"This is a robust text - challenging and provocative and one which students will benefit from reading. Layder guides the reader through a large body of relevant literature. He draws attention to the strengths and weaknesses of particular approaches as he sees them and he is not afraid to offer his own judgements on the issues and problems he addresses."
- Professor John Eldridge, University of Glasgow
"One of the most comprehensive, incisive and readable treatments of the macro-micro problem now available."
- Professor Paul Colomy, University of Denver
This is a revised, updated and enlarged version of the accessible, authoritative first edition - a jargon-free textbook that provides an introduction to the core issues in social theory. It includes:
Chapter previews, summaries and a glossary of key terms.
A 'problem focus' that encourages students to acquire skills of argument and discussion.
A concluding chapter relating theory to social domains.
Relevant examples from everyday life to illustrate key theoretical issues.
It is essential reading for undergraduate and postgraduate students of social and sociological theory.
In the area of social theory I am interested in how agency and structure combine in social life. In relation to this I have developed the 'theory of social domains' which represents my own attempt to deal with the agency-structure problem. I have also developed a methodological approach called 'adaptive theory'. This attempts to harness the creative synergy between 'received' (or 'preconceived') and 'emergent' theory, but also depends on a close connection between the construction of explanatory theory and the collection of empirical data. My ongoing interests are in drawing out the links between the 'theory of social domains' and 'adaptive theory' in the context of empirical research. With these objectives in mind I have recently completed studies of self-identity, emotion, intimacy, and power and control in social life.