Anthony Giddens has been in the forefront of developments in social theory for the past decade. In The Constitution of Society he outlines the distinctive position he has evolved during that period and offers a full statement of a major new perspective in social thought, a synthesis and elaboration of ideas touched on in previous works but described here for the first time in an integrated and comprehensive form. A particular feature is Giddens s concern to connect abstract problems of theory to an interpretation of the nature of empirical method in the social sciences. In presenting his own ideas, Giddens mounts a critical attack on some of the more orthodox sociological views. The Constitution of Society is an invaluable reference book for all those concerned with the basic issues in contemporary social theory.
It is likely that this book will be regarded as the most important piece of grand sociological theory in English of the past decade. Mark Poster, University of California This book will take its place alongside such major statements of sociological theory as those of Parsons and Habermas. Anyone interested in the state of the social sciences today, the character of social theory or the relevance of philosophy to social theory will now find it essential to grapple with Giddens s bold and incisive book. Richard Bernstein, Haverford College, USA Anthony Giddens s new book is the fullest presentation yet of his theoretical views ... it has the lean, sparse, utterly serious, craftsmanlike qualities we have learned to expect from its author and which make it a real pleasure to read. Donnis Wrong, Times Higher Education Supplement