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Sociological Theory: Uses and Unities (London: Thomas Nelson, 1974) was Stephen Mennell’s first book, and became a standard undergraduate textbook on theory in many universities. A revised edition appeared in 1980, but that, says Mennell, was a mistake: ‘I wanted to include some new and more recent material, but in order to do so I deleted some important sections from the first edition, under the impression that some issues had been resolved and superseded. I should have known better: sociological theory goes round in circles rather than progressing!'