In this informative and accessible book, David Chaney explains the "turn to culture" and the lessons to be drawn from this movement. Concepts of culture have generated perspectives and methodologies that have challenged critical orthodoxies and attracted the energetic enthusiasm of younger scholars. More significantly, the forms of contemporary culture demand a radical reappraisal of the terms of description of the modern world.
"The Cultural Turn" offers a sociology of contemporary culture that is not imprisoned in the radical postures and jargon of cultural studies. Chaney's purpose, to review the character and lessons of this "turn to culture" in a number of academic fields, to explore key themes in contemporary culture in some detail, and finally, to examine some of the ways in which cultural forms are increasingly seen to dominate social reality, is achieved through a series of lucid and thought-provoking essays.
Anyone who has wondered about the place of culture both as a field of study in its own right and as the dominant thread of the postmodern world will benefit greatly from this overview of the theme of culture and its importance in the contemporary landscape.
"A delight . . . wise, stimulating and constructed with a confidence that reflects experience and mature reflection in this field of study. The book is written in such a way that engages with the concerns of a specialist and to readers not steeped in culturalist traditions."
-Chris Jenks, Goldsmiths' College, London University