Understanding and explaining the causes and consequences of social change has been an important concern of social theorists throughout the history of sociology. This wide-ranging book focuses on a rich and diverse body of theoretical work, from Adam Smith and Comte to Lyotard and Baudrillard, in order to demonstrate the relevance of both classical and contemporary social theory to the wider social world and to show that, while social theory may not deliver all the answers we might like, it does improve the quality of the questions we can ask about how social change comes about, what its effects are, and where it is leading us.
Emphasizing in each chapter the work of one major writer, Noble (sociology, U. of Sheffield) presents a textbook for beginning students in a range of social sciences. He outlines some of the major concepts and debates in sociological theory in the context of the causes and consequences of social change. Primarily he explores a variety of attempts either to identify the principal causes of social change or to clarify its consequences for people caught up in the process. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)