In this chapter, our first main aim is build on accounts of classic theories given at various points earlier in the text and consolidate students’ understanding of the key features of modernity. The second key aim is to provide a broad understanding of changing accounts of social structure.
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- George Ritzer offers very comprehensive and stimulating coverage of old and new theories in his Sociological Theory (McGraw-Hill, 1996, New York) and in Modern Sociological Theory (McGraw-Hill, 1996, New York). Ritzer’s summaries are clear and have a critical edge behind them — he has written on such themes as The McDonaldisation of Society.Google Scholar
- Charles Lemert has edited a collection of readings with a range and scope that challenges sociology’s previous neglect of issues of gender, ethnicity and multiculturalism whilst also including the key classic sources. Social Theory: the Classic and Multicultural Readings (Westfield, 1993, Oxford) is a good source of materials to stimulate debate as well as for developing comprehension.Google Scholar
- Ian Craib Modern Social Theory (Wheatsheaf, 1984, London) still gets a good response from students, with its light touch on a wide range of theories.Google Scholar
- The fatherly trio of Marx, Durkheim and Weber still get books devoted to them alone. Recent examples offering clarity are Ken Morrison Formations of Modern Social Thought (Sage, 1995, London)Google Scholar
- John A. Hughes, Peter J. Martin and W. W. Sharrock Understanding Classical Sociology (Sage, 1995, London).Google Scholar
- Perhaps the most stimulating single source on postmodernity is still David Harvey The Condition of Postmodernity (Blackwell, 1989, Oxford). Showing Bladerunner and using his chapter on films always seems to produce useful debate on postmodern culture and politics.Google Scholar
- Anthony Giddens’ Consequences of Modernity (Polity Press, 1990, Cambridge) is brief and clear enough to engage and enthuse students, suggesting ways for engaging social theory with the contemporary world.Google Scholar