This comprehensive book provides an indispensable introduction to the most significant figures in contemporary social theory. Grounded strongly in the European tradition, the profiles include Michel Foucault, J[um]urgen Habermas, Roland Barthes, Jean Baudrillard, Pierre Bourdieu, Zygmunt Bauman, Martin Heidegger, Frederic Jameson, Richard Rorty, Nancy Chodorow, Anthony Giddens, Stuart Hall, Luce Irigaray and Donna Haraway. In guiding students through the key figures in an accessible and authoritative fashion, the book provides detailed accounts of the development of the work of major social theorists and charts the relationship between different traditions of social, cultural and political thought.

Michel Foucault

Michel Foucault

Michel Foucault

The key thing, as Nietzsche said, is that thinkers are always, so to speak, shooting arrows into the air, and other thinkers pick them up and shoot them in another direction. That's what happens with Foucault.

(Gilles Deleuze)

Biographical Details and Theoretical Context

Michel Foucault was born on 15 October 1926 in Poitiers, France and died on 25 June 1984 from complications resulting from AIDS. He is regarded as one of the most important and popular thinkers of the twentieth century. While his ascetic, shaven-headed image has become an icon of postmodern theory, Foucault should most appropriately be remembered for his imaginative pursuit of thought outside the given truths and resigned scepticism of our time, and for his distinctive accomplishments in four areas. First, he ...

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