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.

Paul Virilio

Paul Virilio

Paul Virilio

Biographical Details and Theoretical Context

Born in Paris in 1932, Paul Virilio was evacuated in 1939 to the port of Nantes, where he was traumatized by the spectacle of the Blitzkrieg during the Second World War. After training at the Ecole des Métiers d'Art in Paris, Virilio became an artist in stained glass. However, in 1950, he converted to Christianity and, following military service in the colonial army during the Algerian war of independence (1954–62), he studied phenomenology with Merleau-Ponty at the Sorbonne. Fascinated by the military, spatial, and organizational aspects of urban territory, Virilio's early writings began to appear, while he was acting as a self-styled ‘urbanist’, in Architecture Principe, the group and review of the same name he established with the ...

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