In sociology, the 1980s were a decade of great post-classical syntheses. As Parsons’s massively influential voice faded in the late 1970s, the time of the great modern authors could really be said to have come to an end; and such theoretical syntheses were at the same time critiques, radical turning points – at least in their authors’ intentions – and more balanced re-assessments. Habermas, Giddens, Alexander and the late Foucault provided the most important post-Parsonian theoretical and conceptual developments in social science that emerged within that time span. 1