“The strengths of this text are the breadth of theories covered; the integration of gender-related topics— family, work, religion; the use of substantial quotes from primary texts; the consistent inclusion of methodological issues…. I have no doubt that it will find a solid position in the field of theory texts.”

--Kathleen Slobin, North Dakota State University

A concise, yet surprisingly comprehensive theory text, given the range of ideas, historical context, and theorists discussed. Unlike other books of the type, Contemporary Sociological Theory focuses on how the pivotal theories contributed not only to the development of the field, but also to the evolution of ideas concerning social life.

Systems, Structuration, and Modernity: Luhmann and Giddens

Systems, Structuration, and Modernity: Luhmann and Giddens

Systems, structuration, and modernity: Luhmann and Giddens

Nicholas Luhmann and Anthony Giddens are two encyclopedic sociological theorists of the late twentieth century. Although they differed in their responses to Talcott Parsons—Luhmann outgrew him and Giddens rejected him—they have much in common besides the volume of their writings. Neither was willing to simplify the complexity of the social world. Both addressed issues of social structure—Luhmann writing about social systems, and Giddens about the process of structuration. Both discussed problems of trust, risk, power, and reflexivity. And, because of their differences, it is interesting to compare them with each other and with the functionalists who preceded them in Chapter 2. Let us introduce them.

Luhmann: Luhmann's social theory is a systemic supertheory. ...

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