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July 25 , 2008

French Post-War Social Theory

International Knowledge Transfer


"Derek Robbins has shown once again that he is one of the few Anglophone scholars with an exceptionally profound and impressively comprehensive knowledge of the history of modern European social thought. This book is a must for anybody interested in twentieth-century French social theory. The coverage is wide-ranging; the information provided is authoritative; complex ideas are presented in an accessible language; key controversies are explained in an eloquent and thought-provoking fashion; and, perhaps most importantly, seemingly abstract tensions between intellectual positions are put into historical context."
- Dr Simon Susen, City University London

Detailed, timely and original this book explores the trans-cultural transmission of social theory. Derek Robbins presents us with a chronological commentary on the intellectual production of five French social thinkers (Aron, Althusser, Foucault, Lyotard, Bourdieu) and on the English reception of their texts. The book:
  • Sets up a Bourdieusian investigation of the habitus of the five thinkers and, comparatively, of the national sub-fields of intellectual discourse.
  • Enables an inter-active generation of enquiry based on the primacy of individual experience.
  • Challenges the social sciences to abandon their grand narratives and to advance the cause of social democratic inclusion.
  • Reconciles the legacies of the work of Bourdieu and Lyotard in order to advance practically a socio-analytic recognition of dissensus or différence.

By representing modern classics of French social thought in socio-political context, this in-depth study encourages all social researchers to reflect on their use of social theories in their practice.

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Derek Robbin's companion website to French Post-War Social Theory can be found here 

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