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Why Current Affairs Needs Social Theory


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About the Author

Rob Stones is Professor of Sociology in the School of Social Sciences and Psychology, University of Western Sydney. He is the editor of two book series on social theory, Traditions in Social Theory and Themes in Social Theory, and his own books include Structuration Theory (2005), and the edited volume Key Sociological Thinkers (3rd edition, 2015).


"This is a fascinating book that operates at three levels. First it is a study of the social construction of news and current affairs. Secondly, it uses social theory to help us understand how the debasement of news and current affairs can be corrected. Thirdly, it illuminates the public value of social theory, and its ethical and political usefulness in the 21st century. I have argued that we need a new kind of social science to equip us to deal with the complex and profound problems facing the future of humankind in the 21st century, and that it is necessary for sub-fields and disciplines within the new public social science to locate their relevance and celebrate their public value. Rob Stones has done a wonderful job in showing why social theory is important in its own right, what it contributes to the ethical enrichment and value purpose of social science, and how it helps us understand features of contemporary social life." --John Brewer, author of The Public Value of the Social Sciences (Bloomsbury, 2013), Queen's University Belfast, UK "Like Gramsci, Rob Stones is concerned to distinguish common sense from good sense. He believes it is social theory that makes the difference. With theory, people can employ good sense reading about current affairs. This is a deeply sophisticated, original, and ambitious book." --Jeffrey C. Alexander, Professor of Sociology, Yale University, USA "Rob Stones has written an outstanding book illustrating the centrality of social theory to understanding the world around us. It should be read by all social scientists, as it demonstrates how theory illuminates the world and helps to explain the everyday. It is a Sociological Imagination for the 21st century." --Martin Smith, Professor of Politics, University of York, UK

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