There is an unbridgeable controversy between the functionalist sociologist who anchors his theories on society and the group, and the existentialist who bathes his thoughts on the individual. Durkheim and Parsons, as well as many contemporary American sociologists, are adjustment based in the sense that all those individuals who rock the boat even if they are creative innovators would be labelled deviant or mad. The existentialists, from Kierkegaard to Buber, regard the individual as the focus of life; they see philosophy and society as at best a curbing control-structure and at worst coercing, stigmatizing and ostracizing. The present volume treads in the giant footsteps of Albert Camus who saw the absurd as the conflictual encounter between the individual and society. Society and the Absurd attempts to overcome this deep sociological controversy by investigating absurdity through the prism of an interdisciplinary theory of personality.
Shlomo G. Shoham is a world renowned criminologist, recipient of the Selinglueck Award from the American Society of Criminology in 1977 and the Israel Prize Laureate for 2003. He has published some 90 books in 20 languages and 2000 articles in 30 languages in the areas of criminology, psychology, philosophy, sociology, theology and art. He has developed an interdisciplinary personality theory which is most suitable for the explanation of deviance and alienation.
CONTENTS: A Fragile Peace: Could a 'Race to the Bottom' Have Been Avoided?; The Pursuit of Israeli-Palestinian Peace: A Retrospective; Ending the Conflict: Can the Parties Afford It?; Domestic Israeli Politics and the Conflict; Foundering Illusions: The Demise of the Oslo Process; Islamic Perspectives on the Oslo Process; From Oslo to Taba: What Went Wrong?; Why Did Oslo Fail?: Lessons for the Future; The Oslo Peace Process: From Breakthrough to Breakdown; The Middle East Peace Process -- Where to Next?; A Fragile Peace: Are There Only Lessons of Failure?; The Contributors; Index.