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

Maintaining Marx

Maintaining marx

In this chapter I discuss Karl Marx's major concepts and some of the continuing debates around them. These are grouped into three overlapping sections, dealing with Marx's theories of history, his account of capitalism and class, and his philosophical or metatheoretical standpoint. Although several of Marx's key arguments are now widely regarded as either defective or indeterminate, he remains a thinker of signal importance and fertility for contemporary social understanding. This is indicated by the strong ‘comeback’ that Marx has made, following the collapse of the Soviet bloc countries during 1989–91, when many people thought, rather superficially, that the last nail in his intellectual coffin had finally been hammered in. Instead, on a substantive level, Marx's account of the basic logic and ...

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