The Concept of the Social in Uniting the Humanities and Social Sciences

Mike Brown
Book Cover

PB: $30.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-1016-0
Publication: Jan 15

HC: $65.50
EAN: 978-1-4399-1015-3
Publication: Jun 14

Ebook: $30.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-1017-7

538 pages
6 x 9

How to reunify the humanities and social sciences

Read Chapter 1 (pdf).


In this book, Michael Brown provides original and critical analysis of the state of the social sciences and the humanities. He examines the different disciplines that address human affairs--from sociology, philosophy, political science, and anthropology to the humanities in general--to understand their common ground. He probes the ways in which we investigate the meaning of individuality in a society for which individuals are not the agents of the activities in which they participate, and he develops a critical method for studying the relations among activities, objects, and situations. The Concept of the Social in Uniting the Humanities and Social Sciences restores the centrality of sociality to all disciplines that provide for and depend on the social dimension of human life. Ultimately, he establishes a theory of the unity of the human sciences that will surely make readers rethink the current state and future of theory in those fields for years to come.

Table of Contents

Introduction: What Is Human about Human Affairs? I SocialIty: The Problem of Definition 1 The Urgency of Defining the Social 2 Society as a Basic Fact 3 Dependence and Autonomy 4 The Certainty of the Social as the Basic Fact 5 The Sociality of Agency 6 Models, Theory, and Theorizing 7 Theorizing 8 Historicism and Its Alternative 9 Social Facts, Situations, and Moral Stakes II Social Action 10 Can “the Social” Be a Proper Object of Theory? 11 Further Problems in Theorizing the Social 12 Social Action as Action 13 The Self of the Actor 14 Self and Situation 15 Self and Agency 16 Social Action Reconsidered III Subjects and Situations 17 Overview 18 Causes of Failure in the Social Sciences 19 Objects and Their Subjects 20 The Positive Sense of “Situation” 21 Practices, Situations, and Inter-subjectivity 22 Criticism, Inter-subjectivity, and Collective Enunciation 23 Criticism and Human Affairs 24 Collective Enunciation 25 Subjectivity and Objectivity 26 Summary, Reprise, and Transition Acknowledgments Notes References Index

About the Author(s)

Michael E. Brown is Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Northeastern University and former Professor of Sociology at Queens College and the Graduate School of the City University of New York. He is author of The Historiography of Communism (Temple), Collective Behavior, and The Production of Society as well as the coeditor New Studies in the Politics and Culture of U.S. Communism.