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!
Social scientists seek to develop systematic ways to understand how people make meaning and how the meanings they make shape them and the world in which they live. But how do we measure such processes? Measuring Culture is an essential point of entry for both those new to the field and those who are deeply immersed in the measurement of meaning. Written collectively by a team of leading qualitative and quantitative sociologists of culture, the book considers three common subjects of measurement-people, objects, and relationships-and then discusses how to pivot effectively between subjects and methods. Measuring Culture takes the reader on a tour of the state of the art in measuring meaning, from discussions of neuroscience to computational social science. It provides both the definitive introduction to the sociological literature on culture as well as a critical set of case studies for methods courses across the social sciences.
Harnessing the empowering ideas of Friedrich Nietzsche to read the human condition of modern existence through a sociological lens, Employing Nietzsche's Sociological Imagination: How to Understand Totalitarian Democracy confronts the realities of how modernity and its utopianisms affect one's ability to purpose existence with self-authored meaning. By critically assessing the ideals of modern institutions, the motives of their pundits, and their political ideologies as expressions born from the social decay of exhausted dreams and projects of modernity, Jack Fong assembles Nietzsche's existential sociological imagination to empower actors to emancipate the self from such duress. Illuminating the merits of creating new meaning for life affirmation by overcoming struggle with one's will to power, Fong reveals Nietzsche's horizons for actualized and empowered selves, selves to be liberated from convention, groupthink, and cultural scripts that exact deference from society's captive audiences.
This book examines how relationships between guardians and companion animals were challenged during a large-scale disaster: the tsunami of March 2011 and the following nuclear disaster in Fukushima. The author interrogates: 1) How did guardians and their companion animals survive the large disaster?; 2) Why was the relationship between guardians and their companion animals ignored during and after a disaster?; and 3) What structures and/or mechanisms shaped the outcomes for animals and their guardians? Through a critical realist framework, combined with a theoretical perspective developed by Roy Bhaskar and his colleagues, the author argues that despite the trivialization of companion animals by government officials, relationships between animals and guardians were often able to be maintained, in some cases through great pains by the guardians. While the notion of human-animal relationships in Japan has thus far been dominated by economic logic, the author reveals dynamics between guardians and companion animal transcend such structures, forging the concept of bonding rights.
This book dissects the complex social, cultural and political factors which led the UK to take its decision to leave the EU and examines the far-reaching consequences of that decision. Developing the conceptual framework of securitization, Ryder innovatively uses primary sources and a focus on rhetoric to examine the ways that political elites engineered a politics of fear, insecurity and Brexit nationalism before and after the Brexit vote. He situates Brexit within a wider shift in international political ideas, traces the resurgence in popularity of far-right politics and explores how Britain and Europe now face a choice between further neoliberal reform or radical democratic and social renewal.
Steven Threadgold's study represents the first comprehensive engagement of Pierre Bourdieu's influential sociology with affect theory. With empirical research and examples from sociology, it develops a theory of Affective Affinities, deepening our understanding of how everyday moments contribute to the construction and remaking of social class and aspects of inequalities. It identifies new ways to consider the strengths and weaknesses of Bourdieusian principles and their interaction with new developments in social theory. This is a stimulating read for students, researchers and academics across studies in youth, education, labour markets, pop culture, media, consumption and taste.
Sociologists A0/00mile Durkheim, Erving Goffman and Randall Collins broadly suppose that ritual is foundational for social life. By contrast, this book argues that ritual is merely surface, beneath which lie status and power, the behavioral dimensions that drive all social interaction. Status, Power and Ritual Interaction identifies status and power as the twin forces that structure social relations, determine emotions and link individuals to the reference groups that deliver culture and administer preferences, actions, beliefs and ideas. An especially important contention is that allegiance to ideas, even those as fundamental as the belief that 1 + 1 = 2, is primarily faithfulness to the reference groups that foster the ideas and not to the ideas themselves. This triggers the counter-intuitive deduction that the self, a concept many sociologists, social psychologists and therapists prize so highly, is feckless and irrelevant. Status-power theory leads also to derivations about motivation, play, humor, sacred symbols, social bonding, creative thought, love and sex and other social involvements now either obscure or misunderstood. Engaging with Durkheim (on collective effervescence), Goffman (on ritual-cum-public order) and Collins (on interaction ritual), this book is richly illustrated with instances of how to examine many central questions about society and social interaction from the status-power perspective. It speaks not only to sociologists, but also to anthropologists, behavioral economists and social and clinical psychologists - to all disciplines that examine or treat of social life.
This book explores the contemporary relevance of Charles H. Cooley's thought, bringing together scholars from the US, Europe and Australia to reflect on Cooley's theory and legacy. Offering an up-to-date analysis of Cooley's reception in the history of the social sciences, an examination of epistemological and methodological advances on his work, critical assessments and novel articulations of his major ideas, and a consideration of new directions in scholarship that draws on Cooley's thought, Updating Charles H. Cooley will appeal to sociologists with interests in social theory, interactionism, the history of sociology, social psychology, and the sociology of emotions.
First published in 1997, this book revolves around a textual analysis of the Weberian thesis that 'classes', 'status groups' and 'parties' are phenomena of the distribution of power within a 'community'. An internal reconstruction of Weber's own ideas on what is called social stratification in contemporary sociological discourse is undertaken. The reason for this reconstruction inheres in the fact that Weber's thought (especially in the field of social stratification) has been modified and misappropriated to such an extent that Weber himself is usually lost in the commentaries. Moreover, this reconstruction is crucial because the secondary literature does not contain a single account teasing out the analytic structure underlying Weber's statements on the nature of social inequality in various societies. It is the principal intention of the book, then, to retrieve the essential form and significance of Weber's ideas on social stratification.
While there have been many sociological and psychological studies of humor, few can claim to be funny. Humor may be regarded as a legitimate topic for social scientists, but in general, they present their research rather seriously. In academia, humor tends to be trivialized and dismissed. This is more than just a missed opportunity for otherwise fun-loving academics. In literature, it is readily accepted that comedy is integral to the human condition. To ignore humor is to reject a potentially insightful methodological approach, as the humorous worldview presents unique opportunities for investigating the social. This book constitutes a unique resource, presenting chapters on irony, satire and parody as tools for analysis and means of representation, as well as considering humor in the conduct of research, and offering guidance on getting published. Through presenting examples from across the social sciences, the book seeks to persuade and inspire rather than to prescribe an approach - a closure which would (ironically) be inimical to the multiplicity and ambiguity which characterizes humorous research and lends it its distinctive edge.
This book offers a new perspective on the issue of modernity through a series of interconnected essays. Drawing centrally on the works of Castoriadis, Luhmann, Heller and Lefort, and in critical discussion with Weber, Durkheim, Simmel, Adorno, Habermas and Taylor, the author argues that modernity is not only a unique historical creation but also a multiple one. With a focus on five broad themes - the problem of understanding of modernity after the decline of grand narratives; the complexity of the modern condition; politics, especially with reference to freedom and totalitarian regimes; the variety and density of modern life; and the centrality of a concept of culture to social and critical theory - John Rundell advances the view that modernity is not the outcome of an evolutionary process or historical development, but is unique and indeterminate, as are the constitutive dimensions that can be identified as 'modern'. There are, then, different modernities. A rigorous engagement with a range of prominent and contemporary social theorists, Imaginaries of Modernity casts new light on the significance of understanding the multidimensional character of modernity and the plurality of its forms beyond the conventional paradigms associated with only the West. As such, it will appeal to scholars of social theory, critical theory, sociology and philosophy concerned with questions of culture, politics and modernity.
How do urban ruins provoke their cultural revaluation? This book offers a unique sociological analysis about the social agencies of material culture and atmospheric knowledge of buildings in the making. It draws on ethnographic research in Berlin along the former Palace of the Republic, the E-Werk and the Cafe Moskau in order to make visible an interdisciplinary regime of design experts who have developed a professional sensorium turning the built memory of the city into an object of aesthetic inquiry.