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 Post-Modern ‘Society’?

A post-modern ‘society’?

Many years ago I attended a course on the subject of ‘postmodernity’ which was taught by one of the leading and most respected contributors to the field of contemporary social theory. The end result of this particular course was that by its conclusion I felt I knew less about the subject matter concerned than I had done to begin with! This was less the fault of that particular lecturer and more a testament to the problematic and quite often mystifying nature of debates which stubbornly continue to surround post-modernity. The core of the problem, as Kellner (1990) points out, is that post-modern theory is not unified in any real sense, but constitutes a sort of ‘unholy’ marriage which joins together ...

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