Published in 1999, this book is an exploration of the life and work of American sociologist Alvin W. Gouldner. Gouldner's life and contribution to legal theory is a case study in the limits of critical, self-reflexive inquiry. Hegel's dialect is a major theme running throughout Gouldner's work, and, even throughout his life, Gouldner himself seemed trapped in the unfolding of the spirit through three distinct stages: 1945-1960 - thesis; 1960-1970 - antithesis; and 1970-1980 - synthesis or new thesis. Implications for creating a reflexive critical sociology in Gouldner's image are discussed.
1. Understanding or Explaining Gouldner? 2. The Early Years and Industrial Sociology 3. The 1960s and Transition 4. The Coming Crisis of Western Sociology 5. Gouldner, Parsons, and the New Left 6. Ideology, Intellectuals, and the New Class 7. Nightmare Marxism.
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