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Social Theory for Today

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

A very good text that covers most of the course content

Dr Shaun Le Boutillier
Dept of Humanities and Social Sciences, Anglia Ruskin University
October 11, 2016

A wonderful text that brings together classic and contemporary sources of social theory. Inspirational.

Ms Therese Alison Lewis
Faculty of Health , Social Work & Education, Northumbria University
April 12, 2016

This text provides an excellent introduction to sociological theory and can be used for all undergraduate levels.

Mr Brian McDonough
Sociology , London Metropolitan Uni (City Campus)
February 3, 2016

Credible analysis of the field.

Dr David Calvey
Dept of Sociology, Manchester Metropolitan University
September 28, 2015

An excellent text that really opens up social theory for undergraduate students. The way that this is written in a very accessible way.

Mr Lewis Simpson
Department of Health & Social Studies, Grimsby Institute of HE & FE
September 8, 2015

a very concise journey through society, that develops the knowledge of he reader/ student. This book allows the student to understand the fully comprehend modern society.

Mr Michael Donaldson
Care Humatities and sport, North Glasgow Collge
April 20, 2015

I'ts very useful for my course of Epistemology oriented on Bourdieu's reflexive sociology.

Mr Salvador Cardus
Department of Sociology, Autonomous University of Barcelona
April 16, 2015

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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