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Critical Social Theories

Third Edition

Ben Agger

Publication Date - 14 June 2013

ISBN: 9780199300808

272 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

A comprehensive analysis of today's leading critical social theories


Praised for its clarity and accessibility, Critical Social Theories presents a comprehensive analysis of today's leading social and cultural theories. Author Ben Agger addresses a wealth of diverse perspectives, from feminism and cultural studies to postmodernism and critical theory. Now fully updated and revised in its third edition, the book offers a wide-ranging discussion of race, gender, and global economic dynamics; Internet culture and social media; and much more.

New to this Edition

* Addresses changes to social theories brought about by the Internet, discussed within the context of globalization
* Analyzes what has increasingly become a "media culture," in which pulp publications such as newspapers and books are being replaced by television, movies, and the Internet
* Examines Internet-based social movements like the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street
* Updates references to scholarly literature, including material published in the past several years

About the Author(s)

Ben Agger is Professor of Sociology and Humanities and Director of the Center for Theory at the University of Texas at Arlington. Among his recent books are Texting Toward Utopia: Kids, Writing, and Resistance (2013), Oversharing: Presentations of Self in the Internet Age (2012), and Body Problems: Running and Living Long in a Fast-Food Society (2010).

Previous Publication Date(s)

June 2013
January 2006
November 1997


"This text is the best summary of critical social thought on the market. Instead of compartmentalizing theory with a chapter by chapter focus on specific theorists, it explains the evolution of a diverse body of thought, broadly conceived of as critical theory. I know of no other book that covers this body of thought so thoroughly. It fills a necessary void."--Kathleen J. Fitzgerald, Loyola University-New Orleans

Table of Contents


    1: The Disciplinary Positioning of Theory
    2: The Politics of Grand Narratives I: Theorizing Postmodernity
    3: The Politics of Grand Narratives II: From Derrida to Difference Theory
    4. The Critical Theory of the Frankfurt School
    5. Feminist theory
    6. Cultural Studies
    7. Critiques of Critical Social Theory
    8. Critical Social Theory: Applications and Implications
    9. The 1960s at Forty: Renewing Public Sociology in the Twenty-First Century
    10. De-Rationalization, Regression and the Challenges to Social Theory