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Social Theory for Today
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Social Theory for Today
Making Sense of Social Worlds

  • Alex Law - University of Abertay, Dundee


February 2015 | 344 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
"This book is distinctive for extending the usual sociological reach, reopening territory that has lain fallow, set aside from the well-ploughed fields of orthodox social theory. In doing so, Law not only produces fresh insight into familiar theorists but guards against collective forgetting of the sociological canon."
- Professor Bridget Fowler, University of Glasgow


"
An excellent book, it will be welcomed and read widely by advanced undergraduates, postgraduates and scholars in sociology, cultural studies, social theory and beyond."
- Professor Chris Shilling, University of Kent


Social Theory for Today guides students through the ‘turns’ of past and present social theory as it attempts to wrestle with a recurring sense of crisis in social relations and social theory. Drawing on both classical and contemporary sources, Alex Law provides readers with a firm grasp of competing perspectives.

Too often social theories attempt to dominate the field by casting rival theorists, past and present, as deluded fools, while the more familiar ‘big names’ in social theory are subject to ever-increasing commentary that runs in ever-decreasing circles. This survey of social theory and crisis lessens the temptation to engage in internal theoretical polemics and esoteric wordplay. Social theory must become practical and specific if it is to become a means of orientation for uncertain times.

This is a must-read for upper level undergraduate and postgraduate students looking for a vibrant and extended understanding of social theory.


 
Introduction: The Narcissism of Minor Differences
 
Social Theory and Crisis
 
Positivist Turn: Auguste Comte
 
Marx’s Turn
 
Nietzsche’s Turn: Max Weber and Georg Simmel
 
Ideological Turn: Antonio Gramsci and Georg Lukacs
 
Reflexive Turn: Otto Neurath and Empirical Sociology
 
Modernist Turn: Walter Benjamin and Siegfried Kracauer
 
Critical Turn: The Frankfurt School
 
Negative Turn: Horkheimer, Adorno and Habermas
 
Quotidian Turn: Henri Lefebvre
 
Corporeal Turn: Maurice Merleau-Ponty
 
Pragmatic Turn: Social theory in the US
 
Cultural Turn: Social Theory in France and Britain
 
Relational Turn: Norbert Elias and Pierre Bourdieu
 
Conclusion

A key text to support both teacher snad students.

Sasha Pleasance
Teacher Training, South Devon College
March 26, 2015

An excellent text covering a diverse range of complex social theory, delivered in a methodical way to aid understanding to the student.

Mrs Amanda Hill
Faculty of Health and Science, University of Cumbria
January 20, 2015
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