Contemporary Sociological Theory is an atypical book, in that it is the expression of a sociology that is oriented toward praxis as well as being active. It combines rigorous research with facts, including the intention for a dialogical utopia. Is something like this possible? – the professional sociologist asks, smiling mockingly, denying the possibility. But this broad intention is presented in the book, joining theory with critique and empirical research with praxis, in such a charming way that it grabs its readers and captures them under its spell.
To whom is this book addressed? Clearly it is to sociology students, but it also has the objective of reaching those who do not plan on studying sociology. It is especially appropriate for social movements, which the book tries to involve in a theoretical dialogue, to be used to strengthen their daily struggles. If it were true that social movements need more theory in order to increase their capacity for political action, this book would imply an essential conclusion to this end. (From the Preface by Ulrich Beck)