Modern and Postmodern Social Theorizing: Bridging the Divideby Nicos P. Mouzelis
Pub. Date: 12/31/2008
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
There is a growing conflict between modern and postmodern social theorists. The latter reject modern approaches as economistic, essentialist and often leading to authoritarian policies. Modernists criticize postmodern approaches for their rejection of holistic conceptual frameworks which facilitate an overall picture of how social wholes (organizations, communities,… See more details below
There is a growing conflict between modern and postmodern social theorists. The latter reject modern approaches as economistic, essentialist and often leading to authoritarian policies. Modernists criticize postmodern approaches for their rejection of holistic conceptual frameworks which facilitate an overall picture of how social wholes (organizations, communities, nation-states, etc.) are constituted, reproduced and transformed. They believe the rejection of holistic methodologies leads to social myopia - a refusal to explore critically the type of broad problems that classical sociology deals with. This book attempts to bridge the divide between these two conflicting perspectives and proposes a novel holistic framework which is neither reductionist/economistic nor essentialist. Modern and Postmodern Social Theorizing will appeal to scholars and students of social theory and of social sciences in general.
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Table of ContentsIntroduction; Part I. The Theoretical Background: The Development of the Agency-Structure Problematic: 1. From Parsons' to Giddens' synthesis; Part II. Parsonian and Post-Parsonian Developments: 2. Parsons and the development of individual rights; 3. Evolution and democracy: Parsons and the collapse of communism; 4. Post-Parsonian theory I: neo-functionalism and beyond; Postscript: Alexander's cultural sociology; 5. Post-Parsonian theory II: beyond the normative and the utilitarian; Part III. Agency and Structure: Reworking some Basic Conceptual Tools: 6. Social and system integration: Lockwood, Habermas and Giddens; 7. The subjectivist-objectivist divide: against transcendence; 8. Habitus and reflexivity: restructuring Bourdieu's theory of practice; Part IV. Bridges Between Modern and Late/Postmodern Theorizing: 9. Modernity: a non-Eurocentric conceptualization; 10. Ethical relativism: between scientism and cultural relativism; 11. Cognitive relativism: between positivistic and relativistic thinking in the social sciences; 12. Social causation: between social constructionism and critical realism; Part V. Towards a Non-Essentialist Holism: 13. Grand narratives: contextless and context-sensitive theories; 14. The actor-structure dimension: anti-conflationist holism; 15. The micro-macro dimension: anti-essentialist holism; 16. The inter-institutional dimension: beyond economism and culturalism; Instead of Conclusion: twelve rules for the construction of an open-ended holistic paradigm; Appendix: In defence of 'grand' historical sociology.
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