Full list of books by John Scott.


Class and Social Honour. Lords, Knights, and Companions

Palgrave Macmillan

This book develops a theoretical approach to social stratification and applies it to the development of the official system of state honours in Britain. It examines both class and status, and sets out an innovative framework for understanding social status – an important but often ignored and misunderstood dimension of social stratification. It is shown that a system of peerages, knighthoods, and other state-based royal honours emerged from feudal patterns of political rule and became an unplanned framework of social integration in the UK that has, since the nineteenth century, decayed and been challenged by alternative criteria of status. 

The book explores the class basis of the rise and decay of royal honours and includes a review of contemporary attempts to reconstruct and renew a system of social honour that reflects contemporary relations of power and class in Britain.

Structure and Social Action. On Constituting and Constructing Social Worlds

Bingley, Emerald Publishing, 2022

It is often claimed that the disjunction or opposition between ‘action’ theories and ‘structural’ theories rests on a misunderstanding of what social structure is. A clear understanding of social structure dissolves this apparent opposition. It is argued that social structure is a real social fact but has no separate and substantive existence apart from the minds and actions of the individual and collective actors who produce and reproduce it.

It is argued that it is possible to distinguish between ‘figurational structures’ of interaction and the deeper ‘formational structures’. Social interaction occurs within specific social worlds to form an extensive interaction order. The pattern of interactions comprises a figurational structure that can be mapped and explored through the methods of social network analysis. A figurational structure can be partitioned into the deeper, emergent levels of a formational structure that comprises class relations, divisions of gender and ethnicity, and a range of other divisions. This book examines the use of the sociological imagination to identify and explore formational structures and suggests the formal, analytical methods that can support these explorations.

The two levels of structure are seen as the spheres of microsociology and macrosociology, respectively. These levels can be theorised in terms of processes of social integration and system integration. The use of the ideas presented in the book is illustrated through a brief case study of class relations in French political history from the Revolution to the Third Republic.

British Sociology. A History

London, Palgrave Macmillan, 2020

This Palgrave Pivot presents a comprehensive history of sociology in Britain, tracking the discipline's intellectual developments within the institutional and political context.

After tracing the early development of the subject as an intellectual field in empirical and idealist philosophy, evolutionism, socialism, and statistical investigations, Scott lays out the trajectory of sociology as an institutionalised discipline. British Sociology maps the spread of the subject from the first Sociology Department at LSE to cover the whole country. It considers the establishment of significant professional organisations and journals, and the impact of feminism and political change. Scott also reviews theoretical engagement with Marxism, interactionism, feminism, and post-structuralism and the development of the discipline through research studies of crime, race and ethnicity, community, stratification, health, sexuality, and work.

 Set against the backdrop of a changing political context that has seen the growth of neoliberalism and globalisation, and looking forward with the ongoing search for 'new directions,' this useful and original contribution will appeal to both academics and students across sociology, criminology, and the political sciences. 

The Emerald Guide to Talcott Parsons

Bingley, Emerald Publishing, 2020

This book is an introductory guide to the work of Talcott Parsons, designed specifically for students and those new to his work. It offers a comprehensive guide to reading and understanding the development of Parsons' sociological ideas, placing them in the context of his life and his position in American sociology. Scott delves into crucial resources on Parsons, including a bibliography of key works and a guide to further reading. By equipping readers to understand Parsons, the author arms them to engage with Parsons' work for themselves and to come to their own, informed judgments about his contemporary relevance.

The Emerald Guide to Max Weber

Bingley, Emerald Publishing, 2019

This primer is the first introductory guide to the work of Max Weber designed specifically for students and those new to his work, providing a readable, clear, comprehensive and authoritative overview. The book discusses Weber’s personal biography, placing him in the context of the development of the social sciences, covering his methodology as well as his work on religion, politics, economic history, music, and the development of capitalism.

All that the reader needs to gain a good grasp of Weber’s importance is contained in this book, which provides a firm foundation for the independent reading of Weber himself and for  pursuing the many discussions and interpretations of his ideas. The book will appeal to readers in sociology, politics, history, law, religion, and other areas of the social sciences to which Weber made a contribution.

The book includes a complete list of the best translations of Weber’s works into English, an extensive guide to further reading highlighting uses and applications of Weber’s ideas, and a brief overview of the German editions of his collected works.

British Social Theory: Recovering Lost Traditions before 1950

London, Sage, 2018

A unique contribution to discussions of social theory, this book counters the argument that no social theory was ever produced in Britain before the late twentieth century. Reviewing a period of 300 years from the seventeenth century to the mid-twentieth century, it sets out a number of innovative strands in theory that culminated in powerful contributions in the classical period of sociology. The book discusses how these traditions of theory were lost and forgotten and sets out why they are important today.

The Palgrave Handbook of Sociology in Britain

Editor and contributor, with John Holmwood, Houndmills, Palgrave, 2014

Leading sociologists outline the historical development of the discipline in Britain and document its continuing influence in this essential and comprehensive reference work. Spanning the Scottish enlightenment of the 18th century to the present day this Handbook maps the discipline and  the British contribution.

"This landmark collection takes stock of more than two centuries of intellectual work with importance for all of the social sciences, for sociology around the world, and for the self-understanding of British society. It is important as history, and important as a resource and orientation for the future." - Craig Calhoun, Director, London School of Economics, UK

"This is a book of extraordinary depth and scholarship. It sets a new standard for thinking historically about sociology in Britain, and is destined to become a classic in its field"- Nicholas Gane, Professor of Sociology, University of Warwick, UK

"Reflecting trends in its subject-matter the development of Sociology in the UK this multi-authored collection brings to bear the range and power of a team approach to provide both a wide range of attention and depth of treatment of manifold aspects of UK Sociology as a knowledge production system. Not only the academic work that has been produced across a range of crucial specialties in UK sociology is considered, but also how this has been affected changing crucial aspects of the UK cultural and societal context and disciplinary scholarly infrastructure. This adds up to a definitive & mature treatment." Charles Crothers, AUT University, New Zealand

"The history of sociology is an increasingly important branch of the field, presenting analyses in terms of long-running intellectual debates. This book, focusing on Britain but with broader relevance, makes a wonderful contribution. It deserves to be part of sociology teaching around the world."- Gary Wickham, Professor of Sociology, Murdoch University, Australia

"This interesting and very useful book investigates the empirical and theoretical origins of British sociology and explores the development of several popular subject areas over time. I highly recommended it for teachers and students alike." - Cherry Schrecker, Nancy Université, France

C. Wright Mills and the Sociological Imagination. Contemporary Perspectives

Editor and contributor, with Ann Nilsen, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2013

C. Wright Mills is one of the towering figures in contemporary sociology and his writings continue to be of great relevance to the social science community. Generations of sociology students have enjoyed learning about the discipline from reading his best known book The Sociological Imagination. Over the years the title has become a term in itself with a variety of interpretations, many far removed from the original. The chapters in Part One of this book begins with general issues around the nature and significance of the sociological imagination, continue through discussions of modes of theorising and historical explanation, the relationship between history and biography, and the intellectual and political relationship of Mills to Marxism. They conclude with considerations on issues of class, power, and warfare. Part Two of the book includes a series of reflections from scholars who were invited to give personal thoughts on the impact of Mills's writings in their sociological work, with particular attention to their own 'biography and history'. With renowned international contributors and expert contributions from a range of specialisms, this book will appeal to academics, students and researchers of sociology.

Envisioning Sociology. Victor Branford, Patrick Geddes, and the Quest for Social Reconstruction

With Ray Bromley, Albany NY: SUNY Press, 2013

Examines the continuing relevance of early British sociologists Victor Branford, Patrick Geddes, and their associates.

Envisioning Sociology is a landmark work, the first major study of the founding of sociology in Britain and the enormous contributions made by the intellectual circle led by Victor Branford and Patrick Geddes. Authors John Scott and Ray Bromley chronicle the biographical connections and personal partnerships of the circle’s key participants, their international connections, their organization-building work, and the business activities that underpinned their efforts. Branford and Geddes fashioned an ambitious and wide-ranging interdisciplinary vision, drawing on geography, anthropology, economics, and urban planning, in addition to sociology. This vision was an integral part of a project of social reconstruction, a “third way” eschewing both liberalism and communism in favor of cooperation, redistribution, and federalism. Envisioning Sociology uncovers a previously hidden history of the social sciences, giving readers a fascinating glimpse into early twentieth-century social science and political economy, while demonstrating the contemporary relevance of the ideas of these underrated figures. Although Branford and Geddes failed to establish the grand sociology they envisioned, their ideas helped develop the theory and practice of community development, participatory democracy, bioregionalism, historic preservation, and neighborhood upgrading.

“Scott and Bromley are illuminating and sure-footed about the intellectual field that spawned the [sociological] Society. Theirs is surely an exhaustive account of the group’s contribution to social reconstruction, politics, planning, civics, culture and education and, above all, sociology.” — Sociological Review

“…a significant contribution … the most substantial effort to date to recover the life and work of a circle of early twentieth-century thinkers … punchy and highly readable.” — Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences

“…a valuable book which will be of interest to a wide variety of scholars of the intellectual history of the later Victorian period.” — Journal of Victorian Culture

John Scott is Professor of Sociology at Plymouth University in the United Kingdom. His many books include Sociological Theory: Contemporary Debates, Second EditionConceptualising the Social World: Principles of Sociological Analysis; and Sociology, Fourth Edition (coauthored with James Fulcher).

Ray Bromley is Professor of Geography and Planning at the University at Albany, State University of New York. His books include Planning for Small Enterprises in Third World Cities.

Financial Elites and Transnational Business. Who Rules the World?

Editor and contributor, with Georgina Murray. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2012

This absorbing book addresses the seemingly simple question of who rules the world by linking it to debates about who owns the world and what this means for the dynamics of global power distribution. Several expert contributors focus on global issues, including the role of transnational finance, interlocking directorates, ownership and tax havens. Others examine how these issues at the global level interact with the regional or nation state level in the US, the UK, China, Australia and Mexico. The books scrutinizes globalization from a fresh, holistic perspective, examining the relationship between the national and transnational to uncover the most significant structures and agents of power. Possible policy futures are also considered. Academics and researchers across a varied spectrum of fields encompassing business and management, international studies and public policy will find this book both fascinating and important.

What is Social Network Analysis?

London: Bloomsbury, 2012

This book introduces the non-specialist reader to the principal ideas, nature and purpose of social network analysis. Social networks operate on many levels, from families up to the level of nations, and play a critical role in determining the way problems are solved, organizations are run, and the degree to which individuals achieve their goals. Social network theory maps these relationships between individual actors. Though relatively new on the scene it has become hugely influential across the social sciences.

Assuming no prior knowledge of quantitative sociology, this book presents the key ideas in context through examples and illustrations. Using a structured approach to understanding work in this area, John Scott signposts further reading and online sources so readers can develop their knowledge and skills to become practitioners of this research method. A series of Frequently Asked Questions takes the reader through the main objections raised against social network analysis and answers the various queries that will come up once the reader has worked their way through the book.

Objectivity and Subjectivity in Social Research

With Gayle Letherby and Malcolm Williams, London, Sage, 2012

Objectivity and subjectivity are key concepts in social research. This book, written by leading authors in the field, takes a completely new approach to objectivity and subjectivity, no longer treating them as opposed - as many existing texts do - but as logically and methodologically related in social research. 

The book debates:

  • the philosophical bases of objectivity and relativity
  • relationism and dynamic synthesis
  • situated objectivity
  • theorised subjectivity
  • social objects and realism
  • objectivity and subjectivity in practice

The authors explain complex arguments with great clarity for social science students, while also providing the detail and comprehensiveness required to meet the needs of practising researchers and scholars.

Handbook of Social Network Analysis

Editor and contributor, with Peter Carrington, London, Sage, 2011. Chinese translation as 社会网络分析手册 (trans. By Liu Jun 刘军, Two Volumes, Chongqing, Chongqing University Press, 2018).

This Handbook offers an unrivalled resource for those engaged in the cutting edge field of social network analysis. Systematically, it introduces readers to the key concepts, substantive topics, central methods and prime debates. Among the specific areas covered are:  

  • Network theory
  • Interdisciplinary applications
  • Online networks
  • Corporate networks
  • Lobbying networks
  • Deviant networks
  • Measuring devices
  • Key Methodologies
  • Software applications.

The result is a peerless resource for teachers and students which offers a critical survey of the origins, basic issues and major debates. The Handbook provides a one-stop guide that will be used by readers for decades to come.

Conceptualising the Social World. Principles of Sociological Analysis

Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2011

This comprehensive and authoritative statement of fundamental principles of sociological analysis integrates approaches that are often seen as mutually exclusive. John Scott argues that theorising in sociology and other social sciences is characterised by the application of eight key principles of sociological analysis: culture, nature, system, structure, action, space-time, mind and development. He considers the principal contributions to the study of each of these dimensions in their historical sequence in order to bring out the cumulative character of knowledge. Showing that the various principles can be combined in a single disciplinary framework, Scott argues that sociologists can work most productively within an intellectual division of labour that transcends artificial theoretical and disciplinary differences. Sociology provides the central ideas for conceptualising the social, but it must co-exist productively with other social science disciplines and disciplinary areas.

Fifty Key Sociologists: The Formative Theorists

Editor and contributor, London, Routledge, 2007. Portuguese translation: 50 Sociologos Fundamentais, São Paulo, Editora Contexto, 2009

Covering the life, work, ideas and impact of some of the most significant thinkers in sociology, Fifty Key Sociologists: The Formative Theorists concentrates on figures in the field writing principally in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Including entries on Jane Addams, Theodor Adorno, George Lukács, Max Weber and Pitrim Sorokin, this practical text:

  • is presented in an accessible A–Z format for maximum ease-of-use
  • provides full cross-referencing and a further reading section for each entry, in order to allow the reader to broaden their understanding of the area
  • includes biographical data for each of the figures covered.

Presenting the key works and ideas of each sociologist featured, as well as providing some critical assessment of their work, this is an ideal reference guide for undergraduate and postgraduate students of sociology, cultural studies and general studies, as well as other readers interested in this important field.

Fifty Key Sociologists: The Contemporary Theorists

Editor and contributor, London, Routledge, 2007. Portuguese translation: 50 Grandes Sociólogos Contemporaneous, São Paulo, Editora Contexto, 2009. Arabic Translation: المظّرون المعاصرون اجتماعياً أساسياً خمسون عالماً   (Almzrwn alm'easrwn ajtma'eyaan asasyaan khmswn 'ealmaan), Beirut, Arab Network for Research and Publishing, 2009

Fifty Key Sociologists: The Contemporary Theorists covers the life, work, ideas and impact of some of the most important thinkers in this discipline.

Concentrating on figures writing predominantly in the second half of the twentieth century, such as Zygmunt Bauman, Pierre Bourdieu, Judith Butler, Michel Foucault and Claude Lévi-Strauss, each entry includes:

  • full cross-referencing
  • a further reading section
  • biographical data
  • key works and ideas
  • critical assessment.

Clearly presented in an easy-to-navigate A–Z format, this accessible reference guide is ideal for undergraduate and postgraduate students of sociology, cultural studies and general studies, as well as other readers interested in this fascinating field.

Social Theory: Central Issues in Sociology

London, Sage, 2006

"John Scott has provided us with an encyclopaedic tour through the foundations and development of social theory which cautions against the contemporary fragmentation of academic work and demonstrates the continued value of sociology's heritage. The book will become a key resource for students and scholars alike." - Barry Smart, Portsmouth University

This is a comprehensive, critical review of social theory that places leading contributions in their larger context. Written predominantly for students, the scope and range of the subjects and authors dealt with results in one of the most comprehensive introductions to social theory published to date. 

Ranging from the philosophical foundations of sociology and the discovery of 'the social' to distinctive sociological approaches, to the significance of issues pertaining to gender and patriarchy, to questions of modernity and post-modernity, the book is comprehensive in subject matter. Among the distinctive features of the book are:

  • Clarity of exposition from a well-known and respected commentator in the field
  • Focus boxes to facilitate comprehension
  • Tremendous range of material
  • Powerful organization of the material around key organizing principles

The book is a major accomplishment which will quickly establish itself as the key set text in Sociology and Social Theory courses.

Documentary Research

Four Volumes, editor, London, Sage, 2006

Documentary research involves the use of texts and documents as source materials: government publications, newspapers, certificates, census publications, novels, film and video, paintings, personal photographs, diaries and innumerable other written, visual and pictorial sources in paper, electronic, or other `hard copy' form. Along with surveys and ethnography, documentary research is one of the three major types of social research and arguably has been the most widely used of the three throughout the history of sociology and other social sciences. It has been the principal method - indeed, sometimes the only one - for leading sociologists.

The key issues surrounding types of documents and our ability to use them as reliable sources of evidence on the social world must be considered by all who use documents in their research. The paucity of sources available until now means that this compendium will be invaluable to social researchers.

Volume One: Theory and Methods

Volume Two: Personal Documents

Volume Three: Mass Media and Cyber Documents

Volume Four: Official Statistics and Sources

Sociology: The Key Concepts

Editor and contributor, London, Routledge, 2006. Portuguese translation: Sociologia: Conceitos-Chave, Rio de Janeiro, Jorge Zahar

An essential A-Z guide to the full range of sociological thought, Sociology: The Key Concepts is an important addition to the established and successful Key Concepts series.

Fully cross-referenced with an extensive glossary, this accessible text also includes:

  • alphabetical listings of key concepts for ease of use
  • suggestions for further reading to enhance understanding of areas covered
  • entries on ‘traditionalism’ ‘race and racialization’ and ‘modernity’.

Bringing together an international range of highly regarded contributors from the full spectrum of disciplines, this useful reference guide is the ideal resource for those studying or interested in this popular area.

Models and Methods in Social Network Analysis

Editor with P. Carrington and S. Wasserman, New York, Cambridge University Press, 2005. Awarded 2006 Harrison White Outstanding Book Award, American Sociological Association, Mathematical Sociology Section.

Models and Methods in Social Network Analysis, first published in 2005, presents the most important developments in quantitative models and methods for analyzing social network data that have appeared during the 1990s. Intended as a complement to Wasserman and Faust's Social Network Analysis: Methods and Applications, it is a collection of articles by leading methodologists reviewing advances in their particular areas of network methods. Reviewed are advances in network measurement, network sampling, the analysis of centrality, positional analysis or blockmodelling, the analysis of diffusion through networks, the analysis of affiliation or 'two-mode' networks, the theory of random graphs, dependence graphs, exponential families of random graphs, the analysis of longitudinal network data, graphical techniques for exploring network data, and software for the analysis of social networks.

Oxford Dictionary of Sociology

Editor with G. Marshall, Oxford, Oxford University Third Edition 2005, Third Revised Edition 2009. Sole editor, Fourth Edition 2014. Arabic Translation of Third and fourth Editions: موسوعة علم الاجتماع (Mewsew'eh 'elem alajetma'e), Cairo, National center for Translation Opera House, 2011 and 2019. Turkish translation of Fourth Edition, Ankyra, Bilim ve Sanat Yayınları, 2020. (Originally published 1994).

A consistent best-seller, the wide-ranging and authoritative Dictionary of Sociology was first published in 1994 and contains more than 2,500 entries on the terminology, methods, concepts, and thinkers in the field, as well as from the related fields of psychology, economics, anthropology, philosophy, and political science. 

For this fourth edition, Professor John Scott has conducted a thorough review of all entries to ensure that they are concise, focused, and up to date. Revisions reflect current intellectual debates and social conditions, particularly in relation to global and multi-cultural issues. New entries cover relevant contemporary concepts, such as climate changesocial mediaterrorism, and intersectionality, as well as key living sociologists. 

This Dictionary is both an invaluable introduction to sociology for beginners, and an essential source of reference for more advanced students and teachers.

Rethinking Class: Culture, Identities, and Lifestyle

Editor with R. Crompton, F. Devine, M. Savage, London, Macmillan, 2004

This collection considers the growing interest in the issue of culture in sociology and its implications for the study of class relations. Presenting recent empirical research conducted in Britain, Europe, America and Australia on class and the intersection between class, gender and race, it celebrates the emergence of new ways of knowing about social inequalities.

Social Networks: Critical Concepts

Four Volumes, editor, London, Routledge, 2002

Social networks as a concept was developed through social psychological work on the communication and leadership structures of small groups, and in sociological and anthropological work on kinship and community relations. From the 1960s, this idea came to be extended to a wider range of social relations (especially economic and political relations) through the formulation of mathematical models of networks. Advances in computing technology allowed the construction of more systematic and more powerful network methods.

The aim of this collection is to bring together the principal sources in the development of the techniques of social network analysis, from early metaphorical statements in Simmel and Radcliffe-Brown, through the more systematic explorations in sociology and social anthropology to contemporary formalizations. 

A new introduction explores the history of social networks and highlights the arguments of those who treat social network analysis as a loose, qualitative approach, as well as those who see potential in its technical, mathematical uses.


Cambridge, Polity Press, 2001. Polish translation: Władza, Warszawa, Wydawnictwo SIC, 2006

This far-reaching study gives a concise and coherent overview of the debates surrounding the analysis of social power. The concept of power is outlined, and its main dimensions are explored through consideration of various facets - command, pressure, constraint, discipline, protest, and interpersonal power. The book examines both the theoretical debates that have arisen and the kinds of empirical materials relevant to them. Topics covered include the nature of the contemporary state, global economic power, world systems, business governance, professional power, social movements, and family dynamics. Power will be an indispensable introduction for students and researchers in sociology, politics, and the social sciences generally.

Renewing Class Analysis

Sociological Review Monograph, editor with R. Crompton, F. Devine, and M. Savage, Oxford, Blackwell Publishers, 2000

This collection advances contemporary debates in class analysis by offering a range of new empirical research on emergent forms of social stratification and by re-thinking the intersection between economic change, social polarisation and the remaking of class relations.

Social Structure

(With José López), Buckingham, Open University Press, 2000. Chinese translation: 社结构, (Shèhuì jiégòu), Jilin Publishing House, 2007

Despite the importance of the concept of social structure, sociologists have not agreed on how to define it and discussions have been plagued by confusion. In this concise and enlightening text, Jose Lopez and John Scott argue that analysing the conceptual frameworks in which different concepts of social structure are embedded can help to clarify their meanings and reshape debates. They show that competing conceptions of social structure can be seen as capturing significant and different aspects of the reality of social organization. Social Structure is organized around a discussion of 'institutional structure', 'relational structure' and 'embodied structure'. It argues that these conceptions of social structure can be fruitfully combined in order to provide a richer and more powerful overview, incorporating the work of principal contributors from Marx and Durkheim, through Parsons and Simmel, to Giddens, Foucault and Bourdieu. The book provides essential reading for undergraduate courses in sociology, social anthropology, and the history and philosophy of social thought, as well as representing an invaluable reference for researchers interested in social structure and surrounding issues.


(With James Fulcher). Together with Sociology: Workbook Material For Teachers and Students (with S. Langham and J. Fulcher), Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1999. Second Edition 2003. Third Edition 2007. Fourth Edition 2011

The fourth edition of Fulcher & Scott remains an authoritative and theoretically-ground text for the 'thinking student', providing an intelligent exploration of topical debates that challenge first year students to think for themselves. The book investigates different forms of social inequality, cultural diversity and the processes contributing to social change in a thorough and provocative way, while introducing students to the main methods of sociological research and a range of original writing in the discipline. The text includes major new sections on organised crime and international crime; childhood, ageing and the life course; disability as a social division; and the impact of the Internet and information technologies on social life, to support changes to the first year curriculum. It goes further to introduce a wider range of international comparisons from around the world and provide an increased number of a case examples based on historical and global themes. The concept of the 'sociological imagination' is addressed in depth to demonstrate for students the difference between 'common sense' thinking and 'sociological' thinking, and help them approach sociological problems critically and develop skills in argument. Additionally, the text has been sectioned in such as way as to clearly amplify the links between chapter topics and the common themes that cut across social divisions, to help students approach social issues from a number of diverse viewpoints.

Online Resource Centre containing: case studies supported by case questions and guidance on how to answer case questions, to help students diagnose and explain sociological concepts in a variety of real life situations; multiple-choice "quiz" questions organised by chapter and including answers, explanations, an ongoing score facility, and page references back to the text; annotated web links organised by chapter and designed to point students in the direction of relevant sources of information that will help them with their coursework and further reading. There is an Instructor Site with: comprehensive range of essay questions designed to encourage students to synthesise their cumulative knowledge of chapter themes and articulate the linkages between them; case studies accompanied by critical thinking questions and drawn from a combination of recent sociological studies and the popular media, designed to have high student relevance and appeal (note: the cases for lecturers are different to the cases for students); Instructor's Manual containing practical teaching guidance for new or inexperienced lecturers and including suggested lecture programs, debate topics, tutorial activities, and advice on the implementation and use of text-book cases and questions; PowerPoint slides arranged by chapter and artwork from the book - download images from the textbook to use in your lectures. Find it here.


With Masao Watanabe and John Westergaard, Tokyo, Harvest Press, 1998 (Kaikyu genron no genzai igirisu to Nihon — Debates on Class in Contemporary Britain and Japan).

Corporate Business and Capitalist Classes

(Completely re-written third edition of Corporations, Classes and Capitalism), Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1997

Large multinational corporations shape our lives to an enormous extent. How is the growth, power, and significance of big business to be explained and understood? Focusing on the issues of ownership, control, and class formation, Corporate Business and Capitalist Classes explores the implications of changes in the nature of big business, which affect both the businesses themselves, and the economic and political milieu in which these multinationals operate. Up-to-date empirical evidence is reviewed in a wide-ranging comparative framework that covers Britain and the United States, Germany, France, Japan and many other societies, including emerging forms of capitalism in China and Russia. Unlike other specialist texts in the area, Corporate Business and Capitalist Classes relates its concerns to issues of social stratification and class structure. The first and second editions of the books(under the title Corporations, Classes and Capitalism ) were enthusiastically received, and the present edition reviews new theoretical ideas and empirical evidence that has emerged in the ten years since the second edition appeared. This book is intended for undergraduate and graduate students of sociology, political science, economics, and business.

Class: Critical Concepts in Sociology

Four Volumes, editor, London, Routledge, 1996

Class and status are both foundational themes in the study of sociology. John Scott brings together the central theoretical contributions to the debate on class and status as aspects of stratification. Using a selection of seminal pieces and commentaries on the classics, it raises central issues, for example the distinction between class and status, which are then examined by leading authorities.

Stratification and Power: Structures of Class, Status and Domination

Cambridge, Polity Press, 1996

This volume presents a systematic discussion of the leading theoretical approaches to social stratification. It is both an accessible overview and a distinctive contribution to the analysis of class, status and power.

John Scott argues that Max Weber's conceptual framework - reconstructed and enlarged - provides the basis for integrating what have been considered up to now as divergent approaches to stratification studies. Marxist theories of class and economic division, normative functionalist theories of status and cultural division, and elitist theories of command authoritarian division all find their place in the proposed framework. Each theoretical approach is illustrated through empirical investigations undertaken by writers associated with them. Recent work by Dahrendorf, Wright and Goldthorpe is also examined, and it is shown how their arguments contribute to a theoretical synthesis in the analysis of stratification.

Sociological Theory: Contemporary Debates

Cheltenham, Edward Elgar, 1995. Second Edition, 2012. Third Edition, 2023

Sociological Theory explores the principal trends and lines of division within contemporary sociology. Combining accessibility with intellectual rigour, this systematic and comprehensive text presents clear arguments about the relative merits of the different positions within sociological theory. Beginning with the work of Talcott Parsons, which sets the scene for subsequent debates, the book considers symbolic interactionism, rational choice and exchange theories, conflict theories, and structuralism. Sociological Theory also examines the development of neofunctionalism, the rise of post-structuralism, and the recent work of Anthony Giddens. The central argument expounded by Professor Scott is that further advances in sociological understanding will arise from the synthesis of rival ideas. The book concludes with an examination of the new synthesis produced by Jurgen Habermas. Authoritative, comprehensive and written in an accessible style, this text will appeal to students, teachers and specialists in sociological theory. While the focus of the book is on contemporary theory, an introductory chapter reviews trends in `classical' sociological theory, providing students with an understanding of the origins of the subject.

Power: Critical Concepts

Three Volumes, editor, London, Routledge, 1994

The concept of power is at the centre of social science. It is surrounded with controversy and disputes however about what it really means. This collection, edited by one of the leading commentators in the field, brings together the indispensable secondary literature. It includes a major introduction which explains why power is a key concept in the social sciences and guides the reader through the contrasting attempts to understand it.

Poverty and Wealth: Citizenship, Deprivation and Privilege

Harlow, Longman, 1994. Extract as ‘Poverty and Wealth’ in W. Kidd et al., ed., Readings in Sociology, Oxford, Heinemann Educational Publications, 1998. Extract as ‘Measuring Wealth and Poverty’, in I. Marsh, ed., Classic and Contemporary Readings in Sociology, Harlow, Addison Wesley Longman, 1998.

This important and authoritative new work by one of Britain's leading sociologists investigates the relationship between poverty and wealth. It considers the evidence of poverty and wealth in Britain from the nineteenth century to present day, drawing on the classic surveys on poverty undertaken by Booth, Rowntree and Townsend, and reviewing the leading debates on income distribution, property and wealth.

Sociology Reviewed

With J. Williams, T. Lawson, and H. Westergaard, Harper Collins, 1993.

A selection of key articles and commentaries from the student magazine Sociology Review. Presented by the two editors together with A-level Chief Examiners. Covers major issues in the syllabus. 


With M. Nakata and H. Hasegawa, Tokyo, Chuo Keizaisha, 1993. (Kigyo to kanri no kokusai hikaku — An International Study of Enterprise and Administration: Anglo-American Type and Japanese Type).

Social Network Analysis

London and Beverley Hills, Sage Publications, 1992. Italian translation: L’Analisi Delle Reti Sociali, Roma, La Nuova Italia Scientifica, 1997. Second Edition, Sage Publications, 2000. Chinese translation of Second edition: 社网分法, Chongqing, Chongqing University Press, 2007. Third Edition, Sage Publications, 2013. Chinese translation of Third edition as 社会网络分析法(英文第3版) (Chongqing University Press, 2-16). Fourth Edition, Sage Publications, 2017.

Incorporating the most important and cutting-edge developments in the field, this bestselling text introduces newcomers to the key theories and techniques of social network analysis and guides more experienced analysts in their own research. Expanded and brought right up-to-date, this classic text remains the indispensable guide to social network analysis for students, lecturers and researchers throughout the social sciences.

New to This Edition:

  • A chapter on data collection, covering a crucial phase of the research process
  • Fully updated examples reiterate the continued importance of social network analysis in an increasingly interconnected world
  • Detailed ‘Further Reading’ sections help you explore the wider literature
  • Practical exercises including real-world examples of social networks enable you to apply your learning


Who Rules Britain?

Cambridge, Polity Press, 1991, reprinted 1992.  Extract as ‘Britain: Ruling Class, Power Elite or Power Bloc?’, in M. O’Donnell, editor, New Introductory Reader in Sociology, Second Edition, London, Nelson, 1988, pp.182-195. Also in Third Edition, 1993. Extract as ‘The Old Boy Network’, in A. Giddens, ed., Human Societies, Cambridge, Polity Press, 1992.  Extract as ‘Who Rules Britain?’  in W. Kidd et al., ed., Readings in Sociology, Oxford, Heinemann Educational Publications, 1998. Extract as  'Is There Still a Ruling Class?  D. Inglis and J. Bone eds, Social Stratification London Routledge 2006, 118-152.

The lifestyle, economic basis and political affiliations of the British upper class are the focus of this exciting new textbook. Combining a review of existing sociological theory on class and capitalism with material drawn from a great variety of sources it is likely to become a standard course text. Examining the question of whether there is still a ruling class in Britain, John Scott presents an account of the historical development of the British upper class, the development of industrial and financial dynasties, town and country society as well as of London and the political world. Photographs and other illustrations cover subjects as diverse as public school fees, the structure of parliament, and the dates and events of the 'Season'. 

A Matter of Record: Documentary Sources in Social Research

Cambridge, Polity Press, 1990.  Chapters 1 and 2 reprinted as ‘Social Research and Documentary Sources’ and ‘Assessing Documentary Sources’ in J. Scott, ed., Documentary Research, Volume 1, London, Sage, 2006.

This textbook aims to give an introduction to the use of documentary sources in social research. It is designed to be a companion to courses in research methods in the social sciences and history and a reference text for those beginning research on documentary sources. The book begins with an overview of the nature of social research and the variety of methods which can be used. Scott identifies three types of evidence useful in such research - physical evidence, personal evidence and documentary evidence. He argues that the logic of research is common to each type of evidence, but that each involves specific methodological issues. An appraisal grid for the analysis of documents is presented, showing the criteria which must be used in evaluating documentary sources. In the following chapters these criteria are applied to the variety of documentary sources available to the social researcher: census data and official statistics; government publications; directories and yearbooks; personal diaries and letters.

The Sociology of Elites

Three Volumes, editor, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar Publishing, 1990

The study of elites has long figured as a central element in sociological theorizing and analysis. The origins of the sociological concept of `elite' lie in the anti-Marxist writings of the Italian theorists, Pareto and Mosco, who sought to construct an alternative vocabulary to the Marxian emphasis on `class' and `class conflict'. From the beginning the study of elites was a highly political and contentious area of debate. This exhaustive three volume set presents those articles which best illustrate the diversity and fruitfulness of work on the sociology of elites. The Sociology of Elites is an essential reference that university libraries world-wide will want to acquire to complete their collection in this important area of research.

Capitalist Property and Financial Power

Brighton, Wheatsheaf, 1986. American edition, New York University Press. Japanese translation: 現企の配ぞ,(Gendai kigyo no shihai kozo), Kyoto, Zeimukeiri Kyokai, 1989. Chapter 3 reprinted as ‘Method and Measurement in the Study of Property’, in J. Scott, ed., Documentary Research, Volume 4, London, Sage, 2006.

Networks of Corporate Power

Editor with F. Stokman and R. Zeigler, Cambridge, Polity Press, 1985. Japanese translation: 企権のツワク(Kigyo kenryoku no netowaku), Tokyo, Bunshindo, 1993

Directors of Industry

With C. Griff, Cambridge, Polity Press, 1984. Japanese translation: 大業制支濃, (Dai kigyo taisei no shihai kozo), Tokyo, Horitsu Bunka Sha, 1987.

The Upper Classes: Property and Privilege in Britain

London, Macmillan, 1982

The Anatomy of Scottish Capital

With M. Hughes, London, Croom Helm, 1980. Canadian edition, McGill Queens. Reprinted with a new Preface, London, Routledge, 2021.

Corporations, Classes and Capitalism

London, Hutchinson, 1979. American edition, St Martins Press. Reprinted 1981. Completely revised Second Edition 1985. Japanese translation: 株会と代会, (Kabushiki kaisha to gendai shakai), Tokyo, Bunshindo, 1983. Extract from Second Edition as ‘The Corporation and the Class Structure’, in L. McDowell, P. Sarre, and C. Hamnett, eds., Divided Nation, London, Hodder and Stoughton, 1989, pp.71-87.