A Beginner's Guide to Social Theory (Theory, Culture & Society)

Shaun Best, 2003, Sage Publications Ltd

This book is accessible, as a beginner’s guide should be, but without an over-simplification of the arguments. It should prove an immensely durable text for generations of students to come’ – John Hughes, Lancaster University At last, a book that makes social theory for undergraduates a pleasure to teach and study. The book offers a comprehensive overview of social theory from classical sociology to the present day. Students are guided through the work of Durkheim, Marx and Weber, functionalism, action perspectives, feminism, postmodernism and contemporary thinkers like Anthony Giddens, Michel Foucault, J[um]urgen Habermas, Frederic Jameson, Judith Butler, Gilles Deluze, Manuel Castells, Luce Irigary, Naomi Woolf and Camille Paglia. The book presents clear accounts of these contributions and employs an extensive range of activities that encourage the reader to evaluate the work of given theorists and approaches.The book is:- Comprehensive- Student-friendly- Accurate- Unpatronising It offers lecturers and students an ideal study resource for undergraduate modules in social theory.

Table of contents :

Cover……Page 1
Contents……Page 8
Introduction: The Theoretical Self……Page 10
1 Functionalist Perspectives: Theorising Systems and Structures……Page 24
2 Marxism: Theorising Capitalism – Debates and Developments……Page 56
3 The Action Perspectives: Theorising Social Action and Self……Page 116
4 Feminist Approaches: Theorising Patriarchy and Oppression……Page 150
5 Anthony Giddens: Theorising Agency and Structure……Page 190
6 Postmodernism: Theorising Fragmentation and Uncertainty……Page 220