Anthony Giddens is one of the most famous and influential sociologists of recent decades. Largely credited with the concept of the 'Third Way', he continues to be a key advisor to Tony Blair, and is generally presented as an exponent of liberalism and socialism.
This book provides a controversial introduction to Giddens' work, covering the wide range of his writing from theory to self-reflexivity, modernity and politics, placing them all within the illuminating framework of a historical context.
Giddens' writing has always embodied a political and ethical position, one that has changed considerably over the years and is best understood through the social context in which it was written. His work in the 1970s attempted to marry liberalism and socialism, but, following the collapse of Communism in the 1990 East-European revolutions, his world view became liberal rather than socialist, and his later work on reflexivity and the 'Third Way' embodies this.
Loyal explores how this world-view accounts for many tensions and failures in Giddens' theory and that, overall, his work is fundamentally flawed.
Steven Loyal is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at University College Dublin. He is the author of The Sociology of Anthony Giddens (Pluto Press, 2003).
1. The Political And Sociological Project 2. Knowledge And Epistemology 3. Agency 4. Social Structure 5. Time, Space And Historical Sociology 6. Modernity 7. Rationality And Reflexivity 8. Politics And The Third Way 9. An Alternative Sociology 10. Conclusion Index