The Centrality of Sociality

ISBN: 978-1-80262-362-8, eISBN: 978-1-80262-361-1

ISSN: 0278-1204

Publication date: 12 December 2022


(2022), "Prelims", Halley, J.A. and Dahms, H.F. (Ed.) The Centrality of Sociality (Current Perspectives in Social Theory, Vol. 39), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. i-xv.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023 by Emerald Publishing Limited

Half Title Page

The Centrality of Sociality

Series Title Page

Current Perspectives in Social Theory

Series Editor: Harry F. Dahms

Previous Volumes:

Volume 1: 1980, Edited by Scott G. McNall and Garry N. Howe
Volume 2: 1981, Edited by Scott G. McNall and Garry N. Howe
Volume 3: 1982, Edited by Scott G. McNall
Volume 4: 1983, Edited by Scott G. McNall
Volume 5: 1984, Edited by Scott G. McNall
Volume 6: 1985, Edited by Scott G. McNall
Volume 7: 1986, Edited by John Wilson
Volume 8: 1987, Edited by John Wilson
Volume 9: 1989, Edited by John Wilson
Volume 10: 1990, Edited by John Wilson
Volume 11: 1991, Edited by Ben Agger
Volume 12: 1992, Edited by Ben Agger
Volume 13: 1993, Edited by Ben Agger
Volume 14: 1994, Edited by Ben Agger Supplement 1: Recent Developments in the Theory of Social Structure, 1994, Edited by J. David Knottnerus and Christopher Prendergast
Volume 15: 1995, Edited by Ben Agger
Volume 16: 1996, Edited by Jennifer M. Lehmann
Volume 17: 1997, Edited by Jennifer M. Lehmann
Volume 18: 1998, Edited by Jennifer M. Lehmann
Volume 19: 1999, Edited by Jennifer M. Lehmann
Volume 20: 2000, Edited by Jennifer M. Lehmann
Volume 21: Bringing Capitalism Back for Critique by Social Theory, 2001, Edited by Jennifer M. Lehmann
Volume 22: Critical Theory: Diverse Objects, Diverse Subjects, 2003, Edited by Jennifer M. Lehmann
Volume 23: Social Theory as Politics in Knowledge, 2005, Edited by Jennifer M. Lehmann
Volume 24: Globalization Between the Cold War and Neo-Imperialism, 2006, Edited by Jennifer M. Lehmann and Harry F. Dahms
Volume 25: No Social Science Without Critical Theory, 2008, Edited by Harry F. Dahms
Volume 26: Nature, Knowledge and Negation, 2009, Edited by Harry F. Dahms
Volume 27: Theorizing the Dynamics of Social Processes, 2010, Edited by Harry F. Dahms and Lawrence Hazelrigg
Volume 28: The Vitality of Critical Theory, 2011, by Harry F. Dahms
Volume 29: The Diversity of Social Theories, 2011, Edited by Harry F. Dahms
Volume 30: Theorizing Modern Society as a Dynamic Process, 2012, Edited by Harry F. Dahms and Lawrence Hazelrigg
Volume 31: Social Theories of History and Histories of Social Theory, 2013, Edited by Harry F. Dahms
Volume 32 Mediations of Social Life in the 21st Century, Edited by Harry F. Dahms
Volume 33 Globalization, Critique and Social Theory: Diagnoses and Challenges, Edited by Harry F. Dahms
Volume 34 States and Citizens: Accommodation, Facilitation and Resistance to Globalization, Edited by Jon Shefner
Volume 35 Reconstructing Social History, Theory, and Practice, Edited by Harry F. Dahms and Eric R. Lybeck
Volume 36 The Challenge of Progress, Edited by Harry F. Dahms
Volume 37 Society in Flux: Two Centuries of Social Theory, Edited by Harry F. Dahms
Volume 38 Mad Hazard: A Life in Social Theory, by Stephen Turner

Editorial Advisory Board


  • Harry F. Dahms

  • University of Tennessee (Sociology)

Associate Editors

  • Robert J. Antonio

  • University of Kansas (Sociology)

  • Lawrence Hazelrigg

  • Florida State University (Sociology)

  • Timothy Luke

  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Political Science)

Editorial Board

  • Sarah Amsler

  • University of Lincoln (Educational Research and Development)

  • Kevin B. Anderson

  • University of California, Santa Barbara (Sociology)

  • Stanley Aronowitz

  • City University of New York – Graduate Center (Sociology)

  • Molefi Kete Asante

  • Temple University (African-American Studies)

  • David Ashley

  • University of Wyoming (Sociology)

  • Robin Celikates

  • University of Amsterdam (Philosophy)

  • Norman K. Denzin

  • University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign (Sociology)

  • Arnold Farr

  • University of Kentucky (Philosophy)

  • Nancy Fraser

  • New School for Social Research (Political Science)

  • Martha Gimenez

  • University of Colorado – Boulder (Sociology)

  • Robert Goldman

  • Lewis and Clark College (Sociology and Anthropology)

  • Mark Gottdiener

  • State University of New York at Buffalo (Sociology)

  • Douglas Kellner

  • University of California – Los Angeles (Philosophy)

  • Daniel Krier

  • Iowa State University (Sociology)

  • Lauren Langman

  • Loyola University (Sociology)

  • Eric R. Lybeck

  • University of Exeter (Sociology)

  • John O'Neill

  • York University (Sociology)

  • Paul Paolucci

  • Eastern Kentucky University (Sociology)

  • Lawrence Scaff

  • Wayne State University (Political Science)

  • Steven Seidman

  • State University of New York at Albany (Sociology)

  • Helmut Staubmann

  • Leopold Franzens University, Innsbruck (Sociology)

  • Alexander Stoner

  • Salisbury University (Sociology)

  • Stephen Turner

  • The University of South Florida (Philosophy)

Title Page

Current Perspectives in Social Theory Volume 39

The Centrality of Sociality: Responses to Michael E. Brown's The Concept of the Social in Uniting the Social Sciences and the Humanities

Edited By

Jeffrey A. Halley

The University of Texas at San Antonio, USA


Harry F. Dahms

The University of Tennessee, USA

United Kingdom – North America – Japan – India – Malaysia – China

Copyright Page

Emerald Publishing Limited

Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley BD16 1WA, UK

First edition 2023

Copyright © 2023 by Emerald Publishing Limited.

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No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without either the prior written permission of the publisher or a licence permitting restricted copying issued in the UK by The Copyright Licensing Agency and in the USA by The Copyright Clearance Center. Any opinions expressed in the chapters are those of the authors. Whilst Emerald makes every effort to ensure the quality and accuracy of its content, Emerald makes no representation implied or otherwise, as to the chapters' suitability and application and disclaims any warranties, express or implied, to their use.

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

ISBN: 978-1-80262-362-8 (Print)

ISBN: 978-1-80262-361-1 (Online)

ISBN: 978-1-80262-363-5 (Epub)

ISSN: 0278-1204 (Series)


Jeffrey Halley dedicates this book to his wife and love, Jeanne Halley, October 7, 1944–July 28, 2022, in remembrance of her encouragement, critical comments, and devotion during their life together.

About the Contributors

Roslyn Wallach Bologh, Professor of Sociology and Director of the MA in Liberal Studies Program at CSI, CUNY, has authored Love or Greatness, Max Weber and Masculine Thinking; also Dialectical Phenomenology, Marx's Method; and published “The Missing Element in Piketty's Work” in L. Langman and D. Smith (Eds).

Michael E. Brown is Professor Emeritus at Queens College of CUNY, and Northeastern University. Among his books are the following: Collective Behavior (with Amy Goldin) The Production of Society, The Historiography of Communism, and The Concept of the Social in Uniting the Humanities and the Social Sciences.

Harry F. Dahms is Professor of Sociology, Co-director of the Center for the Study of Social Justice, and Co-chair of the Committee of Social Theory at The University of Tennessee–Knoxville, Director of the International Social Theory Consortium, and Editor of Current Perspectives in Social Theory. He is the author of The Vitality of Critical Theory (2011) and editor and coeditor of several volumes and special issues of journals. Among his current projects are Modern Society as Artifice: Critical Theory and the Logic of Capital (Routledge) and a volume in this series on planetary sociology.

Allen Dunn is Professor of English at the University of Tennessee. With Alan Singer, he edited Literary Aesthetics: A Reader, and with Tom Haddox, The Limits of Literary History. Some of his most recent articles have appeared in The Wallace Stevens Journal and Criticism After Critique, edited by Jeffrey Di Leo.

Jean-Louis Fabiani is Professor of Sociology at Central European University (Vienna) and Director of its Center of Religious Studies. He is the author of Pierre Bourdieu: A Heroic Structuralism (Boston/Leyden, Brill, 2021).

Jeffrey A. Halley is Professor Emeritus at The University of Texas at San Antonio and Editor, with Daglind Sonolet, of Bourdieu in Question: New Directions in French Sociology of Art. Leiden/Boston: Brill. 2017; with Ilaria Riccioni, “Performance as Social Resistance: Pussy Riot as a Feminist Avant-garde,” Theory, Culture & Society, 38(7–8) 2021.

Peter K. Manning is Senior Fellow at The Garfinkel Archive. He previously held the Brooks Chair in the College of Criminal Justice, Northeastern University, Boston, MA. His research interests include the rationalizing and interplay of private and public policing, democratic policing, crime mapping, crime analysis, information technology, and qualitative methods.

Michael W. Raphael specializes in cognitive sociology at the City University of New York. His work focuses on how cognition and interaction sustain social ordering. His primary research interest is in the context of human and machine problem-solving in organizational settings and its binding of interaction and structure. He pursues this interest in the context of legal decision-making and its interplay with the overall division of labor. Raphael’s research is featured in Visual Studies, the Culture & Cognition Network, and Oxford University Press.

Ilaria Riccioni is a tenured researcher of Sociology at the Free University of Bolzano-Bozen, Italy. Recent publications include Riccioni I. (ed.), Theater(s) and Public Sphere in a Global and Digital Society. Vols. 1–2 (Brill, 2022); Riccioni I., Futurism: Anticipating Postmodernism. A Sociological Essay on Avant-Garde Art and Society (Mimesis International 2019).

Daglind E. Sonolet has a PhD in History of Philosophy, University of Paris X, and in German History of Ideas, Sorbonne, Paris I. Her books include Günther Anders: phénoménologue de la technique (Presses Universitaires de Bordeaux, 2006), and with Jeffrey A. Halley, Bourdieu in Question: New Directions in French Sociology of Art (Brill, 2017).

Michael J. Thompson is Professor of Political Theory at William Paterson University. His most recent books include The Domestication of Critical Theory (2016), The Specter of Babel: A Reconstruction of Political Judgment (2020), Twilight of the Self: The Decline of the Individual in Late Capitalism (2022), and Descent of the Dialectic: Critical Reason in an Age of Nihilism (2023).


Immanence and internal relations are important concepts for this book. The people who made this book possible are mostly imminent to it as active participants. Of the two coeditors, Jeffrey A. Halley conceived the idea of a book as a response to a number of the key points raised in The Concept of the Social, and Harry F. Dahms facilitated two sessions in which Brown's book was discussed, at The Southern Sociological Society 2019 meeting in Atlanta and at the International Theory Consortium Conference in June 2021. We want to acknowledge the effervescence and interest by the participants that was created at these events.

Halley thanks the Department of Sociology and the College for Health, Community and Policy of The University of Texas at San Antonio for supportive working conditions, and Myra Haverda and Timothy Perez for their assistance in preparation of some of the chapters.

In the name of both coeditors for this volume, Harry F. Dahms would like to take this opportunity to thank Katy Mathers, Lydia Cutmore, Joshi Monica Jerome and Shanmathi Priya Sampath, for their enthusiastic, untiring support for Current Perspectives in Social Theory, and for seeing through this volume to its successful completion and publication. The series editor keeps being impressed, encouraged, and highly motivated to see their efforts being reflected in the quality of the work being published, and is thrilled to work with such an excellent, competent, and inspired editorial team!