The Future of Society

Front Cover
Wiley, Feb 17, 2006 - Political Science - 174 pages
2 Reviews
Is the notion of society obsolete?


To answer this question, leading social theorist William Outhwaite first considers various critiques of the concept that have dominated recent debate, including the arguments of:



  • Neo-liberals, who deny society's existence
  • Postmodernists, who argue that it has fragmented or dissolved
  • Globalization theorists, who claim that it cannot survive the demise of the nation-state.


Outhwaite takes a sympathetic look at these current theoretical trends, using them to explain why we have lost confidence in the concept of society. He argues, however, that we do still need the concept in order to make sense of the forces which structure our lives.


Part of the prestigious Blackwell Manifestos series, this important book goes to the heart of contemporary social and political debate.

What people are saying - Write a review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

social management

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2006)

William Outhwaite is Professor of Sociology at the University of Sussex. His previous publications include Habermas: A Critical Introduction (1994), New Philosophies of Social Science (1987), and Understanding Social Life (Second Edition, 1986). He is co-author of Social Theory and Postcommunism (Blackwell, 2004), editor of The Blackwell Dictionary of Modern Social Thought (2002) and The Habermas Reader (1996), and co-editor of The Sociology of Politics (1998).

Bibliographic information