The Structure Of Social Theory

Author: Anthony King
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 0415652065
Size: 22.90 MB
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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.

Hegemony

Author: Richard Howson
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135916322
Size: 15.49 MB
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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.

Deciphering Goffman

Author: Ramon Vargas Maseda
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317153960
Size: 44.37 MB
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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.

The Social And Political Thought Of Noam Chomsky

Author: Alison Edgley
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 113462591X
Size: 68.42 MB
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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.

Groundwork For The Practice Of The Good Life

Author: Omedi Ochieng
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISBN: 1315469480
Size: 22.60 MB
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What makes for good societies and good lives in a global world? In this landmark work of political and ethical philosophy, Omedi Ochieng offers a radical reassessment of a millennia-old question. He does so by offering a stringent critique of both North Atlantic and African philosophical traditions, which he argues unfold visions of the good life that are characterized by idealism, moralism, and parochialism. But rather than simply opposing these flawed visions of the good life with his own set of alternative prescriptions, Ochieng argues that it is critically important to step back and understand the stakes of the question. Those stakes, he suggests, are to be found only through a social ontology – a comprehensive and in-depth account of the political, economic, and cultural structures that mark the boundaries and limits of life in the twenty-first century. It is only in light of this social ontology that Ochieng then proffers an alternative normative account of the good society and the good life – which he spells out as emergent from ecological embeddedness; social entanglement; embodied encounter; and aesthetic engenderment. At once sweeping and rigorous, incisive and subtle, original and revisionary, this book does more than just appeal to intellectuals and scholars across the humanities and social sciences – rather, it opens up the academic disciplines to a whole new landscape of exploration into the biggest and most pressing questions animating the human experience.

Logics Of Critical Explanation In Social And Political Theory

Author: Jason Glynos
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134138350
Size: 72.15 MB
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This book proposes a novel approach to practising social and political analysis based on the role of logics. The authors articulate a distinctive perspective on social science explanation that avoids the problems of scientism and subjectivism by steering a careful course between lawlike explanations and thick descriptions. Drawing upon hermeneutics, poststructuralism, psychoanalysis, and post-analytical philosophy, this new approach offers a particular set of logics – social, political and fantasmatic – with which to construct critical explanations of practices and regimes. While the first part of the book critically engages with lawlike, interpretivist and causal approaches to critical explanation, the second part elaborates an alternative grammar of concepts informed by an ontological stance rooted in poststructuralist theory. In developing this approach, a number of empirical cases are included to illustrate its basic concepts and logics, ranging from the apartheid regime in South Africa to recent changes in higher education. The book will be a valuable tool for scholars and researchers in a variety of related fields of study in the social sciences, especially the disciplines of political science and political theory, international relations, social theory, cultural studies, anthropology and philosophy.

Critical Theories And The Budapest School

Author: John Rundell
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1315472430
Size: 70.63 MB
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Critical Theories and the Budapest School brings together new perspectives on the Budapest School in the context of contemporary developments in critical theory. Engaging with the work of the prominent group of figures associated with Georg Lukács, this book sheds new light on the unique and nuanced critiques of modernity offered by this school, informed as its members’ insights have been by first-hand experiences of Nazism, Soviet-type societies, and the liberal-democratic West. With studies of topics central to contemporary critical theory, such as the political and historical consciousness of modernity, the importance of bio-politics, the complexity of the human condition, and the relevance of comedy and friendship to developing critical perspectives, the authors draw on the works of Ágnes Heller, Maria Márkus, György Márkus, and Ferenc Fehér, demonstrating their enduring relevance to critical theory today and the ways in which these philosophers can inform new perspectives on culture and politics. An innovative reassessment of the Budapest School and the importance of its legacy, this book opens a much-needed and neglected dialogue with other schools and traditions of critical theorizing that will be of interest to scholars of sociology, philosophy, and social theory.

Ontology Revisited

Author: Ruth Groff
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 0415574110
Size: 10.27 MB
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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

Studies In Social And Political Theory Rle Social Theory

Author: Anthony Giddens
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317650646
Size: 41.42 MB
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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.

Engaging Anthropological Theory

Author: Mark Moberg
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 113622503X
Size: 42.84 MB
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This lively book offers a fresh look at the history of anthropological theory. Covering key concepts and theorists, Mark Moberg examines the historical context of anthropological ideas and the contested nature of anthropology itself. Anthropological ideas regarding human diversity have always been rooted in the socio-political conditions in which they arose and exploring them in context helps students understand how and why they evolved, and how theory relates to life and society. Illustrated throughout, this engaging text moves away from the dry recitation of past viewpoints in anthropology and brings the subject matter to life. Additional resources are available via a companion website at: http://www.routledge.com/cw/moberg-9780415809160/