This book provides a comprehensive introduction to the core topics, theories and debates in modern social theory.
Fourteen chapters have been written by leading specialists in the field, providing up-to-date guidance on the full sweep of the modern sociological imagination, from the legacies of the classical figures of Marx, Durkheim, Weber, Simmel and Parsons to the work of cutting-edge contemporary theorists. Separate chapters discuss functionalism and its critics, interpretive and interactionist theory, historical social theory, western Marxism, psychoanalytic social theory, structuralism and
post-structuralism, structure and agency theory, feminist social theory, postmodernism and its critics, and theories about globalization.
All chapters are supplied with questions for discussion, study boxes, guidance on further reading and useful website addresses. It is ideal for students of sociology and cultural studies pursuing foundational courses in the history and theory of social analysis, and is also accessible for the general reader.
Austin Harrington is Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Leeds. He has published three books: Art and Social Theory: Sociological Arguments in Aesthetics, Polity Press, 2004; Hermeneutic Dialogue and Social Science: A Critique of Gadamer and Habermas, Routledge, 2001 and The Protestant Ethic Debate: Max Weber's Replies to his Critics, 1907-1910, Liverpool University Press, 2001, edited with D. Chalcraft.
Introduction: What is Social Theory? ; 1. Classical Social Theory, I: Contexts and Beginnings ; 2. Classical Social Theory, II: Karl Marx and Emile Durkheim ; 3. Classical Social Theory, III: Max Weber and Georg Simmel ; 4. Functionalism and its Critics ; 5. Interpretivism and Interactionism ; 6. Historical Social Theory ; 7. Western Marxism ; 8. Psychoanalytic Social Theory ; 9. Structuralism and Post-Structuralism ; 10. Structure and Agency ; 11. Feminist Social Theory ; 12. Modernity and Postmodernity: Part I ; 13. Modernity and Postmodernity: Part II ; 14. Globalization ; Conclusion: Social Theory for the Twenty-First Century