Social theory is a crucial resource for the social sciences. It provides rich insights into how human beings think and act and how contemporary social life is constructed. But often the key ideas of social theorists are expressed in highly technical and difficult language that can hide more than it reveals. The new edition of this popular book continues to cut to the core of what social theory is about. Covering key themes from the classical thinkers onwards, including Marxism, post-structuralism, phenomenology, feminism and more, the second edition features a new chapter on Actor-Network Theory and enhanced discussion of postcolonial theory. Wide ranging in scope and coverage, the book is concise in presentation and free from jargon. Showing why social theory matters, and why it is of far-reaching social and political importance, the book is ideal for readers seeking a clear, crisp mapping of a complex but very rewarding area.