The contents of the book range in a systematic way across the major traditions of social theory prominent today. Among the topics covered are the relationships between modern social theory and the `classics′ of the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; the connections between social theory and mathematical social science; and the logical status of generalizations in the social sciences. Traditions of thought discussed include: behaviourism; symbolic interactionism; Parsonian theory; analytical theory; structuralism and post–structuration theory; world systems theory; Marxism and critical theory.
The highly distinguished group of contributors comprises Jeffrey Alexander, Ira Cohen, Anthony Giddens, John Heritage, George Homans, Axel Honneth, Hans Joas, Ralph Miliband, R. Munch, Jonathan H. Turner, Immanuel Wallerstein and Thomas Wilson.
1. The Centrality of the Classics:.
Jeffrey C. Alexander.
2. Behaviourism and After:.
George C. Homans.
3. Symbolic Interactionism:.
4. Parsonian Theory Today:.
In Search of a New Synthesis: Richard Munch.
5. Analytical Theorizing:.
Jonathan H. Turner.
6. Structuralism, Post–Structuralism and the Production of Culture: Anthony Giddens.
John C. Heritage.
8. Structuration Theory and Social Praxis:.
Ira J. Cohen.
9. World–Systems Analysis:.
10. Class Analysis: Ralph Miliband.
11. Critical Theory: Axel Honneth.
12. Sociology and the Mathematical Method: Thomas P. Wilson.
′Social Theory Todayis a highly useful and satisfying work ... In the first place Anthony Giddens and Jonathan Turner have comprehensively charted their own field ... In the second place, [they] have been largely successful in persuading their authors to observe a consistent format ... Finally, Giddens and Turner, thanks to their own personal standing as productive and original practitioners of sociological theory, have been able to enlist the collaboration of a number of highly distinguished authors.′ Times Higher Education Supplement