`The Sociological Ambition is a superb book... It is beautifully written, expertly edited and renders complex and original ideas entirely accessible... This is a modern classic' - Journal of Contemporary Religion
`For all social scientists who are fed up with corporate-style textbooks, which appeal to the lowest common denominator The Sociological Ambition must come as a relief. Shilling and Mellor have written an account of their discipline but they have done so with a multi-purpose task in mind' - Irish Journal of Sociology
In a comprehensive reassessment of the field, Chris Shilling and Philip A Mellor examine the various attempts that have been made to reconstruct sociology over the last century, arguing that classical and contemporary social theories must be studied in relation to the ambition that first shaped and established the discipline.
The authors begin by situating sociology in its historical, philosophical and theological contexts; examining how the founders of the discipline developed competing analyses of the processes elementary to social and moral life through their unique contributions.
The result is a landmark work in recent sociological study. Accomplished and erudite, this book will be required reading for students of sociology, social theory, religious studies and cultural studies.
Chris Shilling is Professor of Sociology in SSPSSR at the University of Kent at Canterbury, UK. Having completed a BA in Politics and an MA in Social and Political Thought at the University of Sussex, he was awarded his PhD in the Sociology of Education at The Open University. Growing increasingly dissatisfied with cognitive conceptions of agency and disembodied theories of social and cultural processes, his research and writing from the late 1980s has sought to contribute to the embodiment of sociology and sociological theory and to promote the interdisciplinary field of 'body studies.' He has lectured widely in Europe and North America, has written on embodiment in relation to a wide range of substantive issues (from religion, archaeology, sport, music and health and illness, to work, survival, technology and consumer culture) and his publicationshave been translated into a number of different languages. Chris Shilling's major books include Changing Bodies: Habit, Crisis and Creativity (Sage, 2008), Embodying Sociology: Retrospect, Progress and Prospects (editor, Blackwells, 2007), The Body in Culture, Technology and Society (Sage, 2005) and, with Philip A. Mellor, The Sociological Ambition (Sage, 2001) and Re-forming the Body. Religion, Community and Modernity (Sage, 1997). He is currently editor of The Sociological Review Monograph Series and is continuing to research and write on embodiment as a foundational grounding for social thought and social research. Philip Mellor is Professor of Religion and Social Theory at University of Leeds.