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Modernity and Social Theory - Essay Example

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Contemporary social theory and modernity are interconnected and interrelated and a research cannot be conducted without help from both subjects. Present day Social theory, according to Craib (1984) is like 'cutting a path through the jungle' and according to Anthony Giddens, perhaps the most prominent of all, the present situation is a veritable Babel…
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Modernity and Social Theory
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Modernity and Social Theory

Download file to see previous pages... Modernity still relates to the use of theoretical frameworks to explain social patterns, frameworks. On the other hand, contemporary social theory is different from pure Sociology, but plays a major role in Anthropology, Sociology and Economics. Pre-classical social theorists include St. Augustine, Confucius, St. Aquinas, and classical theorists include Auguste Comte. Comte is considered to be the father of Sociology, by starting the theory, 'Social Evolutionism'. In the 19th century, three theories gained prominence: Social Darwinism, Social Cycle Theory, Marxist Historical Materialism theory. Herbert Spencer, who coined the phrase "survival of the fittest", was followed by Emile Durkheim and Max Weber, both highly regarded in the field.
Contemporary Social Theorists represents some of the classical theories, Multineal Theories of Evolution, Neo-Marxism. They have two approaches, Marxian Materialist approach and the Structural Functionalist Approach. The first approach naturally belonged to Karl Marx and the second, is developed from the works of Comte and Durkheim. It is also noted that contemporary social theorists are standing on the shoulders of giants in sociology. Contemporary social theory has five major branches: conflict theory, functionalism, phenomenology, interactionism and rational choice. They cover family, society (micro and macro), work, power, freedom, discrimination, oppression, fight against evils, social geography etc. Here human behaviour is seen part of society behaviour by interests vs. motivation by values. There is an urgency of completing sociological research and theories could not be ignored in the process as it guides the research.

Modernity, the term which describes being modern, mainly applies to the period of 1910-1960 and later, and it has developed over many periods and achievements and inventions. Industrialisation, age of discovery, Renaissance, reformation and counter reformation, age of reason, English Civil War, French Revolution, American Revolution, the Enlightenment, printing press, the Romantic Era, the Victorian era, rise of capitalism, socialism, representative democracy, science and technology, social movements, urbanisation, Russian Revolution, the modern era, mass literacy, First World War, Second World War, mass media, post-modern era, all in some way or other paved way to modern times and modernity by evolving the society. Modernity also brought infant mortality, environmental problems, starvation, conflicts, dreadful wars, holocaust, pollution, climate change, and genetic engineering, disappearance of species, crime, atomic bombs and nuclear arms race and hence, everything about modernity has not been good for society or mankind.

Relationship between contemporary social theory and modernity is well defined. Today's people are modern and hence, they are related to modernity and contemporary social theory. Our contemporary concerns, our efforts to free ourselves out of traditional paradigms, achieve liberal individualism with the right amount of concern for fellow-humans, shaking off constraints placed by religion, race, economy, tyranny and superstition are all part of both. Right ambitions with unlimited freedom that does not encroach into another's space should be the outcome of this relationship. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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