An Invitation to Social Theory
An Invitation to Social Theory, 2nd Edition

Social theory is a crucial resource for the social sciences. It provides rich insights into how human beings think and act and how contemporary social life is constructed. But often the key ideas of social theorists are expressed in highly technical and difficult language that can hide more than it reveals.

The new edition of this popular book continues to cut to the core of what social theory is about. Covering key themes from the classical thinkers onwards, including Marxism, post-structuralism, phenomenology, feminism and more, the second edition features a new chapter on Actor-Network Theory and enhanced discussion of postcolonial theory. Wide ranging in scope and coverage, the book is concise in presentation and free from jargon.

Showing why social theory matters, and why it is of far-reaching social and political importance, the book is ideal for readers seeking a clear, crisp mapping of a complex but very rewarding area.

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  • December 2018
  • 336 pages
  • 152 x 229 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $79.95
  • 9781509506392
  • Paperback $26.95
  • 9781509506408
  • Open eBook $21.99
  • 9781509506439
Table of Contents


1 Classical Paradigms

2 Functionalist and Systems Theory Paradigms

3 Marxist and Critical Theoretical Paradigms

4 Phenomenological Paradigms

5 The Symbolic Interactionist Paradigm

6 Rational Choice and Exchange Theory Paradigms

7 The Process Sociological Paradigm

8 Structuralist and Post-Structuralist Paradigms

9 Post-Modernist Paradigms

10 Structurationist Paradigms

11 Feminist Paradigms

12 The Actor Network Theory Paradigm

13 Globalization Paradigms


About the Author
David Inglis is Professor of Sociology at the University of Helsinki.
Christopher Thorpe is Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Exeter.
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‘This book makes a compelling case for the continued significance of social theory today. It is written in a clear and accessible style that at the same time does justice to the complexity of the ideas in question. It deserves to be studied closely by students from across the social sciences.’
Nicholas Gane, University of Warwick

‘Impressively lucid and well informed, this highly accessible book offers a most comprehensive and illuminating overview of the classical and contemporary paradigms in social thought, bringing readers up to date on very important debates about structure, agency, subjectivity, identity, network and globalized modernity.'
Agnes S. Ku, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

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