This interdisciplinary book addresses the key questions posed by the postmodernist challenge: Is it possible to reflect and criticize in an age when every claim to truth is placed under suspicion? Are social critics contaminated by the same ideological distortions they identify in society? The text reviews different responses to such dilemmas and thus examines ways to reconstruct social theory and critique following the postmodern attack on the traditional foundations of knowledge. Whether looking at political critique and praxis, feminist issues, ideology or teaching practices, the contributions are united by the need to ground a new theoretical and political position in the absence of the foundational certainties once provided by positivism and empiricism.
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(216mm x 138mm x mm)
SAGE Publications Ltd
Publisher: SAGE Publications Ltd
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Author Biography - Herbert W. Simons
Michael Billig has been at Loughborough since 1985, when he was appointed Professor of Social Sciences. He had previously been a lecturer in the Department of Psychology at Birmingham University, having been an undergraduate and postgraduate at Bristol University. He has also been a visiting professor for short spells at Temple University in Philadelphia, University of California and University of Rome. At Loughborough, Michael teaches on the first year Introductory Course in Social Psychology. He also teaches 'Historical and Conceptual Issues' in the second year. Originally, Michael trained as an experimental social psychologist, under the supervision of Henri Tajfel, who was probably the most influential social psychologist in post-war Britain. Michael was involved in designing the original minimal group experiments, which formed the basis of Tajfel's well-known Social Identity Theory. Since his Bristol days, Michael's interests, however, have moved towards qualitative approaches and towards developing the sort of critical social psychology which will be linked with other social sciences. He is the author of numerous books and articles, which reflect his parallel concerns with theory and with studying ways of thinking, especially ideological thought. His first book, Social Psychology and Intergroup Relations (Academic Press, 1976), provided a critique of orthodox social psychological approaches to the study of prejudice. After that work, he studied an extreme right-wing group, showing how the members' thinking was influenced by the group's ideology (Fascists: a social psychologial view of the National Front, Academic Press, 1979).