Beginning classical social theory

By Marcel Stoetzler

Beginning classical social theory


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-1-7849-9145-6
  • Pages: 368
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £11.99
  • Published Date: July 2017
  • BIC Category: Society & social sciences / Sociology, Social classes, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Social Classes, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General, Sociology, Society & social sciences / Sociology & anthropology, Sociology & anthropology, Sociology, Society & social sciences / Social theory, Social theory
  • Series: Beginnings


Beginning classical social theory introduces students and educated general readers to thirteen key social theorists by way of examining a single, exemplary text by each author, ranging from Comte to Adorno. It answers the need for a book that helps students develop the skill to critically read theory.

Rather than learning how to admire the canonical theorists, readers are alerted to the flow of their arguments and the texts' contradictions and limitations. Having gotten 'under the skin' of one key text by each author will provide readers with a solid starting point for further study.

The book will be suitable as the principal textbook in social theory modules as much as alongside a more conventional textbook as a recommended additional tool for self-study. It will appeal to undergraduate and postgraduate students as well as educated lay readers.


1 Introduction: If it is not mysterious, it is not social theory
2 The well-planned reorganisation of society: Auguste Comte
3 If you can't beat democracy, join it: Alexis de Tocqueville
4 Pariahs of the world, unite!: Flora Tristan
5 Capitalist modernity is the real savagery: Karl Marx
6 The conflict of community and society: Ferdinand Tönnies
7 There is some Thing out there: Emile Durkheim
8 The double consciousness: W. E. B. Du Bois
9 From good to bad capitalism and back: Max Weber
10 Strangers who are from here: Georg Simmel
11 Love, marriage and patriarchy: Marianne Weber
12 Critical versus traditional theory: Max Horkheimer
13 What is a woman, and who is asking anyway: Simone de Beauvoir
14 Society as mediation: Theodor W. Adorno


Marcel Stoetzler is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Bangor University

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