The revised edition includes new material on actor–network theory, French pragmatist sociology and cultural sociology, and discusses contemporary social thinker such as Zygmunt Bauman, Ulrich Beck, Manuel Castells, Randall Collins, Michael Mann, Saskia Sassen and Theda Skocpol. The authors conclude with a bold, new pragmatist agenda for social theory and the social sciences.
Written in a lively style, and avoiding jargon, Social Theory in the Twentieth Century and Beyond is aimed at students who wish to gain an understanding of the main debates and dilemmas driving social theory. Like its predecessor, it will be a standard introduction to modern social theory for students in sociology, politics and anthropology.
Preface to the Second Edition
1. A Timeless Order and its Achievement: Structuralism and Genetic Structuralism
2. The Biological Metaphor: Functionalism and Neo–functionalism
3. The Enigma of Everyday Life: Symbolic Interactionism, the Dramaturgical Approach and Ethnomethodology
4. The Invasion of Economic Man: From Rational Choice Theory to the New Institutionalism
5. As Sociology meets History: Giddens’s Structuration Theory and Historical Sociology
6. The History of the Present: Foucault’s Archaeology and Genealogy
7. The Spread of Reason: Habermas’s Critical Theory and Beyond
8. A Brave New World?: Current Trends in Social Theory
9. Conclusion: Social Theory for the Twenty–First Century
"The new edition is an outstanding book. The coverage is comprehensive, the lines of thought and exposition are clear, and the level of discussion is very high yet remarkably lively and accessible. It has an underlying intellectual seriousness and engagement which shines out through the individual chapters, and the authors′ unwillingness to make do with secondary analyses and received ideas gives it a strength and freshness of approach which is extremely welcome. It is a very worthwhile update to an exceptionally valuable book."
William Outhwaite, Newcastle University
"Modern social theory is complex, diverse and difficult. Baert and Carreira da Silva are to be warmly congratulated for creating a clear and comprehensive framework that makes lucid sense of this theoretical complexity. The result is a sure but sophisticated overview of contemporary social thought. A judicious guide, it is an indispensable aid for students seeking an understanding of the social world."
Bryan S. Turner, Wellesley College