• 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

Culture (with Heidrun Friese)
Culture (with Heidrun Friese)

In the view of the social sciences of some two or three decades ago, social life was seen to happen in structures or systems, and human beings were defined, if not even determined, by their roles and interests which could be derived from their position in the social order. True, there were differences between approaches that used these concepts for a critique of contemporary society and others that adopted a more affirmative position, often both a positive and a positivistic one. However, what distinguished the former from the latter was that they identified contradictions of interests and roles rather than assuming harmonious interrelations — not much more. More recently though, such language has fallen out of fashion. Social ...

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