Who is Anthony Giddens?December 13, 2020
Anthony Giddens, (Baron Giddens, born 18 January 1938), British sociologist.
Born in London, Giddens Edmonton, he grew up in a middle-class family, the son of a London Transport clerk. He was the first in his family to attend university. He received his undergraduate degree from Hull University in 1959, then a master’s degree from the London School of Economics, followed by a PhD from Cambridge University in 1974. In 1961 he started working at the University of Leicester where he taught community psychology.
In Leicester, one of the development sites of British sociology, he met Norbert Elias and began to establish his own theoretical position. In 1969, he was appointed to a position at Cambridge University where he helped form the Committee for Social and Political Science (SPS), which would become a subdivision of the Faculty of Economics.
Giddens is one of the world’s most famous and productive professors of sociology. He was the chair of sociology at Cambridge University in Great Britain. He has many works on modernity and postmodernity. It is particularly popular in academic circles that are anglo-saxon. Defending that the central problems of modern social theory derive from an opposition established between action and structure and propose a solution to this with the concept of structuration, Anthony Giddens’s theory of structuration has been met with widespread interest and discussed among sociologists and political scientists. In recent years, he has written a series of books on the nature of modernity and the dimension it brings to human relations.
He is known for his holistic views on structuration theory and modern societies. He is one of the most important modern scientists in the field of sociology. He is an author who has published more than one book a year, with more than 34 books published in 29 languages. He is Britain’s best-known social scientist after John Maynard Keynes.
Three important stages can be determined in his academic life:
The first is the part based on a reinterpretation of the classics, revealing a theoretical and methodological understanding of sociology, containing a new horizon of what sociology is. Major works of this period are Capitalism and Modern Social Theory (1971) and New Rules of the Sociological Method (1976).
In the second phase, Giddens developed the theory of structuring without prioritizing either of them, an analysis of the agency and the structure. His works from this period, such as Central Issues in Social Theory (1979) and the Making of Society (1984), brought him international fame in the sociological arena.
The last period, on the other hand, is modernity, globalization and politics, especially the impact of modernity on social life and individual life.This period is his criticism of postmodernity and the Results of Modernity (1990), Modernity and Identity (1991), Transformation of Sincerity (1992), Beyond the Left and the Right (1994). ) and Third Way: The Renewal of Social Democracy (1998), which can be seen in the “utopian realist” third way debates in politics.
Compiled by: Sociologist Ömer Yıldırım
Source: Atatürk University Department of Sociology 1st Year “Introduction to Sociology” and 3rd Grade “History of Contemporary Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM)