The Routledge Companion to Social Theory

Edited by Anthony Elliott

© 2010 – Routledge

338 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415470162
pub: 2009-11-18
US Dollars$38.95
Hardback: 9780415470155
pub: 2009-11-19
US Dollars$125.00

e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

The Routledge Companion to Social Theory provides an authoritative, comprehensive and provocative introduction to the key traditions of thought in social theory today. This ground-breaking reference work brings together major contributors, both established and emergent new voices, to reflect on the ways in which social theory sheds light on the contemporary social world. Represented are:

the traditions of classical social thought

symbolic interactionism


structuralism, post-structuralism and postmodernism

identity theories

globalization theories.

The Routledge Companion to Social Theory is designed to give a sense of the complexities of both classical and contemporary social theory. Including a helpful glossary of key terms and theorists, this accessible guide is essential reading for students and professionals in social theory, sociology, philosophy, cultural studies, women’s studies and politics.


‘Anthony Elliott is one of the most important commentators on social theory and in this volume he has used his expertise to put together a first rate collection of essays showing to all levels of students - and their teachers too - why theory matters. Wide-ranging, accessible and alive, this is a collection in which to be confident and from which to think about the world and the questions it raises.'Professor Keith Tester, University of Hull, UK

‘A distinctly fascinating introduction to the world of social theory which extends beyond boundaries of disciplines and cultures. This book will be a great guide for students all over the world.’Professor Atsushi Sawai, Keio University, Japan

Table of Contents

Introduction. Part One – Traditions and Riddles of Social Theory 1. What is Social Theory? 2. Classical Social Theory 3. Social Theory and Symbolic Interactionism 4. Social Theory and Psychoanalysis 5. Social Theory, Structuralism and Poststructuralism 6. Structuration Theories 7. Social Theory of the Body 8. Postmodern Social Theory 9. Social Theory of Identity 10. New Media, Popular Culture and Social Theory 11. Citizenship, Cosmopolitanism and Social Theory 12. Social Theory and Cultural Sociology 13. Social Theory of Globalization. Part Two – Central Terms and Thinkers. Bibliography

About the Editor

Anthony Elliott is Professor of Sociology at Flinders University, Australia, and Visiting Research Professor in Sociology at The Open University, UK. His publications for Routledge include The Contemporary Bauman (2007), Contemporary Social Theory: An Introduction (2009), and The New Individualism: The Emotional Costs of Globalization with Charles Lemert (revised edition, 2009).

About the Series

Routledge Companions

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General