A unique contribution to discussions of social theory, this book counters the argument that no social theory was ever produced in Britain before the late twentieth century. Reviewing a period of 300 years from the seventeenth century to the mid-twentieth century, it sets out a number of innovative strands in theory that culminated in powerful contributions in the classical period of sociology. The book discusses how these traditions of theory were lost and forgotten and sets out why they are important today.
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About the Author
John Scott is an Honorary Professor at the Universities of Essex, Exeter, and Copenhagen. He was formerly a professor of sociology at the Universities of Essex and Leicester, and pro-vice-chancellor for research at the University of Plymouth. He has been president of the British Sociological Association, Chair of the Sociology Section of the British Academy, and in 2013 was awarded the CBE for Services to Social Science. His work covers theoretical sociology, the history of sociology, elites and social stratification, and social network analysis. His most recent books include British Social Theory: Recovering Lost Traditions before 1950 (SAGE, 2018), Envisioning Sociology. Victor Branford, Patrick Geddes, and the Quest for Social Reconstruction (with Ray Bromley, SUNY Press, 2013), Objectivity and Subjectivity in Social Research (with Gayle Letherby and Malcolm Williams, SAGE, 2011).
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Was There a Failure of British Social Theory?Foundations of Social ThoughtChapter 2 Social Thought in Mainstream Philosophy: Towards a Science of Social StructureChapter 3 Difference, Diversity, and Development in the Social OrganismChapter 4 The Romantic Critique and Social IdealismChapter 5 The Socialist Critique and Cultural MaterialismClassical Social TheoriesChapter 6 Patrick Geddes: Towards a Professional SociologyChapter 7 Robert Mac Iver: Building an Intellectual BaseChapter 8 Leonard Hobhouse: Building Disciplinary SociologyDevelopment and DecayChapter 9 Social Theory After the ClassicsChapter 10 Rediscovering Theory and TheoristsAppendix: Principal Social TheoristsBibliography