This book is an indispensable resource for anyone interested in the roots, current debates and future development of social theory. It draws together a team of outstanding international scholars, and presents an authoritative and panoramic critical survey of the field. The volume is divided into three parts. The first part examines the classical tradition. Included here are critical discussions of Comte, Spencer, Marx, Durkheim, Weber, Simmel, Mead, Freud, Mannheim and classical feminist thought. This part conveys the classical tradition as a living resource in social theory, it demonstrates not only the critical significance of classical writings, but their continuing relevance. The second part moves on t

Introduction: Theorists, Theories and Theorizing

Introduction: Theorists, theories and theorizing

The Problem of the Canon and the Interpretation of Traditions of Social Thought

Handbooks, by their very nature, serve to define a field of study, to map out, at least for a time and for at least some scholars, the analytic parameters, key figures, perspectives and concerns associated with the field. The present Handbook of Social Theory is no different, and even if the editors did not intend it, it will play a role in helping to define social theory at the dawn of a new millennium. However, such an exercise is not without controversy, for developments within social thought, in particular the construction of postmodern, feminist and multicultural perspectives, have rendered the very activity of defining ...

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