A unique contribution to discussions of social theory, this book counters the argument that no social theory was ever produced in Britain before the late twentieth century. Reviewing a period of 300 years from the seventeenth century to the mid-twentieth century, it sets out a number of innovative strands in theory that culminated in powerful contributions in the classical period of sociology. The book discusses how these traditions of theory were lost and forgotten and sets out why they are important today.

The Socialist Critique And Cultural Materialism

The Socialist Critique And Cultural Materialism

The Romantic critique of industrial and commercial change was one of the sources of inspiration for a more critical line of social comment that gave rise to a distinctive body of ‘socialist’ theory. A growing number of writers who began to identify themselves as socialists were critical of orthodox political economy for confining its attention to the economic process itself and hence to the determination of wages, profits, and national wealth. In doing so, they argued, political economy was ignoring deeper social conditions that made their analyses possible and were responsible for a social malaise. These socialist writers addressed what was coming to be referred to by Victorian commentators on contemporary conditions as ...

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