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Malesevic and Loyal have given us the most comprehensive, accessible, international and up-to-date guide to sociological theory, ancient and modern: a magnificent achievement.
Two seasoned and very well-established sociologists have written a book that offers a masterly survey of the major social theorist from Plato to such 20th century masters as Habermas, Luhmann and Foucault. Written in a clear and lively style, incorporating historical, political and social context as well as the main ideas of the theorists, this book proves itself a worthy successor to Lewis Coser’s very successful Masters of Sociological Thought, whose inspiration it acknowledges. A boon to all students embarking on the study of classical and contemporary social thought.
These two volumes [Classical Sociological Theory and Contemporary Social Theory] succeed brilliantly where introductory textbooks typically fail. Viewing sociology as a tradition with many variants, they present the lives and works of its ancestors and major exponents across its history to the present. They do so vividly, clearly and accurately, setting the distinctive ideas of each in their historical and intellectual context, commenting on where they continue to have present-day relevance and where they need to be criticized and sometimes rejected.
Loyal and Malesivic offer a tour de force through the rise and transformation of social thought – one that never compromises on social thought’s dynamic character, its place in a historical and political context, and the insights it provides into social dynamics of the contemporary world.
All sociological theory is, at its core, an effort to better understand the social world and our experience within it. As such it may be seen as both an intellectual endeavour and a tool of empowerment. Loyal and Malesevic have brought together key social thinkers from across the ages and drawn out why it is that their theories have been so influential. The authors explain and evaluate sociological theories in light of the thinkers’ own social contexts in a way that is both fresh and illuminating.