Contested Knowledge: Social Theory Today

Contested Knowledge: Social Theory Today

by Steven Seidman

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In the fifth edition Contested Knowledge, social theorist Steven Seidman presents the latest topics in social theory and addresses the current shift of 'universalist theorists' to networks of clustered debates.
  • Responds to current issues, debates, and new social movements
  • Reviews sociological theory from a contemporary perspective
  • Reveals how the universal theorist and the era of rival schools has been replaced by networks of clustered debates that are relatively 'autonomous' and interdisciplinary
  • Features updates and in-depth discussions of the newest clustered debates in social theory—intimacy, postcolonial nationalism, and the concept of 'the other'
  • Challenges social scientists to renew their commitment to the important moral and political role social knowledge plays in public life
  • Accompanied by a companion website for students at featuring chapter outlines and useful web links; an instructor site can also be accessed which features password-protected PowerPoint teaching slides

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781118231906
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 06/29/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 368
File size: 601 KB

About the Author

Steven Seidman is Professor of Sociology at State University of New York at Albany. He is a world-renowned social theorist working in the areas of social theory, culture, sexuality, comparative sociology, theory of democracy, nationalism, and globalization. He is the author and editor of several books, including Embattled Eros: Sexual Politics and Ethics in Contemporary America (1992), The Postmodern Turn: New Perspectives on Social Theory (editor, 1995), Queer Theory/Sociology (Blackwell, 1996), The New Social Theory Reader: Contemporary Debates (edited with Jeffrey C. Alexander, 2001), and Beyond the Closet: The Transformation of Gay and Lesbian Life (2002).

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Table of Contents

Preface vii

Acknowledgments x

Introduction 1

Part I The Rise of the Classical Tradition 7

Introduction to Part I 9

1 The Idea of a Science of Society: The Enlightenment and Auguste Comte 11

2 The Revolutionary Theory of Karl Marx 22

3 The Promise of Sociology: Emile Durkheim 36

4 The Ironic Social Theory of Max Weber 48

Afterword to Part I 61

Part II Rethinking the Classical Tradition: American Sociology 65

Introduction to Part II 67

5 The Grand Theory of Talcott Parsons, Peter Berger, and Thomas Luckmann 70

6 The Scientific Theory of Randall Collins and Peter Blau 86

7 The Moral Sociology of C. Wright Mills and Robert Bellah 97

Afterword to Part II 113

Part III Rethinking the Classical Tradition: European Theory 115

Introduction to Part III 117

8 The Critical Theory of Jürgen Habermas 119

9 Stuart Hall and British Cultural Studies 132

10 The Critical Sociology of Anthony Giddens and Pierre Bourdieu 140

Afterword to Part III 152

Part IV Revisions and Revolts: The Postmodern Turn 155

Introduction to Part IV 157

11 The Postmodern World of Jacques Derrida, Jean-François Lyotard, and Jean Baudrillard 159

12 Michel Foucault's Disciplinary Society 175

13 Zygmunt Bauman's Sociology of Postmodernity 188

Afterword to Part IV 197

Part V Revisions and Revolts: Identity Politics and Theory 201

Introduction to Part V 203

14 Feminist Theory/Masculinity Studies 205

15 Critical Race Theory/White Studies 226

16 Lesbian, Gay, and Queer Theory/Heterosexual Studies 239

17 Colonial Discourse Studies 254

Afterword to Part V 263

Part VI Revisions and Revolts: Theories of World Order 267

Introduction to Part VI 269

18 From Nation to Globe: David Held and Mary Kaldor 271

19 Global Capitalism: Immanuel Wallerstein and Manuel Castells 281

20 The Return of Empire? Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, David Harvey and Michael Mann 290

Afterword to Part VI 300

Part VII The Rise of Postdisciplinary Theory 303

Introduction to Part VII 305

21 Theories of "the Other" 307

22 Intimate Life in the "West" 318

23 Nationalism and the Crisis of Postcolonial Nations 330

Afterword to Part VII 342

Index 345

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Praise for previous edition:

“In this tour de force, Steven Seidman surveys social theory from Auguste Comte to Zygmunt Bauman via feminism, world systems theory, queer theory, post-colonialism and much more. It is not just a survey, but rather a plea for a public sociology that is relevant, committed and morally challenging. In a style of writing that is at once direct, personal and engaging, Seidman provides a penetrating overview of the state of sociology that is critical but optimistic. Contested Knowledge now in its fifth edition gets better with age.”

Bryan S. Turner, The City University of New York

“In his spirited defense of theory as a moral enterprise, Steven Seidman offers insightful, penetrating, critical, but always fair assessments of the theoretical contributions of a wide range of theorists past and present.... Written with an enviable clarity, in a style that is at once lucid and engaging."

Peter Kivisto, Augustana College and University of Turku

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