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Founders, Classics, Canons

Modern Disputes Over the Origins and Appraisal of Sociology's Heritage

By Peter Baehr, Steven Lukes (Foreword by)

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Format: Paperback, 310 pages, 2nd Revised edition Edition
Published In: United States, 30 December 2015
Founders, classics, and canons have been vitally important in helping to frame sociology's identity. Within the academy today, a number of positions-feminist, postmodernist, postcolonial-question the status of "tradition." In Founders, Classics, Canons, Peter Baehr defends the continuing importance of sociology's classics and traditions in a university education. Baehr offers arguments against interpreting, defending, and attacking sociology's great texts and authors in terms of founders and canons. He demonstrates why, in logical and historical terms, discourses and traditions cannot actually be "founded" and why the term "founder" has little explanatory content. Equally, he takes issue with the notion of "canon" and argues that the analogy between the theological canon and sociological classic texts, though seductive, is mistaken. Although he questions the uses to which the concepts of founder, classic, and canon have been put, Baehr is not dismissive. On the contrary, he seeks to understand the value and meaning these concepts have for the people who employ them in the cultural battle to affirm or attack the liberal university tradition.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements 1. Introduction 2. Founders of Discourse Introduction Founders: Discursive and Institutional; Deliberative and Appropriated Founders Foucault's Founders Wolin and "Epic Theory" Constitutions, Discourses, Founders Conclusion 3. Founders of Institutions Introduction The Social Context of Innovation Creativity, Reputation and Intellectual Networks The Shadow Group Revisited Institutional and Deliberative Founding: Durkheim and the Annee sociologique The Founder Idea: A Conjectural Genealogy Conclusion 4. The Utility, Rhetoric and Interpretation of Classic Texts Introduction A Definition of Classic Texts Classics in Common? The Uses of Classical Theory and The Discipline of Sociology Rhetoric in the Classical Tradition Understanding Classic Texts Presentism The Historicist Critique and Alternative Objections to Historicism Conclusion 5. Classicality: Criteria and Reception Introduction The Stratification of Classic Texts "Criteria" of Classicality? Classics and Their "Reception" Classic Reception, Classic Formation The Classics, Gender and Sexuality Excursus on Classic Appraisal in Sociology and The Arts Conclusion 6. Canons Introduction "Canon" in Current Social Theory: Usages and Appraisals Conflicting Terminologies The Christian Canon and the Classics of Sociology Significance of the Canon Debate: The Controversy Over Higher Education and the Purpose of the University The University and the Jargon of "Relevance" Conclusion 7. A Concluding Look at the Three Concepts 183 Appendix on Translation and Reception: The "Iron Cage" and the "Shell of Steel." Parsons, Weber and the stahlhartes Gehause metaphor in The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Bibliography Index

About the Author

Peter Baehr is professor and head of the department of sociology and social policy at Lingnan University, Hong Kong as well as a fellow of the Center for Asian Pacific Studies. His books include Hannah Arendt, Totalitarianism, and the Social Sciences: Critical Encounters; Founders, Classics, Canons: Modern Disputes on the Origins and Appraisal of Sociology's Heritage; and Caesar and the Fading of the Roman World.

Reviews

-In this stunning work of disambiguation, Peter Baehr attains some remarkable clarities on the nature of classics (founders, canons) in social theory. It stands to reduce a good deal of pointless noise about these foundational questions.- --Donald N. Levine, Peter B. Ritzma Professor of Sociology, University of Chicago "In this stunning work of disambiguation, Peter Baehr attains some remarkable clarities on the nature of classics (founders, canons) in social theory. It stands to reduce a good deal of pointless noise about these foundational questions." --Donald N. Levine, Peter B. Ritzma Professor of Sociology, University of Chicago "In this stunning work of disambiguation, Peter Baehr attains some remarkable clarities on the nature of classics (founders, canons) in social theory. It stands to reduce a good deal of pointless noise about these foundational questions." --Donald N. Levine, Peter B. Ritzma Professor of Sociology, University of Chicago

EAN: 9781412857055
ISBN: 1412857058
Publisher: Transaction Publishers
Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.8 centimetres (0.52 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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