Understanding Contemporary Society: Theories of the Present is a comprehensive textbook to guide students through the complexities of social theory today. Over 30 chapters, written by an international team of contributors, demonstrate clearly the practical applications of social theory in making sense of the modern world. Students are both introduced to the most significant theories and guided through the major social developments which shape our lives. Key features of the book are: clearly structured and readable prose; bullet pointed summaries and annotated further reading for each topic; makes complex issues accessible to undergraduates; focuses on relevance and practicality; chapter lay-out which is ideal for t




As the millennium approaches, globalization retains its allure as a designer concept of choice, despite conflicting claims that we now live in a post-globalized world, that the current frisson is only part of a ‘recurrent tendency of world-capitalism since early modern times’ (Arrighi, 1997: 1), or that there is no such beast anyway. While these are useful correctives to what one author has described as ‘global-degook’ (Freeman, 1995), such counterclaims are flawed because they oversimplify the nature, provenance and tenacity of globalization as an historical process which is redrawing the economic, political and cultural geographies of the world.

As part of a critical examination of the concept, I want to offer what might be called a ‘strong’ version of globalization, albeit one which draws attention ...

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