This powerful critique of Marx's historical materialism - as a theory of power, as an account of history, and as a political theory -has been revised to take note of the profound intellectual and political changes that have occurred since the first edition was published. Reviews from the first edition 'Giddens draws upon a formidable knowledge of anthropology, archaeology, geography, and philosophy to demonstrate the limitations of Marxism and to formulate his own interpretation of the history of societies ... He (...) does a masterful job of setting his theory within a historical and critical framework of writings on Marx. His clarity of thought and his deft and often humorous handling of the unavoidable jargon of sociology and Marxist political theory makes this book a critical work of the highest quality.' Journal of International Law and Politics 'By contrast with many practictioners in the rather murky area of social theory, Giddens clearly seeks to make himself understood, and he has the useful quality of provoking one to argument. He has let light into some dark places.' The Times Higher Education Supplement 'Although Marx, Durkheim, and Weber continue to fill more index space than any other authors, Critique is Giddens's most explicit and committed statement of his own conceptualization of social theory ... It is his most original and therefore most vulnerable book, at once a cause for celebration and an invitation to critical reappraisal of the author's entire theoretical project.' Environment and Planning. (shrink)
Giddens's analysis of the writings of Marx, Durkheim and Weber has become the classic text for any student seeking to understand the three thinkers who established the basic framework of contemporary sociology. The first three sections of the book, based on close textual examination of the original sources, contain separate treatments of each writer. The author demonstrates the internal coherence of their respective contributions to social theory. The concluding section discusses the principal ways in which Marx can be compared with (...) the other two authors, and discusses misconceptions of some conventional views on the subject. (shrink)
Built upon a series of critical encounters with major figures in classical and present-day social and political thought, this volume offers not only a challenging critique of major traditions of social and political analysis, but unique insights into the ideas which Giddens has developed over the past two decades.
Social theory has undergone dramatic changes over the past fifteen years. The aim of this book is to provide a comprehensive survey of those changes and an authoritative statement on current trends of development in social thought. The contents of the book range in a systematic way across the major traditions of social theory prominent today. Among the topics covered are the relationships between modern social theory and the 'classics' of the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; the connections between social (...) theory and mathematical social science; and the logical status of generalizations in the social sciences. Traditions of thought discussed include: behaviourism; symbolic interactionism; Parsonian theory; analytical theory; structuralism and post-structuralism; ethnomethodology; structuration theory; world systems theory; Marxism and critical theory. The highly distinguished group of contributors comprises Jeffrey Alexander, Ira Cohen, Anthony Giddens, John Heritage, George Homans, Axel Honneth, Hans Joas, Ralph Milipand, R. Munch, Jonathan H. Turner, Immanuel Wallerstein, and Thomas Wilson. (shrink)
My text is written to answer the questions asked at the APA Meeting's presentation of the book Moral Textures: Feminist Narratives in the Public Sphere by professors María Lugones and Eduardo Mendieta. The answer seeks to clarify that Lugones's infrapolitics position is not so distant from mine. I also address Mendieta's question directed more to the aesthetic domain. There, I seek to show how my position could be taken as a creative effort to extend some of Habermas's early work on (...) the public sphere, and to develop the thesis of the important relations between the aesthetic and the moral realms. (shrink)
This collection of essays contains a selection of readings from the works of the pre-eminent social theorist, Anthony Giddens. A wide range of theoretical issues are covered, including the author's encounter with the writings of Marx, Durkheim, Weber, Parsons and Foucault.
Durkheim's writins on politlcal theory and the nature of government have been among the most neglected of his contributions to modern social science. The editor, one of the first to argue the importance of Durkheim's political thought, has assembled the first English-language collection of that author's significant writings on politics, government, the nature and function of the state, socialism, and Marxism. The introductory essay provides a critical appraisal of Durkehim's political ideas and situates them within the framework of the author's (...) general sociology and social philosophy. The selections are taken from a wide range of Durkheim's writings--books, lecture series, review articles--and almost all appear in new translations. Several of these works ahve been, up to this time, poorly rendered or unavailable in English. (shrink)
The sexual revolution: an evocative term, but what meaning can be given to it today? How does “sexuality” come into being, and what connections does it have with the changes that have affected personal life more generally? In answering these questions, the author disputes many of the dominant interpretations of the role of sexuality in modern culture. The author suggests that the revolutionary changes in which sexuality has become cauth up are more long-term than generally conceded. He sees them as (...) intrinsic to the development of modern societies as a whole and to the broad characteristics of that development. Sexuality as we know it today is a creation of modernity, a terrain upon which the contradictory tendencies of modern social life play themselves out in full. Emancipation and oppression, opportunity and risk—these have become a part of a heady mix that irresistably ties our individual lives to global outcomes and the transformation of intimacy. We live today in a social order in which, for the first time in histroy, women are becoming equal to men—or at least have lodged a claim to such equality as their right. The author does not attempt to analyze the gender inequalities that persist in the economic or political domains, but instead concentrates on a more hisdden personal area in which women—ordinary women, in the course of their day-to-day lives, quite apart from any political agenda—have pioneered changes of greate, and generalizable, importance. These changes essentially concern an exploration of the potentialities of the “pure relationship,” a relaitonship that presumes sexual and emotional equality, and is explosive in its connotations for pre-existing relations of power. The author analyzes the emergence of what he calls plastic sexuality—sexuality freed from its intrinsic relation to reproduction—in terms of the emotional emancipation implicit in the pure relationship, as well as women’s claim to sexual pleasure. Plastic sexuality is decentered sexuality, freed from both reproduction and subservience to a fixed object. It can be molded as a trait of personality, and thus become bound up with the reflexivity of the self. Premised on plastic sexuality, the pure relationship is not exclusively heterosexual; it is neutral in terms of sexual orientation. The author speculates that the transformaion of intimacy might be a subversive influence on modern institutions as a whole, for a social world in which the dominant ideal was to achieve intinsic rewards from the company of others might be vastly different from that which we know at the present. (shrink)