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.

Ulrich Beck

Ulrich Beck

The same loneliness that closes us opens us again.

(Anne Michaels)

Biographical Details and Theoretical Context

Ulrich Beck was born in Pomern (which was to become a part of the German Republic in 1944) although he grew up in Hanover in what was then West Germany. He began his academic career in Munich, eventually becoming a sociology professor in the mid-1980s in the small provincial town of Bamberg. Beck is currently Professor of Sociology at the University of Munich and the British Journal of Sociology Professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Previously, Beck served on the Future Commission for the German Government (1995–7), received an honorary degree in social science from Jyvaskyla University, and was Distinguished Research Professor at the University ...

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