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"I think this is an outstanding book. The coverage is comprehensive, the lines of thought and exposition are clear, and the level of discussion is very high yet remarkably lively and accessible. It has an underlying intellectual seriousness and engagement which shines out through the individual chapters, and the author's unwillingness to make do with secondary analyses and received ideas gives it a strength and freshness of approach which is extremely welcome."
--Professor William Outhwaite, University of Sussex
Social Theory in the Twentieth Century offers an easy-to-read but provocative account of the development of social theory. Patrick Baert covers a wide range of key figures and schools of thought, including Giddens, Foucault and Habermas. Written in a lively style and avoiding jargon, this book is aimed at students who wish to understand the main debates and dilemmas driving social theory.
Rather than providing a neutral summary of the different thinkers and theories, Baert challenges the conventional readings of social theory with new and original interpretations. In effect, he bridges the gap between philosophy and social theory by placing the theoretical views within wider historical traditions.
Social Theory in the Twentieth Century will undoubtedly become the standard introduction to social theory for students in sociology, politics, and anthropology.
'I think this is an outstanding book. The coverage is comprehensive, the lines of thought and exposition are clear, and the level of discussion is very high yet remarkably lively and accessible. It has an underlying intellectual seriousness and engagement which shines out through the individual chapters, and the author's unwillingness to make do with secondary analyses and received ideas gives it a strength and freshness of approach which is extremely welcome.' Professor William Outhwaite, University of Sussex
|1||A Timeless Order and its Achievement: Structuralism and Genetic Structuralism||9|
|Saussure's approach to linguistics||15|
|Bourdieu's genetic structuralism||29|
|2||The Biological Metaphor: Functionalism and Neo-Functionalism||37|
|Neo-functionalism and Niklas Luhmann||60|
|3||The Enigma of Everyday Life: Symbolic Interactionism, the Dramaturgical Approach and Ethnomethodology||66|
|Erving Goffman's dramaturgical approach||75|
|4||The Skilful Accomplishment of Social Order: Giddens's Structuration Theory||92|
|5||The History of the Present: Foucault's Archaeology and Genealogy||114|
|A new conception of knowledge acquisition||116|
|6||The Spread of Reason: Habermas's Critical Theory||134|
|Influences and early writings||137|
|The theory of communicative action||142|
|7||The Invasion of Economic Man: Rational Choice Theory||153|
|Rational choice explanations||155|
|Examples of rational choice applications||163|
|Problems with rational choice theory||165|
|8||Eroding Foundations: Positivism, Falsificationism and Realism||173|