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An Invitation to Social Theory

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Social theory is a crucial resource for the social sciences. It provides a rich source of insights into how human beings think and act, and how contemporary social life is constructed. But often the key ideas of social theorists are expressed in highly technical and difficult language that can hide more than it reveals. Cutting through the often off-putting prose of social theory, this book demonstrates exactly what social theory is about, presenting in crystal-clear language the key themes and ideas of major social theorists from the turn of the twentieth century onwards whose work continues to inform contemporary social science. Areas covered include Marxism, structuralism, post-structuralism, phenomenology, symbolic interactionism, feminism and structuration theories. Wide-ranging in scope and rich in coverage, the book is also concise in presentation and admirably free of jargon. This book shows why social theory really matters, and why it is of potentially far-reaching social and political importance. It is ideal for students across the social sciences seeking a clear and crisp mapping out of a complex but rewarding area.

Author Biography

David Inglis is Professor of Sociology at the University of Aberdeen. Christopher Thorpe is Lecturer in Sociology at The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen.

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tablesp. vi
Introduction: Extending an Invitationp. 1
Classical Paradigmsp. 13
Functionalist and Systems Theory Paradigmsp. 38
Marxist and Critical Theory Paradigmsp. 62
Phenomenological Paradigmsp. 86
The Symbolic Interactionist Paradigmp. 107
Rational Choice and Exchange Theory Paradigmsp. 129
The Process Sociological Paradigmp. 150
Structuralist and Post-Structuralist Paradigmsp. 165
Post-Modernist Paradigmsp. 189
Structurationist Paradigmsp. 208
Feminist Paradigmsp. 235
Globalization Paradigmsp. 258
Conclusion: The Development of Social Theory in 13 Pointsp. 282
Referencesp. 286
Indexp. 310
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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