• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Social theory is a core area in Sociology degrees. This book attempts to lead students through the key thinkers and key ideas. The organizational principle is to focus on theoretical writing which is relevant for understanding the contemporary world. So the book asks what continuing use do theories of the Enligthenment, classical German sociology, Marxism and phenomenology have for making sense of our social world.

Ideological Turn: Antonio Gramsci and Georg Lukacs
Ideological turn: Antonio gramsci and georg lukacs

Sociology has had a bad reputation among Marxists. While sociology cut its teeth on the social theory of Karl Marx, academic sociology barely registered with Marxism (Hughes, 1958). Sociology was placed under suspicion as ‘bourgeois sociology’, an ideological reflection of the standpoint and interests of the dominant class. Since it emerged in societies where capitalist social relations prevailed, Marxists argued that sociology, as the science of society, cannot help but to serve the dominant social interests. In contrast, Marxist social theory assumed that it could transcend the narrow, one-sided horizon of sociology because it represented universal human interests through identifying with the working class and its struggles. Based on the claim ...

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