in applying theoretical principles to their lives.  The four criteria for evaluating the usefulness of more than one theory at a time are spelled out and repeatedly applied to concrete cases.  The text meets your students' needs for a theoretical approach, practical applications, and a method for deciding why or how one theory is better than another.

  About the Author:  Dr. Carl Slawski is Professor of Sociology Emeritus at California State University---Long Beach and has taught social psychology for over 25 years in the U.S., Canada, and Germany.  Dr. Slawski holds an A.B. from the University of Southern California, an M.A. from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana.  Dr. Slawski is also a member of the American Sociological Association, the International Society for the Systems Sciences, and numerous other professional associations.              

    For more details, a flyer or a xerox copy of the text for possible adoption, contact:
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    For text outline click on Table of Contents.

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