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

Social Movements

Social movements


Social movements are a distinct form of collective action in contemporary societies. Movements such as organized labour, women's liberation and Islamic fundamentalism have inspired participants, challenged authorities and sometimes changed societies in dramatic ways. At least since the mid-nineteenth century, social scientists have been interested in explaining the conditions that give rise to and the consequences of transitory phenomena such as crowds, panics, mobs and revolutions. It is only more recently that analysts turned their attention to the study of collective action that is enduring, organized and involves an effort to promote or resist social change. In particular, the surge of movement activity across Western Europe and North America in the 1960s, brought on by the civil rights movement, student mobilizations and ...

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