Sociology Index

Anthony Giddens

Among distinguished sociologists, Anthony Giddens has contributed extensively to the interpretation of classical sociological theories in Capitalism and Modern Social Theory, Politics and Sociology in the Thought of Max Weber, Emile Durkheim and Sociology. He attempted a resolution of the traditional problems of class analysis in The Class Structure of the Advanced Societies (1973). Anthony Giddens took a stance against the then-dominant structural functionalism, as well as criticising evolutionism and historical materialism. The central theme of his perspective has been to develop the theory of action, agency and structure and the knowledgeability of the social actor, through a theory of structure, in New Rules of Sociological Method, Studies in Social and Political Theory, Central Problems in Social Theory, Profiles and Critiques ln Social Theory, and The Constitution of Society.

Anthony Giddens has begun an extensive critique of the theoretical limitations of historical materialism in A Contemporary Critique of Historical Materialism. He has also presented an innovative framework for an integration of sociology and geography in the analysis of time and space. He has criticized sociology for its failure to provide an analysis of the development of the state and the impact of international conflicts on social relations in The Nation-State and Violence.

Anthony Giddens has been critical of postmodernism as a theory of society in 'The Consequences of Modernity,' preferring as an alternative the idea of the reflexivity of modernity and 'high modernity' as a definite stage in the development of society. Reflexivity is important in the development of the self, a topic explored in Modernity and Self Identity. He has also explored the sociology of emotions in The Transformation of Intimacy.