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.
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.
"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