Social Theory for Beginners
Treating social theory as an exciting intellectual journey in its own right, this new introductory-level textbook presents the key ideas and concepts in social theory together with an account of the intellectual background from which they emerged. Aimed at first-year undergraduates studying sociology and all related disciplines in the social sciences and humanities, it provides an introduction to the major questions and debates facing social theorists and sociologists. Clearly designed presentation and layout features help readers navigate their way around the material thus giving them the best chance of finding what they need quickly and easily.
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1 What is social theory?
2 Where did social theory come from?
3 Émile Durkheim and the coming of industrial society
4 Karl Marx capitalism and revolution
5 Max Weber rational capitalism and social action
6 Talcott Parsons functionalism and the social system
7 Social interactionism and the real lives of social actors
8 Western Marxism Antonio Gramsci and the Frankfurt School
11 Feminist social theory
Habermas Bourdieu and Giddens
13 Theories of modernity and postmodernity
the global dimension and cultural theory
15 The boundary problem in contemporary social theory
9 Language structure meaning
Poststructuralist social theory
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20th century abstract actually analysis Anthony Giddens approach argues basic Baudrillard become beliefs Bourdieu capacity capitalism Chapter characteristic communicative action concept consciousness context critical cultural describe dimension discourse distinction division of labour dominant Durkheim economic emergence Émile Durkheim emphasise Enlightenment example experience express forces Foucault function functionalist Giddens global globalisation Goffman Habermas Habermas’s historical human ideas identifiable ideology important individual industrial institutions instrumental rationality intellectual interaction interactionist Karl Marx kind knowledge language Lash and Urry linguistic looking Lyotard Marx’s Marxist Max Weber meaning modern society modernist narrative nature networks notion objects organisation particular perspective philosophical political post-structuralist postmodern postmodernist power-knowledge practices production reality realm refers reflexive modernisation relations role rules-and-resources sciences sense sign-system significant social actors social phenomena social system social theory sociology structuralist structure and agency structuring processes Talcott Parsons theorists things thinking underlying values