Is the notion of society obsolete? To answer this question, leading social theorist William Outhwaite first considers various critiques of the concept that have dominated recent debate, including the arguments of: Neo-liberals, who deny society's existence Postmodernists, who argue that it has fragmented or dissolved Globalisation theorists, who claim that it cannot survive the demise of the nation-state Evolutionary psychologists, who see human social experience as continuous with that of other animal species. Outhwaite takes a sympathetic look at these current theoretical trends, using them to explain why we have lost confidence in the concept of society. He argues, however, that we do still need the concept in order to make sense of the forces which structure our lives. Part of the prestigious Blackwell Manifestos series, this important book goes to the heart of contemporary social and political debate.
"Written with the author?s customary elegance and economy, this book invites us to take the concept of society seriously and to think about its future. This is a splendid and spirited work which will provoke a necessary debate." Krishan Kumar, University of Virginia
?An original, challenging, and timely defense of the concept of society, this is an excellent introduction to contemporary sources and debates.? David Frisby, London School of Economics
?A subtle defense of the concept of ?society? in the third millennium. Outhwaite convincingly undermines zero-sum thinking about the emergence of global society.? Margaret S. Archer, University of Warwick
1. The Origins of ?Society?.
Part I: Critiques of Society.
2. Society and the Individual: Neoliberalism, Social Constructionism and Communitarianism.
Part II: Reconstructing Society.
5. Modernity and Society.
6. Towards a Synthesis? Theory and Metatheory.
Part III: Implications.
7. Society Lite? Theories of Civil Society.
8. Is There a European Society?.
Postscript: A Defensible Concept of ?Society?.
Series: Wiley-Blackwell Manifestos
Number Of Pages: 188
Published: 17th February 2006
Publisher: John Wiley and Sons Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 219.94 x 141.36 x 18.69
Weight (kg): 0.39
Edition Number: 1