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Social Theory in a Changing World. Conceptions of Modernity. Edition No. 1

  • ID: 2249320
  • Book
  • June 1999
  • Region: Global
  • 224 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
This book provides a critical assessment of contemporary social theory for students in the social sciences. Delanty examines the writings of a number of key contemporary thinkers, including Habermas, Foucault, Bauman, Touraine, Giddens and Beck, and provides a clear account of the strengths and limitations of their work.
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The central Conflict of Modernity.

Knowledge and Culture.

Towards a Cognitive Approach.


1. Defining Modernity: The Quest for Autonomy.


Modernity's Three Logics of Development.

Integration and Differentiation.

Conclusion: The Time-Consciousness of Modernity.

2. The Limits of Modernity: From Autonomy to Fragmentation.


Rethinking Modernity.

Autonomy versus Fragmentation: The Loss of Unity.

Beyond the Classical Tradition: Contemporary Theories of the Social. Conclusion: Towards a New Time-Consciousness.

3. Discourse and Democracy: Habermas's Theory of Modernity. .


The Problem of Democracy.

The Formation of Habermas's Social Theory.

Rescuing Discourse: The Mediation of Democracy and Law.

Discursive Democracy in the Global Public Sphere.

The Question of Culture and Identity. Conclusion: Culture and Discourse.

4. Creativity and the Rise of Social Postmodernism: Foucault, Lyotard and Bauman. .


From Deconstructionism to Constructivism. Bauman: Ethics and Postmodernity.

Conclusion: Beyond Postmodernism.

5. The Return of Agency: Touraine and Melucci.


Touraine: From Historicity to the End of the Social. Melucci: Culture, Identity and Change.

Conclusion: Reflexivity and Democracy.

6. Reflexive Modernization: Beck and Giddens. .


Beck and the Risk Society. Giddens: Modernity, Reflexivity and Trust.

Assessing Reflexive Modernization: The Question of Culture.

Conclusion: Reflexivity and Discourse.

Conclusion: Knowledge, Democracy and Discursive Institutionalization.




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Gerard Delanty University of Liverpool.
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