This textbook offers a new approach to understanding social theory. Framed around paired theoretical perspectives on a series of sociological problems, the book shows how distinctive viewpoints shed light on different facets of social phenomena. The book includes sociology’s "founding fathers", major 20th-century thinkers and recent voices such as Butler and Zizek. Philosophically grounded and focused on interpretation and analysis, the book provides a clear understanding of theory’s scope while developing students’ skills in evaluating, applying and comparing theories.
'Students often experience social theory as intimidating. The braver ones sometimes question its point: why do we have to learn about Durkheim? This welcome new text should go some way towards answering that question, while also encouraging students to see theory as a 'necessary good' rather than an 'unnecessary evil'. Some of their teachers may also breathe a sigh of relief. An impressive achievement.' - Professor Emeritus Richard Jenkins, University of Sheffield
1. What is Sociology?
2. Capitalism and Alienation: Marx and Weber
3. Recognition and Anomie: Durkheim and Honneth
4. Social Interaction and Marginalisation: Simmel and the Chicago School
5. Power and Stratification: Foucault and Bourdieu
6. System and Differentiation: Luhmann and Habermas
7. State and Market: Althusser and Boltanski & Chiapello
8. Uncertainty and Risk: Bauman and Beck
9. The Reflective Self: Goffman and Giddens
10. Family and Work: Sennett and Hochschild
11. Gender, Body and Identity: Butler and Haraway
12. Factish and Fetish: Latour and Žižek
13. Sociology as an Analytic Praxis