John K. Rhoads, Critical Issues in Social Theory
- Methodological issue : To what extent can social theory be scientific ?
- Conceptual issue : are societies reducible to the characteristics of its individuals, or they something more?
- Substantive issue : is social order a consequence of rules or is it a product of ongoing constructions?
- Substantive issue : Does consensus or conflict dominate human relationships?
Louis Althusser's distinction between substantive theory (Gen III), with statements that can be proved/disproved empirically, and conceptual framework (Gen II) conceptual tools more or less useful for building substantive theories (ex. is Parsons's theory. (Gen I is raw material).
Lockwood makes distinction between social integration and system integration.
- http://www.mdx.ac.uk/WWW/STUDY/ssh6.htm Site on Durkheim and Weber ;
- Strategies of Critique https://pi.library.yorku.ca/ojs/index.php/socj/index Journal on Critical Theory including Marcuse, Agamben
- http://www.generation-online.org/index.htm Excellent one-pagers on many thinkers and themes.
- http://www.marxists.org/reference/ and http://www.marxists.org/archive/index.htm Excellent archives on intellectual history
The historiography of Sociological Theory may be divided into four periods: the establishment of the discipline from the late 19th century until World War I, interwar consolidation, explosive growth from 1945 to 1975, and the subsequent period of segmentation.
19th century sociological positivism
- Herbert Spencer - survival of the fittest - sociological evolutionism, social darwinism
- William Graham Sumner
- Wilson - Sociobiology
- Karl Marx - Theory of social formations, contradiction, 'system', pure forms of capitalism. Theory of social change, class struggle, change.
- Friedrich Engels
Critique of positivism and evolutionism, verstehen sociology
- Emile Durkheim - Critique of positivist tradition. Theory of Social solidarity - how did society sustain cohesion? Role and division of labour sustaining social integration. Problem of industrialism. Role of action and actors in social integration. Sociological method emphasising social facts, positivistic.
- Max Weber - Holism vs. methodological individualism. Role of ideas, origins of rationality in protestant religion. Tension between formal and substantive rationality.
- Kautsky - Economic determinism
- Marxism after Marx
- Antonio Gramsci - Theory of hegemony and social change. Base and superstructure. Actors in change.
- Sigmund Freud
- Ferdinand de Saussure
- William James - The Self and Its Selves
- W. E. B. Du Bois - Double-Consciousness and the Veil
From 1919, World Conflict, Critical School
- Georg Lukacs - Hegelian Marxism
Frankfurt School - http://www.gseis.ucla.edu/faculty/kellner/Illumina%20Folder/ Frankfurt School ; http://www.criticalthinking.org/ ; - Culture industry, individuals subjugated to the system, focus on art as countering the dehumanising capitalist economy.
- Max Horkheimer
- Theodor Adorno
- Herbert Marcuse One dimensional man - in modernity, the Western man must reassert his individuality in face of technologicaly oppresion. Increased bureaucratisation of all modes of social, political and economic life has created a "totally administered society" that was resulting in the "decline of the individual."
- Walter Benjamin
- Erich Fromm - psychoanalyst
- Franz Neumann - political scientist
- Otto Kirshheimer - legal sociologist
- Leo Lowenthal - sociologist of literature
- Friedrich Pollack - economist
- Karl Korsch - anti-determinist Marxist theoretician
- Karl Wittfogel
- C. Wright Mills
- Paul Marlor Sweezy Theory of Capitalist Development, helped reintroduce Marxian thought to economics - in particular drawing attention to Marx's "Transformation Problem" and the theory of crisis
- Harry Braverman http://www.marxists.org/archive/braverman/
Surrealism -subverting, parodying, transgressing dead conventions through unexpected juxtapositions, collages, drawing from erotic. -drawing from anthropologists
Functionalism & Modern Positivism, Modernisation
Passive portrayal of the subject. Functionalism, as e.g. Karl Mannheim tells us, is an attempt at explaining social and historical facts through their function. E.g. the concept of family through the function of procreation and child-rearing.
- Robert K. Merton - Manifest and Latent Functions
- Talcott Parsons - Systems Theory and Action Theory ; Sex roles in the American kinship system
- W. W. Rostow
- Daniel Bell - End of ideology in the West
Structuralism & Post-Structuralism
Decentering of the subject.
- Louis Althusser - Why Theory?
Interpretive sociology & Anti-positivism
- Symbolic Interactionism
- Phenomenological Sociology
- Existential Sociology
- Edmund Husserl - phenomenology , intersubjecitivty
- Alfred Schutz - 1932 Der sinnhafte Aufbau der sozialen Welt: eine Einleitung in die verstehende Soziologie
- Maurice Merleau-Ponty - 1945 Phénoménologie de la perception
- Harold Garfinkel - drew from Schutz - ethnomethodology 1967 Studies in Ethnomethodology
- Erving Goffman
- George Herbert Mead
- Charles Horton Cooley - The Looking Glass Self
- Karl Mannheim
- Jurgen Habermas - Empirical analytical, historical-hermeneutic, Critical theory
Post-Structuralism & Postmodernism
- Jacques Lacan
- Jacques Derrida - Extension of critique of metaphysics to representation and the text. Deconstruction of textual meaning in order to discover inconsistencies and anomalies that undermine the text. Deconstruction maintains an inherent skepticism about the possibility of meaning, and understands that meaning is derived through the process of reading which is undecidable.
- Emmanuel Levinas
- Roland Barthes - Semiological Prospects
- Michel Foucault
- Jean-François Lyotard - 'incredulity towards metanarratives' which previously legitimised the rule of science ; 'crisis of narratives'
- Richard Rorty
- Jean Baudrillard
Attempts at Synthesis
Stock-taking, generalist works on social theory. The problems identified in general theory here are addressed among other places in the research process itself. In e.g. Social Anthropology this includes self-conscious attention to writing strategies in the narratives of social and cultural realities - in [Ethnography]].
- Anthony Giddens - ; 1976. New Rules of Sociological Method ; 1979. Central Problems of Social Theory: Action Structure, and Contradiction in Social Analysis - duality of structure, structuration theory
- Alvin Gouldner - 1970. The Coming Crisis in Western Sociology. - Reflexive Sociology
- R. J. Bernstein. 1976. The Restructuring of Social and Political Theory.
- Pierre Bourdieu. 1977. Outline of a Theory of Practice
- Norbert Elias
- Ernesto LaClau and Chantal Mouffe
- Ralf Dahrendorf - Conflict Theory.
- Blau - Exchange Theory
- Thomas Hylland Eriksen : Studies what he calls unintentional consequences of modernity : the paradoxes of new information technology, identity, affluence, and waste. http://folk.uio.no/geirthe/
- Robert Castel - auteur de "L'Insécurité sociale" (Seuil, 2003) et de "La Discrimination négative, citoyens ou indigènes ?" (Seuil, 2007) ;
- Zygmunt Bauman, 2008. "S'acheter une vie" ; : "the good society is the society that is convinced it is not good enough." He calls gardeners, "obsessive compulsive utopians," always trying to improve the world around them in a job that is never complete.
- Raymond Williams - suggests in his study of ideas about the country and the city in English literature that these terms are understood in relation to each other and that the meaning of each changes as the conditions of people's lives change.
- Ulrich Beck - Risk Society