Elliott, the author and sociology professor, confessed in the beginning that this book represents his argument supporting a contemporary social theory. He proposed social theory was “a resourceful, high-powered and interdisciplinary project of the social sciences and humanities, on the one hand, and an urgent critique of ideological thought and the discourses of reason, freedom, truth, subjectivity, culture and politics, on the other hand” (11). In the book, he covered the structuralism, modernity, postmodernism, globalization, feminism, and more. Elliott (97) , under “the limits of structuralism, express Foucault’s views on Sexuality, writes each person has the duty to know who he is…know what’s happening inside of himself, acknowledge faults, recognize temptation, to locate desires.” He describes “modernity as the answer to when there is a contrast with tradition” (20). Whereas postmodernism is viewed as “schizoid desire, simulated media culture, global capitalist transformation, and liquid sociality”(257) , which has brought forth change – feminism, gay rights, etc.
His research directed him to five social theory themes. They are:
- The “relation between society and social structure”(11 ),
- Hold of values or norms which agree dominant in society (13),
- Social change in everyday life – globalization, technology, etc. (14),
- Gender issues – feminism, sexuality, etc. (14), and
- Relation between social and emotional, public and private worlds (15)
To support his point, Elliott included the writings on social theory by authors: Anthony Giddins, Zygmunt Bauman, Jurgen Habermas. An article entitled, “Five Contemporary Theorist of Modernity,” shared by Supriya Guru, as well discussed the views of authors: Anthony Giddins, Zygmunt Bauman, and Jurgen Habermas on industrialism rather than socialism. The article addresses the social theory stating, “there are a good number of sociologists working to develop this viable theory that modernity goes beyond Industrialization.” Both the book and the article reference McDonalization, and its impact on industrialism and social society. The article stated that “Modernity, according to Ritzer, is rationality. It is the prime characteristic of contemporary society. McDonaldization is an example of hyper-rationality. Credit card and fast food are also examples of hyper-rationality. …” Elliott (24), states that McDonaldization is globalization, the process by which the principles of the fast-food restaurant are coming to dominate more and more sectors of American society.” McDonald’s has changed the way society accept fast food through their handling of “efficiency, calculability, predictability, and control” (36). I must admit that my young grandson and I are avid supporters of McDonalds. I sent him a picture of McDonalds in London.
In addressing how the industries affect traditions, he states, “Postmodernism was the answer to an unstoppable universal consumerism” (253). It “consists in profound social transformations associated with the transcendence of the modern” (286). He “labeled it as schizoid desire, simulated media culture, global capitalist transformation, and liquid sociality” (253).
History documents society’s transition from years of oppression of minorities having little to no rights to having civil rights, women having gender equality, and sexual orientation receiving acknowledgment. In, addition, there are animal rights and immigration rights.
Our social and industrial culture transforms quickly in the technology area. The cell phones and computers are forever evolving. Society demanding my GB, faster Ram memory, games, emails, and globalization. The industry is trying to maintain quality, sustain the desires of social needs and predict the universal consumerism needs. Society has moved from making a meal at home to microwave and fast foods. We have transformed computers as a written communication to included visual communication. Have you realized we are in the Jetson’s culture? The Jetson animated cartoon has a major impacted our technology. Their lives included, rocket backpack, moving stairs, microwave, video watch, virtual communication, elevators, and robots cleaning homes.
Christianity has experienced transitions from tradition to radical, scandalous worship. Traditional church buildings with the church bells, hanging Jesus, baptism pools, and alter tables, no longer but large auditoriums with some resembling sports arenas with no reference to Christian artifacts. Traditional worship service songs: hymns, spirituals, and gospel by choirs transitioned to contemporary, praise and worship by praise teams. Ministers were wearing robes to preach transitioned to wearing jeans. Many traditional Christians challenged the new ways of worship having no scriptural base as in the earlier years when the organ, guitars, and drums were introduced to the church.
Postmodernism seems to be radical when first introduced, but as quickly as our society advances to meet the universal consumerism, it is then viewed as modernism.
 Supriya Guru, “5 Contemporary Theorist of Modernity.” Your Article Library. Accessed November 2, 2016. http://www.yourarticlelibrary.com/sociology/5-contemporary-theorists-of-modernity-who-are-defining-modernity-clearly/39835/