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The Cambridge Handbook of Social Theory

Volume 1. A Contested Canon


Johan Heilbron, Alan Sica, Kevin B. Anderson, Peter Beilharz, Peter Kivisto, Simonetta Falasca-Zamponi, Lawrence A. Scaff, Austin Harrington, Vincenzo Mele, A. Javier Treviño, Lawrence T. Nichols, Philip Manning, Sandro Segre.
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  • Date Published: December 2020
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107162648

£ 170.00

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About the Authors
  • This ambitious two-volume handbook of social theory consists of forty original contributions. The researchers take stock of the state of social theory and its relationship to the canon, exploring such topics as the nature, purpose, and meaning of social theory; the significance of the classics; the impact of specific individual and theory schools; and more. Both volumes reflect a mixture of what intellectual historian Morton White distinguished as the 'annalist of ideas' and the 'analyst of ideas,' locating theoretical thought within the larger socio-historical context that shaped it - within the terrain of the sociology of knowledge. Exploring the contemporary relevance of theories in a manner that is historically situated and sensitive, this impressive and comprehensive set will likely stand the test of time.

    • Appeals to the social sciences in general, rather than just sociological theory
    • Synthesizes a body of knowledge about social theory in sociology
    • Offers a wide-ranging treatment of contemporary theory and its applications
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'For the quality of its contributors (the highest) and the range of its contributions (the most diverse), there has never been a theory collection that comes anywhere close to the achievement of this Cambridge Handbook. Peter Kivisto deserves our recognition and our gratitude.' Jeffrey Alexander, Yale University

    'Social theory is undergoing a period of rapid change and expansion, and Peter Kivisto has produced an accessible set of introductions to both classic and new topics, with a complement of star contributors. This will be an essential source for students as well as sociologists who need an understanding of the key issues and literatures as they stand today.' Stephen Turner, University of South Florida

    'A first rate resource featuring thoughtful articles on key thinkers and aspects of sociological theory. Taken together, the contributions offer a rare and comprehensive panorama opening up to all subfields within sociology.' Thomas Faist, Professor of Sociology, Bielefeld University

    'Social theory is a fascinating intellectual maze. The Cambridge Handbook of Social Theory provides all of us with a reliable map, a remarkable achievement. Systematic, precise and ecumenical, this is the guide we were waiting for.' Giuseppe Sciortino, Università di Trento

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2020
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107162648
    • length: 464 pages
    • dimensions: 260 x 181 x 28 mm
    • weight: 0.99kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. The emergence of social theory Johan Heilbron
    2. 'What is a classic?' Variations on an ancient theme Alan Sica
    3. Karl Marx Kevin B. Anderson
    4. The Marxist legacy Peter Beilharz
    5. Émile Durkheim: theorist of solidarity Peter Kivisto
    6. What's in a name? The sacred, science, and the collège de sociologie Simonetta Falasca-Zamponi
    7. Max Weber Lawrence A. Scaff
    8. Weberian social theory Austin Harrington
    9. Georg Simmel and the metropolitization of social life Vincenzo Mele
    10. Pounding on Parsons: how criticism undermined the reputation of sociology's incurable theorist A. Javier Treviño
    11. Symbolic interactionism Lawrence T. Nichols
    12. Erving Goffman and dramaturgical sociology Philip Manning
    13. Structuralism Sandro Segre.

  • Editor

    Peter Kivisto, Augustana College, Illinois
    Peter Kivisto is Richard A. Swanson Professor of Social Thought at Augustana College.


    Johan Heilbron, Alan Sica, Kevin B. Anderson, Peter Beilharz, Peter Kivisto, Simonetta Falasca-Zamponi, Lawrence A. Scaff, Austin Harrington, Vincenzo Mele, A. Javier Treviño, Lawrence T. Nichols, Philip Manning, Sandro Segre.

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