Many commentators have noted the fertile new intellectual period Critique of Modernity opened up in the social theory of Alain Touraine, but until now its innovations have not been the subject of a sustained analysis. This work locates the wellsprings of Touraine’s renewed interpretive power in an implicit and unfinished, but unmistakable ‘hermeneutical turn.’ To deepen and extend his potent but only partly developed insights, the second part of the book develops his hermeneutical premises more explicitly, through a dialogue with the hermeneutical philosophy of Paul Ricoeur. The outcome is a critical hermeneutics of the subject, which opens new possibilities for theorising human agency and social creativity, and renews the project of critical theory.
Glenda Ballantyne, Ph.d. (2001) in Sociology, La Trobe University, is Lecturer in Sociology at Swinburne University of Technology, Lilydale. Her research interests include social theory, social movements, multiple modernities, historical sociology, cultural diversity, agency, identity and subjectivity and, hermeneutics.
All those interested in the work of Alain Touraine and Paul Ricoeur, contemporary social theory, critical theory, historical sociology and hermeneutics, and theories of modernity, subjectivity, action and social movements.