Human Nature Debate

Human Nature Debate : Social Theory, Social Policy and the Caring Professions

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The idea of human nature is centuries old. Yet epithets like 'human greed', 'natural inequalities' and 'you can't change the world' still underpin discussion in everyday life as well as in the academic arena. Human Nature Debate challenges the fixity of such notions and argues that the manifestations of the human nature idea are socially and politically - rather than philosophically - grounded. The book's scope is wide, spanning the social science disciplines and, unlike other texts in the field, incorporates everyday social and political examples into the academic. Cowen demonstrates how theories of human nature must be related to their intellectual, historical and social roots by analysing biological, psychological and social models, assessing the impacts of Freudianism, behaviourism, existentialism and Marxism upon social theory, policy and caring professions, and evaluating the political significance of racist and sexist accounts. The book covers the issues of women and human nature and feminist critiques and acquaints the reader with a variety of social more

Product details

  • Hardback | 240 pages
  • 135 x 215 x 19.05mm | 272.16g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 074530740X
  • 9780745307404

Review quote

'Eloquently expresses the enormous significance of assumptions about human nature to social policy analysis and teaching' -- Social Policyshow more

Table of contents

1. The Human Nature Debate 2. Dominant Theories of the Twentieth Century 3. Biology or Culture? 4. Sociology, Social Theory and the Human Nature 5. Biology, Racism and Aggression 6. Woman and Human Nature 7. Social Policy and Human Nature 8. Health Professions, Policies and Human Nature 9. Social Work and Models of Human Nature 10. Conclusions Bibliographyshow more

About Harry Cowen

Arun Kundnani is a fellow at the Open Society Institute in New York and was previously editor of Race & Class, published by the Institute of Race Relations, London. He is a leading commentator on racism, multiculturalism and counter-terrorism and has written for the Guardian and more