Politics, Sociology and Social Theory. Encounters with Classical and Contemporary Social Thought

  • ID: 2293001
  • Book
  • 312 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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This book is built upon a series of critical encounters with major figures in classical and present–day social and political thought. The volume offers not only a challenging critique of major traditions of social and political analysis, but unique insights into the ideas which Anthony Giddens has developed over the past two decades. It therefore serves as a comprehensive introduction to some of the main debates preoccupying the social sciences and politics.

The volume includes discussions of politics and sociology in the thought of Max Weber, together with analyses of Durkheim′s political sociology and his interpretation of individualism and solidarity in modern societies. Various more contemporary figures are also subjected to critical dissection and appraisal, most notably Habermas, Foucault, Marcuse, Garfinkel and Popper.

A number of unifying themes associated with Giddens′s standpoint run through each of the chapters: the methodological reconstruction of social investigation, the re–interpretation of modernity and the reformulation of a critical theory of politics.

The work will be of interest to anyone concerned with the major dilemmas faced by social and political theory today, as well as those seeking to follow the overall trajectory of Giddens′s thinking.

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1. Politics and Sociology in the Thought of Max Weber.

2. Marx, Weber and the Development of Capitalism.

3. Durkheim′s Political Sociology.

4. Durkheim and the Question of Individualism.

5. Comte, Popper and Positivism.

6. ′Power′ in the Writings of Talcott Parsons.

7. The Improbable Guru: Re–reading Marcuse.

8. Garfinkel, Ethnomethodology and Hermeneutics.

9. Habermas on Labour and Interaction.

10. Foucault, Nietzsche and Marx.



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"In this generation no one has contributed more than he to both our understanding of the history of social thought and the development of social theory. The pieces republishedin Politics, Sociology and Social Theory are worth reading again, for they offer critically informed engagements with diverse figures from the history of social theory."Times Higher Education Supplement

"A valuable collection of papers ... Giddens′s own work is a striking exception to the sterility of post–socialist social thought. The present volume shows Giddens at his refreshingly iconoclastic best ... These are all profoundly instructive contributions, which confirm Giddens′s standing as the pre–eminent social theorist of his generation." John Gray, Times Literary Supplement

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