Social Theory in the Real World is concerned with illustrating the practical benefits of social theory. Many students find it hard to relate the real insights provided by social theory to their real life experiences, and many lecturers struggle to demonstrate the relevance of social theory to everyday life. This book offers an accessible, non-patronizing solution to the problem, demonstrating that social theory need not be remote and obscure, but if used in imaginative ways, it can be indispensable in challenging our common sense perceptions and understandings. The book identifies the key themes of contemporary social theory: mass society, postindustrialism, consumerism, postmodernism, McDonaldization, risk and globa

A Mass Society?

A mass society?

Theories of mass society are élitist and condescending. They portray and betray a world of base instincts in which the population are deluded on a massive scale and in which such delusion is expressed through the consumption of popular culture. From this point of view popular culture is bad culture simply because it is popular. How can such a theory possibly inform us about the nature of social change? Hasn't social theory progressed enough over the course of the last fifty years to render such an approach redundant? It has and it hasn't. The continuing appeal of mass society theory and in particular the brand of mass society theory associated with the Frankfurt School is a lucid illustration of how ...

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