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On late modernity and social statehood
Author: Darrow Schecter

Populism, neoliberalism, and globalisation are just three of the many terms used to analyse the challenges facing democracies around the world. Critical Theory and Sociological Theory examines those challenges by investigating how the conditions of democratic statehood have been altered at several key historical intervals since 1945. The author explains why the formal mechanisms of democratic statehood, such as elections, have always been complemented by civic, cultural, educational, socio-economic, and, perhaps most importantly, constitutional institutions mediating between citizens and state authority. Critical theory is rearticulated with a contemporary focus in order to show how the mediations between citizens and statehood are once again rapidly changing. The book looks at the ways in which modern societies have developed mixed constitutions in several senses that go beyond the official separation of legislative, executive, and judicial powers. In addition to that separation, one also witnesses a complex set of conflicts, agreements, and precarious compromises that are not adequately defined by the existing conceptual vocabulary on the subject. Darrow Schecter shows why a sociological approach to critical theory is urgently needed to address prevailing conceptual deficits and to explain how the formal mechanisms of democratic statehood need to be complemented and updated in new ways today.

Edward Tomarken

Bourdieu as a sociologist views society as a whole and is interested in the outer limits of culture, the framework for what he calls “life-style”. Three factors are key in Bourdieu’s view of the cultural effects upon personality: 1) habitus that is explained by way of “The Invisible Woman” and “Magic in the Moonlight`’ 2) field or human context seen in “Lincoln” and “Homeland” 3) life-style examined in “Mr Turner” and “Peaky Blinders”.

in Why theory?
Abstract only
A sourcebook 1700–1820
Editors: E.J. Clery and Robert Miles

The aim of this book is to make available a body of texts connected with the cultural phenomenon known as Gothic writing. The book includes many of the critical writings and reviews which helped to constitute Gothic as a distinct genre, by revisions of the standards of taste, by critique and by outright attack. Together, this material represents a substantial part of the discursive hinterland of Gothic. The chapters on supernaturalism, on the aesthetics of Gothic, and on opposition to Gothic contain a number of the standard references in any history of the genre. They are juxtaposed with other more novel items of journalism, religious propaganda, folk tradition, non-fictional narrative, poetry and so on. The book also includes chapters on the politics of Gothic, before and after the French Revolution. Therefore, it includes extracts from Tacitus and Montesquieu, the authorities that eighteenth-century commentators most often referred to. The story of Britain's Gothic origins, although implicitly progressivist, was to be re-fashioned in the cultural and sociological theories critical of modern society: that vital eighteenth-century trend known as primitivism. The book also broadly covers the period from the height of the Gothic vogue (in the mid-1790s) to the mid-nineteenth century. The author hopes that the book will encourage students to follow new routes, make new connections, and enable them to read set works on the syllabus in more adventurous and historically informed ways.

Wes Sharrock and Graham Button

Introduction In denying that the division of sociological theories between ‘structure’ and ‘agency’ doctrines effectively captures the divisions amongst them over a century and more, we are certainly not trying to minimise the disagreements that there have been throughout that period. Even though the ‘disagreements’ are often less disagreements than misunderstandings, we are not saying that better understanding on one or both sides would facilitate bringing together the most prominent of those disputing positions into a coherently unified scheme

in Human agents and social structures
Contingency or transcendence formula of law?
Gunther Teubner

produces normative impulses for a different understanding of justice in contemporary legal theory and practice. The re-entry of sociological theory into legal practice could create an imaginary space for the normativity of justice today, a space which is located beyond natural law and positivism. 7 Here, the problematic hiatus between legal norms and legal decisions and the decisional paradoxes of law it

in Critical theory and legal autopoiesis
Open Access (free)
Geoffrey Wood

consensus sociological theories Key Theorists North American economics/ political science Marx, Engels, Lenin, Frankfurt School Durkheim, Weber Marxist theories of the state: state is an instrument of class dominance Democratic state represents the outcome of the increased rationalization of society and/or the development of the collective consciousness/ social organization to a specific level Perspective on the state Theories of polyarchy However, what distinguishes the classical interactionist and consensus social theories is their close focus on the process of

in Democratization through the looking-glass
Jane Roscoe and Craig Hight

documentary genre. Secondly, our approach draws upon the range of audience research traditions which have emerged particularly from the post-structuralist developments within sociological theory. 1 The essential common insight within post-structuralist approaches is that the meanings associated with any text are assumed to be generated through interaction with an audience (Philo, 1990 ; Ang, 1991 , 1996 ; Fiske, 1992 ; Jancovich

in Faking it
Abstract only
A review of existing accounts
Nick Crossley

problem in the accounts considered above; namely, that the conditions they point to affected huge numbers of people across the UK when punk started and for several months remained localised within a small area of London. Why not Manchester, Liverpool or a small fishing village in the Scottish Highlands? I explore punk’s micro-mobilisation in Chapters 5–6. In the next section of this chapter I want to consider another factor which has figured strongly in post-strain sociological theories of collective action: opportunity. I am not convinced that this played a big role in

in Networks of sound, style and subversion
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Democratic state, capitalist society, or dysfunctional differentiation?
Darrow Schecter

track and anticipate the likely future trajectories of various 196 Critical theory and sociological theory social systems. They have tended to do this without sufficient attention to the details of systemic coding or historical patterns of inter-​systemic communication, thereby mismanaging the processes involved in many instances. What is more, these states are still desperately trying to channel systems on the basis of strategic decisions stemming from informal assemblies of ministerial elites, consultancy firms, lobbies, and what amount to different kinds of

in Critical theory and sociological theory
A pragmatist approach
Mark Haugaard

This is an overview of some of the normative implications of the theory of power as developed so far. Constructing normative foundations entails shifting language game. The issue is not how power is but how power should be . As this entails a switch in language game, some readers may agree with the sociological theory, but disagree with what I argue constitute the normative implications. The normative theory is premised upon the sociological theory, not the other way around. So, the sociological theory is free-standing, while the normative arguments are not

in The four dimensions of power