Anthony Giddens 's Theory And Theory Essay

Anthony Giddens 's Theory And Theory Essay

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Anthony Giddens, born in 1938 in London, held positions at The University of Leicester, Cambridge University and the London School of Economics as well as several visiting positions at universities in the United States. Giddens’ early academic work focused on re-conceptualizing classical theory, particularly Functionalism and Structuralism. Similar to Foucault, he took interest in politics later in life. Giddens is known for supporting third way politics, which is a shift from traditional left and right political policies and practices (Calhoun et al 2007: 219). He cofounded Polity Press, served as Director of the London School of Economics and acts as a political advisor in England (Ritzer 2010: 132).
Theory and Methodology
Giddens theory and methodology sparked works classified into three phases. He initially directed his research and theory to analyzing classical theory and conceiving modern interpretations as well as applications. Giddens next concentrated on Functionalism and Structuralism to develop a modern understanding of structure and individual agency. His final phase addresses modernity and politics, social life and personal life. Overall, Giddens’ methodology emphasizes classical theory and concepts in modern life. Consequences of Modernity is a work of the final phase (Calhoun et al 2007: 220-221).
Terms and Themes
The key term in Consequences of Modernity is “juggernaut of modernity”. The juggernaut is a metaphorical representation of how modern society proceeds from pre-modern society (Ritzer 2010: 130).. The juggernaut of modernity captures structuration and the modern relationship between society and structures. Capitalism and industry, for example, are societal structures built in part and...


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...dern society expanded and adapted. The component of adaptation best illustrates the importance and relevance of Giddens. He is a reformist, not a radical or anarchist. Classical theory still has a place, but the historical course of society did not result in the manner Marx or Weber predicted. Individuals do have agency in their social systems, and structures partially form upon and within the social systems (Ritzer 2010: 132). Problems arise from rationality, industry and capitalism; however all these concepts adapted overtime to correct some of the flaws inherent in them. Flaws and inconsistencies continue to rise and occur, but the relationship between structure and agency envisioned by Giddens in structuration allows for society and structures to shape each other simultaneously and adapt to new and old issues in rationalization, industry and capitalism.

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