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French Post-War Social Theory
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French Post-War Social Theory
International Knowledge Transfer



November 2011 | 216 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
"Derek Robbins has shown once again that he is one of the few Anglophone scholars with an exceptionally profound and impressively comprehensive knowledge of the history of modern European social thought. This book is a must for anybody interested in twentieth-century French social theory. The coverage is wide-ranging; the information provided is authoritative; complex ideas are presented in an accessible language; key controversies are explained in an eloquent and thought-provoking fashion; and, perhaps most importantly, seemingly abstract tensions between intellectual positions are put into historical context."
- Dr Simon Susen, City University London

Detailed, timely and original this book explores the trans-cultural transmission of social theory. Derek Robbins presents us with a chronological commentary on the intellectual production of five French social thinkers (Aron, Althusser, Foucault, Lyotard, Bourdieu) and on the English reception of their texts. The book:
  • Sets up a Bourdieusian investigation of the habitus of the five thinkers and, comparatively, of the national sub-fields of intellectual discourse.
  • Enables an inter-active generation of enquiry based on the primacy of individual experience.
  • Challenges the social sciences to abandon their grand narratives and to advance the cause of social democratic inclusion.
  • Reconciles the legacies of the work of Bourdieu and Lyotard in order to advance practically a socio-analytic recognition of dissensus or différence.

By representing modern classics of French social thought in socio-political context, this in-depth study encourages all social researchers to reflect on their use of social theories in their practice.

Derek Robbin's companion website to French Post-War Social Theory can be found here www.derekrobbins.com/international-knowledge-transfer 

 
Introduction
 
Raymond Aron (1905-83)
 
Louis Althusser (1918-90)
 
Michel Foucault (1926-84)
 
Jean-François Lyotard (1924-98)
 
Pierre Bourdieu (1930-2002)
 
Preliminary Concluding Comments

Derek Robbins has shown once again that he is one of the few Anglophone scholars with an exceptionally profound and impressively comprehensive knowledge of the history of modern European social thought. This book is a must for anybody interested in twentieth-century French social theory. The coverage is wide-ranging; the information provided is authoritative; complex ideas are presented in an accessible language; key controversies are explained in an eloquent and thought-provoking fashion; and, perhaps most importantly, seemingly abstract tensions between intellectual positions are put into historical context. Robbins's willingness to engage not only with the secondary literature but also, closely and extensively, with primary sources makes this a particularly worthwhile book at a time in which French social theory has been prematurely pronounced dead. In fact, Robbins successfully demonstrates that we have every reason to believe that it is very much alive. This book is an indispensable guide to anyone seeking to make sense of the main developments in French post-war social theory, as well as of the substantial impact that these developments have had, and will continue to have, on contemporary intellectual thought.

Dr Simon Susen
City University, London

Derek Robbins is at the top of his game and this book makes a telling - if controversial - contribution to our understanding of the circulation of French social theory into Britain and America. In doing so, it has introduced a subtle new dimension of the sociology of knowledge, showing how ideas and concepts may become torn out of their original historical context and reframed to fit different political or theoretical interests.

Bridget Fowler
Professor of Sociology, University of Glasgow

Sample Materials & Chapters

Introduction


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ISBN: 9780761949725
£84.00

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