Mainstream and Critical Social Theory: Collection: Classical, Modern and Contemporary

Mainstream and Critical Social Theory: Collection: Classical, Modern and Contemporary

  • Summary
  • Overview
  • Key Readings

Unrivalled in scope and depth, and prepared by one of the acknowledged giants of contemporary social theory, this boxed set provides a magisterial review of the central canons, discourses and research programmes in social theory. The reader is provided with a route-map through the complex terrain of social theory from classical to contemporary times. Alexander distils an amazingly rich set of resources into eight exceptional volumes. For the specialist who does not have all of these materials to hand, the set offers an incisive and invaluable research aid. For the non-specialist, the volumes constitute an elegant and reliable entry into the heart of what is important in social theory. For specialist and non-specialist alike, Alexander's choices will be a fascinating insight into his view of ...

Editor's Introduction1: Canons, Discourses, and Research Programs: Plurality, Progress and Competition in Classical, Modern, and Contemporary Sociology
JeffreyC.Alexander

In this multivolume anthology, I present the long, often circuitous, sometimes glorious, and always compelling history of sociological theory and research in a manner that is rather different from the traditional approach. Instead of describing its wide ranging diversity as an uneven but ultimately triumphant march of accumulated knowledge, I will suggest there is a relativity at the heart of the sociological enterprise, one that represents an irrefutable dimension of the human sciences more generally. The relativity comes about because sociology is a human science rather than a science of nature. Max Weber understood the implications of this fateful distinction, but Marx, Durkheim, and Parsons did not. Yet, ...

locked icon

Sign in to access this content