Published: January 2015
Author(s): Howard Davis

Alain Touraine's distinctive contributions to sociology include his sociological theory of action, the method of ‘sociological intervention’ in the study of social movements, and his critique of modernity which offers a ‘post-social’ approach to contemporary societies. This article explains the key stages of Touraine's work in the context of post-war social theory in France. It considers some key criticisms of his theoretical and empirical work as well as his influence as a sociologist and public intellectual.