This comprehensive introduction covers a wide historical range of major thinkers, from the classical to the postmodernist, as well as key themes in social theory and a guide to the major debates. Designed for students with little or no background in social theory, this single volume covering both classic and contemporary theory introduces the basic concepts at the center of social theory in accessible language. In addition to being a textbook, this book is ideal for readers seeking a useful reference source to the field.Divided into three sections, the book contains thirty chapters in all. It covers classical social theory, modern social theory, and contemporary challenges to both periods. Each chapter is written by a specialist in the field, giving a clear exposition of the main concepts placed in both historical and philosophical context. Chapters contain biographical data, end of chapter lists of key concepts and a comprehensive bibliography listing the primary and secondary literature relevant to the material.
"This lucidly-written book provides within a single volume a
comprehensive introduction to the corpus of sociological theory. It
encompasses both classical and contemporary approaches, which are
presented as relevant to understanding the present state of
sociological theory. This will become an essential text for
students." Larry Ray, University of Kent
"This volume is a comprehensive guide to theory
debates today. It is composed of 30 original chapters offering
succinct, accessible overviews of the key ideas of modern theory -
from Marx, American pragmatism to current debates over national
identity, postmodernism, and civil society, I can think of no
better introduction to classical and contemporary theory."
Steven Seidman, author of Contested Knowledge: Social Theory in
a Postmodern Era
"An interesting, thorough, and useful anthology of informed
commentary that will enliven the study of social theory for novice
as well as expert. Particularly innovative is the use of European
scholars whose analyses of theory is too seldom taken into account
within the anglophone world. Their interpretations will, I am sure,
add a fruitful dimension to an otherwise foreshortened
understanding of the canon." Alan Sica, Pennsylvania State
"This volume aspires to be a comprehensive and sophisticated
introduction to classical and modern social theory...providing a
range and depth of analysis." Raymond A. Morrow, University of
1. Introduction: Classical and Modern Social Theory: William
Part I: Classical Social Theories:.
2. Karl Marx: Per Manson.
3. Herbert Spencer: Heine Andersen.
4. Ferdinand Tonnies: Jorn Falk.
5. Emile Durkheim: Willy Guneriussen.
6. Max Weber: Per Manson.
7. Georg Simmel: Henrik Ornstrup.
8. American Pragmatism: Nils Mortensen.
Part II: Modern Social Theories: .
9. Marxism: Per Manson.
10. The Frankfurt School: Anders Ramsay.
11. Neo-Marxist Theories: Jens Peter Frolund Thomsen and Heine
12. Social Interaction Theories: Gorm Harste and Nils
13. Rational Choice: Roar Hagen.
14. Functionalism: Heine Andersen.
15. Neofunctionalism: Alvor Fauske.
16. Conflict Theory: An Alternative to Functionalism? Pal
17. Jean-Paul Sartre: Dag Osterberg.
18. Structuralism: Tom Broch.
19. Michel Foucault: Sven-Åke Lindgren.
20. Pierre Bourdieu: Staf Callewaert.
21. Jurgen Habermas: Heine Andersen.
22. Niklas Luhmann: Roar Hagen.
23. Norbert Elias: Gunnor Olofsson.
24. Anthony Giddens: Lars Bo Kaspersen.
Part III: Contemporary Challenges to Classical and Modern
Social Theory: .
25. Post-Industrialization, Cultural Criticism and Risk Society:
26. Our Present: Postmodern? Poul Poder Pedersen.
27. Social Theory, Morality, and the Civil Society: Heine
28. State, Nation, and National Identity: Uffe Ostergaard.
29. Gender and Society: Karin Widerberg.
30. From Aristotle to Modern Social Theory: Margareta