• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

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

Contemporary Feminist Theory
Contemporary feminist theory

Over the past forty or so years feminist theorists have advanced critical social theory along path-breaking lines. Challenges to liberal feminist theory, in particular, have stimulated noteworthy developments during this period. These challenges have taken most visible shape around postmodernism as an anti-Enlightenment perspective, yet the most consequential resistance comes from multicultural and postcolonial theorists demanding attention (postmodernist or not) to racial/ethnic and other hierarchies.

Two other varieties of feminist theorizing have also challenged liberal feminist theory, namely, lesbian and psychoanalytic perspectives. Adrienne Rich's (1980) lesbian continuum, ranging from sexual to emotional bonds between women that exert priority in women's lives, raises issues that liberal feminist theory largely ignores or even resists. Similarly, feminist psychoanalytic perspectives such as Nancy Chodorow's (1978) ...

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