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
Theodor Wiesengrund Adorno was born in Frankfurt am Main in 1903. After showing early talent as a musician he began lessons in composition at the age of 16, and by the age of 18 was studying philosophy, music, and psychology at university, and publishing music criticism. Having completed a largely derivative PhD on the phenomenology of Edmund Husserl in 1924 under the supervision of Hans Cornelius, he moved to Vienna in 1925 to study composition with Alban Berg. After returning to Frankfurt he withdrew, on the advice of Cornelius, a Habilitation dissertation on ‘The Concept of the Unconscious in the Transcendental Doctrine of the Soul’, the last part of which manifests a new Marx-influenced concern, of the kind ...