Central Problems in Social Theory
Action, Structure, and Contradiction in Social Analysis
By (author) Anthony Giddens
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Central Problems in Social Theory by Anthony Giddens
Book DescriptionIn this new and brilliantly organized book of essays, Anthony Giddens discusses three main theoretical traditions in social science that cut across the division between Marxist and non-Marxist sociology: interpretive sociology, functionalism, and structuralism. Beginning with a critical examination of the importance of structuralism for contemporary sociology, the author develops a comprehensive account of what he calls "the theory of structuration." One of the main themes is that social theory must recognize, as it has not done hitherto, that all social actors are knowledgeable about the social systems they produce and reproduce in their conduct. In order to grasp the significance of this, he argues, we have to reconsider some of the most basic concepts in sociology. In particular, Giddens argues, it is essential to recognize the significance of time-space relations in social theory. He rejects the distinction between synchrony and diachrony, or statics and dynamics, involved in both structuralism and functionalism, and offers extensive critical commentary on the latter as an approach to sociology. The book, which can be described as a "non-functionalist manifesto," breaks with the three main theoretical traditions in the social sciences today while retaining the significant contributions each contains. In so doing Giddens discusses a range of fundamental problem areas in the social sciences: power and domination, conflict and contradiction, and social transformation. He concludes with an overall appraisal of the key problems in social theory today.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780520039759
(210mm x 140mm x 22mm)
Imprint: University of California Press
Publisher: University of California Press
Publish Date: 29-Nov-1979
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Anthony Giddens
Essential Concepts in Sociology, Paperback (April 2017)
Social life is in a constant process of change, and sociology cannot afford to stand still. Sociology today is theoretically diverse, covers a huge range of subjects and draws on a broad array of research methods.
Sociology, Paperback (March 2017)
Now in its eighth edition, this continues to be the indispensable guide to understanding the world we make and the lives we lead. Revised and updated throughout, it remains unrivalled in its vibrant, engaging and authoritative introduction to sociology.
Green Growth, Smart Growth, Hardback (June 2015)» View all books by Anthony Giddens
Advances a proactive response to the dangers of climate change, which can only be overcome by decoupling economic growth from environmental consumption and focusing on a new approach to efficiency, innovation and policymaking.
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Author Biography - Anthony Giddens
Anthony Giddens is a Fellow of King's College and Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Cambridge. He is the author of numerous books on social theory.
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