Synopses & Reviews
This first truly multicultural anthology collects important, readable texts representative of the full range of social theory as it has developed from the nineteenth century to the present. Now that social theory is practiced in many disciplines, it is time 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 Weber, Simmel, William James, and others of their contemporaries 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 texts together in unexpected and exciting ways: those of Parsons and Dorothy Smith, Merton and Lacan, Wallerstein and Frantz Fanon, James Coleman and Molefi Asante. Extensive introductory essays by the editor situate the writings in their times, identifying the currents of social change that shaped fundamental questions of modern and postmodern life. This third edition has been thoroughly revised and updated.
"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
"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
"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
'"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
'"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'
This bestselling reader takes us beyond classic social theory by encompassing a truly inspiring range of readings that have significantly contributed to our current understanding of social theory.
About the Author
Charles Lemert is professor of sociology at Wesleyan University and the author of several books including Sociology After the Crisis (Westview Press 1995) and Social THeory, The Multicultural and Classic Readings, Third Edition (Westview PRess 2004).