Recapturing Marxism: An Appraisal of Recent Trends in Sociological Theory

Recapturing Marxism: An Appraisal of Recent Trends in Sociological Theory

Recapturing Marxism: An Appraisal of Recent Trends in Sociological Theory

Recapturing Marxism: An Appraisal of Recent Trends in Sociological Theory

Synopsis

Acknowledgments Preface Introduction: Marxism, Neo-Marxism, and American Sociology by Rhonda F. Levine and Jerry Lembcke Crisis and Vitalization: An Interpretive Essay on Marxist Theory by Albert Szymanski New Classes and Old Theories: The Impasse of Contemporary Class Analysis by Peter Meiksins Class and Class Capacities: A Problem of Organizational Efficacy by Jerry Lembcke Bringing Classes Back In: State Theory and Theories of the State by Rhonda F. Levine The Limits of the World-System Perspective by Alex Dupuy and Barry Truchil Race, Ethnicity and Class by James A. Geschwender Recent Ideological Tendencies in Urban and Regional Research: Neo-Liberalism and Social Democracy by Richard Peet Behind the Veil of Neutrality: Hegemony in the Academic Marketplace by Peter Seybold Feminism: A Marxist Critique by Albert Szymanski Thinking About Social Class: Structure, Organization, and Consciousness by Scott G. McNall List of Contributors

Excerpt

In an unpublished paper written shortly before his death, Al Szymanski wrote, "The future prospects for a rebirth of . . . imaginative Marxist theory are thus great. . . . As difficult as it might be in the absence of significant mass movements when we are facing strong counter currents wherever we turn . . . we must keep the seed grain from rotting." Al Szymanski's persistence in the attempt not only to keep Marxism alive, but to further the Marxian project within U.S. social science, was an inspiration to many of us.

The present book was originally envisioned by Al Szymanski and is intended to provide a general critique of the state of sociology in the 1980s. Szymanski's untimely death left the manuscript unfinished. the selection of essays presented in this volume reflects the spirit of Szymanski's concern for the direction of Marxist sociology in the 1980s and his commitment, shared by the editors, to advance the application of Marxist theory to contemporary concerns. More likely than not, Szymanski would have had some disagreements with issues raised in the essays that follow. But no doubt he would have welcomed the arena for continued debate in areas such as class analysis, liberation movements, race and class, and large-scale social change -- specifically the transition to socialism.

As a teacher, colleague, friend, and comrade, Al Szymanski left a legacy of commitment and dedication to applying Marxist theory to concrete circumstances. Through his prolific writings, his role in the creation and continued production of The Insurgent Sociologist, his teaching efforts -- both in the classroom and at the Insurgent table at asa meetings -- Al Szymanski played a central role in radicalizing U.S. sociology. His professional and academic work, however, did not take Szymanski away from political activism. Al Szymanski never faltered in combining a Marxist theoretical framework with political action. No one could ever accuse Szymanski of being an armchair Marxist. It is to this memory of Al Szymanski that we dedicate this book.

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