• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Divided into two parts, this book examines the train of social theory from the 19th century, through to the `organization of modernity', in relation to ideas of social planning, and as contributors to the `rationalistic revolution' of the `golden age' of capitalism in the 1950s and 60s. Part two examines key concepts in the social sciences. It begins with some of the broadest concepts used by social scientists: choice, decision, action and institution and moves on to examine the `collectivist alternative': the concepts of society, culture and polity, which are often dismissed as untenable by postmodernists today. This is a major contribution to contemporary social theory and provides a host of essential insights into the task of social scie

Adjusting Social Relations: Social Science and the Organisation of Modernity
Adjusting social relations: Social science and the organisation of modernity

The preceding two chapters dealt with the emergence (or non-emergence) of social science in disciplinary forms towards the end of the nineteenth century. It was argued that the striving for theoretical coherence in bounded systems of thought was related to internal changes in the research-oriented university, which increasingly demanded such standards and criteria. The specific orientation towards political relevance in those emerging modes of thought, in addition, was connected to the transformation of the nation-state towards mass-democratic forms in what I termed the first crisis of European modernity. This second theme, the reference to the problématique of modern politics, however, had accompanied the social sciences from ...

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