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Introducing Social Theory, 2nd Edition

Introducing Social Theory, 2nd Edition

Pip Jones, Liz Bradbury, Shaun LeBoutillier

ISBN: 978-0-745-63523-1

Jul 2011, Polity

256 pages


This revised edition of Pip Jones's extremely popular introduction to social theory, now benefiting from the collaboration of Shaun Le Boutillier and Liz Bradbury, has been carefully and thoroughly updated with the latest developments in this continually changing field. Written in a refreshingly lucid and engaging style, Introducing Social Theory provides readers with a wide-ranging, well organized and thematic introduction to all the major thinkers, issues and debates in classical and contemporary social theory.

Introducing Social Theory traces the development of social theorizing from the classical ideas about modernity of Durkheim, Marx and Weber, right up to a uniquely accessible review of contemporary theoretical controversies in sociology surrounding post-modernity and reflexive sociology. With great clarity, the authors explain the ideas of seminal thinkers such as Foucault, Bauman, Habermas, Beck, Bourdieu and Giddens, as well as paying increased attention to other important contributions from theorists such as Margaret Archer, Fredric Jameson and George Ritzer.

Introducing Social Theory is the ideal textbook for students at all levels taking courses in sociology, from A-level students to undergraduates, who are looking to engage with social theory. Remarkably easy to follow and understand, the new edition lives up to its predecessor's goal that students need never be intimidated by social theory again.

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1. An Introduction to Sociological Theories
2. Marx and Marxism
3. Emile Durkheim
4. Max Weber
5. Interpretive Sociology: Action Theories
6. Michel Foucault: Language, Discourse Theory and the Body-Centredness of Modernity
7. Social Structures and Social Action
8. Post-Modernity, Postmodernism and its Critics
9. Re-thinking Modernity
10. Feminist and Gender Theories

- Chapter on feminist theories fully reworked and updated (more commentary on the work of Judith Butler and Raewyn Connell)
- Increased attention to theorists such as Margaret Archer, Fredric Jameson, Roy Bhaskar and George Ritzer
- New chapter on the structure-agency debates and reflexive sociology, focussing on the work of Pierre Bourdieu, Anthony Giddens and Margaret Archer
- More in the final chapter on rethinking modernity with particular reference to the work of Ulrich Beck, Zygmunt Bauman and Anthony Giddens
- General updating of material and theories throughout
"A remarkably clear, succinct and informative introduction to a complicated subject: the ideal guide through the labyrinth of social theory."
Patrick Baert, University of Cambridge

"Introducing Social Theory is an excellent primer for both undergraduate and postgraduate students interested in the theoretical and philosophical dimensions of the discipline. The work provides a clear and comprehensive account of the main positions and controversies in social theory, skilfully weaving a critique of diverse theoretical debates within the context of the emergence and globalization of modern societies. Through detailed textual exegesis, it rightly addresses the key question of what it is to be human in an increasingly globalized and complex world. It will be required reading on university courses."
Anthony King, University of Exeter

"This highly readable text should be appealing and rewarding to students and instructors alike for its concise and engaging introductory overview of the most important contemporary issues and debates in sociological theory. The ideas of a wide range of figures are summarized, compared, and contrasted, and numerous examples are provided throughout to promote understanding of the theoretical issues and arguments that are covered."
D. Paul Johnson, Texas Tech University

  • New edition of a coherent, well-organized and thematic introduction to all the major thinkers, issues and debates in classical and contemporary social theory.
  • Traces the development of social theory from the classical ideas of Durkheim, Marx and Weber to the latest contemporary theoretical controversies.
  • Provides a cogent and highly readable account of the debates at the heart of social theorizing today.
  • This book has been extremely popular and is remarkably easy to follow and understand - students need never be intimidated by social theory again!