Over decades and centuries, Rigney here argues, social theorists have variously likened societies to organisms and living systems, to machines, battlefields, legal systems, marketplaces, games, theatrical productions, and discourses. Most interestingly, Rigney deftly shows how nearly all Western social theories fit with one or more of the metaphors. He emphasizes a humanistic understanding of society with an emphasis on the creative agency of social actors and communities. The book offers students a rich understanding of social theory, yet it is simultaneously concise and broad ranging, allowing instructors to further pursue detailed exploration of any perspectives they choose.
Daniel Rigney is professor of sociology and director of the honors program at St. Mary's University in San Antonio, Texas.
Chapter 1 Preface Chapter 2 The Metaphorical Imagination Chapter 3 Society as Living System Chapter 4 Society as Machine Chapter 5 Society as War Chapter 6 Society as Legal Order Chapter 7 Society as Marketplace Chapter 8 Society as Game Chapter 9 Society as Theater Chapter 10 Society as Discourse Chapter 11 Postscript: A Guide to Metaphorical Analysis