• 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

Choice and Decision-Making
Choice and decision-making
Of Sparrows and Doves

There is a saying in the English language that holds one bird in the hand to be worth two in the bush. The recommendation for choice and decision-making presupposes an order of preferences in which, first, a ‘bird’ is considered to be a good worth having and, second, the possession of this good in increasing quantities has a positive utility attached to it. There is nothing extraordinary about this assertion thus far; economic theorising of rational choices under conditions of scarcity has long formulated such propositions and elaborated them further. The interesting part of the recommendation comes with the comparison between actually having a certain quantity of the good, on the one hand, and having a greater quantity ...

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