With postmodernism has come the questioning of the very idea of 'the social'. Thinkers form across the social sciences and humanities now agree that this one foundational concept can no longer be taken for granted as an objective or real characteristic of the world. However, their uncertainty has taken on many guises and the social in Question represents an attempt to pull these diverse forms of questioning together.Drawn form sociology, cultural studies, history and theology, an international and eminent cast of contributors look at how the idea of 'the social' developed from its mediaeval foundations to its consolidation in the early twentieth century. The book then charts how the concept has been brought into the question by critiques from science studies, cultural studies and postcolonial studies before going on to look at how new framework are being proposed for the exploration of issues formerly seen as 'the social'. This book makes a fascinating contribution to the rethinking of contemporary academic activity.
Patrick joyce is Professor of History in the School of History and Classics at Manchester University