What are the aims of sociology? What are its objects of study? How relevant is the classical tradition to the practice of sociology today? This volume brings together internationally renowned and new scholars to consider the changing relationship between contemporary and classical sociology. Arguing that recent historical and theoretical developments make reconsideration timely, it suggests that whilst the classical tradition has a continuing pertinence, it is inevitably subject to ongoing reconfiguration. Assessing the explanatory value of classical and contemporary forms of sociology, interrogating social theory as both a form of explanation and a mode of practice, and considering the possible consequences for the discipline of questions about its subject matter, Sociological Objects steers a course between assertions about radical epistemological breaks on the one hand, and reverence for the classical tradition on the other. Rather, it emphasizes the value of reworking, reconsidering and reconfiguring sociological thought.
'Social theory is a field in turmoil, some of which is highly productive and interesting. The papers in this volume represent some of the best of the turmoil. They reflect anew on the Durkheimian question of what sociological objects are in terms of the challenge posed by ethnomethodology and by changes in the social itself.' Stephen Turner, University of South Florida, USA