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 Ricoeur

Paul Ricoeur

Biographical Details and Theoretical Context

Paul Ricoeur was born in Valence, France in 1913. He was taken in by his paternal grandparents at the age of two, having lost his mother as an infant and his father in combat at the start of the First World War. Along with his sister, Alice, Paul Ricoeur grew up in the sombre environment of an austere Protestant household in the predominantly Catholic city of Rennes. His youth, characteristic of those orphaned by the war and designated pupilles de la Nation, was focused around his studies, and holidays, with little in the way of sports or games, were spent poring over the books assigned for the coming academic year. The final year of secondary school brought Ricoeur ...

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