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.

Anthony Giddens

Anthony Giddens

Biographical Details and Theoretical Context

Anthony Giddens stands out as one of the most significant British social theorists of the postwar era. His writings on the classical sociological tradition, as well as his interpretations of contemporary social theory, have had a profound impact on conceptual debates in the social sciences over recent decades. Especially in social and political theory, Giddens has expanded the terrain of debate by interpreting, deconstructing, and reconstructing such traditions as structural-functionalism, interpretative sociology, critical theory, ethnomethodology, systems theory, psychoanalysis, structuralism, and post-structuralism. However, the contribution of Giddens to social theory rests on more than his capabilities as a first-rate hermeneuticist. For, above all, he is a ‘grand theorist’, a sociologist whose contributions rank in importance alongside the writings of ...

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