Social Theory: The Multicultural and Classic Readings (Paperback)

Social Theory: The Multicultural and Classic Readings Cover Image
By Charles Lemert (Editor)
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This first truly multicultural anthology collects important, readable texts representative of the full range of social theory from the nineteenth century to the present. Now that social theory is practiced in many disciplines, it is necessary to reflect on the variety of theories being read today and the earlier sources that are customarily neglected. If today we read Donna Haraway, Henry Louis Gates, and Michel Foucault, we should also read and understand Charlotte Perkins Gilman and W.E.B. Du Bois, alongside Max Weber, Georg Simmel, William James, and others from the end of the nineteenth century. This book, therefore, sets a wider gauge for the understanding of the history of social thought than could have been possible before. It brings together theories in unexpected and exciting ways: those of Talcott Parsons and Dorothy Smith, Robert K. Merton and Jacques Lacan, Immanuel Wallerstein and Frantz Fanon, James Coleman and Molefi Asante. Extensive introductory essays by the editor situate the readings in their historical place and time, identifying the currents of social change that shaped fundamental questions of modern and postmodern life. This fourth edition has been thoroughly revised and updated to include cutting-edge documents on teletechnologies, masculinities, rhizomes, bare life, and more.

About the Author

Charles Lemert is professor of sociology at Wesleyan University and the author of numerous classic books including Sociology After the Crisis and Social Things.

Praise For…

"Lemert provides an illuminating introduction to the collection and introductions to each section that provide an overview of the socio-historical context and delineation of key thinkers and texts in each period. Combining important classical and contemporary material, Lemert's collection enables the student and reader to trace out the origins of the modern world to our present global and conflicted condition."
—Douglas Kellner, University of California, Los Angeles


"This collections presents a provocative wide-angle view of the history of social theory, including very recent work which interestingly engages with a future only dimly coming into focus. Well-chosen selections from the new social movements as well as the classics and recent mainstream make this a fine introduction for courses in the social sciences. The collection also offers students and scholars in other fields a valuable overview of the ideas and assumptions that have shaped thought in the humanities, jurisprudence, and public policy more generally."
—Sandra Harding, UCLA, Co-Editor of Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society

"Lemert gives shape to a sociological imagination for the twenty-first century. This is necessary reading for us all."
—Patricia Clough, Queens College and CUNY Graduate Center

"With an equally sure grasp of the classics of the past and the probable classics of the future, Charles Lemert has assembled a remarkable array of stimulating readings in social theory. The result is a well-stocked tool kit for the canon wars of the twenty-first century."
—Martin Jay, University of California, Berkeley

"Social Theory is an essential guide through the complex contours of multicultural ideology and theory from the nineteenth century to the present. Lemert brings together a surprising range of multicultural voices and perspectives into a powerful and provocative introductory text. Social Theory clearly illustrates how critical ideas have the power to transform societies."
—Manning Marable, Columbia University

"A rich, highly textured, historically sweeping, and strikingly inclusive collection that aims to reconstruct, perhaps for the first time, the actual dialogue of contemporary social thought."
—Jeffrey Alexander, Yale University

"Charles Lemert captures the surfacing of multiple theoretical voices in the postmodern era. No theory course should be without Social Theory."
—Steve Seidman, State University of New York at Albany

Product Details
ISBN: 9780813343921
Publisher: Westview Press
Publication Date: July 1st, 2009
Pages: 712