This book offers an introduction to the fundamentals of neurosociology and presents the newest issues and findings in the field. It describes the evolution of the brain and its social nature. It examines the concept of knowing and what can be known, as well as the subjective sensations we experience. Next, it explores the ubiquitousness of New Unconsciousness and the latest conclusions about mirror neurons. Additional themes and concepts described are sex differences in the brain, imitation, determinism and agency.
The book brings together neuroscience and sociology, two fields that are very different in terms of method, theory, tradition and practice. It does so building on the following premise: If our brains have been forged evolutionarily over the many centuries for social life, sociologists should have the opportunity, if not the duty, to know about it whatever the reservations of some who think that any approach that includes biology must be reductionistic.
Professor David D. Franks is a Professor of Sociology, who in 1972 received a large Grant from NIE to study the different effects of 'open' and traditional Kansas City high schools on self-esteem and the development of personal autonomy. The 1972 grant was the largest unsolicited grant in the country that year. He was also granted tenure and promoted at that time. He served as chair of the faculty grievance committee and as president of the Faculty Senate. In the summer of 1977 he accepted a position as chair of the department at VCU. In the early 80s, after writing on the usefulness of symbolic interaction in studying a social systems understanding of rape and partner abuse, he worked to develop a new sub-specialty in the Sociology of Emotions. This involved writing articles arguing for the social nature of something that had hithertofor been viewed as exclusively psychological. To this end he was also involved in editing guest issues of journals and an annual hard-back series, Social Perspectives on emotions, as well as several other volumes demonstrating the utility of the sub-field. He was also on numerous steering committees and chaired offices in the early days of the subsection. In the early 80s and early 90s he was vice president of the symbolic interaction national society. He has presented papers at national meetings with Dr. Lyng of this department on the importance of keeping a coherent idea of objectivity in our approaches to the social construction of reality and applying sociology to real world problems. Dr. Franks retired and was appointed Professor Emeritus in 2001. In 2015, Franks received The Life-Time Achievement Award from the American Sociological Association's Section on the Sociology of Emotions.