Understanding Society: A Survey of Modern Social Theory by Douglas Mann

Understanding Society: A Survey of Modern Social Theory

byDouglas Mann

Paperback | September 23, 2010

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Understanding Society: A Survey of Modern Social Theory, second edition, introduces the major streams of contemporary social theory and traces their evolution to the present day. Among the many new features of this edition is an entirely new chapter on three recent schools of thought centeringon the somatic (bodily) aspects of personal identity - race, gender, and queer theory. In addition, a series of fictional vignettes and 'flashbacks' throughout illuminate the topics in each chapter and help students make connections between social theory and real-world issues. With a contemporaryand accessible writing style that will engage readers, this uniquely Canadian text features current debates on such topics as communication, popular culture, the global village, corporatism, and globalization.

About The Author

Douglas Mann is assistant professor in the faculty of information and media studies at the University of Western Ontario. In addition to authoring two editions of Understanding Society, Mann has published Structural Idealism: A Theory of Social and Historical Explanation (WLU Press, 2002), Philosophy: a New Introduction (Nelson, 2005)...
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Title:Understanding Society: A Survey of Modern Social TheoryFormat:PaperbackDimensions:536 pages, 9 × 7 × 0.71 inPublished:September 23, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195432509

ISBN - 13:9780195432503

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Table of Contents

1. An Introduction to Social TheoryThe Basics: What Is Society?Science and ValuesCausality and LawsModernity and the EnlightenmentFlashback: Bonjour Monsieur CondorcetModern Historical TrendsModernism in the Arts, Letters, and SciencesParadigms of Social Theory2. Functionalism and Its CriticsHobbes's Question: Why Have a Society at All?Durkheim on Society as a Functional OrganismVignette: A Functional LifeTalcott Parsons and Structural FunctionalismRobert MertonConflict TheoryFlashback: A Party DisruptedC. Wright MillsSociobiology: An Evolutionary FunctionalismConclusion3. The Debate over MaterialismVignette: The FactoryMarx's Main IdeasTwo Marxists Who Shook the World: Lenin and TrotskyAntonio Gramsci and HegemonyLouis Althusser on IdeologyJean-Paul Sartre's Search for a MethodKarl Mannheim's Sociology of KnowledgePierre Bourdieu and the Varieties of CapitalJean Baudrillard on Consumer CultureFlashback: Sarah at the MallThe End of the Left?4. Slamming Society: Critical Theory and SituationismVignette: The Free SpiritsThe Philosophical Foundations of Critical Reason: Hegel and NietzscheFreud on Civilization and Its DiscontentsTheodor Adorno on CultureHerbert Marcuse on Modern Industrial SocietySome Criticisms of the Frankfurt SchoolChristopher Lasch on the Culture of NarcissismJurgen Habermas on Capitalism and Communicative ActionSituationismCulture JammingFlashback: An Unexpected Visit5. Meaning in Society: Human Agency and Social ExplanationVignette: Athena's TaleStructure vs Agency: The BasicsWeber on Understanding SocietyLudwig Wittgenstein and Language GamesR.G. Collingwood's Historical IdealismPeter Winch on the Idea of a Social ScienceHans-Georg Gadamer's HermeneuticsFlashback: A Big Confusing Greek WeddingRational Choice TheoryAnthony Giddens on Agency and Structure6. Society as Symbols or Constructs: Symbolic Interactionism and PhenomenologyVignette: Saturday Night DazzlerCooley, Mead, and the Birth of Symbolic InteractionismHerbert Blumer and Mature Symbolic InteractionismErving Goffman's DramaturgyFlashback: Dancing with a StarThe Phenomenology of Everyday LifeThe Social Construction of RealityEthnomethodology7. Structuralism, Semiotics, and Post-StructuralismVignette: A Long VoyageThe Basics of Structuralism and SemioticsJoseph Campbell and the Hero with a Thousand FacesFlashback: Mission AccomplishedSemiotics and Popular CulturePost-Structuralism: The Theoretical Logic of PostmodernismJacques Derrida and DeconstructionMichel Foucault on Power and the Docile Body8. Postmodernism: Political Economy and CommunicationsVignette: The Postmodern GuyRevisiting Postmodern CultureThe Postmodern ConditionThe Post-Industrial Information SocietyManuel Castells: The Network Society and the Information AgeFlashback: Bart and Network Society9. Postmodernism: Time, Space, and CultureVignette: Highway One RevisitedJameson on the Cultural Logic of Late CapitalismBaudrillard on Postmodern Society as the Desert of the RealPostmodern Pop CulturePostmodern Space/TimeFlashback: Going Down the Road10. FeminismVignette: The Last Days of DiscoThe Three Waves of Feminist Theory and PracticeShulamith Firestone and the Dialectic of SexSusan Moller Okin on the Family as a School for JusticeCarol Gilligan and the Ethics of CareFeminist Standpoint TheoryDonna Haraway's CyborgsCamille Paglia's Attack on the Second WaveFlashforward: FemFriends@Y2K11. The Global VillageVignette: Welcome to the Global VillageThe Medium Is the Message: Marshall McLuhanHeather Menzies on the Global Village TodayNegri and Hardt on EmpireFlashback: Run Jessica Run12. Globalization, McDonaldization, and CorporatismA Short History of the Global Political EconomyMcDonaldizationTheories of GlobalizationCorporatismFlashback: Mallrats13. Who Am I? The Self and Society (NEW!)Vignette: Out of AfricaThe Philosophical Debate over Personal IdentityRace TheoryJudith Butler on Sex, Gender, and PerformativityComing Out of the Sociological Closet: Queer Theory

Editorial Reviews

"The author takes seriously the need to engage students and make theory meaningful in the context of their everyday lives. . . Written in a language that is very accessible, demonstrating that theory need not be dry and humourless." --Susan Robertson, University of Saskatchewan