Is the notion of society obsolete? To answer this question, leading social theorist William Outhwaite first considers various critiques of the concept that have dominated recent debate, including the arguments of: Neo-liberals, who deny society's existence Postmodernists, who argue that it has fragmented or dissolved Globalisation theorists, who claim that it cannot survive the demise of the nation-state Evolutionary psychologists, who see human social experience as continuous with that of other animal species. Outhwaite takes a sympathetic look at these current theoretical trends, using them to explain why we have lost confidence in the concept of society. He argues, however, that we do still need the concept in order to make sense of the forces which structure our lives. Part of the prestigious Blackwell Manifestos series, this important book goes to the heart of contemporary social and political debate.