Theory for the Working Sociologist makes social theory easy to understand by revealing sociology's hidden playbook. Fabio Rojas argues that sociologists use four different theoretical moves when they try to explain the social world: how groups defend their status, how people strategically pursue their goals, how values and institutions support each other, and how people create their social reality. Rojas uses famous sociological studies to illustrate these four types of theory and show how students and researchers may apply them to their interests. The guiding light of the book is the concept of the social mechanism, which clearly and succinctly links causes and effects in social life. Drawing on dozens of empirical studies that define modern sociology and focusing on the nuts and bolts of social explanation, Rojas reveals how areas of study within the field of sociology that at first glance seem dissimilar are, in fact, linked by shared theoretical underpinnings. In doing so, he elucidates classical and contemporary theory, and connects both to essential sociological findings made throughout the history of the field. Aimed at undergraduate students, graduate students, journalists, and interested general readers who want a more formal way to understand social life, Theory for the Working Sociologist presents the underlying themes of sociological thought using contemporary research and plain language.