The New Social Theory Reader  book cover
2nd Edition

The New Social Theory Reader

ISBN 9780415437707
Published May 6, 2008 by Routledge
464 Pages

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $74.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

This is the first anthology to thematize the dramatic upward and downward shifts that have created the new social theory, and to present this new and exciting body of work in a thoroughly trans-disciplinary manner.

In this revised second edition readers are provided with a much greater range of thinkers and perspectives, including new sections on such issues as imperialism, power, civilization clash, health and performance. The first section sets out the main schools of contemporary thought, from Habermas and Honneth on new critical theory, to Jameson and Hall on cultural studies, and Foucault and Bourdieu on poststructuralism. The sections that follow trace theory debates as they become more issues-based and engaged. They are:

  • the post-foundational debates over morality, justice and epistemological truth

  • the social meaning of nationalism, multiculturalism and globalization

  • identity debates around gender, sexuality, race, the self and post-coloniality.

This new edition provides more ample biographical and intellectual introductions to each thinker, and substantial introductions to each of the major sections. The editors introduce the volume with a newly revised, interpretive overview of social theory today.

The New Social Theory Reader is an essential, reliable guide to current theoretical debates.

Table of Contents

Part 1: General Theory without Foundations.  New Critical Theory  1. Contributions to a Discourse Theory of Law and Democracy Jurgen Habermas  2. Personal Identity and Disrespect Semiotic Structuralism Axel Honneth  3. Historical Metaphors and Mythical Realities Marshall Sahlins  4. On Ethnographic Allegory James Clifford. Poststructuralism  5. Power/Knowledge Michael Foucault  6. Outline of a Theory of Practice Pierre Bourdieu.  Cultural Studies  7. Cultural Studies Stuart Hall  8. The Political Unconscious Frederic Jameson  Part 2: The Normative Turn.  Justice  9. A Defense of Pluralism and Equality Michael Walzer  10. Political Liberalism John Rawls.  Ethics  11. Whose Justice? Which Rationality? Alasdair MacIntyre  12.  Postmodern Ethics Zygmaunt Bauman.  Truth  13. Pragmatism, Relativism, and Irrationalism Richard Rorty  14. Feminism and the Question of Postmodernism Seyla Benhabib  Part 3: Rethinking Power.  Performativity  15. Imitation and Gender Insubordination Judith Butler  16. Performance and Power Jeffrey Alexander.  Domination/Liberation  17. From Redistribution to Recognition? Nancy Fraser  18. Queer Politics David Halperin.  Biopoliftics  19. The Body and the Reproduction of Femininity Susan Bordo  20. : The Politics of Life Itself  Nicolas Rose  Part 4: Societies and World Order.  Postmodernity  21. Simulcra and Simulations Jean Baudrillard  22. The Condition of Postmodernity David Harvey.  Civil Society  23. The Utopia of Civil Society Jean L. Cohen and Andrew Arato  24. Global Civil Society Mary Kaldor.  Multiculturalism  25. Justice and the Politics of Difference Iris Marion Young  26. Multicultural Citizenship Will Kymlicka.  Nationalism  27. Imagined Communities Benedict Anderson  28. Whose Imagined Community? Partha Chatterjee.  World Politics  29. The End of History Francis Fukuyama  30. The Clash of Civilizations Samuel Huntington.  Globalisation  31. A New Society Manuel Castells  32. The Cosmopolitan Perspective Ulrich Beck.  Empire  33. From Direct to Indirect Rule Mahmood Mamdani  34. The New U.S. Empire George Steinmetz  Part 5: Identities.  Self  35. Self and Society in the Late Modern Age  Anthony Giddens  36. The Making of Modern Identity Charles Taylor.  Gender  37. Gender as a Structure of Social Practice R.W. Connell  38. Westernization and Third World Feminism Uma Narayan.  Sexuality  39. Heter Hetero/Homosexuality Diana Fuss  40. Shifts in Normative Heterosexuality Steven Seidman.  Race  41. Racial Formation  Michael Omi and Howard Winant  42. The Mirage of an Unmarked Whiteness Ruth Frankenberg.  Postcoloniality  43. Orientalism Edward Said  44. Postcolonial Melancholia Paul Gilroy

View More



Steven Seidman is Professor of Sociology at State University of New York, Albany.

Jeffrey C. Alexander is Professor of Sociology at Yale University.