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



One of the main preoccupations of contemporary social theory has been to conceptualize the ever-shifting role of intellectuals within a transformative process that spans pre-modern, modern and ‘post-modern’ phases of development. As understood here, intellectuals constitute far more than an assemblage of Great Thinkers past and present: defined in the most general sense as mental workers, they have come to occupy distinctly structural positions, carrying out a variety of social and political functions that can have important, sometimes decisive historical consequences.

In advanced industrial societies intellectuals enter into many diverse roles, from professionals, scientists, writers and artists, to technical and cultural workers, politicians and leading figures within popular movements. Their functions are performed across broad spheres of work, culture, social life and politics, helping in ...

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