Reconstructing Social Theory, History and Practice Vol: 35

Harry F. Dahms
Department of Sociology, University of Tennessee, USA

Eric R. Lybeck
University of Exeter, UK

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Product Details
05 Dec 2016
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
304 pages - 152 x 229 x 20mm
Current Perspectives in Social Theory


With regard to developments in social theory, the past 30 years can be characterized as an Age of Deconstruction. Inspired by post-structuralism, postmodernism, critical theory, and science studies, as well as combinations of related approaches, theorists have endeavored to shatter historical meta-narratives and struggled to include previously excluded standpoints in social thought. This important trend has informed our understanding of the role of discourse, difference and expertise in determining relations of power and inequality. This volume focusses on “Reconstruction”, dedicated to taking account of and interrogating the possibility of picking up the pieces. The papers were presented at the 2015 International Social Theory Consortium (ISTC). It considers questions such as, are there limits to the deconstruction project, and have these limits been reached? What are the possibilities for the reconstruction of narratives of long-term historical change? Is it possible to include and integrate the insights and contribution of various critiques of knowledge, while at the same time developing new forms of knowledge?
Introduction PART I: PROJECTS OF RECONSTRUCTION IN HISTORY: NEO-PLATONISM, HEGEL, HONNETH, AND DERRIDA The Birth Of The True, The Good, And The Beautiful: Toward An Investigation Of The Structures Of Social Thought - John Levi Martin The Concept Of Normative Reconstruction: Honneth, Hegel, And The Aims Of Critical Social Theory - Andrew Buchwalter Euporia: On The Limits, Horizons And Possibilities Of Critique (Or: On Reconstruction) - Raymond Aaron Younis PART II: PROJECTS OF RECONSTRUCTION IN SOCIAL THEORY: SELF, SUFFERING, AND RELIGION IN MODERNITY Reconstructing The Self: A Goffmanian Perspective - Simon Susen Weber And Levinas On Modernity And The Problem Of Suffering: Reconstructing Social Theory As Ethically Framed Rather Than Epistemologically Framed - Stan J. Knapp Rowan Williams And Hans-Georg Gadamer Contra Jürgen Habermas: Rethinking The Problem Of Religion For Liberals As A Problem Of Dialogue - Justin Cruickshank PART III: RECONSTRUCTION AND POLITICAL PRACTICE Theoretical Reconstruction For Welfare State Democracy: `Third Way' Sociology And The Art Of The Possible - E. Stina Lyon Reconstructive Science And The European Constitution: Habermas, Citizenship, And The Tension Between Facts And Norms - William Outhwaite PART IV: REVIEW ESSAY Turning The Circle: Considerations Of “The Postmodern Turn” À La Simon Susen - Lawrence Hazelrigg
Harry F. Dahms, Department of Sociology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, USA Eric R. Lybeck, Department of Sociology, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK
Philosophy, political science, and sociology scholars from the US, UK, and Australia present nine essays mostly based on papers presented at the annual conference of the International Social Theory Consortium in the UK in June 2015. They address the need for reconstruction after a long period of deconstruction in social theory, to take account of and examine the possibility of reassembling and rebuilding what was deconstructed. They consider reconstruction in social theory, history, and practice, discussing “the True, the Good, and the Beautiful” in European social thought; Axel Honneth's work on Hegel's theory of normative reconstruction; the dichotomy between aporia and euphoria; Erving Goffman's work; Weber's social theory as a basis for understanding suffering, in addition to the work of Emmanuel Levinas; Rowan Williams, Hans-George Gadamer, and Jürgen Habermas and religion; the intellectual and political origins of the Swedish, egalitarian, democratic welfare-state ideology in the 1930s; and the political philosophy of Europe and Habermas' model of reconstruction. Distributed in North America by Turpin Distribution.

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