Hardback - £111.00

Publication date:

09 December 2003

Length of book:

328 pages


Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

ISBN-13: 9780742527102

The discipline of sociology was born-and has been recurrently reconstituted-in response to the fragmentation of ideas about the social world. For two centuries, sociologists have sought refuge in "synthesis:" programs designed to integrate multiple perspectives within a unifying framework. Yet even as this cause has inspired many of the discipline's major thinkers, past and present, its objective has proven elusive, leaving nearly as many syntheses as synthesizers. This volume considers an alternative response that has recently developed within sociology to the crisis of intellectual fragmentation: "the dialogical turn." Rather than decry the multiplicity of social theories, research methods, and results, this response welcomes a plurality of orientations and approaches as the essential basis for establishing and maintaining productive dialogue.

Examining this exciting development, The Dialogical Turn builds on the ideas of Donald N. Levine, whose extensive writings on the forms and functions of intellectual dialogue provide the point of departure for twelve original essays. Written by an internationally renowned group of scholars, these innovative chapters explore the dialogical possibilities for sociology both constructively and critically. The contributors assess the role of sociology in the conversation across contemporary academic disciplines, exploring the fundamental structural and conceptual reconstructions now taking place in sociology and neighboring fields.