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Influenced by Thomas Kuhn's work on paradigm shifts in the social sciences, this overview of contemporary theory identifies major themes, charts the impact of social change on theories, acquaints readers with a sample of individual theorists (the ""transitional giants"" who shaped contemporary theories), explores the impact of contemporary theories on various areas of sociology, and traces how the great social theories of the past are being reinterpreted and incorporated into new theories. The result is an original interpretation of the important role that theory plays both in the real world and in the shaping of an academic discipline.
Black Hawk Hancock is Assistant Professor of Sociology at DePaul University in Chicago. He is currently working on a book on the cultural and racial politics of the social world of dance.
Roberta Garner is Professor of Sociology at DePaul University in Chicago. She is co-editor of The New Chicago: A Social and Cultural Analysis (Temple University Press, 2006), and author of Contemporary Movements and Ideologies (McGraw-Hill, 1996) and Social Theory: Continuity and Confrontation, A Reader (University of Toronto Press, 2007).