Praise for the First Edition: `Totally reliable... the authors have produced a book urgently needed by all those charged with introducing students to the classics... quite indispensable' - Times Higher Education Supplement This is a fully updated and expanded new edition of the successful undergraduate text. Providing a lucid examination of the pivotal theories of Marx, Durkheim and Weber, the authors submit that these figures have decisively shaped the discipline. They show how the classical apparatus is in use, even though it is being directed in new ways in response to the changing character of society. Written with the needs of undergraduates in mind, the text is essential reading for students in sociology and social theory.
This book asks: “what does it mean to be a responsible academic in a ‘northern’ university given the incarnate connections between the university’s operations and suffering elsewhere?” The author challenges himself and the reader to practice intellectual citizenship everywhere from the classroom to the university commons to the street.
Our understanding of Late Antiquity can be transformed by the non-dogmatic application of social theory to more traditional evidence when studying major social conflicts in the Eastern Roman Empire, not least under the Emperor Justinian (527-565). Social Conflict in the Age of Justinian explores a range of often violent conflicts across the whole empire - on the land, in religion, and in sport - during this pivotal period in European history. Drawing on both sociology and social psychology, and on his experience as a senior British Civil Servant dealing with violent political conflicts in Northern Ireland and elsewhere, Bell shows that such conflicts were a basic feature of the overwhelmingly agricultural political economy of the empire. These conflicts were reflected at the ideological level and lead to intense persecution of intellectuals and Pagans as an ever more robust Christian ideological hegemony was established. In challenging the loyalties of all social classes, they also increased the vulnerability of an emperor and his allies. The need to legitimise the emperor, through an increasingly sacralised monarchy, and to build a loyal constituency, consequently remained a top priority for Justinian, even if his repeated efforts to unite the churches failed.
Best offers a comprehensive overview of social theory from classical sociology to the present day. The reader is guided through the work of Durkheim, Marx and Weber and contemporary thinkers like Anthony Giddens, Michel Foucault, Jurgen Habermas, Judith Butler, Gilles Deluze, Manuel Castells, Luce Irigary, Naomi Woolf and Camille Paglia.