In this comprehensive and clear introduction to contemporary social theory, Anthony Elliott and Charles Lemert explore the major theoretical traditions from the Frankfurt School to the digital revolution and beyond. Fully revised and updated, this second edition has been expanded to consider the most recent developments in social theory, including a new chapter on the digital revolution and the increasingly significant impact of technological developments (such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics) on society, culture, and politics.

Introduction to Contemporary Social Theory provides the reader with a superb overview of key developments in social theory, including the Frankfurt School, American pragmatism, structuralism, post-structuralism, feminism, globalization and world-systems theory. In doing so, the textbook explores the ideas of a wide range of social theorists, including Theodor Adorno, Herbert Marcuse, Talcott Parsons, Erving Goffman, Harold Garfinkel, Michel Foucault, Jacques Lacan, Jacques Derrida, C. Wright Mills, Anthony Giddens, Pierre Bourdieu, Julia Kristeva, Jürgen Habermas, Judith Butler, Slavoj Žižek, Manuel Castells, Cornel West, Immanuel Wallerstein and Zygmunt Bauman.

This textbook provides stylish exposition with powerful social critique and original insights. It will be indispensable to students and academics alike.

1. The textures of society  2. The contemporary relevance of the classics  3. The Frankfurt School  4. American pragmatisms  5. Structuralism  6. Structures, functions and culture  7. Post-structuralism  8. The interaction order  9. Theories of structuration  10. Variations on the theory of power and knowledge  11. Contemporary critical theory  12. Feminism and post-feminist theory  13. Postmodernity  14. Social movements, states and the modern world-system  15. Networks, risks, liquids  16. Globalization  17. The digital revolution: Posthumanism and beyond  18. Afterword