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



To many people living in the West, Islam is something which still remains firmly ‘outside’ their immediate reality. As a collection of ideas mapping out a way of life, it appears to be spiritually as well as culturally alien to the beliefs which they cherish or hold dear. The gulf which separates them from Islam as a concept, let alone a religious system, is apparently profound and insurmountable. Yet, for the last 1,500 years, ever since its emergence in seventh-century Arabia, growing numbers of people across the world have become followers of Islam, and today's one billion Muslims now constitute a fifth of current humanity, ‘a global presence which cannot be ignored’ (Robinson, 1996: x). In particular, the development of what often looks like ...

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