Classical Social Theory

Classical Social Theory : A Contemporary Approach

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This accessible, original book is an exploration of the relevance of classical social theory in the contemporary world. It examines the work of Marx, Weber and Durkheim through the lens of new theoretical issues, such as the role of Empire, the problem of cultural differences, and the possibilities of democracy that are implicit in each theorist's perspective.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 284 pages
  • 152 x 226 x 22mm | 480.81g
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0631211659
  • 9780631211655
  • 1,800,272

Review quote

"A remarkably careful, critical reading of classical social theory, with an extraordinary sensitivity to the balance between past social contexts and present social concerns." Robert Alun Jones, University of Illinois "Readers, particularly students new to sociology and looking for the contemporary relevance of classical social theorists, will learn much from this work". Choice "Tucker's book would be a welcome addition to undergraduate courses in sociological theory mainly for its excellent discussion of the threats to democracy posed by globalization and the contribution it makes in opening up a discussion of the history of colonialism and the problem of cultural and political identities." Ken Morrison, Wilfrid Laurier University, Canadian Journal of Sociology Online, January-February 2003
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Back cover copy

In this original text Kenneth Tucker explores the contemporary relevance of classical sociological theory. He examines the work of Marx, Weber and Durkheim through the lens of new theoretical issues, such as the role of Empire, the problem of cultural differences and the possibilities of democracy implicit in each theorist's perspective.

While Tucker effectively summarizes each theorist's major ideas, he is most concerned with contemporary issues: what should be retained and what should be jettisoned from each theorist in order to discern today's world in light of a growing awareness of cultural identities and social differences. This leads to a discussion of how the sociological tradition can be understood in new ways, and includes the contributions of other theorists such as Freud, Simmel, Nietzsche, Perkins Gilman and Du Bois. In authoritative and accessible prose, Tucker outlines new directions of classical theory in a late modern or postmodern world.
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About Kenneth H. Tucker

Kenneth H. Tucker, Jr. is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Mount Holyoke College. He is the author of
French Revolutionary Syndicalism and the Public Sphere (1996) and
Anthony Giddens and Modern Social Theory (1998).
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Table of contents


Part I: The Social and Intellectual Context of Classical Social Theory.

1. The World of Classical Social Theory.

2. From the Enlightenment to Nietzsche: Science, Republicanism, and Identity.

Part II: Social Science and the Canon: Marx, Durkheim, and Weber.

3. Marx: Modernity and Capitalism.

4. Durkheim: Modernity and Social Solidarity.

5. Weber: Modernity and Rationalization.

Part III: Rethinking and Expanding the Canon.

6. Freud, Simmel, and Mead: Aesthetics, the Unconscious, and the Fluid Self.

7. Du Bois and Perkins Gilman: Race, Gender, and Cultural Identity.


Further Reading.

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