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Culture and Society : Contemporary Debates - Jeffrey C. Alexander

Culture and Society

Contemporary Debates

By: Jeffrey C. Alexander (Editor), Steven Seidman (Editor)

Paperback

Published: 31st December 1990
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This volume brings together the major statements by the leading contemporary scholars of cultural analysis on the relation between culture and society. Part One surveys the range of current analytical debate over culture, focusing on the relationship of culture to social structure and power. While individual contributions differ in defining the nature of culture and its relation to society, they are in agreement in assessing the relative autonomy of culture and the centrality of symbolic analysis. Part Two turns to substantive debates, including those over the role of religion, secular ideology, and mass culture and brings to light disputes about the meaning of modernity. The book testifies to the remarkable development in the past two decades of a cultural paradigm for social and political analysis.

'Culture and Society is an important resource for those of us who teach courses and seminars in the sociology of culture. It is important in its scope and range: theoretical, from functionalism and neo-Marxism to dramaturgical analysis to postmodernism; disciplinary, including key contributions by anthropologists, historians and others, as well as by sociologists; and substantive, ranging from politics and work to religion and science. The volume consolidates recent progress in the social sciences' understanding of culture without turning its back on deservedly influential ideas of the past.' Paul MiMaggio, Yale University 'The essays presented here provide an essential foundation for understanding contemporary debates about the place of culture criticism in a variety of disciplines. All of the major theoretical trends are amply represented, and their juxtaposition will give students and scholars an excellent overview of current trends, problems, and potentials in one of the fastest growing areas of intellectual interest.' Lynn Hunt, University of Pennsylvania 'This splendid collection of essays illuminates the vital argument about the importance of culture in social analysis today. Many of the articles are classics in their own right. The book is a major contribution to teaching and research.' Robert N. Bellah, University of California, Berkeley

Prefacep. vii
Analytic debates: Understanding the relative autonomy of culturep. 1
The Case for Culture
The human studiesp. 31
Values and social systemsp. 39
Culture and ideological hegemonyp. 47
Signs and languagep. 55
Approaches to Culture: Functionalist
The normative structure of sciencep. 67
Values and democracyp. 75
Approaches to Culture: Semiotic
The world of wrestlingp. 87
Food as symbolic codep. 94
Approaches to Culture: Dramaturgical
Out-of-frame activityp. 105
The Balinese cockfight as playp. 113
Approaches to Culture: Weberian
Puritanism and revolutionary ideologyp. 125
French Catholicism and secular gracep. 134
Approaches to Culture: Durkheimian
Liminality and communityp. 147
Symbolic pollutionp. 155
Sex as symbol in Victorian purityp. 160
Approaches to Culture: Marxian
Rituals of mutualityp. 173
Masculinity and factory laborp. 183
Approaches to Culture: Poststructuralist
Sexual discourse and powerp. 199
Artistic taste and cultural capitalp. 205
Substantive debates: Moral order and social crisis--perspectives on modern culturep. 217
The Place of Religion: Is Modernity A Secular or Sacred Order?
Social sources of secularizationp. 239
The future of religionp. 249
Civil religion in Americap. 262
The Debate over the "End of Ideology": Can Secular Reason Create Cultural Order?
Culture industry reconsideredp. 275
From consensual order to instrumental controlp. 283
The end of ideology in the Westp. 290
Beyond coercion and crisis: The coming of an era of voluntary communityp. 298
Ideology, the cultural apparatus, and the new consciousness industryp. 306
Modernism or Postmodernism: Dissolution or Reconstruction of Moral Order?
Modernism, postmodernism, and the decline of moral orderp. 319
The postmodern conditionp. 330
Modernity versus postmodernityp. 342
Mapping the postmodernp. 355
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521359399
ISBN-10: 0521359392
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 384
Published: 31st December 1990
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.88  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.61