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Book details

ISBN: 9780335210770
Division: Open University Press
Pub Date: AUG-08
Pages: 352

Edition: 02
Format: Paperback
Availability: In Stock


Situating Social Theory

Tim May, Jason Powell
(Centre for Sustainable Urban and Regional Futures, University of Salford, Greater Manchester, UK, University of Liverpool)


About the book

"... a very substantial and reliable introduction to social theory, imaginatively written and extremely readable. The new edition contains three valuable additional chapters."
William Outhwaite, Professor of Sociology, University of Sussex, UK

The long-anticipated second edition of this original and approachable text examines social theory in the context of its traditions and historical development, and explores its contemporary relevance in explaining society and understanding social relations.

The text has been substantially revised and includes three new chapters, two of which depict theory in action, and a new conclusion. May and Powell have also added new material on both emotion and globalisation.

Situating Social Theory begins by charting the history of social theory, examining its development in terms of the Enlightenment project and the cultural and intellectual contexts in which theorists worked and constructed their ideas. It goes on to critically examine traditions in social thought, including hermeneutics, phenomenology, pragmatism, critical theory, structuralism, actor network theory, systems theory and feminisms.

In outlining the main ideas behind these traditions, the form and content of modern social theory is situated within its historical roots, enabling the reader to actively explore the arguments and reflect upon their strengths and weaknesses. Throughout the book, the relationships between agency, the social self and social structure provide a thematic coherence. There is a comprehensive bibliography that will help the reader to explore theories of particular interest in greater depth.

Situating Social Theory is an invaluable text for intermediate undergraduate courses within sociology and the wider social sciences, and provides an essential source of reference for advanced undergraduates and postgraduate researchers.