Alvin W. Gouldner (1920-1980) was a leading sociologist of his era who provided groundbreaking analyses in the areas of industrial sociology, critical sociological theory, ideology, reciprocity, and class analysis. Even as a self-avowed radical sociologist, Gouldner was unable to maintain allegiance to any particular theorist or theoretical school, for doing so could lead to theory becoming blind partisanship leading to unreflective and sometimes destructive practices (e.g., the problem of the communist dictator). In
Confronting Gouldner James J. Chriss confronts the larger issue of the place of critical theory, and specifically Marxism, in framing the perspective of sociology as political activism. Through this confrontation with Gouldner, the author explores the implications of critical theory as it relates to social justice, marriage and family, religion, political activism, public sociology, and deviance and crime.