- Subject index
C. Wright Mills' classic The Sociological Imagination has inspired generations of students to study Sociology. However, the book is nearly half a century old. What would a book address, aiming to attract and inform students in the 21st century? This is the task that Steve Fuller sets himself in this major new invitation to study Sociology. The book: " critically examines the history of the social sciences to discover what the key contributions of Sociology have been and how relevant they remain " demonstrates how biological and sociological themes have been intertwined from the beginning of both disciplines, from the 19th century to the present day " covers virtually all of sociology's classic theorists and themes " provides a glossary of key thinkers and concepts. This book sets the agenda for imagining Sociology in the 21st century and will attract students and professionals alike.
Chapter Seven: The Hidden Biological Past of Classical Social Theory
The Hidden Biological Past of Classical Social Theory
Professional sociologists typically regard the field called ‘social theory’ as made for export. It is a convenient means for non-sociologists to appreciate the distinctiveness of social scientific inquiry. Social theory may not exactly capture the cutting edge of empirical research, but at least it draws from roughly the same ancestry. Thus, the sociologists most capable of puncturing the pretensions of current social theory by revealing its empirical limitations and vagaries prefer to leave it in a state of benign neglect, as one might a reprobate uncle who only seems to come into his own at weddings and funerals. However, such neglect has now produced at least one generation of ‘social ...