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Social Life
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Social Life
Contemporary Social Theory



September 2019 | 184 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

In Social Life, the authors highlight, explain, and scrutinize socio-theoretical analyses of contemporary social relations and conditions - put forward by eight modern social theorists - and analyse how these have informed sociological inquiries into people’s lives in today’s social world.

The book discusses the works of the following social theorists:

  • Anthony Giddens
  • Pierre Bourdieu
  • Bruno Latour
  • Donna Haraway
  • Zygmunt Bauman
  • Jean-Francois Lyotard
  • Michel Foucault
  • Jean Baudrillard

In each chapter, the authors identify the key components of each theorist’s conception of society and apply the theories outlined to specific, modern phenomena. This connection with modern-day phenomena allows for a critical interrogation of issues in contemporary society, including: Inequality and Capital, Power, Fear and Terrorism, Immune System Discourse, Suffering, and Climate Change.

Essential reading for all sociology students studying social theory and the works of modern social theorists.

 
Anthony Giddens: Living with Radical Modernity
 
Pierre Bourdieu: Capital and Forms of Social Suffering
 
Bruno Latour: Rethinking Modern Social Life
 
Donna Haraway: New Modes of Sociality
 
Zygmunt Bauman: Liquid Social Life
 
Jean-François Lyotard: Living in Postmodernity
 
Michel Foucault: Power over Life
 
Jean Baudrillard: Terror, Death, Exchange
 
Emerging Sociological Themes and Concerns
 
Conclusion

Benzer and Reed grab their favourite things from their favourite theorists and assemble those closely examined nuggets into their own kaleidoscopic-fragmentary theory of contemporary society. Avoiding the fetish of comprehensiveness that ruins most textbooks, they have produced a tool that students will actually find useful for studying.

Dr Marcel Stoetzler, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Bangor University

This collection of essays on social theorists is highly readable and complex ideas are presented clearly. These are excellent discussions based on close engagement with the original texts that will be a valuable sources for both students and academics.

Larry Ray, Professor of Sociology, University of Kent

Excellent social theory applications

Miss Olalonpe Ige
Birmingham Business School, Birmingham University
February 12, 2020

Helps to synthesise the material together, explores key terminology in more depth and is accessible.

Miss Danika Robyn Waddell
Sociology and Health and Social Care, Scarborough Sixth Form College
January 23, 2020

This textbook offers students access to a range of important social theory in one place. It initiates thinking for students, particularly in health or social care, who may not have covered these areas before but want to consider social theory in their research.

Dr Simone Coetzee
Department of Health & Human Sciences, Essex University
December 17, 2019

This book gives a user-friendly introduction to some key philosophers in the field of Social Science with whom our Ed Doc students should be familiar in developing their theoretical frameworks for writing assignments and developing their research

Dr Dominic Griffiths
Faculty of Education (Crewe), Manchester Metropolitan University
September 30, 2019

Very useful broad perspective for offering general background and contemporary context to learners.

Mr Roger Lobb
Social Science, Cornwall College - Saltash
September 4, 2019

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Matthias Benzer

Dr Matthias Benzer is a Lecturer of Sociology at the University of Sheffield. He previously held the Peacock Fellowship at the Centre for Analysis of Risk and Regulation, London School of Economics (2010-2012), and a Lectureship in Sociology at the University of Manchester (2008-2010). Matthias obtained a PhD in Sociology from the London School of Economics in 2008 with a thesis in Sociological Theory. More About Author

Kate Reed

I joined the University of Sheffield in January 2004 as a Lecturer in Medical Sociology. I conducted my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at Liverpool, Lancaster and Southampton. After completing my PhD in 2000 at the university of Southampton I held a lectureship from 2000-2003 in Sociology at the University of Kent before moving to the University of Sheffield. 2018 marks my promotion to Professorship. My research interests are as follows: sociology of health and illness, gender, social theory, race and ethnicity. More About Author

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