In this comprehensive, stylish and accessible introduction to contemporary social theory, Anthony Elliott and Charles Lemert examine the major theoretical traditions from the Frankfurt School to globalization and beyond. When first published, the book’s wide range set new standards for introductory textbooks – social theorists discussed include Theodor Adorno, Herbert Marcuse, Michel Foucault, Jacques Lacan, Jacques Derrida, Anthony Giddens, Pierre Bourdieu, Julia Kristeva, Jurgen Habermas, Judith Butler, Slavoj Zizek, Manuel Castells, Ulrich Beck, Zygmunt Bauman, Giorgio Agamben and Manuel De Landa.
Extensively developed to take into account significant recent developments in American social theory, the book offers chapters on American pragmatism, structural functionalism, ethnomethodology, black feminist thought and world-systems theory. American traditions of social theory are brought powerfully to life in treatments of intellectuals ranging from William James to Robert K. Merton, David Riesman to Randall Collins, and Patricia Hill Collins to Saskia Sassen.
Introduction to Contemporary Social Theory combines lively exposition and clarity with reflective social critique and original insights, and is a superb textbook with which to navigate the twists and turns of contemporary social theory as taught in the disciplines of sociology, politics, history, cultural studies and many more.
Table of Contents
Preface 1. The Textures of Society 2. The Contemporary Relevance of the Classics 3. The Frankfurt School 4. American Pragmatisms 5. Structuralism 6. Structures, Functions and Culture 7. Post-Structuralism 8. The Interaction Order 9. Theories of Structuration 10. Variations on the Theory of Power and Knowledge 11. Contemporary Critical Theory 12. Feminism and Post-Feminist Theory 13. Postmodernity 14. World-Systems Analysis and Its Entailments 15. Globalization. Afterword
Anthony Elliott is Director of the Hawke Research Institute, where he is Research Professor of Sociology at the University of South Australia. His recent books include Reinvention (2012), The Routledge Companion to Social Theory (ed., 2010) and The Routledge Handbook of Identity Studies (ed., 2011).
Charles Lemert is University Professor at Wesleyan University, where he is also John C. Andrus Professor of Social Theory Emeritus. He is author most recently of Queer Things Abounding: Small Clues to a Globalized World (2010), The New Individualism, second edition (2009), and Thinking the Unthinkable (2007).