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See below for a selection of the latest books from Social theory category. Presented with a red border are the Social theory books that have been lovingly read and reviewed by the experts at Lovereading. With expert reading recommendations made by people with a passion for books and some unique features Lovereading will help you find great Social theory books and those from many more genres to read that will keep you inspired and entertained. And it's all free!
A Balanced Epistemological Orientation for the Social Sciences challenges social researchers to rethink the epistemological assumptions grounding their work. It reviews the strengths and weaknesses of four salient epistemological orientations in the field - positivism, relativism, interpretivism, and intersubjectivism - to identify the characteristics of a theoretically-informed epistemology for social science. Relying on such an epistemology means seeking a deeper understanding of the social world without losing sight of the constructed nature of one's conceptual frames. It involves adopting a reflexive position with regard to the norms and traditions in one's area of specialization and in the field as a whole. Epistemologically-balanced social research is neither the dispassionate gathering of factual information, nor the elaboration of universal assessments formed on the basis of armchair speculation. It involves engaging in inquiry in an independent manner and being aware of the perspectival character of the claims being made in the attempt to shed new light on social phenomena. The caliber of social science can be elevated when researchers recognize the symbolic nature of their work and the significance of their conclusions in the larger social order.
The Politics of Well-Being argues that the relationship between well-being and ethical life has been overlooked. The more specific argument of the book is that ethical life requires political engagement, and the emergence of a society committed to critical thinking. It is argued that these conditions allow for our ordination and confirmation as ethical subjects. While well-being can be experienced in different ways, it is claimed that, after experience of ethical life, a more sustainable form of it is revealed to us, a form which we would be drawn to preserve, a form which can be constituted as an object of hope. While the book draws on philosophical themes, its main focus is political. This is because its primary objective is to identify and to examine what needs to be done in order to realise ethical life. Its main focus in this respect is the identification and examination of the barriers which need to be overcome if ethical life is to be realised. It is acknowledged that this will not be an easy task. Indeed, it may be an impossible task. However, despite these barriers, and despite the dark days we are living through, the book is a call to hope rather than a surrender to despair. This book will be of interest to students of politics, psychology, cultural studies, philosophy and sociology, as well as anyone else interested in exploring new ideas about how the make the world a better place.
Johannes Rohen is known as the father of functional anatomy, and his anatomy books are used by medical students around the world. In this book, he has turned his attention to human society, applying his functional approach developed over decades of meditating on the human organism. The result is a holistic yet highly differentiated view of human society as a dynamic organism that takes our understanding of social issues to a deeper level of insight. He sees the same threefold structure at work in human society as he sees in the human organism. This is a stimulating and challenging book from a renowned master.
Populism is a powerful force today, but its full scope has eluded the analytical tools of both orthodox and heterodox 'populism studies'. This book provides a valuable alternative perspective. It reconstructs in detail for the first time the sociological analyses of US demagogues by members of the Frankfurt School and compares these with contemporary approaches. Modern demagogy emerges as a key under-researched feature of populism, since populist movements, whether 'left' or 'right', are highly susceptible to 'demagogic capture'. The book also details the culture industry's populist contradictions - including its role as an incubator of modern demagogues - from the 1930s through to today's social media and 'Trumpian psychotechnics'. Featuring a previously unpublished text by Adorno on modern demagogy as an appendix, it will be of interest to researchers and students in critical theory, sociology, politics, German studies, philosophy and history of ideas, as well as all those concerned about the rise of demagogic populism today. -- .
Since the late twentieth century, new institutions of Islamic learning for South Asian women and girls have emerged rapidly, particularly in urban areas and in the diaspora. This book reflects upon the increased access of Muslim girls and women to religious education and the purposes to which they seek to put their learning. Scholars of Faith is based on ethnographic fieldwork in two institutions of religious learning: the Jami'a Nur madrasa in Shahjahanpur, North India, and Al-Huda International, an NGO that offers online courses on Islam, especially the Qur'an. In this monograph, Sanyal argues that Islamic religious education in the early twenty-first century - particularly for women - is thoroughly 'modern' and that this modernity, reflected in both old and new interpretations of religious texts, allows young South Asian women to evaluate their place in traditional structures of patriarchal authority in the public and private spheres in novel ways.
Originally published in 2004. Exclusion is a popular area of sociological research, with much analysis pointing towards survival practices and inclusion mechanisms as ways to cope with and confront exclusion. However, the question of what it means to act and how it is possible to do so from a vulnerable situation has yet to be properly addressed. This resourceful volume takes on this challenge, examining how to react and the measures to employ in instances of material and symbolic deprivation. It analyzes whether alliances can be formed and their potential benefit, and discusses which supports are available despite structural inequality and no opportunity for reciprocation. Drawing together illustrative case studies from across Europe, the contributors consider in depth how a community or individual can take support from a spoiled identity and transform both it and the physical situation. This illuminating volume also includes discussions of living without support, security of living conditions and dignity, claims for citizenship, collective action, continuity and survival. It proposes an innovative and groundbreaking theory for 'weak' action.
Cosmopolitanism is about the extension of the moral and political horizons of people, societies, organizations and institutions. Over the past 25 years there has been considerable interest in cosmopolitan thought across the human social sciences. The second edition of the Routledge International Handbook of Cosmopolitanism Studies is an enlarged, revised and updated version of the first edition. It consists of 50 chapters across a broader range of topics in the social and human sciences. Eighteen entirely new chapters cover topics that have become increasingly prominent in cosmopolitan scholarship in recent years, such as sexualities, public space, the Kantian legacy, the commons, internet, generations, care and heritage. This Second Edition aims to showcase some of the most innovative and promising developments in recent writing in the human and social sciences on cosmopolitanism. Both comprehensive and innovative in the topics covered, the Routledge International Handbook of Cosmopolitanism Studies is divided into four sections. Cosmopolitan theory and history with a focus on the classical and contemporary approaches, The cultural dimensions of cosmopolitanism, The politics of cosmopolitanism, World varieties of cosmopolitanism. There is a strong emphasis in interdisciplinarity, with chapters covering contributions in philosophy, history, sociology, anthropology, media studies, international relations. The Handboook's clear and comprehensive style will appeal to a wide undergraduate and postgraduate audience across the social and human sciences.
Positive Prejudice as Interpersonal Ethics examines prejudice not only as a negative attitude toward others that should be eliminated but also as an orientation that enables perception and understanding. Because prejudicial attitudes appear in all human daily interactions, the interactions have the ability to shape self-concepts, the self-esteem, and the moral character of the participants. By examining this concept at the intersection of three fields-social psychological studies of the nature of prejudice, phenomenological examination of a person's interpersonal experiences, and ethical consideration of the character of constructive interactions-this book places the idea of prejudice in its larger context. By studying prejudice as situational understanding that impacts all perception and interpretation, Sara Karkkainen Terian offers a way to shift our understanding of prejudice from negative to positive and considers recognition of one's value as a person an integral part of positive prejudice and respect as its necessary basis.
The complete collected works of Georg Simmel are now available. Yet, the standing of Simmel's sociological theory is still a subject of controversy. Is Simmel only a brilliant impressionist, a flaneur in the territories of modernity? Providing an illuminating and coherent presentation of Simmel's sociological theory, The Challenge of Modernity seeks to demonstrate how Simmel contributed a structured sociological theory that fits the criteria of a 'sociological grand theory'. Indeed, starting by the theory of modernity and its dimensions of social differentiation, monetarisation, culture reification and urbanisation; it reconstructs the architecture of Simmel's sociological epistemology. Particular attention is dedicated to the theory of 'qualitative societal differentiation' that Simmel develops within his cultural sociology, with the late work being presented as a double contribution to the foundation of sociological anthropology and to the social ethics of complex societies. Presenting the entirety of Simmel's manifold oeuvre from the viewpoint of its relevance for sociology, this comprehensive volume will appeal to scholars and advanced students who wish to understand Simmel's relevance for socio-political thought and become acquainted with his contribution to sociological theory. It will also be of interest to the wider public who seek a critical assessment of our age in theoretical terms.
This book applies Thorstein Veblen's cultural theory to a qualitative study of the charro cowboy culture and community in Mexico. Drawing on Veblen's arguments regarding cultural lag, the peaceable and the barbaric, predatory culture, vested interest, and pecuniary interest, it examines the comportment, clothing, mannerisms, and adherence to the norms that are unique to this subculture, while considering the cultural changes within race, class, and gender dynamics of this community in relation to mainstream Mexico. With close attention to the impact of business principles and standardization on the charro, leading to changes in practices and social interactions, the author considers generational differences and the tensions that exist between newer and older charros as a result of the developing emphasis on business. A close study of the nature of cultural adaptability and the persistence of inequality regardless of mainstream illusions of equality, this volume sheds new light on our understanding of what culture is rather than what culture does, while reintroducing the neglected ethnographic streak in Veblen's work as an important methodological and theoretical tool in the interpretation of culture.
This book offers a sociological analysis of globalised capitalist markets, advancing the notion of 'disembedded markets' to challenge the idea of 'social embeddedness' common in economic sociology. Avoiding an exclusive focus on institutions, networks and trust relationships surrounding markets, the author concentrates on private property as the key institution of markets, in order to emphasise the historical origins of modern capitalism the free market narrative, and develop a socio-historical analysis of the disembedding process together with an account of the built-in contradictions and limits of market universalisation. Through an analysis of their encompassing character, this volume demonstrates that disembedded markets do not fit standard theoretical accounts of sociality - a problem taken up not only by Karl Marx, but also by Friedrich August von Hayek and Niklas Luhmann - and questions the attempts of the emerging approach of 'economic theology' to draw parallels between the practices that arise from disembedded markets and from forms of religious experience and ritual. A rigorous examination of the phenomenon of disembedded markets and the claims to which they give rise concerning the equivalences between religion and capitalism, this book will appeal to scholars of sociology and economics with interests in capitalism, social theory, and global markets.