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Social Theory in the Twentieth Century and Beyond


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Table of Contents

Preface to the Second Edition


1. A Timeless Order and its Achievement: Structuralism and Genetic Structuralism

2. The Biological Metaphor: Functionalism and Neo-functionalism

3. The Enigma of Everyday Life: Symbolic Interactionism, the Dramaturgical Approach and Ethnomethodology

4. The Invasion of Economic Man: From Rational Choice Theory to the New Institutionalism

5. As Sociology meets History: Giddens's Structuration Theory and Historical Sociology

6. The History of the Present: Foucault's Archaeology and Genealogy

7. The Spread of Reason: Habermas's Critical Theory and Beyond

8. A Brave New World?: Current Trends in Social Theory

9. Conclusion: Social Theory for the Twenty-First Century

About the Author

Patrick Baert is Senior Lecturer at University of Cambridge and Fellow of Selwyn College, Cambridge.

Filipe Carreira Da Silva is Research Fellow at Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon.


"Baert and da Silva lay out very clearly a history of social theory, and how that history is being re-thought, updated and canonised by contemporary theories. In their new chapter, they link theories of the global city, globalization and modernity with their contemporary and historical contexts. As such it is a well-marshalled and accessible introduction to the subject." Kelvingrove Review "The new edition 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 authors' unwillingness to make do with secondary analyses and received ideas gives it a strength and freshness of approach which is extremely welcome. It is a very worthwhile update to an exceptionally valuable book." William Outhwaite, Newcastle University "Modern social theory is complex, diverse and difficult. Baert and Carreira da Silva are to be warmly congratulated for creating a clear and comprehensive framework that makes lucid sense of this theoretical complexity. The result is a sure but sophisticated overview of contemporary social thought. A judicious guide, it is an indispensable aid for students seeking an understanding of the social world." Bryan S. Turner, Wellesley College

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