The authors recontextualize contemporary sociological theory to argue that in recent decades sociology has been deeply permeated by a new paradigm, conflict constructionism. Their analysis integrates and sheds new light on eight prominent domains of recent social thought: the micro-level; discourses, framing, and renewed interest in signs and language; the construction of difference and dominance; regulation and punishment; cultural complexity and transculturation; the body; new approaches to the role of the state; and a consistent conflict perspective.
<br>The paradigm combines elements of both social construction theory and conflict theory. It has deep roots in critical theory and more recent links to postmodernism. It is associated with postmodern social thought, although it is less radical and more adaptable to empirical inquiry than postmodernism. The authors tie their new conceptualization of social theory to contemporary applications of social theory in everyday life.
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“This book provides a clear summary of how postmodern approaches are becoming more entrenched within sociology, and it is a good textbook for teachers interested in this topic. Further, it demonstrates that if sociology is to be true to its calling, it must be able to understand the profound changes of the contemporary era, and radically transform its theoretical self-understanding if need be.”
–International Review of Modern Sociology
"Garner, Hancock and Budrys change the game in social-theory pedagogy and research by ‘discovering’ a major new paradigm—conflict constructionism. This is indeed a paradigm shift as they blend traditional conflict theory with social constructionism to explain and explore all manner of phenomena, including discourse, body politics, the microlevels of everyday life, discipline and domination. It is important to understand conflict and coercion as done "to" people but also to understand that people have a hand in their own liberation. In my own teaching, I have been looking for a way to put critical theory, feminist theory and cultural studies on the same page—or in the same week!—and now I have it. Rethinking Contemporary Social Theory will instantly become part of the sociological canon."
-Ben Agger, author of Critical Social Theories