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In this comprehensive, stylish and accessible introduction to contemporary social theory, Anthony Elliott and Charles Lemert examine the major theoretical traditions from the Frankfurt School to globalization and beyond. When first published, the book’s wide range set new standards for introductory textbooks – social theorists discussed include Theodor Adorno, Herbert Marcuse, Michel Foucault, Jacques Lacan, Jacques Derrida, Anthony Giddens, Pierre Bourdieu, Julia Kristeva, Jurgen Habermas, Judith Butler, Slavoj Zizek, Manuel Castells, Ulrich Beck, Zygmunt Bauman, Giorgio Agamben and Manuel De Landa. Extensively developed to take into account significant recent developments in American social theory, the book offers chapters on American pragmatism, structural functionalism, ethnomethodology, black feminist thought and world-systems theory. American traditions of social theory are brought powerfully to life in treatments of intellectuals ranging from William James to Robert K. Merton, David Riesman to Randall Collins, and Patricia Hill Collins to Saskia Sassen. Introduction to Contemporary Social Theory combines lively exposition and clarity with reflective social critique and original insights, and is a superb textbook with which to navigate the twists and turns of contemporary social theory as taught in the disciplines of sociology, politics, history, cultural studies and many more.
In this comprehensive, stylish and accessible introduction to contemporary social theory, Anthony Elliott examines the major social theoretical traditions. The first edition set new standards for introductory textbooks, such was the far-reaching sweep of social theorists discussed – including Theodor Adorno, Herbert Marcuse, Michel Foucault, Jacques Lacan, Jacques Derrida, Anthony Giddens, Pierre Bourdieu, Julia Kristeva, Jurgen Habermas, Judith Butler, Slavoj Zizek, Manuel Castells, Ulrich Beck, Zygmunt Bauman, Giorgio Agamben and Manuel De Landa. From the Frankfurt School to globalization, from feminism to the network society, this new edition has been fully revised and updated, taking into account the most recent developments in social theory. The second edition also contains a completely new chapter on classical social theory, allowing students to contextualise the modern debates. Like its predecessor, the second edition of Contemporary Social Theory combines stylish exposition with reflective social critique and original insights. This new edition will prove a superb textbook with which to navigate the twists and turns of contemporary social theory as taught in the disciplines of sociology, politics, history, cultural studies and many more.
This book provides a critical analysis of classical and contemporary social theory from a class perspective. It is concise, lucid, and well written.
Complements Classical sociological theory.
Introducing Social Theory traces the development of social theorizing from the classical ideas about modernity of Durkheim, Marx and Weber, right up to a uniquely accessible review of contemporary theoretical controversies in sociology surrounding post-modernity and reflexive sociology. With great clarity, the authors explain the ideas of seminal thinkers such as Foucault, Bauman, Habermas, Beck, Bourdieu and Giddens, as well as paying increased attention to other important contributions from theorists such as Margaret Archer, Fredric Jameson and George Ritzer."--pub. desc.
'With exemplary clarity, John Scott expertly guides us through key modern theorizations of social system and social action. Not only is Scott's assessment of recent attempts to synthesise these two dimensions of sociology's core dualism very useful for students and teachers of sociology, it represents a valuable theoretical contribution in its own right.' Gregor McLennan, University of Bristol, UK Acclaim for the first edition: 'Scott's thorough mastery of sociological theory is clearly evident in this work. Moreover, he is a gifted explicator of complex and frequently obfuscated theoretical positions. . . His scholarship here is first-rate, and his considered reflections deserve the attention of students and professional colleagues alike.' W.P. Nye, Choice, Outstanding Academic Book of the Year 1995 Sociological Theory, Second Edition is a lively and accessible introduction to contemporary sociological debates. With additional material on theoretical developments since 1995, this substantially updated work is a systematic and comprehensive text presenting clear arguments on the relative merits of the different positions taken within sociological theory. In this second edition John Scott has re-ordered the chapters and chapter sections to draw out a strong narrative on contention and convergence in sociological theory. A consideration of the work of Talcott Parsons sets the scene for subsequent debates on neofunctionalist, symbolic interactionist, rational choice, and conflict theories, together with recent developments in structuralism and post-structuralism. This second editon has been re-cast and updated to give a fuller discussion of the syntheses produced by Anthony Giddens and Jürgen Habermas, tracing their lineage back to Parsons's framework. It considers the various views of modern society depicted in these syntheses and it reviews the wider debates on modernity and post-modernity. The central argument of the book is that advances in sociological understanding arise from the synthesis of rival ideas, and it concludes with an exploration of those areas in which sociological theory is in need of further development. New features of the second edition include: greater prominence for neofunctionalism in relation to earlier structural-functional theories discussion of the theoretical ideas of Pierre Bourdieu expanded coverage of post-structuralist theoretical ideas in relation to structuralist theories positioning of ethnomethodology and conversation analysis in relation to earlier work on symbolic interactionism a stronger positioning of debates over modernity and post-modernity as extensions of general theoretical debates. Authoritative, comprehensive and written in a thoroughly accessible style, this text will have major appeal to students, researchers, teachers and specialists in sociological theory.
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