Chapter 1: Introduction: theories of modern societies
Full access

The initial chapter covers a genealogy of social scientific theories of modern society. The very idea of society now an essential cognitive tool of social science can be traced to the philosophers of the Scottish and French Enlightenment. The architecture of theories of modern society begins is based in the logic of the mainstream perspective. The era of the intellectual dominance of the classical perspective of modern society coincides with dramatic and unprecedented enhancement in the standard of life and life expectancy of humankind, virtually overnight, in much of the industrial world. Earlier, and for a long time, during the so-called Malthusian period, much of human life was as Thomas Hobbes noted, nasty, brutish and short.