Society  book cover
1st Edition


ISBN 9780415426565
Published January 29, 2009 by Routledge
1600 Pages

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Book Description

What is the nature of our current societies? Do we see a clash of civilizations, or the end of history? The advent of globalization, or the birth of the network society? Are we witnessing the emergence of a risk society, or the advent of the knowledge society? More fundamentally, is ‘society’ an ideological construct that should be abandoned?

Coming into English from the Latin term ‘societas’ via Old French ‘société’, the etymology of ‘society,’ in the sense of a system adopted by a group of co-existing individuals for mutually beneficial purposes, can be traced back at least to the mid-sixteenth century. By the Age of Enlightenment, ‘society’ was increasingly used in intellectual discourse to characterize human relations, often in contrast to notions of ‘the state’. During the nineteenth century, the concept was subject to highly elaborate treatment in various intellectual fields, such as political economy, philosophy, and legal thought; and ‘society’ continues to be a central conceptual tool, not only for sociology, but also for many other social-science disciplines, such as anthropology, economics, political sciences, and law. The notion resonates beyond the social sciences into the humanities; it is a fundamental concept, like nature, the universe, or the economy. Moreover, ‘society’ remains a highly contested concept, as was demonstrated, for example, by the controversy surrounding the former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher’s pithy assertion of the neoliberal economic wisdom that ‘there is no such thing as society’ (Woman’s Own, 31 October 1987); and by the term’s rehabilitation at the turn of the twenty-first century, not least with the ascendancy of the notion of ‘civil society’.

This four-volume collection, a new title in the Routledge Critical Concepts in Sociology series, brings together both canonical and the best cutting-edge research to document the intellectual origins and development of what remains a key framework within which contemporary work in the social sciences in general, and sociology in particular, proceeds. Edited by Reiner Grundmann and Nico Stehr, two leading scholars in the field, this Routledge Major Work makes available the most useful, important and representative treatments of the subject matter, and helps to make sense of the great variety of perspectives and approaches in which social scientists and other thinkers have understood, and continue to understand, society.

Fully indexed and with a comprehensive introduction newly written by the editors, which places the collected material in its historical and intellectual context, Society is an essential reference work, destined to be valued by scholars and students as a vital research resource.

Table of Contents

Volume I: The Origins of Society

1. Aristotle, Politics (c. 300BC), Bk. 7, Pts. VIII–X.

2. Michel de Montaigne, The Essays, 2 vols., trans. E. J. Trechmann (Oxford University Press, 1927), Bk. 2, Ch. 1.

3. Thomas Hobbes, ‘Of the Natural Conditions of Mankind’, Leviathan (James Thornton, 1881), pp. 91–6.

4. John Locke, ‘Of the State of Nature’, Second Treatise of Civil Government (London: 1821), pp. 189–93, 195–9.

5. Charles de Secondat Montesquieu, ‘Of Laws in Relation to the Nature of the Climate’, from Esprit de la Lois, in The Making of Society: An Outline of Sociology, ed. Victor F. Calverton (New York: Modern Library, 1937), pp. 178–93.

6. Adam Smith, ‘Of the Principle which Gives Occasion to the Division of Labour’, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1793), pp. 19–25.

7. Immanuel Kant, ‘Idea for a Universal History with a Cosmopolitan Purpose’, Humankind and Society, pp. 1–10.

8. Jean Jacques Rousseau, A Discourse on a Subject Proposed by the Academy of Dijon: What is the Origin of Inequality Among Men, and is it Authorized by Natural Law (1754), trans. G. D. H. Cole (extract).

9. Jean Jacques Rousseau, ‘On the Social Contract’, in The Miscellaneous World of Mr J. J. Rousseau (London: Becket and DeHondt, 1767), pp. 16–37.

10. John Stuart Mill, ‘The Authority of Society over the Individual’, from On Liberty, in Victor F. Calverton (ed.), The Making of Society: An Outline of Sociology (New York: Modern Library, 1937), pp. 237–58.

11. Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, ed. Richard Heffner (New York: 1956), pp. 128–37, 189–92.

12. Adam Ferguson, ‘Part Fourth: Of Consequences that Result from the Advancement of Civil and Commercial Arts’, An Essay on the History of Civil Society (Cambridge University Press, 1999 [1767]), pp. 172–93.

13. Frank H. Hankins, ‘Adolphe Quetelet as Statistician’, Studies in History, Economics, and Public Law, Vol. 31 (Columbia University Press, 1908), pp. 443–576 (excerpts).

14. Mary Wollstonecraft, ‘The Rights and Involved Duties of Mankind Considered’, A Vindication of the Rights of Women (London: Penguin, 1992 [1792]), pp. 91–9.

15. Harriet Martineau, On Women, ed. by G. G. Yates (Rutgers University Press, 1985 [1837]) (excerpts).

16. John Stuart Mill, The Subjection of Women (Hackett, 1988 [1869]) (excerpt).

17. Auguste Comte, ‘Society and Government’, The Positive Philosophy (London: George Bell & Sons, 1896), pp. 218–32, 275, 280–1, 289–98.

18. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, ‘The Civic Community’, The Philosophy of Right (London: George Bell & Sons, 1896), secs. 182–3, 187–8, 190–3, 196–9, 201, 207, 209–10, 229–32, 235, 249, 252, 256–7, and 259.19. Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx, ‘The Class Struggle’, Manifesto of the Communist Party (Chicago: Kerr, 1880), pp. 12–32.

20. Karl Marx, ‘The Material Forces and the Relations of Production’, A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy (New York: International Library Publishing Co., 1904), pp. 11–13, 265–9, 291–2.

21. Johann Gottfried Herder, Preface to The Reflections on the Philosophy of the History of Mankind and ‘The Human Being is Predisposed to the Power of Reason’, in Hans Adler and Ernest Menze, Johann Gottfried Herder: On World History (New York: Sharpe, 1997), pp. 110–15, 116–27.

22. John Millar, The Origin of the Distinction of Ranks: or, An Inquiry into the Circumstances which Give Rise to Influence and Authority, In the Different Members of Society (Printed for William Blackwood, South-Bridge Street; And Longman, Huest, Rees, & Orme, Paternoster-Row, London, 1806 [1771]) (excerpt).

Volume II: Classical Theories of Society

23. Thorstein Veblen, ‘Conspicuous Consumption’, The Theory of the Leisure Class (New York: The Viking Press, 1912 [1899]), pp. 15–21, 25–34, 68–89, 97–101

24. Herbert Spencer, ‘The Nature of Society’, The Principles of Sociology (New York: Appleton, 1898), Vol. II, pp. 447, 453, 456, 593–7.

25. Gabriel Tarde, ‘What is a Society?’, The Laws of Imitation (Henry Holt & Company, 1903), pp. 59–88.

26. Emile Durkheim, ‘On Mechanical and Organic Solidarity’, The Division of Labor in Society (Illinois: Free Press, 1949), pp. 37–8, 61–2, 64–5, 68–9, 109–10, 111–15, 127–31.

27. Emile Durkheim, ‘Society and Individual Consciousness’, The Elementary Forms of Religious Life (Illinois: Free Press, 1954), pp. 206–14.

28. Emile Durkheim, ‘On the Normality of Crime’, The Rules of Sociological Method (University of Chicago Press, 1938), pp. 65–75.

29. Edward A. Ross, ‘The Need of Social Control’, Social Control: A Survey of the Foundations of Order (New York: Macmillan, 1901), pp. 49–50, 59–60, 411–12.

30. William G. Sumner, ‘Religion and the Mores’, The American Journal of Sociology, 15(5) (May 1910), 577–95.

31. Charles Horton Cooley, ‘The Process of Social Change’, Political Science Quarterly, 12(1) (Mar. 1897), 63–81.

32. William I. Thomas, ‘The Definition of the Situation’, The Unadjusted Girl (New York: Social Science Research Council, 1951), pp. 41–4.

33. Ellen Churchill Semple, ‘Geographical Location as a Factor in History’, Bulletin of the American Geographical Society, 40(2), 1908, 65–81.

34. Vilfredo Pareto, ‘The Circulation of the Elites’, The Mind and Society (New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1935), Vol. III, paras. 2026–59, Vol. IV, paras. 2233–6.

35. Max Weber, ‘Social Action and its Types’, The Theory of Social and Economic Organization (Illinois: Free Press, 1947), pp. 88, 112–23.

36. Max Weber, ‘Social Stratification and Class Structure’, The Theory of Social and Economic Organization (Illinois: Free Press, 1947), pp. 424–9.

37. Georg Simmel, ‘How is Society Possible?’, American Journal of Sociology, 16, 1910, 372–91.

38. Robert Michels, Political Parties (1915 [1911]), pp. 19–33.

39. Marcel Mauss, ‘Reciprocity: Gifts and Return Gifts’, The Gift (Illinois: Free Press, 1954), pp. 1–2, 3, 10–12, 69–77.

40. Robert Park and Ernest Burgess, An Introduction to the Science of Sociology (Chicago University Press, 1921) (excerpt).

41. Robert M. MacIver, ‘Man and Society’, Society (New York: Farrar & Rinehart, 1937), pp. 38–58.

42. William Fielding Ogburn, ‘How Technology Changes Society’, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 249 (‘Social Implications of Modern Science’), Jan. 1947, pp. 81–8.

43. William Fielding Ogburn, ‘The Hypothesis of Cultural Lag’, in Victor F. Calverton (ed.), The Making of Society: An Outline of Sociology (New York: Modern Library, 1937), pp. 719–24.

44. Werner Sombart, ‘Capitalism’, in Edwin R. Seligman, Alvin Johnson (eds.), Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, Vol. 3 (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1930), pp. 195–208.

45. Ferdinand Tönnies, ‘Community and Society: Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft’, Community and Society (Michigan State University Press), pp. 33–40, 42–4, 46–8, 64–9, 75–8.

46. Robert S. Lynd and Helen Merrill Lynd, Middletown: A Study in American Culture (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1929), pp. 496–502.

47. George H. Mead, ‘The Social Self’, The Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods, 10(14) (3 July 1913), 374–80.

48. Franz Boas, ‘Individual, Family, Population, and Race’, Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, 87(2) (‘Symposium on Post-War Problems’), 16 Aug. 1943, 161–4.

49. Alfred Schütz and Thomas Luckmann, ‘The Everyday Life-World and the Natural Attitude’, The Structures of the Life-World (London: Heinemann, 1974), pp. 3–20.

Volume III: Modern Theories of Society

50. Arnold Gehlen, ‘The Crystallization of Cultural Forms’, Studien zur Anthropologie und Soziologie, in Volker Meja, Dieter Misgeld, and Nico Stehr, German Sociology (Columbia University Press, 1987), pp. 218–31.

51. Raymond Aron, ‘Industrial Society’, Eighteen Lectures on Industrial Society (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1967), Lecture No. V.

52. Talcott Parsons, ‘The New Lead Society and Contemporary Modernity’, The System of Modern Societies (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1971), pp. 86–121.

53. George C. Homans, ‘Bringing Men Back In’, American Sociological Review, 29(6) (Dec. 1964), 809–18.

54. Lewis A. Coser, ‘Social Conflict and the Theory of Social Change’, British Journal of Sociology, 8(3) (Sept. 1957), 197–207.

55. Robert K. Merton, ‘Social Structure and Anomie’, American Sociological Review, 3(5) (Oct. 1938), 672–82.

56. Gerhard Lenski and Patrick D. Nolan, ‘Trajectories of Development: A Test of Ecological-Evolutionary Theory’, Social Forces, 63(1) (Sept. 1984), 1–23.

57. Basil Bernstein, ‘Elaborated and Restricted Codes: Their Social Origins and Some Consequences’, American Anthropologist, New Series, 66(6), Pt. 2 (‘The Ethnography of Communication’, Dec. 1964), pp. 55–69.

58. Erving Goffman, ‘The Interaction Order: American Sociological Association’, 1982 Presidential Address, American Sociological Review, 48(1) (Feb. 1983), 1–17.

59. C. Wright Mills, ‘The Structure of Power in American Society’, British Journal of Sociology, 9(1) (Mar. 1958), 29–41.

60. Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann, ‘The Reality of Everyday Life’, The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge (Garden City, New York: Anchor Books), pp. 51–5, 59–61.

61. Harold Garfinkel, ‘Studies of the Routine Grounds of Everyday Activities’, Social Problems, 11(3) (Winter 1964), 225–50.

62. Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno, ‘The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception’, Dialectic of Enlightenment (New York: Continuum, 1993), pp. 120–67.

63. Theodor W. Adorno, ‘Late Capitalism or Industrial Society?’, in Volker Meja, Dieter Misgeld, and Nico Stehr, German Sociology (Columbia University Press, 1987), pp. 232–47.

64. Jessie Bernard, ‘The Status of Women in Modern Patterns of Culture’, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 375 (‘Women around the World’), Jan. 1968, pp. 3–14.

65. Dorothy E. Smith, ‘Sociology from Women's Experience: A Reaffirmation’, Sociological Theory, 10(1) (Spring 1992), 88–98.

66. James S. Coleman, ‘Constructed Organization: First Principles’, Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization, 7 (Jan. 1991), 7–23.

67. Ralf Dahrendorf, ‘Toward a Theory of Social Conflict’, The Journal of Conflict Resolution, 2(2), (June 1958), 170–83.

68. John Galbraith, ‘The Paramount Position of Production’, The Affluent Society (1958), pp. 121–38.

69. Daniel Bell, ‘Notes on the Post-Industrial Society (I)’, Public Interest, 6 (Winter 1967), 24–35.

70. Robert N. Bellah, ‘The Necessity of Opportunity and Community in a Good Society’, International Sociology, 12(4), 1997, 387–93.

71. Jean-François Lyotard, The Post-Modern Condition (University of Manchester Press, 1984 [1979]), pp. 3–17.

72. Shmuel N. Eisenstadt, ‘Heterodoxies and Dynamics of Civilizations’, Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, 128(2) (June 1984), 104–13.

73. Peter Drucker, ‘The Changed World Economy’, Foreign Affairs, 64, 1986, 768–91.

74. Norbert Elias, ‘The Retreat of Sociologists into the Present’, Theory Culture Society, 4, 1987, 223–47.

Volume IV: Contemporary and Future Societies

75. Walter Powell and Paul DiMaggio, ‘The Iron Cage Revisited: Institutional Isomorphism and Collective Rationality in Organizational Fields’, American Sociological Review, 1983, 48, 147–60.

76. Jürgen Habermas, ‘The Task of a Critical Theory of Society’ (=sections from Theory of Communicative Action), in Volker Meja, Dieter Misgeld, and Nico Stehr, German Sociology (Columbia University Press, 1987), pp. 187–212.

77. Niklas Luhmann, ‘Differentiation of Society’, Canadian Journal of Sociology, 2, 1977, 29–54.

78. Michel Foucault, ‘The Subject and Power’, Critical Inquiry, 8(4) (Summer 1982), 777–95.

79. Frank Webster, ‘Plan and Control: Towards a Cultural History of the Information Society’, Theory and Society, 18(3), 1989, 323–51.

80. Frank Webster, ‘What is an Information Society?’, Theories of the Information Society (Routledge, 2002), pp. 8–31.

81. Pierre Bourdieu, ‘Social Space and Symbolic Power’, Sociological Theory, 7(1) (Spring 1989), 14–25.

82. Bruno Latour, ‘How to Bring the Collective Together’, The Politics of Nature (Harvard University Press, 2004), pp. 53–91).

83. Ulrich Beck, ‘Modern Society as a Risk Society’, in Nico Stehr and Richard V. Ericson, The Culture and Power of Knowledge (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1992), pp. 199–214.

84. Anthony Giddens, ‘Risk and Responsibility’, The Modern Law Review, 62(1), 1999, 1–10.

85. Alain Touraine, ‘Equality and/or Difference: Real Problems, False Dilemmas’, Canadian Journal of Sociology, 28(4), 2003, 543–50.

86. Zygmunt Bauman, ‘Sociology after the Holocaust’, British Journal of Sociology, 39(4), 1988, 469–97.

87. Nico Stehr, ‘Theories of the Information Age’ (2008) (new for this collection).

88. D. L. Meadows and D.H. Meadows, ‘Report to the Club of Rome’, The Limits to Growth, 2nd edn. (1974) (excerpt).

89. Roland Robertson, ‘Globalization as a Problem’, Globalization: Social Theory and Global Culture (Sage, 1992), pp. 8–9, 25–9, 174–80.

90. Niklas Luhmann, ‘Why Does Society Describe Itself as Postmodern?’, Cultural Critique, 30, 1995, 171–86.

91. Pierre Bourdieu, ‘Social Space and Symbolic Power’, Sociological Theory, 7(1), 1989, 14–25.

92. Richard Sennett, ‘Narcissism and Modern Culture’, 4, 1977, 70–9.

93. Zygmunt Bauman, ‘The 20th Century: The End or a Beginning?’, Thesis Eleven, 70, 15–25.

94. Immanuel Wallerstein, ‘The Rise and the Future Demise of the World Capitalist System: Concepts for Comparative Analysis’, Comparative Studies in History and Society, 16, 1974.

95. Benedict Anderson, ‘Imagined Communities’, The Origins of National Consciousness (Verso, 1983).

96. George Ritzer, ‘Rethinking Globalization: Glocalization/Grobalization and Something/Nothing’, Sociological Theory, 21(3), 2003, 193–209.

97. Francis Fukuyama, ‘Introduction’, The End of History and the Last Men (New York: Free Press, 1992), pp. xi–xxiii.

98. David Held, ‘Cosmopolitanism: Ideas, Realities and Deficits’, in David Held and Anthony McGrew (eds.), Governing Globalization (Polity Press, 2002), pp. 305–24.

99. Samuel P. Huntington, ‘The Clash of Civilizations?’, Foreign Affairs, 72, 1993, 22–3, 25–32, 39–41, 49.

100. Frank J. Lechner, ‘Global Fundamentalism’, in William H. Swatos (ed.), A Future for Religion? (Sage, 1993), pp. 19–20, 27–32.

101. Steve Fuller, ‘The Future of "Society": Retrieving Humanity from the Revival of Human Nature’ (2008) (new for this collection).

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Grundmann and Stehr edited an earlier Major Work: Knowledge (2005).

Reiner Grundmann is Reader in Sociology at Aston University, Birmingham, UK. He has published articles in journals such as Political Theory, New Left Review, the British Journal of Sociology, Journal of Classical Sociology, Science, Technology and Human Values. His books include Transnational Environmental Policy (Routledge, 2001).

Nico Stehr is Karl Mannheim Professor of Cultural Studies at Zeppelin University, Friedrichshafen, Germany. Among his recent books are The Governance of Knowledge (Transaction Books, 2004); Biotechnology: Between Commerce and Civil Society (Transaction Books, 2004); Knowledge Politics: Governing the Consequences of Science and Technology (Paradigm Publishers, 2005); and (with Christoph Henning and the late Bernd Weiler), Moralization of the Markets (Transaction Books, 2006).