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 thirteen major theorists. Contributors discuss the social and intellectual context of the theorists' writings, and offer an analysis of their impact over time. Each chapter balances systematic treatment of a particular theorist with personal interpretations of the theorist's work. For the student, scholar, or practitioner this Companion is an indispensable resource and reference to the life and times of the thinkers who have tried to make sense of our social surroundings.