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Recovering the Self : Morality and Social Theory - Victor Jeleniewski Seidler

Recovering the Self

Morality and Social Theory

Paperback Published: 10th November 1994
ISBN: 9780415111515
Number Of Pages: 256

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This important book seeks to place questions of morality and justice at the heart of social theory.  By exploring the works of Marx, Durkheim and Weber it shows the hidden complexities of a modernity too often identified with a unified vision of the rational self later to fall apart into fragments within postmodernity.  Reinstating the body and emotional life, Seidler sets new terms for respect and equality showing ways the self is undermined in its sense of self-worth and adequacy through the workings of relationships of power and subordination. Drawing upon feminism and Critical Theory to question the allegedly straightforward opposition between "essentialism" and "social constructionism" Seidler places the issues of morality right into the centre of "the self problem". Through reinstating connections between the self and the historical adventures of socialism, feminism, masculinity, ethnicity, and - autobiographically - Jewish identity, he shows the intimate affinity between these different categories of experience.  Identities are not "freely chosen" but involve a coming to terms with histories of class, race and gender.  Critical of postmodern theories in which anyhting goes and in which everything you see is relative, this book is concerned with the reassertion of value and recovering a viable tradition in which we can again explore issues of freedom and social justice. Our discussions have turned increasingly esoteric as they have sheltered in an intellectual cage which has been difficult to enter.  This book seeks to open-up the cage and re-establish the suspended conversation between social theory and the concerns of everyday life.

Industry Reviews

"This book does a tremendously important job of bringing the issues of morality right into the core of the self problem' thus salvaging the latter from the egocentric, hedonistic exile in which it has been kept by most recent writers." -Zygmunt Bauman, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, Leeds University

Preface and acknowledgements
Introduction: Modernity, morality and politicsp. 1
Moralityp. 12
Modernityp. 29
Authorityp. 46
Needs and desiresp. 64
Ideologyp. 82
Identitiesp. 101
Contradictionsp. 122
Empowermentp. 139
Conclusion: Modernity, morality and social theoryp. 158
Notesp. 200
Bibliographyp. 213
Indexp. 225
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780415111515
ISBN-10: 041511151X
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: 10th November 1994
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.88  x 1.27
Weight (kg): 0.41
Edition Number: 1

Earn 344 Qantas Points
on this Book