This first truly multicultural anthology collects important, readable texts representative of the full range of social theory from the nineteenth century to the present. Now that social theory is practiced in many disciplines, it is necessary to reflect on the variety of theories being read today and the earlier sources that are customarily neglected. If today we read Donna Haraway, Henry Louis Gates, and Michel Foucault, we should also read and understand Charlotte Perkins Gilman and W.E.B. Du Bois, alongside Max Weber, Georg Simmel, William James, and others from the end of the nineteenth century. This book, therefore, sets a wider gauge for the understanding of the history of social thought than could have been possible before. It brings together theories in unexpected and exciting ways: those of Talcott Parsons and Dorothy Smith, Robert K. Merton and Jacques Lacan, Immanuel Wallerstein and Frantz Fanon, James Coleman and Molefi Asante. Extensive introductory essays by the editor situate the readings in their historical place and time, identifying the currents of social change that shaped fundamental questions of modern and postmodern life. This fourth edition has been thoroughly revised and updated to include cutting-edge documents on teletechnologies, masculinities, rhizomes, bare life, and more.
Charles Lemert is professor of sociology at Wesleyan University and the author of several books including Sociology After the Crisis (Westview Press 1995) and Social THeory, The Multicultural and Classic Readings, Third Edition (Westview PRess 2004).