Laura Desfor Edles is the author of Symbol and Ritual in the New Spain (Cambridge University Press, 1998), and Cultural Sociology in Practice (Blackwell Publishers, 2002). She received her Ph.D. from UCLA in 1990, where she was studied under Professor Jeffrey C. Alexander, one of the most acclaimed theorists in the world today. Professor Edles has been teaching theory courses (at both the graduate and undergraduate level) for over ten years using xeroxed versions of the proposed book. She has also given presentations at conferences on her particular method for teaching theory. These presentations have always been warmly received.