Restless Ideas

Contemporary Social Theory in an Anxious Age

By Tony Simmons  

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How do we make sense of the rise of political strongmen like Trump and Erdoğan, or the increase in hate crimes and terrorism? How can we understand Brexit and xenophobic, anti-immigrant sentiments and policies? More importantly, what can we do to make it all stop?

In Restless Ideas, Tony Simmons illustrates how social theory provides us with the skills for more informed observation, analysis and empathic understanding of social behaviour and social interaction. Social theory deepens our understanding of the world around us by empowering us to become practical theorists in our own lives.

Simmons traces the roots of contemporary social theory back to the works of the early structural functionalists, systems theorists, conflict theorists, symbolic interactionists, and ethnomethodologists, and incorporates contemporary social thinkers theorizing from the margins who are redefining the canon. Later chapters focus on the current influence of structuration theory, feminist and queer theory, Indigenous theory, third wave critical theory, postmodernism and poststructuralism, and liquid and late modernity theories and globalization theories.

  • EPUB
  • ISBN: 9781773633183
  • May 2020
  • $64.99
  • For sale worldwide
  • PDF
  • ISBN: 9781773633237
  • May 2020
  • $64.99
  • For sale worldwide

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  • Prologue: The Changing Face of Contemporary Theory
  • Why Do We Theorize?
  • Theorizing Our Human Systems: Structural Functionalism and Systems Theory
  • Theorizing Our Conflict Zones: Conflict Theories of Society
  • Theorizing Our Class Divisions: Neo-Marxist and Post-Marxist Theories of Society
  • Theorizing Our Dominated Lives: Critical Theory: Second and Third Waves
  • Theorizing Our Social Selves: Symbolic Interactionism and Dramaturgy
  • Theorizing Our Methodical Selves: Ethnomethodology
  • Theorizing Our Discursive Lives: Poststructuralism and Postmodernism
  • Theorizing Our Gendered and Sexual Selves: Feminist and Queer Theories
  • Theorizing Our Colonial Histories: Indigenous Knowledge and Social Thought
  • Theorizing Our Anxious Age: Theorists of Late Modernity
  • Theorizing Our Shrinking World: Globalization and Its Discontents
  • Epilogue: The Expanding Universe of Social Theory
  • Index


  • Tony Simmons

    Tony Simmons teaches sociology at Athabasca University. He is the author of Revitalizing the Classics: What Past Social Theorists Can Teach Us Today and co-author of _Reading Organizational Theory: A Critical Approach to the Study of Organizational Behaviour and Structure. _

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