The increasing individualism of modern Western society has been accompanied by an enduring nostalgia for the idea of community as a source of security and belonging and, in recent years, as an alternative to the state as a basis for politics. Gerard Delanty begins this stimulating introduction to the concept with an analysis of the origins of the idea of community in Western Utopian thought, and as an imagined primitive state equated with traditional societies in classical sociology and anthropology. He goes on to chart the resurgence of the idea within communitarian thought, the complications and critiques of multiculturalism, and its new manifestations within a society where new modes of communication produce both fragmentation and the possibilities of new social bonds. Contemporary community, he argues, is essentially a communication community based on new kinds of belonging. No longer bounded by place, we are able to belong to multiple communities based on religion, nationalism, ethnicity, life-styles and gender.
A critical analysis of the idea of Europe and the limits and possibilities of a European identity in the broader perspective of history. This book argues that the crucial issue is the articulation of a new identity that is based on post-national citizenship rather than ambivalent notions of unity.
What is social science? Does social scientific knowledge differ from other kinds of knowledge, such as the natural sciences and common sense? What is the relation between method and knowledge? This concise and accessible book provides a critical discussion and comprehensive overview of the major philosophical debates on the methodological foundations of the social sciences. From its origins in the sixteenth century when a new system of knowledge was created around the idea of modernity, the author shows how the philosophy of social science developed as a reflection on some of the central questions in modernity. Visions of modernity have been reflected in the self-understanding of the social ...
This book provides a comprehensive and concise overview of the main debates on citizenship and the implications of globalization. It argues that citizenship is no longer defined by nationality and the nation state, but has become de-territorialized and fragmented into the separate discourses of rights, participation, responsibility and identity.
Gerard Delanty provides a comprehensive assessment of the idea of cosmopolitanism in social and political thought which links cosmopolitan theory with critical social theory. He argues that cosmopolitanism has a critical dimension which offers a solution to one of the weaknesses in the critical theory tradition: failure to respond to the challenges of globalization and intercultural communication. Critical cosmopolitanism, he proposes, is an approach that is not only relevant to social scientific analysis but also normatively grounded in a critical attitude. Delanty's argument for a critical, sociologically oriented cosmopolitanism aims to avoid, on the one hand, purely normative conceptions of cosmopolitanism and, on the other, approaches that reduce cosmopolitanism to the empirical expression of diversity. He attempts to take cosmopolitan theory beyond the largely Western context with which it has generally been associated, claiming that cosmopolitan analysis must now take into account non-Western expressions of cosmopolitanism.
“This book will certainly prove to be a useful resource and reference point … a good addition to anyone’s bookshelf.” Network "This is a superb collection, expertly presented. The overall conception seems splendid, giving an excellent sense of the issues... The selection and length of the readings is admirably judged, with both the classic texts and the few unpublished pieces making just the right points." William Outhwaite, Professor of Sociology, University of Sussex "... an indispensable book for all of us in philosophy and the social sciences who teach and care about the shape of social knowledge in the future." Steven Seidman, Professor of Sociology, State University of New York...
The famous philosophical conceptions of the Open University from the Enlightenment to postmodern thought are discussed in this book along with the major writings in modern social theory on the university, such as those of Weber, Parsons, Habermas, Gadamer, Lyotard and Bourdieu. In this far reaching contribution to the sociology of knowledge, Delanty views the university as a key institution of modernity and as the site where knowledge, culture and society interconnect. He assesses the question of the crisis of the university with respect to issues such as globalization, the information age, the nation state, academic capitalism, cultural politics and changing relationships between research and teaching. Arguing against the notion of the demise of the university, his argument is that in the knowledge society of today a new identity for the university is emerging based on communication and new conceptions of citizenship. It should appeal to those interested in changing relationships between modernity, knowledge, higher education and the future of the university.
Dominant approaches to the transformation of Europe ignore contemporary social theory interpretations of the nature and dynamics of social change. Here, Delanty and Rumford argue that we need a theory of society in order to understand Europeanization. This book advances the case that Europeanization should be theorized in terms of: globalization major social transformations that are not exclusively spear-headed by the EU the wider context of the transformation of modernity. This fascinating book broadens the terms of the debate on Europeanization, conventionally limited to the supersession of the nation-state by a supra-national authority and the changes within member states consequent upon EU membership. Demonstrating the relevance of social theory to contemporary issues and with a focus on European transformation rather than simplistic notions of Europe-building, this truly multidisciplinary volume will appeal to readers from a range of social science disciplines, including sociology, geography, political science and European studies.
This accessible and comprehensive overview of the main issues on the modernity-postmodernity controversy is the first clear-sighted book on the subject. It surveys modern social theory, from Kant to Weber with economy and masterly precision. And evaluates the work of the Frankfurt School, Arendy, Strauss, Luhmann, Habermas, Heller, Castoriadis and Touraine, before moving on to consider the approaches of the leading writers on postmodenrity: Lyotard, Vattimo, Derrida, Foucault and Jameson. The result is a new way of conceptualizing the modernity-postmodernity debate, and an exciting new approach to the roots of contemporary social theory.