Sociological Theory In Transition Rle Social Theory

Author: Mark L. Wardell
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317650999
Size: 67.84 MB
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Current sociological theories appear to have lost their general persuasiveness in part because, unlike the theories of the ‘classical era’, they fail to maintain an integrated stance toward society, and the practical role that sociology plays in society. The authors explore various facets of this failure and possibilities for reconstructing sociological theories as integrated wholes capable of conveying a moral and political immediacy. They discuss the evolution of several concepts (for example, the social, structure, and self) and address the significant disputes (for example, structuralism versus humanism, and individual versus society) that have dominated twentieth-century sociological thought. Their ideas and analyses are directed towards an audience of students and theorists who are coming to terms with the project of sociological theory, and its relationship with moral discourses and political practice. The authors of these essays are sociological theorists from the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. They are all established, but not ‘establishment’ authors. The book contains no orthodoxies, and no answers. However, the essays do contribute to identifying the range of issues that will constitute the agenda for the next generation of sociological theorists.

R D Laing His Work And Its Relevance For Sociology Rle Social Theory

Author: Martin Howarth-Williams
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317651235
Size: 56.15 MB
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This study, by a sociologist, provides the most rigorous and comprehensive review to appear so far of R. D. Laing's work and theoretical development. Martin Howarth-Williams considers that Laing's insights into such controversial issues as the divided self and the politics of the family are of an importance that transcends their basis in clinical psychiatry and that they have a special significance for sociology. Using the Progressive/Regressive Method of Jean-Paul Sartre, the author illuminates the internal coherence of Laing's aims through the various stages of his work and shows how his ideas are shaped by consistent philosophic presuppositions and influences underlying his work. To give as complete an account as possible of Laing's interests and to relate them to the broad stream of his thought, the author explores Laing's involvement in other non-psychiatric realms – especially politics, religion and eastern mysticism. Material has been secured from a wide variety of recent sources which include interviews, films, TV appearances and the author's own personal recollections of informal talks given by Laing. In the final section of the book Martin Howarth-Williams isolates the concept of 'Intelligibility', which he demonstrates to be the unifying theme central to Laing's theory and shows how this can be used as the basis for a critique of recent developments in sociological theory as well as a starting point towards a genuinely dialectical sociology.

Discovering Sociology Rle Social Theory

Author: John Rex
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317651952
Size: 30.52 MB
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Professor John Rex was one of Britain’s most eminent sociologists, and a teacher of a whole generation of sociology students. In this book he presents a stimulating introduction to the major issues of sociological theory and gives an account of the perspective which has informed his thinking and writing. He deals with the objectives of sociological investigation, the methods it uses and how in these respects it resembles or differs from natural science and history. He goes on to discuss the work of Weber, Durkheim, Marx, Engels, Mills and other important theorists, and concludes with a convincing demonstration of the continuing relevance of the Weberian tradition to the study of sociology.

Positivism And Sociology Rle Social Theory

Author: Peter Halfpenny
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317651383
Size: 22.52 MB
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Any serious attempt to explain social life has to come to terms with sociology's positivist legacy. It is a heritage on the one hand from the seventeenth-century political arithmeticians and the later moral statisticians who believed that quantification would provide the basis for a dispassionate analysis of social affairs; and on the other hand from the nineteenth-century post-Enlightenment social philosophers who were eager to develop an empirical science of society that would enable them to control social conduct – just as the physical sciences had provided the knowledge to tame nature. Yet every debate about the relation between positivism and sociology is clouded by the diversity of uses of the term 'positivism' – uses that are so varied that some can pronounce positivism dead while others find it still the vital force that dominates sociology. The particular merit of Peter Halfpenny's book is that it makes this diversity of uses its central theme. In order to provide a clear basis from which to assess controversial questions about the contribution of the positivist traditions to sociology, the book reviews twelve different important uses of the term 'positivism' that have emerged at different times since the mid-nineteenth century, when Auguste Comte coined both 'positivism' and 'sociology'. This review is conducted by examining the historical development of the two independent roots of modern sociological positivism – positivist philosophy and statistics – and by analysing logical positivist philosophy, which in many ways defined the course of twentieth century philosophy of the social (as well as the natural) sciences.

Science And The Sociology Of Knowledge Rle Social Theory

Author: Michael Mulkay
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317651189
Size: 24.53 MB
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How far is scientific knowledge a product of social life? In addressing this question, the major contributors to the sociology of knowledge have agreed that the conclusions of science are dependent on social action only in a very special and limited sense. In Science and the Sociology of Knowledge Michael Mulkay's first aim is to identify the philosophical assumptions which have led to this view of science as special; and to present a systematic critique of the standard philosophical account of science, showing that there are no valid epistemological grounds for excluding scientific knowledge from the scope of sociological analysis. The rest of the book is devoted to developing a preliminary interpretation of the social creation of scientific knowledge. The processes of knowledge-creation are delineated through a close examination of recent case studies of scientific developments. Dr Mulkay argues that knowledge is produced by means of negotiation, the outcome of which depends on the participants' use of social as well as technical resources. The analysis also shows how cultural resources are taken over from the broader social milieu and incorporated into the body of certified knowledge; and how, in the political context of society at large, scientists' technical as well as social claims are conditioned and affected by their social position.

Structuralist Analysis In Contemporary Social Thought Rle Social Theory

Author: Miriam Glucksmann
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317650697
Size: 44.85 MB
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The primary concern of this book is to investigate whether or not structuralism constitutes a distinctive framework in the social sciences. The author focuses on two major structuralist thinkers, Louis Althusser and Claude Lévi-Strauss. She analyses and compares the structure of their theory, and places them within the context of their respective disciplines. Dr Glucksmann began working on this book at a time when structuralism was at the height of its popularity in France, and was thought to be a homogenous alternative to bourgeois sociology. The progress of her study implicitly reflects the developments and divergences within structuralist thought that have emerged since then. In particular, she examines the differences between the political and philosophical thought of Althusser and Lévi-Strauss, which have become increasingly manifest.

Capital Labour And The Middle Classes Rle Social Theory

Author: John Urry
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317652207
Size: 37.46 MB
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Most recent sociological work on the theory of class is based on a distinction between Weberian and Marxist approaches. For the first part of this volume, the authors use this distinction to review the literature on the middle class, concentrating particularly on the traditions of Marxist theory and of the more empirical work inspired by Max Weber. They show, however, that this distinction is of limited utility in reconstructing a theory of the middle class.

Citizenship And Capitalism Rle Social Theory

Author: Bryan S. Turner
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317652436
Size: 25.53 MB
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In this study of politics in capitalist society Bryan Turner explores the development of citizenship as a way of demonstrating the effective use of political institutions by the working class and other subordinate groups to promote their interests. Marxist criticisms of reformism are rejected; it is shown that subordinate groups can achieve significant advances in social and economic rights, and that democracy is not a sham but a necessary mechanism for the pursuit of interests.

Key Thinkers Past And Present Rle Social Theory

Author: Jessica Kuper
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317651669
Size: 14.64 MB
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This volume provides a fascinating perspective on the social sciences through its examination of the leading proponents, their ideas and careers. It includes useful suggestions for further reading. All the great names in the history of the subject are here – Freud, Marx, Weber, Adam Smith and so on – along with many less prominent but nevertheless important thinkers.