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Social theory and modern sociology / Anthony Giddens

Main Author Giddens, Anthony Country Reino Unido. Publication Cambridge : Polity Press, cop. 1987 Description IX, 310 p. ; 23 cm ISBN 0-7456-0362-9 CDU 316
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Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode Item holds
Monografia Biblioteca Geral da Universidade do Minho
BGUMD 10782 Available 129499
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

In this book Anthony Giddens addresses a range of issues concerning current developments in social theory, relating them to the prospects for sociology in the closing decades of the twentieth century.

Composed of closely integrated papers, all written over the past few years, the book includes seven essays not previously published, plus two have not appeared in English before.

In assessing the likely future evolution of sociology in particular, and the social sciences in general, the author both draws upon ideas established in his more abstract theoretical writings and examines critically competing traditions of thought.

Those looking for an accessible introduction to Gidden's writing will find in this book a set of clear expositions of his basic ideas. By situating these ideas in relation to the critical assessment of the views of others, however, the author provides new sources of insight into the distinctiveness of his own claims.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Preface
  • 1 What Do Sociologists Do?
  • 2 Nine Theses on the Future of Sociology
  • 3 The Social Sciences and Philosophy - Trends in Recent Social Theory
  • 4 Structuralism, Post-Structuralism and the Production of Culture
  • 5 Erving Goffman as a Systematic Social Theorist
  • 6 Time and Social Organization
  • 7 Nation-States and Violence
  • 8 Social Theory and Problems of Macroeconomics
  • 9 Out of the Orrery: E.P.Thompson on Consciousness and History
  • 10 Reason Without Revolution? Heberman's Theory of Communicative Action
  • 11 Alvin Gouldner and the Intellenctuals
  • 12 The Perils of Punditry: Gorz and the End of the Working Class
  • Index

Reviews provided by Syndetics


Giddens's latest book is, quite simply, the best work available on contemporary social theory, setting a standard to which all of its successors must be compared. Although the book is really a set of essays, there is greater thematic unity than one might expect of such an overview. Further, only 3 of the 12 essays have previously appeared in English. The volume covers three broad areas. First, Giddens discusses the recent history and the future of the field of sociology. Giddens's prognosis is optimistic, suggesting that the great debates and intellectual foment that have rocked sociology in recent years point toward a promising new synthesis, the outlines of which he describes. Second, he presents emergent sociological perspectives on important social questions-the characteristics of nation-states in the nuclear age, the rise of forms of labor discipline, and the necessity of developing new ways of understanding everyday life. Third, Giddens describes particular new approaches to social theory. These are the most impressive, exploring structuralism and poststructuralism, the new social history, critical theory, the Telos school, and apostate neo-Marxism. The book presents not only a clear perspective on contemporary sociology but also a considerable extension of Giddens's influential theory of structuration. It is clearly written, broad in scope, impeccably documented. An essential acquisition for all academic libraries.-S.M. Soiffer, University of Rochester

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Anthony Giddens, a British sociologist, was educated at Hull, the London School of Economics, and Cambridge, and is a fellow of King's College, Cambridge. His interests have been varied, but they tend to focus on questions related to the macro-order. Much of his theoretical writing deals with stratification, class, and modernity. Although he has concentrated on dynamic issues of social structure, he has also examined how social psychological concerns are part of this broader order of human relations.

(Bowker Author Biography)

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