Essays in the Theory of Society
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Originally published in 1968, these ten essays by one of Europe’s leading sociological theorists deal with important issues on the borderline between sociology and social philosophy and demonstrate the author’s deep insight into history and political analysis. The author maintains that the structures of power in which the political process takes place not only originate change and give it direction, but also produce the fertile conflicts that give expression to the fundamental uncertainty of human existence. Through an examination of various concepts inherent in this dynamic process – power, resistance, conflict, change, freedom, uncertainty – a coherent theory of society emerges.
Table of Contents
- Values and Social Science
- Homo Sociologicus
- Sociology and Human Nature
- Out of Utopia
- In Praise of Thrasymachus
- On the Origin of Inequality Among Men
- Liberty and Equality
- Market and Plan
- Uncertainty, Science and Democracy
- Sociology and the Sociologist
The Value Dispute in Perspective
On the History, Significance and Limits of the Category of Social Role
A Postscript to Homo Sociologicus
Toward A Reorientation of Sociological Analysis
Reflections of a Sociologists on a Classical Theme of Politics
Two Types of Rationality
On the Problem of Theory and Practice
Ralf Dahrendorf was a German-British sociologist, philosopher, political scientist and liberal politician. He was director of the LSE and Research Professor at the Berlin Social Science Research Center.
‘Provocative, informative, lucid, pleasurable – one could go on multiplying complimentary adjectives about these essays. They show sociology to be a discipline in which the literate and human values still flourish.’ Alasdair Macintyre, The Guardian.