Modernity: An Introduction to Modern Societies / Edition 1

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Modernity: An Introduction to Modern Societies is a new sociology textbook which provides a comprehensive and stimulating introduction to the history, sociology and ideas of modern society. It has been written for students and readers who have no prior knowledge of sociology, and is designed to be used in a variety of social science courses in universities and colleges.

The book is divided into three parts, corresponding to the formation, consolidation and prospects of modernity. From the start, four major social processes are identified: the social, the cultural, the political, and the economic. These form the basis of the four chapters in Part 1, and organize the narrative or 'story-line' of the rest of the text. In Part 2, they provide the framework for an analyis of what developed industrial societies look like and how they work. And in Part 3,they provide the basis for identifying the emergent social forces and contradictory processes which are radically re-shaping modern societies today.

This is the widest-ranging introduction to the nature of modern societies and will be invaluable to introductory and post-introductory students of sociology.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is a wonderful book. Some books are challenging ; others are clear. This one is both — a rare find!" Charles Lemert, Wesleyan University

"It's so readable, intelligent, multicultural, and in touch with new thinking, that it could find a nice place in American sociology." Steven Seidman, SUNY, Albany

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781557867162
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 1/30/1996
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 690
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 1.44 (d)

Meet the Author

Stuart Hall is Professor of Sociology, David Held is Professor of Politics and Sociology, and Kenneth Thompson is Professor of Sociology a the Open University. All have written and published widely on aspects of modernity and the development of modern societies.

Don Hubert is Post-Graduate Researcher at the University of Cambridge.

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Table of Contents

List of Contributors.



Part 1: Formations of Modernity:.

Introduction: S. Hall (Open University).

1. The Enlightenment and the Birth of Social Science: P. Hamilton (Open University).

2. The Development of the Modern State: D. Held (Open University).

3. The Emergence of the Economy: V. Brown (Open University).

4. Changing Social Structures: Class and Gender: H. Bradley (University of Bristol).

5. The Cultural Formations of Modernity: R. Bocock (Open University).

6. The West and the Rest: Discourse and Power: S. Hall (Open University).

Part II: Structures and Processes of Modernity: .

Introduction: D. Hubert (University of Cambridge) and Kenneth Thompson (Open University).

7. The State in Advanced Industrial Societies: A. McGrew (Open University).

8. Fordism and Modern Industry: J. Allen (Open University).

9. Divisions of Labour: P. Braham (Open University).

10. Women and the Domestic Sphere: H Crowley (University of North London).

11. The Body and Sexuality: J. Weeks (South Bank University).

12. Religion, Values and Ideology: K. Thompson (Open University).

Part III: Modernity and its Futures:.

Introduction: S. Hall (Open University), D Held ((Open University), G McLennan (Massey University).

13. The 1989 Revolutions and the Triumph of Liberalism: D. Held (Open University).

14. A Global Society: A. McGrew (Open University).

15. Environmental Challenges: S. Yearley (Queen's University, Belfast).

16. Post-Industrialism / Post-Fordism; J. Allen (Open University).

17. Social Pluralism and Post-Modernity: K. Thompson (Open University).

18. The Question of Cultural Identity: S. Hall (Open University).

19. The Enlightenment Project Revisited: G. McLennan (Massey University).


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