The first book of its kind, Sociology and the New Materialism explores the many and varied applications of “new materialism,” a key emerging trend in 21st century thought, to the practice of doing sociology. Offering a clear exposition of new materialist theory and using sociological examples throughout to enable the reader to develop a materialist sociological understanding, the book: • Outlines the fundamental precepts of new materialism • Explores how materialism provides new perspectives on the range of sociological topic areas • Explains how materialist approaches can be used to research sociological issues and also to engage with social issues. Sociology and the New Materialism is a clear and authoritative one-stop guide for advanced undergraduates and postgraduates in sociology, cultural studies, social policy and related disciplines.
Chapter 2: Foundations New Materialism and the Sociological Imagination
Foundations New Materialism and the Sociological Imagination
In the introduction we identified some of the key claims of the new materialisms, and how and why these offer possibilities for a sociological imagination. These new materialist propositions and perspectives have emerged from a wide variety of philosophical, feminist and social theoretical positions, and in this chapter we will unpack the roots of these claims. We will survey the work of some key new materialist thinkers from Bruno Latour and ‘actor-network theory’ to Rosi Braidotti and ‘the posthuman’. We will use these to establish more formally the core features of new materialism, and use these to set out the foundations, the concepts and the tools for new materialist sociology, and ...