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.
Biographical Details and Theoretical Context
Surveys of French intellectual life in the 1950s and 1960s remark that Henri Lefebvre (1901–91) is a permanent outsider, yet one of the most influential forces in French left-wing humanism. Although an unorthodox writer who was officially excluded from the Parti Communiste Français long before the work of thinkers such as Lyotard, Althusser, or Foucault on the French left caught the attention of most Anglophone theorists, Lefebvre figured as the most translated of French writers during the 1950s and 1960s. Thanks to his 1939 paperback on Dialectical Materialism (Lefebvre, 1968c) translated into over two dozen languages and printed on a vast scale in over a dozen editions) he ranked as ‘The Father of the Dialectic’ for at least ...