`This book contributes to the growing debates about social theory and its role through a discussion of the ways in which gender and race contributed to the exclusion of important thinkers from the sociological canon' - John Hughes, Lancaster University Who makes up the `canon' of sociology - and who doesn't? And does sociology need a canon in the first place? Beyond Social Theory offers an innovative and passionate contribution to current debates on the history and development of sociology and the exclusion of theorists - who are female, black, or both - from the mainstream of social theorizing. With compelling biographical sketches bringing the dynamics behind the `canon' to life, Kate Reed focuses sharp analysis on the exclusion of theorists on race and gender from important debates on inequality. An important contribution to the debate on non-exclusionary theory, this book critically examines existing accounts of the history of the discipline, situating the development of social theory within a wider social and political context.



As sociology students, or academics of sociology, many of us have read a variety of books about the origins and development of sociological theory. We are taught through these books and through standard curricula design various ‘facts’ about the development of the subject. According to Parker, ‘producing great social science is a gift credited to great men of history and relayed to students through the imagery of a patriarchal lineage’ (1997:124). As a sociology student myself (many years ago), I studied the work of the founding fathers and their contemporaries. I was taught to examine the work of each theorist by turn but never really to question why these theorists were canonical or classical, taking for granted the story that I was being told ...

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