THE STRUCTURE OF SOCIAL THEORY ROUTLEDGE STUDIES IN SOCIAL AND POLITICAL THOUGHT

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The Structure Of Social Theory

Author : Anthony King
ISBN : 9780415652063
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 85.53 MB
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Over the last three decades, social theory has become an increasingly important subdiscipline within sociology. Social theory has attempted to elucidate the philosophical basis of sociology by defining the nature of social reality. According to social theory, society consists of objective institutions, structure, on the one hand, and individuals, agency on the other, it promotes human social relations, insisting that in every instance social reality consists of these relations.
Category: Social Science

Ontology Revisited

Author : Ruth Groff
ISBN : 9780415574112
Genre : Philosophy
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Groff's argument runs counter to the familiar anti-metaphysical habit. Social and political philosophy, she maintains, is not as metaphysically neutral as it may seem. Even the most deontological of theories connects up with an attendant set of philosophical commitments regarding what kinds of things exist, as a fundamental ontological matter, and what they are like. These are topics of interest not just to social and political philosophers, but to social scientists and to philosophers of social science as well. "Ruth Groff has broken new ground in demonstrating the connection between social and political thought and the ontology of causal powers. Her account of the structure of Humean thinking about agency is excellent. Especially significant is the role that she assigns to Kantianism in the analysis that she develops. She moves effortlessly between contemporary metaphysics, political theory, critical social theory, and the history of modern philosophy, offering trenchant insights along the way into the work of thinkers ranging from Hume himself to Mill, Adorno, and Martha Nussbaum, and into debates over agent causation and emergence. There is even a discussion, in the final chapter, of Spinoza. This is big-picture philosophy at its best: rigorous and exacting at the level of detail; original, compelling and systematic in the whole." - Stephen Mumford, Professor of Metaphysics and Dean of the Faculty of Arts, University of Nottingham
Category: Philosophy

Hegemony

Author : Richard Howson
ISBN : 9781135916312
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 78.73 MB
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The originality and depth of Gramsci's theory of hegemony is now evidenced in the wide-ranging intellectual applications within a growing corpus of research and writings that include social, political and cultural theory, historical interpretation, gender and globalization. The reason that hegemony has been so widely and diversely adopted lies in the unique way that Gramsci formulated the 'problematics' of structure/superstructure, coercion/consensus, materialism/idealism and regression/progression within the concept hegemony. However, in much of the contemporary literature the full complexity of hegemony is either obfuscated or ignored. Hegemony, through comprehensive and systematic analyses of Gramsci's formulation, a picture of hegemony as a complex syncretism of these dichotomies. In other words, hegemony is presented as a concept that is as much about aspiration and progressive politico-social relations as it is about regressive and dominative processes. Thus, the volume recognises and presents this complexity through a selection of contemporary theoretical as well as historico-social investigations that mark a significantly innovative moment in the work on hegemony.
Category: Philosophy

The Social And Political Thought Of Noam Chomsky

Author : Alison Edgley
ISBN : 9781134625918
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 55.50 MB
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The Social and Political Thought of Noam Chomsky questions Chomsky's claim not to have a theory about the relationship between human beings and their society other than that which 'can be written on the back of postage stamp'. Edgley compares Chomsky's vision of the good society with liberal communitarian perspectives, and establishes that it is grounded in a hopeful belief about human nature. She argues that sympathy with this vision of the good society is essential for understanding the nature of Chomsky's critique of state capitalism, its inherent nationalism and the media. The author concludes that Chomsky's analysis is coherent and systematic when one acknowledges that he is not just a critic but a theorist.
Category: Philosophy

Deciphering Goffman

Author : Ramon Vargas Maseda
ISBN : 9781317153979
Genre : Social Science
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Challenging the ‘classical’ conception of Goffman’s sociology, this book offers a new interpretation based on a comprehensive examination of previous interpretations and critical assessments of Goffman’s work. Epistemologically, the book acknowledges the important but overlooked influences of both pluralism and particularly of pragmatism, where not only Simmel but also James and Dewey played a pivotal role in his work, thus rooting Goffman’s thought in symbolic interactionism. With attention to two central theoretical principles underlying his work—the pertinence of studying social interaction as given and the need and warrant to study face-to-face interaction in its own right—the author presents a rigorous examination of Goffman’s own writings to uncover the clear and recognizable process of systematization that Goffman followed throughout. In this manner, the book reveals the structure of Goffman’s theory by way of mapping the main themes, topics, concepts, empirical referents, methodological principles and theoretical frameworks relevant to the structure of his thought. A fresh examination of the structure of Goffman’s work that sheds light on the core of his unique approach, this new study of one of the central figures of sociology constitutes an important contribution to scholarship in social theory and the history of sociology.
Category: Social Science

The Dialectics Of Inquiry Across The Historical Social Sciences

Author : David Baronov
ISBN : 9781317975021
Genre : Social Science
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This book turns conventional global-historical analysis on its head, demonstrating, first, that local events cannot be derived — logically or historically — from large-scale, global-historical structures and processes and, second, that it is these structures and processes that, in fact, emerge from our analysis of local events. This is made evident via an analysis of three disparate events: the New York City Draft Riots, AIDS in Mozambique, and a 2007 flood in central Uruguay. In each case, Baronov chronicles how expressions of human agency at the level of those caught up in each event give form and substance to various abstract global-historical concepts — such as slavery in the Americas, global capitalist production, and colonial/postcolonial Africa. Underlying this repositioning of the local and the ephemeral is an immanent, phenomenological analysis that illustrates how mere transient events are the progenitors of otherwise abstract, global-historical concepts. Traversing the intersections of human agency and structural determinism, Baronov deftly retains the nuance and serendipity of everyday life, while deploying this nuance and serendipity to further embellish our understanding of those enduring global-historical structures and processes that shape large-scale, long-term, historical accounts of social and cultural change across the historical social sciences.
Category: Social Science

Groundwork For The Practice Of The Good Life

Author : Omedi Ochieng
ISBN : 9781315469485
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 63.12 MB
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What makes for good societies and good lives in a global world? In this landmark work of political and ethical philosophy, Omedi Ochieng offers a radical reassessment of a millennia-old question. He does so by offering a stringent critique of both North Atlantic and African philosophical traditions, which he argues unfold visions of the good life that are characterized by idealism, moralism, and parochialism. But rather than simply opposing these flawed visions of the good life with his own set of alternative prescriptions, Ochieng argues that it is critically important to step back and understand the stakes of the question. Those stakes, he suggests, are to be found only through a social ontology – a comprehensive and in-depth account of the political, economic, and cultural structures that mark the boundaries and limits of life in the twenty-first century. It is only in light of this social ontology that Ochieng then proffers an alternative normative account of the good society and the good life – which he spells out as emergent from ecological embeddedness; social entanglement; embodied encounter; and aesthetic engenderment. At once sweeping and rigorous, incisive and subtle, original and revisionary, this book does more than just appeal to intellectuals and scholars across the humanities and social sciences – rather, it opens up the academic disciplines to a whole new landscape of exploration into the biggest and most pressing questions animating the human experience.
Category: Social Science

Logics Of Critical Explanation In Social And Political Theory

Author : Jason Glynos
ISBN : 9781134138357
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 41.28 MB
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This book proposes a novel approach to practising social and political analysis based on the role of logics. The authors articulate a distinctive perspective on social science explanation that avoids the problems of scientism and subjectivism by steering a careful course between lawlike explanations and thick descriptions. Drawing upon hermeneutics, poststructuralism, psychoanalysis, and post-analytical philosophy, this new approach offers a particular set of logics – social, political and fantasmatic – with which to construct critical explanations of practices and regimes. While the first part of the book critically engages with lawlike, interpretivist and causal approaches to critical explanation, the second part elaborates an alternative grammar of concepts informed by an ontological stance rooted in poststructuralist theory. In developing this approach, a number of empirical cases are included to illustrate its basic concepts and logics, ranging from the apartheid regime in South Africa to recent changes in higher education. The book will be a valuable tool for scholars and researchers in a variety of related fields of study in the social sciences, especially the disciplines of political science and political theory, international relations, social theory, cultural studies, anthropology and philosophy.
Category: Political Science

A Normative Theory Of The Information Society

Author : Alistair S. Duff
ISBN : 9781136489914
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 34.3 MB
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There is a clear need for a systematic, integrative, and rigorous normative theory of the information society. In this book, Duff offers a prescriptive theory to help to guide the academic and policy communities as they debate the future shape of emerging post-industrial, information-based societies. He argues that information policy needs to become anchored in a left-liberal philosophy which foregrounds a feasible permutation of the core ideals of freedom, equality and brotherhood. The information society, if it is to be worth having at all, cannot be allowed to be largely the outcome of the free play of market forces and technological determinism. The social structure, including the information economy, must be subjected to a regulatory axiological system as explicated by some leading proponents of social democracy. This text will be of interest to scholars and students at the cutting edge of information studies, journalism and media, computer science, sociology, politics, philosophy, management and law.
Category: Social Science

Social Theory Re Wired

Author : Wesley Longhofer
ISBN : 9781317687191
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 32.55 MB
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This social theory text combines the structure of a print reader with the ability to tailor the course via an extensive interactive website. Readings from important classical and contemporary theorists are placed in conversation with one another through core themes—the puzzle of social order, the dark side of modernity, identity, etc. The website includes videos, interactive commentaries, summaries of key concepts, exams and quizzes, annotated selections from key readings, classroom activities, and more. See the website at www.routledgesoc.com/theory New to the second edition: Expanded web content. Teacher/student feedback employed to clarify difficult concepts. Reframed contemporary section now offers readings by Robert Merton, Bruno Latour, David Harvey, Zygmut Bauman, and Anthony Giddens.
Category: Social Science