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The Making of Social Theory

Order, Reason, and Desire

Second Edition

Anthony Thomson

Publication Date - March 2010

ISBN: 9780195430301

464 pages


In The Making of Social Theory: Order, Reason, and Desire, Second Edition, author Anthony Thomson follows the development of Western ideas about society and social life from the medieval period to the rise of modern sociology in the early twentieth century. In addition to explaining different theories, Thomson also situates each idea in the context of time and space, examining the social circumstances in which it arose and the characteristics of the people who advocated it.

Retaining the previous edition's unique coverage of pre-Enlightenment ideas (now presented in a new and compact introduction to the text), the second edition incorporates new chapters on the fate of Marxism in the twenty-first century and the rise of social democracy through the work of Pareto and Mannheim. It also features revised part-openers, each of which includes a classical art image related to a specific historical period and the theories that evolved in that time. Presenting a cross-disciplinary cultural chronicle of the ideas that underpin sociology, The Making of Social Theory, Second Edition, also illuminates links between the classical and contemporary worlds, allowing students to see how classical theory has helped to shape today's ideas.

Previous Publication Date(s)

October 2005

Table of Contents

    Introduction: The Unmaking of Traditional Society
    Part One: From Reason to Revolution
    1. Enlightenment and Revolution: Rousseau and Wollstonecraft
    2. The Conservative Reaction and Romanticism
    3. Democracy and Social Liberalism
    Part Two: From Social Philosophy to Social Science
    4. French Positivism and German Idealism
    5. Karl Marx
    6. Fin de Siècle Social Thought: Feminism, Decadence, and Nietzsche
    7. Émile Durkheim
    8. Max Weber
    Part Three: From Certainty to Doubt
    9. Emancipation and Pragmatism: Du Bois, Dewey, and Mead
    10. The Individual and Society: Simmel and Freud
    11. Early Twentieth-Century Marxism: The Russian Revolution and Gramsci
    12. Elites and Social Democracy: From Pareto to Mannheim
    13. Conclusion