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This textbook considers understanding social processes to be the main task of sociology. From this perspective its authors demonstrate and explain problems which they consider to be crucial for contemporary social science. These are topics of a theoretical and epistemological nature, which are nevertheless closely connected with social development and issues arising from it. The book moves from the more general theoretical questions and dilemmas raised by key social thinkers, such as those connected with the concepts of actor, agency, institutions, structures and systems. It then leads to theoretical reflections on long-term developmental processes associated with the phenomena of power and life in current societies, including globalization, identities, migration, etc. It provides a comprehensive approach to the essential questions of sociology. Lucidly written and including the latest sociological perspectives, this book will find wide appeal among social science students and researchers, and is also for the socially aware general reader.