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

Post-History: Living at the End

Post-history: Living at the end

Situating Ourselves in Time

The predicament of social theory today is obvious in the number of ‘post’ labels and theories around at the end of our century: post-industrialism, post-modernity, post-Fordism, post-tradition, post-history. These suggest a fundamental uncertainty about both our present condition and what the future holds in store. They agree only in the view that things are not what they used to be; that in some crucial sense we are living in a different world from the one we have been accustomed to analysing in the terms inherited from classical social theory. The prefix ‘post’ points us beyond; but to what is unclear. Hence the radically varying attitudes of hope and pessimism towards the future that ...

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