This comprehensive introduction covers a wide historical range of major thinkers, from the classical to the postmodernist, as well as key themes in social theory and a guide to the major debates. Designed for students with little or no background in social theory, this single volume covering both classic and contemporary theory introduces the basic concepts at the center of social theory in accessible language. In addition to being a textbook, this book is ideal for readers seeking a useful reference source to the field.
Divided into three sections, the book contains thirty chapters in all. It covers classical social theory, modern social theory, and contemporary challenges to both periods. Each chapter is written by a specialist in the field, giving a clear exposition of the main concepts placed in both historical and philosophical context. Chapters contain biographical data, end of chapter lists of key concepts and a comprehensive bibliography listing the primary and secondary literature relevant to the material.
An interesting, thorough, and useful anthology of informed commentary that will enliven the study of social theory for novice as well as expert. Particularly innovative is the use of European scholars whose analyses of theory is too seldom taken into account within the anglophone world. Their interpretations will, I am sure, add a fruitful dimension to an otherwise foreshortened understanding of the canon.