Anthony Elliot’s book covers a broad range of social theories down through history from Marx, Weber and Freud, through Marcuse, Levi Straus, feminism and more. So, I recognized it encompasses a lot. I looked for a branch to perch on to try to survey the book’s material and try to digest some of it. It surely is a “full meal deal.”
Close to the beginning of the book, Elliot helps with the digestive process by introducing Natalie. She is the product of many societies. To begin with, she was born of Taiwanese immigrant parents; spent her childhood in Brooklyn; presently resides and works in London; frequently travels between London and Paris, and visits her boyfriend in Finland as well.
So we see that Natalie is the product of multiple social influences. However, even being influenced by so many social cultures, she still manages to fit in well in all her worlds.
I appreciate how Elliot is able to weave together so many different aspects of social theory. He writes about psychoanalysis, feminism and even clever theories like McDonaldization. In addition, he explains how our social theories have been impacted by things like globalization, the attack on 9/11 and the internet. The book seems to have been written for those who to want to know why social theory is so important to understanding our world today. It has allowed me to reflect on my own social influences including my many travels; and to see how I too was affected by social theories to be successful.
I’ve traveled to many foreign lands for many different reasons, from going with the military and traveling for educational reasons, to taking several mission trips. When I traveled to these countries, sometimes I was oriented beforehand about what to expect and how to interact with the culture. Other times, I had to learn about the societal expectations by watching the country’s residents and asking questions. Elliot’s book has added to my understanding of how I can live in these societies including my own, and what I am expected to do. I truly believe this book will help me in my quest for global leadership and being an ambassador for Christ.