Religion, Realism and Social Theory: Making Sense of Society by Philip A Mellor

By Philip A Mellor

`Philip Mellor's ambition is to avoid wasting sociology from itself…or to save lots of society from the sociologists. He has written a super polemic and theoretically wealthy argument opposed to the various trendy modern social theories that offer acquiescent 'post-societal' endorsements of the commercial and technological forces which are 'hollowing out' the non secular, ethical and human dimensions of societies. i'm vastly inspired' - Kenneth Thompson, Professor of Sociology on the Open college faith, Realism and Social idea demanding situations these modern sociologists who argue that the idea of 'society' is an superseded foundation for sociological research and as a substitute revitalizes the concept that sociology is really 'the learn of society'. via a daring and unique argument, Philip Mellor returns the human and non secular features of social lifestyles to the centre of social concept, drawing on an unlimited diversity of latest social theoretical literature within the technique. The book:" comprehensively reassesses what societies are" bargains an in depth critique of present failings in social concept" attracts out the spiritual underpinnings of social lifestyles" throws clean mild at the non secular, cultural and social conflicts that seem to bring in a brand new interval of worldwide disorderReligion, Realism and Social idea will stimulate debate among lecturers and scholars of sociology and social conception, cultural reports and the sociology of faith.

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Extra resources for Religion, Realism and Social Theory: Making Sense of Society (Published in association with Theory, Culture & Society)

Sample text

Initially, however, the postmodernist idea that society is now shaped by a hyper-reality rather than a hyper-spirituality can be introduced as a particularly influential post-social perspective. Hyper-real society I have already noted that, if the conventional view of sociology as ‘the study of society’ is being challenged on a number of fronts, many of them tend to congregate around the idea that ‘society’ is an arbitrary construct of certain types of sociology, political ideologies and cultural theories, imposed upon the complex, shifting and infinitely variable patterns of social and cultural existence.

None the less, Touraine’s (1989, 1995) focus on social movements that render the idea of ‘society’ meaningless, and Urry’s manifesto for ‘sociology beyond societies’, clearly arise out of an engagement with postmodern philosophy. For Touraine (1989: 15), the complex and changing fields of social relations that mark the present seriously compromise any notion of an overarching totality to which individuals understand themselves to belong. Focusing on the need for a sociology of change, Touraine (1989: 11) argues that ‘the very idea of society should be eliminated’.

Qxd 10/09/2004 14:53 Page 31 Complex Society ulacra without originals’ (Braidotti, 1994: 112). Theological advocates of postmodern theorising often express similar views. Don Cupitt (1995: 117–20), for example, in attempting to outline a form of theology after the ‘end of Truth’, argues that the only thing left is language and the ‘scattering energies’ of the body. Here, the ‘body’ is simply a site for language ‘to ride upon or to modulate’, since the world is only a ‘stream of language-formed events’.

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Religion, Realism and Social Theory: Making Sense of Society by Philip A Mellor
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