Tag: social theory
Post and Late Modern Perspectives on Society and Identity
This is intended to be an uber-brief summary, for fuller accounts please see other relevant posts. The postmodern view of society Globalisation destablises social structures Consumer culture floats free from other institutions The media and hyperreality are important There is much more diversity The End of Metanarratives The corresponding postmodern view of identity Individuals identities are…
Althusser’s Scientific Marxism
While humanistic Marxists see humans as creative beings, able to make history through their conscious actions, for structuralist Marxists, it is social structures that shape human action, and we should be researching structures not individuals. The most important structural Marxist thinker is Louis Althusser (1918-90), a leading intellectual of the French Communist Party. Althusser’s version…
Gramsci’s Humanist Marxism
Gramsci (1891-1937) was the first leader of the Italian Communist Party during the 20s. He introduced the concept of hegemony or ideological and moral leadership of society, to explain how the ruling class maintains its position and argued that the proletariat must develop its own ‘counter-hegemony’ (or alternative set of ideas) to win leadership of…
Robert Merton’s Internal Critique of Functionalism
Merton criticises three of Parsons’ assumptions:: Indispensability, Functional Unity, and Universalism.
Giddens – Modernity and Self Identity Chapter Two
A brief summary of Anthony Giddens’ Modernity and Self Identity – chapter two – in which he focuses on the psychological aspects of identity Chapter 2 – The Self – Ontological Security and Existential Anxiety. An account of self-identity should be based on a stratified model of the psychological make-up of the individual. (Following Wittgenstein)…
Modernity, Post-Modernity and Late Modernity
Some of the Key Features of Modernity and Post-Late Modernity and Modern, Post-Modern and Late Modern Thought. Historical Period Time Period Key Features of Society Modernity 1650 to 1950 (ish) Clear social structure (class/ gender) The nuclear family Jobs for life Nation States and Politics Trust in Science A belief in ‘progress’ Post and Late Modernity…
Post-Modernity and Postmodernism
‘Post-modernity’ refers to the view that the institutions and ways of living characteristic of modernity have been replaced by new institutional features to such a profound extent that it is no longer plausible to look at the 21st century as a continuation of modernity. Postmodernism is a term that refers to new ways of thinking…
What is Sociology? (Bauman and May)
Below is an extended summary adapted from Bauman and May’s (2001) work ‘Thinking Sociologically’ which to my mind remains one of the best introductions to Sociology there is! What is Sociology? Sociology is a disciplined practice with its own set of questions for approaching the study of society and social relations. It is important for…
Neoliberalism and The New Right – An Introduction
Neoliberalism is an economic theory that believes free-market principles are the best way to organise society. The New Right is a political movement in the UK which has applied neoliberal thinking to social policies from 1979 to the present day.
From Modernity to Post-Modernity
Modernity (1650 to 1950) involved industrialisation, capitalism, urbanisation, nation state building, and a belief in progress through science. Postmodernity (1950 to today) is global, media saturated and hyperreal, consumerist, culturally diverse, sceptical and uncertain about politics, science and the truth.