• 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

Social Theory and the Postmodern
Social theory and the postmodern
Introduction

The idea of the postmodern is no longer a novelty in social theory. Themes that had been the recondite concerns of an avant-garde in the 1980s and exploded into an intellectual crazecum-publishing bonanza in the early 1990s are now part of the standard repertoire of social theory and cognate disciplines. Undergraduate students in cultural studies and sociology learn to distinguish the postmodern from other theoretical ‘frameworks’ or ‘perspectives’, ably assisted by the textbooks, readers and websites now available. At the same time, the idea of the postmodern sits at the heart of contemporary ‘culture wars’, where it is attacked variously as the bearer of cognitive relativism, ethical nihilism, political quietism, aesthetic triviality and historical anachronism, The ...

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