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It is high time that widely-held myths about the historical backwardness of British sociology were exploded. Social Theory in Britain represents a fundamental challenge to the study of national traditions in social theory.
British social theory has been an important influence in the past and has an important role to play in renewed thinking today - not only in Britain, but globally.
In this important book Scott provides us with a story long forgotten and therefore assumed to be non-existent: the story of British Social Theory in the 19th and early 20th Century. Skillfully drawing across a variety of writers, some seeing themselves as sociologists, others a mix of theorists from other disciplines, political actors and amateurs, Scott demonstrates the diversity of social theory in Britain.
A magisterial discussion of key lines of thought in the submerged history of classical sociology in Britain pre-1950. It examines key questions concerning what social theory in British sociology was, who did it and the ideas produced and is essential reading in re-evaluating the history of British sociology. It convincingly shows any claim it was theory-bereft before US sociology came on the scene is seriously mistaken.
John Scott has done a great service by providing this reconstruction of the long and distinguished history of British social theory, a tradition which the rest of the world reacted to and incorporated. Much of this history of social theory has been hidden in and obscured by the specialist literature on these thinkers—Scott brings them to light in an accessible form.
John Scott destroys the stereotype that British social thinkers lacked the lasting significance of the great Continental and American sociologists. A powerful and plausible re-examination of the British contribution to the Western sociological tradition.
An enlightening book, not only for students in the social sciences, but also for scholars interested in social epistemology and the history of (sociological) ideas. It reconfirms there were some interesting theorists in the UK in the early twentieth century. Even non-sociologists will learn from this reading, written in clear language and without jargon.