The Blackwell Companion to Major Social Theorists is a survey of classical and contemporary social theory that focuses on the thinkers themselves. In original essays especially commissioned for this volume, leading experts and practitioners examine the life and work of 25 major theorists, discussing the social and intellectual context of their writings and offering an analysis of the impact of their work over time. Each author balances systematic treatment of a particular theorist with personal interpretations of the theorist's work. By grouping the selected theorists into classical and contemporary sections, the book gives a sense not only of where social theory once was, but where it is heading. The canon is broadened with the inclusion of several social thinkers not ordinarily found in such a volume: classical theorists such as Martineau, Gilman, and DuBois: and contemporary theorists such as Elias, Baudrillard, Bell, and Butler. Each chapter includes bibliographies of the theorists' most important works, as well as of key secondary works.
Edited by a leading figure in social theory, this Companion offers an indispensable resource and reference to the life and times of the thinkers who have tried to make sense of our social surroundings.
George Ritzer is Professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland. He has chaired both the Theoretical and the Organizations and Occupations sections of the American Sociological Association, and authored more than 25 books, including Expressing America: A Critique of the Global Credit Card Society (1995), The McDonaldization of Society: An Investigation into the Changing Character of Contemporary Social Life (1995), Classical Sociological Theory (second edition, 1995), and The McDonalization Thesis: Explorations and Extensions (1998).