The Concept of the Social in Uniting the Humanities and Social Sciences

The Concept of the Social in Uniting the Humanities and Social Sciences

by Michael E. Brown


View All Available Formats & Editions
Members save with free shipping everyday! 
See details


In this book, Michael Brown provides original and critical analysis of the state of the social sciences and the humanities. He examines the different disciplines that address human affairs--from sociology, philosophy, political science, and anthropology to the humanities in general--to understand their common ground. He probes the ways in which we investigate the meaning of individuality in a society for which individuals are not the agents of the activities in which they participate, and he develops a critical method for studying the relations among activities, objects, and situations.

The Concept of the Social in Uniting the Humanities and Social Sciences restores the centrality of sociality to all disciplines that provide for and depend on the social dimension of human life. Ultimately, he establishes a theory of the unity of the human sciences that will surely make readers rethink the current state and future of theory in those fields for years to come.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781439910160
Publisher: Temple University Press
Publication date: 02/01/2015
Pages: 538
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.80(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Michael E. Brown is Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Northeastern University and former Professor of Sociology at Queens College and the Graduate School of the City University of New York. He is author of The Historiography of Communism, Collective Behavior (with Amy Goldman) and The Production of Society as well as New Studies in the Politics and Culture of U.S. Communism, which he co-edited with Randy Martin, Frank Rosengarten and George Snedeker.

Table of Contents

Introduction: What Is Human about Human Affairs?

I SocialIty: The Problem of Definition

1 The Urgency of Defining the Social
2 Society as a Basic Fact
3 Dependence and Autonomy
4 The Certainty of the Social as the Basic Fact
5 The Sociality of Agency
6 Models, Theory, and Theorizing
7 Theorizing
8 Historicism and Its Alternative
9 Social Facts, Situations, and Moral Stakes

II Social Action

10 Can “the Social” Be a Proper Object of Theory?
11 Further Problems in Theorizing the Social
12 Social Action as Action
13 The Self of the Actor
14 Self and Situation
15 Self and Agency
16 Social Action Reconsidered

III Subjects and Situations

17 Overview
18 Causes of Failure in the Social Sciences
19 Objects and Their Subjects
20 The Positive Sense of “Situation”
21 Practices, Situations, and Inter-subjectivity
22 Criticism, Inter-subjectivity, and Collective Enunciation
23 Criticism and Human Affairs
24 Collective Enunciation
25 Subjectivity and Objectivity
26 Summary, Reprise, and Transition


Customer Reviews