Social Theory in the Real World is concerned with illustrating the practical benefits of social theory. Many students find it hard to relate the real insights provided by social theory to their real life experiences, and many lecturers struggle to demonstrate the relevance of social theory to everyday life. This book offers an accessible, non-patronizing solution to the problem, demonstrating that social theory need not be remote and obscure, but if used in imaginative ways, it can be indispensable in challenging our common sense perceptions and understandings.
The book identifies the key themes of contemporary social theory: mass society, postindustrialism, consumerism, postmodernism, McDonaldization, risk and globalization, and uses the insights of both classical and contemporary theorists of social change to highlight the potential of imaginative theorizing.
Steve joined Brighton from the University of Liverpool where he was part of the management group of Impacts 08, the research programme designed to assess the social, cultural and economic impacts of European Capital of Culture. Perhaps the most bizarre experience of his academic career was presenting the proposal for Impacts 08 to a panel chaired by Loyd Grossman. Steve previously worked at Northumbria University where he was Head of Research for the Centre for Cultural Policy and Management and where he conducted a large-scale research project into the impact of cultural investment on Newcastle Gateshead Quayside. Many years previously Steve undertook his PhD in the Behavioural Sciences Department at the University of Huddersfield in which he was concerned with the relationship between consumption and identity amongst young people.