The Blackwell Companion to Major Contemporary Social Theorists is a survey of contemporary social theory that focuses on the thinkers themselves. In original essays especially commissioned for this volume, leading experts and practitioners examine the life and work of 13 major theorists such as Elias, Baudrillard, Giddens, and Butler. Includes 13 original essays by leading scholars on major contemporary social theorists. Covers key figures such as Elias, Goffman, Foucault, Habermas, Giddens, Bourdieu, and Butler. Essays include biographical sketches, the social and intellectual context, and the impact of the thinker's work on social theory generally. Includes bibliographies of the theorist's most important works as well as key secondary works. Can be used in conjunction with The Blackwell Companion to Major Classical Social Theorists, edited by George Ritzer, for a complete reference source in social theory.