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Palgrave Macmillan

Dialectics in Social Thought

The Present Crisis

ISBN 9781137388896
Publication Date June 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

Dialectics in Social Thought examines the work of thinkers who used dialectics in their attempts to understand the world. Among them are foundational thinkers such as Marx, Freud, and Nietzsche; seminal social critics of the last century such as Camus and Sartre; and current contributors like Badiou, Rancière, and Žižek.

Geoffrey R. Skoll is emeritus faculty member in Criminal Justice at Buffalo State College, USA. Previous books include Contemporary Criminology and Criminal Justice Theory (2009) and Social Theory of Fear (2010).

1. Introduction: Dialectics and Social Thought
2. Marx and the Dialectic of Capital
3. Freud and the Dialectic of Psychology
4. Peirce, Mead, Goffman, and Interactional Social Science
5. Culture and Society
6. Critical Theories
7. Rebellion
8. The Phenomenologists
9. Contemporary Social Thought: Agamben to Zizek
10. Dialectics of Contemporary Society and the Present Crisis


"Skoll's book sheds light on a thorough examination of postmodern society, which leads readers to understand the state of uncertainty and vulnerability everyone faces today. The success of liberal thought rests on the fractional field of knowledge it produces. Not only is this world overwhelming complex but also alludes to obscure the dialectics. This master-work unearths the contributions of psychoanalysis and transference to explore the social institutions and their produced subject: a necessary meditation, which discusses the role of social science in next years. Undoubtely, Dialectics in Social Thought offers a valid attempt to answer the open questions of Freud's psychology and Marx's economy. This is one of the best books I have ever read in these themes." - Maximiliano E. Korstanje, Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Palermo, Argentina
"An equally learned, insightful, clearly, and cleverly written survey of the role of dialectics in social thought over the last few centuries. Specialists on social thought as well as on dialectics will be surprised to discover so much that is new and important in Skoll's broad ranging book, and those who are just starting out on either journey will be inspired to redouble their efforts to learn more. Highly recommended!" - Bertell Ollman, Professor of Politics, New York University, USA
"Skoll's account of social order and the plight of civilization is rich, robust, and as theoretically dense as it is sophisticated. His mastery of an enormous canon of scholarly work is at times breathtaking. Skoll fearlessly dives into diverse and fractured theoretical fields. The result is an account of dialectical meaning-making that most would not dare even attempt. Bold, risky and masterful, this is a must read in a world that is once again theoretical." - Luke Howie, Research Associate, Australian Homeland Security Research Centre, Monash University, Australia
"Dialectics in Social Thought provides a rigorous and valuable addition to recent social and political philosophy. Skoll's sustained survey and incorporation of seminal figures in the field includes not only the usual suspects, such as Marx and Simmel, but also the welcomed addition of other thinkers, such as Peirce, Freud, and Merleau-Ponty among others. His analysis goes beyond mere analysis to offer insightful evaluation of the contemporary scene. This work is a very fine contribution to the understanding and reconceptualization of the meaning of democracy in the twenty-first century." - David Boersema, Professor of Philosophy, Pacific University, USA
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