The Structure of Social Theory

Author: Anthony King
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 0415652065
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Over the last three decades, social theory has become an increasingly important subdiscipline within sociology. Social theory has attempted to elucidate the philosophical basis of sociology by defining the nature of social reality. According to social theory, society consists of objective institutions, structure, on the one hand, and individuals, agency on the other, it promotes human social relations, insisting that in every instance social reality consists of these relations.

The Social and Political Thought of Noam Chomsky

Author: Alison Edgley
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 113462591X
Format: PDF, Docs
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The Social and Political Thought of Noam Chomsky questions Chomsky's claim not to have a theory about the relationship between human beings and their society other than that which 'can be written on the back of postage stamp'. Edgley compares Chomsky's vision of the good society with liberal communitarian perspectives, and establishes that it is grounded in a hopeful belief about human nature. She argues that sympathy with this vision of the good society is essential for understanding the nature of Chomsky's critique of state capitalism, its inherent nationalism and the media. The author concludes that Chomsky's analysis is coherent and systematic when one acknowledges that he is not just a critic but a theorist.

Studies in Social and Political Theory RLE Social Theory

Author: Anthony Giddens
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317650646
Format: PDF
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The studies which comprise this book are essentially organized around a critical encounter with European social theory in its 'classical period' – i.e. from the middle years of the nineteenth century until the First World War – and have the aim of working out some of the implications of that encounter for the position and prospects of the social sciences today. The issues involved relate to the following series of problems: method and epistemology; social development and transformation; the origins of 'sociology' in nineteenth-century social theory; and the status of social science as critique. In each of these areas, Giddens develops views that challenge existing orthodoxies, and connects these ideas to a reconstruction of social theory in the contemporary era.

Handbook of Contemporary European Social Theory

Author: Gerard Delanty
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134255462
Format: PDF, ePub
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This innovative publication maps out the broad and interdisciplinary field of contemporary European social theory. It covers sociological theory, the wider theoretical traditions in the social sciences including cultural and political theory, anthropological theory, social philosophy and social thought in the broadest sense of the term. This volume surveys the classical heritage, the major national traditions and the fate of social theory in a post-national and post-disciplinary era. It also identifies what is distinctive about European social theory in terms of themes and traditions. It is divided into five parts: disciplinary traditions, national traditions, major schools, key themes and the reception of European social theory in American and Asia. Thirty-five contributors from nineteen countries across Europe, Russia, the Americas and Asian Pacific have been commissioned to utilize the most up-to-date research available to provide a critical, international analysis of their area of expertise. Overall, this is an indispensable book for students, teachers and researchers in sociology, cultural studies, politics, philosophy and human geography and will set the tone for future research in the social sciences.

Toward a Hermeneutic Theory of Social Practices

Author: Dimitri Ginev
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1351683985
Format: PDF, Docs
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Recent methodological debates have shown that practice theory can either be developed by combining and slightly extending established theoretical concepts of inter-subjectivity, social normativity, collective behavior, interaction between agents and environment, habits, learning, collective intentionality, and human agency; or by following a strategy that promotes the quest for completely autonomous concepts. In the latter case, one defends a thesis of irreducibility. Toward a Hermeneutic Theory of Social Practices advocates this thesis by approaching the interrelational dynamic of social practices in terms of existential analytic. Indeed, this insightful volume outlines a methodology of the double hermeneutics that allows the study of the entanglement of agential plans, beliefs, and intentions with configured practices; while also demonstrating how interrelated social practices with which agency is entangled articulate cultural forms of life. Suggesting a framework for studying the cultural forms of life within the scope of practice theory, this book will appeal to postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers interested in fields such as Social Theory, Philosophy of Social Science, and Research Methods for Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Rethinking State Theory

Author: Mark J Smith
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136295933
Format: PDF
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In the last two decades, objects of analysis such as 'the state' have increasingly been seen as uncertain and contested theoretical concepts. Mark J. Smith presents a counter argument that highlights how existing theoretical approaches can provide useful tools for understanding contemporary political developments.

Hegemony

Author: Richard Howson
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135916314
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The originality and depth of Gramsci's theory of hegemony is now evidenced in the wide-ranging intellectual applications within a growing corpus of research and writings that include social, political and cultural theory, historical interpretation, gender and globalization. The reason that hegemony has been so widely and diversely adopted lies in the unique way that Gramsci formulated the 'problematics' of structure/superstructure, coercion/consensus, materialism/idealism and regression/progression within the concept hegemony. However, in much of the contemporary literature the full complexity of hegemony is either obfuscated or ignored. Hegemony, through comprehensive and systematic analyses of Gramsci's formulation, a picture of hegemony as a complex syncretism of these dichotomies. In other words, hegemony is presented as a concept that is as much about aspiration and progressive politico-social relations as it is about regressive and dominative processes. Thus, the volume recognises and presents this complexity through a selection of contemporary theoretical as well as historico-social investigations that mark a significantly innovative moment in the work on hegemony.

Ontology Revisited

Author: Ruth Groff
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 0415574110
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Groff's argument runs counter to the familiar anti-metaphysical habit. Social and political philosophy, she maintains, is not as metaphysically neutral as it may seem. Even the most deontological of theories connects up with an attendant set of philosophical commitments regarding what kinds of things exist, as a fundamental ontological matter, and what they are like. These are topics of interest not just to social and political philosophers, but to social scientists and to philosophers of social science as well. "Ruth Groff has broken new ground in demonstrating the connection between social and political thought and the ontology of causal powers. Her account of the structure of Humean thinking about agency is excellent. Especially significant is the role that she assigns to Kantianism in the analysis that she develops. She moves effortlessly between contemporary metaphysics, political theory, critical social theory, and the history of modern philosophy, offering trenchant insights along the way into the work of thinkers ranging from Hume himself to Mill, Adorno, and Martha Nussbaum, and into debates over agent causation and emergence. There is even a discussion, in the final chapter, of Spinoza. This is big-picture philosophy at its best: rigorous and exacting at the level of detail; original, compelling and systematic in the whole." - Stephen Mumford, Professor of Metaphysics and Dean of the Faculty of Arts, University of Nottingham

Deciphering Goffman

Author: Ramon Vargas Maseda
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317153960
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Challenging the ‘classical’ conception of Goffman’s sociology, this book offers a new interpretation based on a comprehensive examination of previous interpretations and critical assessments of Goffman’s work. Epistemologically, the book acknowledges the important but overlooked influences of both pluralism and particularly of pragmatism, where not only Simmel but also James and Dewey played a pivotal role in his work, thus rooting Goffman’s thought in symbolic interactionism. With attention to two central theoretical principles underlying his work—the pertinence of studying social interaction as given and the need and warrant to study face-to-face interaction in its own right—the author presents a rigorous examination of Goffman’s own writings to uncover the clear and recognizable process of systematization that Goffman followed throughout. In this manner, the book reveals the structure of Goffman’s theory by way of mapping the main themes, topics, concepts, empirical referents, methodological principles and theoretical frameworks relevant to the structure of his thought. A fresh examination of the structure of Goffman’s work that sheds light on the core of his unique approach, this new study of one of the central figures of sociology constitutes an important contribution to scholarship in social theory and the history of sociology.

Sociology Routledge Revivals

Author: Tom B. Bottomore
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136968768
Format: PDF
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First published in 1962, this seminal work is an introduction to sociology in a world context, and a sophisticated guide to the major themes, problems and controversies in contemporary sociology. The book remains unique in its organisation and presentation of sociological ideas and problems, in it s lack of insularity (its wide coverage of diverse types of society and of sociological thought from various cultural traditions), and in its systematic connection of sociology with the broad themes of modern social and political thought.