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This new English translation of Francois Jullien's work is a compelling summation of his thinking on the comparison and divergences between Western and Chinese thought. Jullien argues that Western thinking is preoccupied with the question of 'being', whereas Chinese thought concerned itself principally with that of 'living'. Organised as a lexicon around some 20 concepts that juxtapose Chinese and Western thought, including propensity (vs causality), receptivity (vs freedom), maturation (vs modelisation),between (vs beyond) and resource (vs truth). Jullien explores the ways the two traditions have evolved, and how many aspects of Chinese thought developed in isolation from the West, revealing a different way of relating to the world and the fault lines of western thinking. An important book for students and scholars throughout the social sciences.
The present crisis of capitalism has a history. A history of the private accumulation of wealth through property regimes which allow increasing commodification and the privatisation of resources: from land to knowledge and even to life itself. Understanding that history may allow us to imagine alternatives after Capital which are no longer private but common. After Capital explores this history, showing how the economy is linked to environmental damage, climate change, resource depletion, and to massive inequality. It takes the reader from liberalism to neoliberalism, from climate change to the Anthropocene, and shows how this history is inextricably the history of colonialism. It is a rich and detailed narrative of capitalism over the last 200 years, that explains its texture and its neoliberal endgame. This discussion frames speculation on what postcapitalist societies could be, with regimes of private accumulation replaced by a politics and ethics of a democratic and ecologically- grounded Commons.
Jean Baudrillard is one of the most celebrated and most controversial of contemporary social theorists. This major work occupies a central place in the rethinking of the humanities and social sciences around the idea of postmodernism. It leads the reader on an exhilarating tour encompassing the end of Marxism, the enchantment of fashion, symbolism about sex and the body, and the relations between economic exchange and death. Most significantly, the book represents Baudrillard's fullest elaboration of the concept of the three orders of the simulacra, defining the historical passage from production to reproduction to simulation. A classic in its field, Symbolic Exchange and Death is a key source for the redefinition of contemporary social thought. Baudrillard's critical gaze appraises social theories as diverse as cybernetics, ethnography, psychoanalysis, feminism, Marxism, communications theory and semiotics. This English translation begins with a new introductory essay.
Jean Baudrillard's classic text was one of the first to focus on the process and meaning of consumption in contemporary culture. Originally published in 1970, the book makes a vital contribution to current debates on consumption. The book includes Baudrillard's most organized discussion of mass media culture, the meaning of leisure, and anomie in affluent society. A chapter on the body demonstrates Baudrillard's extraordinary prescience for flagging vital subjects in contemporary culture long before others. This English translation begins with a new introductory essay.
One thing is clear: in marginalising Chinese tradition and falling short of wholesale importation of Western cultural and political ideals and institutions, Chinese cities have become, in one sense, the scrapyard of half-hearted emulations and acts of resistance, appearing to be neither here nor there... - Li Shiqiao, writing in the South China Morning Post This book teaches us to read the contemporary Chinese city. Li Shiqiao deftly crafts a new theory of the Chinese city and the dynamics of urbanization by: examining how the Chinese city has been shaped by the figuration of the writing system analyzing the continuing importance of the family and its barriers of protection against real and imagined dangers exploring the meanings of labour, and the resultant numerical and financial hierarchies demonstrating how actual structures bring into visual being the conceptions of numerical distributions, safety networks, and aesthetic orders. Understanding the Chinese City elegantly traces a thread between ancient Chinese city formations and current urban organizations, revealing hidden continuities that show how instrumental the past has been in forming the present. It contextualizes Chinese urban experiences in relation to familiar intellectual landmarks. Rather than becoming obstacles to change, ancient practices have become effective strategies of adaptation under radically new terms.
Cosmopolitanism: Uses of the Idea offers an illuminating and dynamic account of an often confusing and widespread concept. Bringing together both historical and contemporary approaches to cosmopolitanism, as well as recognizing its multidimensional nature, Zlatko Skrbis and Ian Woodward manage to show the very essence of cosmopolitanism as a theoretical idea and cultural practice. Through an exploration of various social fields, such as media, identity and ethics, the book analyses the limits and possibilities of the cosmopolitan turn and explores the different contexts cosmopolitanism theory has been, and still is, applied to. Critical, diverse and engaging, the book successfully answers questions such as: How can we understand cosmopolitanism? What is the relationship between cosmopolitanism and ethics? What is the relationship between cosmopolitanism and identity? How do cosmopolitan networks come into being? How do we apply cosmopolitanism theory to contemporary, digital and mediated societies? This comprehensive and authoritative title is a must for anyone interested in cultural consumption, contemporary citizenship and identity construction. It will be especially useful for students and scholars within the fields of social theory, ethics, identity politics, cultural diversity and globalisation.
In this unique contribution, Blackman focuses upon the affective capacities of bodies, human and non-human as well as addressing the challenges of the affective turn within the social sciences. Fresh and convincing, this book uncovers the paradoxes and tensions in work in affect studies by focusing on practices and experiences, including voice hearing, suggestion, hypnosis, telepathy, the placebo effect, rhythm and related phenomena. Questioning the traditional idea of mind over matter, as well as discussing the danger of setting up a false distinction between the two, this book makes for an invaluable addition within cultural theory and the recent turn to affect. In a powerful and engaging matter, Blackman discusses the immaterial body across the neurosciences, physiology, media and cultural studies, body studies, artwork, performance, psychology and psychoanalysis. Interdisciplinary in its core, this book is a must for everyone seeking a dynamic and thought provoking analysis of culture and communication today.
Great to have a new edition - this is essential reading and provides a clear, accessible yet original overview of social theory and the body. - Sarah Nettleton, University of York Lucidly argued and accessibly written, this book avoids the pitfalls of either too much naturalism or too much social constructivism. It is a book with something for everyone, from the classics in social theory on the body to contemporary bodily phenomena like genetics, body modification, and cultural anxieties about death. - Kathy Davis, Utrecht University Unrivalled in its clarity and coverage, this sparkling new edition of Chris Shilling's classic text is a masterful account of the emergence and development of body matters in sociology and related disciplines. A timely, well reasoned response to current concerns and controversies across the globe, it provides chapter-by-chapter coverage of the major theories, approaches and studies conducted in the field. Each chapter has been revised and updated, with new discussions of 'actor-network theory', bodywork, pragmatism, the global resurgence of religious identities, 'new genetics', biological citizenship, neuroscience, and figurations of the living and dead. Packed full of critical analysis and relevant empirical studies the book engages with the major classical and contemporary theories within body studies including the: naturalistic, interactionist, constructionist, feminist, structuralist, phenomenological, and realist. Original, logical and indispensable this is a must-have title for students and researchers engaged with the study of the body.
The original Tourist Gaze was a classic, marking out a new land to study and appreciate. This new edition extends into fresh areas with the same passion and insight of the object. Even more essential reading! - Nigel Thrift, Vice-Chancellor, Warwick University This new edition of a seminal text restructures, reworks and remakes the groundbreaking previous versions making this book even more relevant for tourism students, researchers and designers. 'The tourist gaze' remains an agenda setting theory. Packed full of fascinating insights this major new edition intelligently broadens its theoretical and geographical scope to provide an account which responds to various critiques. All chapters have been significantly revised to include up-to-date empirical data, many new case studies and fresh concepts. Three new chapters have been added which explore: photography and digitization embodied performances risks and alternative futures This book is essential reading for all involved in contemporary tourism, leisure, cultural policy, design, economic regeneration, heritage and the arts.
Written by one of the leading international authorities on the sociology of race and sport, this is the first book to address sport's role in 'the making of race', the place of sport within black diasporic struggles for freedom and equality, and the contested location of sport in relation to the politics of recognition within contemporary multicultural societies. Race, Sport and Politics shows how, during the first decades of the twentieth century, the idea of 'the natural black athlete' was invented in order to make sense of and curtail the political impact and cultural achievements of black sportswomen and men. More recently, 'the black athlete' as sign has become a highly commodified object within contemporary hyper-commercialized sports-media culture thus limiting the transformative potential of critically conscious black athleticism to re-imagine what it means to be both black and human in the twenty-first century. Race, Sport and Politics will be of interest to students and scholars in sociology of culture and sport, the sociology of race and diaspora studies, postcolonial theory, cultural theory and cultural studies.
Have the music and movie industries lost the battle to criminalize downloading? This penetrating and informative book provides readers with the perfect systematic critical guide to the file-sharing phenomenon. Combining inter-disciplinary resources from sociology, history, media and communication studies and cultural studies, David unpacks the economics, psychology and philosophy of file-sharing. The book carefully situates the reader in a field of relevant approaches including network society theory, post-structuralism and ethnographic research. It uses this to launch into a fascinating enquiry into: the rise of file-sharing the challenge to intellectual property law posed by new technologies of communication the social psychology of cyber crime the response of the mass media and multi-national corporations. Matthew David concludes with a balanced, eye-opening assessment of alternative cultural modes of participation and their relationship to cultural capitalism. This is a landmark work in the sociology of popular culture and cultural criminology. It fuses a deep knowledge of the music industry and the new technologies of mass communication with a powerful perspective on how multinational corporations seek to monopolize markets, how international and state agencies defend property, while a global multitude undermine and/or reinvent both.
If only more new media commentators had this level of historical-critical reference, engaging, good stories, and a degree of wonder at what media and windows bring to the city, to life. - John Hutnyk, Goldsmiths, University of London Just when you thought the last word had been said about cities and media, along comes Scott McQuire to breathe new life into the debate. When revisiting existing pathways, his always ingenious eyes produce startling and original insights. When striking out into new territory, he opens up before us inspiring new vistas. I love this book. - James Donald, University of New South Wales A book that crams into a single chapter more insights and illustrations than seems feasible, yet which ties all threads together through a consistent, theoretically rich analysis of the interplay of media and city... Writing with effusiveness uncharacteristic of back-cover blurbs on academic tomes, James Donald says 'I love this book'. But I will end by echoing his praise, and make a promise to readers: you will love The Media City, too. - European Journal of Communication Refreshingly clear, getting to grips with some of the key concepts of urban sociology in a way that moves beyond the wistful evocation and splatter of undigested terms that characterises so much academic writing on culture and cities. - Media, Culture & Society Significant changes are occurring in the spaces and rhythms of contemporary cities and in the social functioning of media. This forceful book argues that the redefinition of urban space by mobile, instantaneous and pervasive media is producing a distinctive mode of social experience. Media are no longer separate from the city. Instead the proliferation of spatialized media platforms has produced a media-architecture complex - the media city. Offering critical and historical analysis at the deepest levels, The Media City links the formation of the modern city to the development of modern image technologies and outlines a new genealogy for assessing contemporary developments such as digital networks and digital architecture, web cams and public screens, surveillance society and reality television. Wide-ranging and thoughtfully illustrated, it intersects disciplines and connects phenomena which are too often left isolated from each other to propose a new way of understanding public and private space and social life in contemporary cities. It will find a broad readership in media and communications, cultural studies, social theory, urban sociology, architecture and art history. Winner of the 2009 Jane Jacobs Urban Communication Award, awarded by the Urban Communication Association.
Contemporary culture, today's capitalism - our global information society - is ever expanding, is ever more extensive. And yet we seem to be experiencing a parallel phenomenon which can only be characterised as intensive. This thought provoking, innovative book is dedicated to the study of such intensive culture. Whilst extensive culture is a culture of the same: a culture of fixed equivalence; intensive culture is a culture of difference, of in-equivalence - the singular. Intensities generate what we encounter. They are virtuals or possibilities, always in process and always in movement. We thus live in a culture that is both extensive and intensive. Indeed the more globally stretched and extensive social relations become the more they simultaneously seem to take on this intensity. Ours is a relational world where each intensity ? whether human, technological or biological ? provides a distinct, specific window onto the whole. Lash tracks the emergence and pervasion of this intensive culture in society, religion, philosophy, language, communications, politics and the neo-liberal economy itself. In so doing he redefines the work of Leibniz, Benjamin, Simmel, and Durkheim and inititates the reader into the ontological structures of our contemporary social relations. In the pursuit of intensive culture the reader is taken on an excursion from Karl Marx's Capital to the 'information theology' in the science fiction of Philip K. Dick. Diverse, engaging and rich in detail the resulting book will be of interest to all those studying social and cultural theory, sociology, media and communication and cultural studies
The 'demotic turn' is a term coined by Graeme Turner to describe the increasing visibility of the 'ordinary person' in the media today. In this dynamic and insightful book he explores the 'whys' and 'hows' of the 'everyday' individual's willingness to turn themselves into media content through: * Celebrity culture, * Reality TV, * DIY websites, * Talk radio, * User-generated materials online. Initially proposed in order to analyse the pervasiveness of celebrity culture, this book further develops the idea of the demotic turn as a means of examining the common elements in a range of 'hot spots' in debates within media and cultural studies today. Refuting the proposition that the demotic turn necessarily carries with it a democratising politics, this book examines the political and cultural function of the demotic turn in media production and consumption across the fields of reality TV, print and electronic news and current affairs journalism, citizen and online journalism, talk radio, and user-generated content online. It examines these fields in order to outline a structural shift in what the western media has been doing lately, and to suggest that these media activities represent something much more fundamental than contemporary media fashion.
This exciting book is a tour de force, spanning a broad range of approaches to development. It does not stop at critique, as so many previous books on these issues have done, but offers a unique perspective on future possibilities and the shape of things to come. It should be essential reading on all development studies courses . - Andrea Cornwall, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex Praise for the previous edition: This marvellous book should be read by every social scientist interested in development studies . - Keith Griffin, University of California, Riverside This is the second edition of this successful book. Written by one of the leading authorities in the field, it: Situates students in the expanding field of development theory. Provides an unrivalled guide to the strengths and weaknesses of competing theoretical approaches. Explains key concepts. Examines the shifts in theory. Offers an agenda for the future. Jan Nederveen brings together a huge range of experience and knowledge about the relationship between the economically advanced and the emerging, developing nations.
This timely book provides an engaging, clear view of the interrelationships within key globalization processes and the international sport of football. Intelligently combining the conceptual and methodological aspects of global studies with the specific cultural conditions of the 'beautiful game' Giulianotti and Robertson illuminate its social history and diffusion, as well as wider cultural, economic, political and social dimensions. Using football to chart an increasing global connectivity, or globality, the authors explore how the game may be understood as a metric, mirror, motor and metaphor of globalization Issues discussed include: - Transnational Identities and the Global Civil Society, - Cosmopolitanism & Americanization, - Neo-Liberalism, Inequalities and Transnational Clubs, - Politics, Nations, and International Governance, Ideal for students and lecturers concerned with the sociology of sport, globalization and international cultural studies - the book will be of interest to anyone keen to map the intricate ways in which transnational processes may impact upon particular domains of social life.
Where are we at with studies of Body & Society? What are the key accomplishments in the field? This book provides the clearest and most comprehensive account of work in this area to date. Based on a novel theory of action it surveys the terrain by arguing that human identity, social relationships and moral figurations develop as a result of people living in and seeking to reach beyond the limits of their bodily being. From this starting point the author undertakes a series of studies on sport, transgenderism, migration, illness, survival and belief which illuminate the relationship between bodily change and action. The book provides an unrivalled survey of theory and empirical research and explores the hitherto neglected tradition of American 'body studies'. Wide in scope, systematic and incisive the book represents a landmark addition to the field of studies in body and society.
This truly deserves to be considered a classic and I strongly encourage my students to read it from cover to cover. Turner's work on the body needs to be considered in its own right within courses on the sociology of the body. - Dr Robert Meadows, Surrey University Remains the foundational text for courses in the sociology of the body, replete with insights and a depth of analysis that has largely inspired an entire new area of studies across the social sciences. - Dr Michael Drake, Hull University This is THE contemporary text for both academics and students exploring the sociology of the body. - Jessica Clark, University Campus Suffolk This is a fully revised edition of a book that may fairly claim to have re-opened the sociology of the body as a legitimate area of enquiry. Providing an unparalleled guide to all aspects of the subject, each chapter has been revised and updated while the book contains new material that reflects both recent changes in the field and Turner's developing position on the centrality of vulnerability. Assured and innovative, this book provides the most authoritative statement of work on the sociology of the body by one of the leading writers in the field.
It was traditionally said that 'clothes maketh the man'. But what codes and meanings are associated with dress in a society that consists of divisions between class, race, gender, family status and religion? Is social and cultural life still fundamentally themed by the clothes that we wear? If so, how should we read these codes and themes in order to decipher their relation to power and meaning? This exhaustive book demonstrates how dress shapes and is shaped by social processes and phenomena such as beauty, time, the body, the gift exchange, class, gender and religion. It does this through an analysis of topics like the Islamic clothing controversy in state schools, the multitude of identities associated with dress, the Dress Reform movement, the construction of the body in fashion magazines and the role of the internet in fashion. What emerges is a trenchant, sharply observed account of the place of dress in contemporary society. The book will be of interest to students and researchers in Sociology, Cultural Studies, Women's Studies, Gender Studies, Anthropology and Fashion Studies.
This book shows that manners, far from being superficial adornments of behaviour, are thoroughly interwoven with our personalities and the structures of our societies. The concept of 'informalization' provides both an invaluable addition to Norbert Elias's theory of civilizing processes and a most useful tool for understanding how changes in manners are related to shifts in the balances of power between social classes, sexes, and generations - Johan Goudsblom, University of Amsterdam Cas Wouters stakes out a powerful theory about changes in human relationships in the Western world over the past twelve decades... essential reading for anyone interested in the contemporary human condition. - Theory and Society It is written in clear, unequivocal language, abounds with detail and replaces many normative statements about the alienating state of contemporary, capitalist, mass-consumption-oriented bureaucracy.... A nuanced, subtle and theoretically informed analysis of the sometimes quite chaotic civilising process of the last century' - Figurations This original book explains the sweeping changes to twentieth-century regimes of manners and self. Broad in scope and deep in analytic reach, it provides a wealth of empirical evidence to demonstrate how changes in the code of manners and emotions in four countries (Germany, Netherlands, England and the US) have undergone increasing informalization. From the growing taboo toward the displays of superiority and inferiority and diminishing social and psychicogical distance between people, it reveals an 'emancipation of emotions' and the new representation of emotion at the centre of personality. This thought-provoking book traces: The increasing permissiveness in public and private manners, such as introductions, the use of personal pronouns, social kissing, dancing, and dating. The ascent and integration of a wide variety of groups - including the working classes, women, youth and immigrants - and the sweeping changes this has imposed on relations of social inferiority and superiority. Shifts in self-regulation that require manners to seem 'natural', at ease and authentic. Rising external social constraints towards being reflexive, showing presence of mind, considerateness, role-taking, and the ability to tolerate and control conflicts. Growing interdependence and social integration, declining power differences and the diminishing social and psychic distance between people. Continuing the analysis of Sex and Manners (SAGE, 2004), this book is a dazzling work of historical sociology.
John Tomlinson's book is an invitation to an adventure. It contains a precious key to unlock the doors into the unmapped and unexplored cultural and ethical condition of 'immediacy'. Without this key concept from now on it will not be possible to make sense of the social existence of our times and its ambivalences. - Ulrich Beck, University of Munich A most welcome, stimulating and challenging exploration of the cultural impact and significance of speed in advanced modern societies. It successfully interweaves theoretical discourse, historical and contemporary analyses and imaginative use of literary sources, all of which are mobilised in order to provide an original, intellectually rewarding and critical account of the changing significance of speed in our everyday experience. - David Frisby, London School of Economics and Political Science Is the pace of life accelerating? If so, what are the cultural, social, personal and economic consequences? This stimulating and accessible book examines how speed emerged as a cultural issue during industrial modernity. The rise of capitalist society and the shift to urban settings was rapid and tumultuous and was defined by the belief in 'progress'. The first obstacle faced by societies that were starting to 'speed up' was how to regulate and control the process. The attempt to regulate the acceleration of life created a new set of problems, namely the way in which speed escapes regulation and rebels against controls. This pattern of acceleration and control subsequently defined debates about the cultural effects of acceleration. However, in the 21st century 'immediacy', the combination of fast capitalism and the saturation of the everyday by media technologies, has emerged as the core feature of control. This coming of immediacy will inexorably change how we think about and experience media culture, consumption practices, and the core of our cultural and moral values. Incisive and richly illustrated, this eye-opening account of speed and culture provides an original guide to one of the central features of contemporary culture and everyday life.
The first edition of this contemporary classic can claim to have put 'consumer culture' on the map, certainly in relation to postmodernism. This expanded new edition includes: a fully revised preface that explores the developments in consumer culture since the first edition a major new chapter on 'Modernity and the Cultural Question' an update on postmodernism and the development of contemporary theory after postmodernism an account of multiple and alternative modernities the challenges of consumer culture in Japan and China. The result is a book that shakes the boundaries of debate, from one of the foremost writers on culture and postmodernism of the present day.
Contemporary society constitutes a different form of modernity and Ferguson's innovative and thoughtful analysis calling for a return to phenomenology demonstrates that a relatively neglected perspective within contemporary sociological thought continues to provide significant insights into modern experiences' - Barry Smart, Portsmouth University This may very well be the most thorough and authoritative analysis of phenomenological sociology ever achieved. - W.P. Nye , Hollins University What is phenomenological sociology? Why is it significant? This innovative and thought-provoking book argues that phenomenology was the most significant, wide-ranging and influential philosophy to emerge in the twentieth century. The social character of phenomenology is explored in its relation to the concern in twentieth century sociology with questions of modern experience. Phenomenology and sociology come together as 'ethnographies of the present'. As such, they break free of the self-imposed limitations of each to establish a new, critical understanding of contemporary life. By reading phenomenology sociologically and sociology phenomenologically, this book reconstructs a phenomenological sociology of modern experience. Erudite and assured, this book opens up a series of new questions for contemporary social theory that theorists and students of theory can ill-afford to ignore. The text contains a treasure trove of insights and propositions that will stimulate debate and research in both sociology and philosophy.
`This is a highly original and in many ways brilliant text. It is a model of how historical/process sociological research ought to be conducted and written-up. The author's subtle blending of theory and data is outstanding' - Eric Dunning, Professor of Sociology, University of Leicester `Wouters has written a book both broad in scope and deep in analytic reach. Exploring changes in courtship norms over the last century in English, Dutch , German and American books of manners, he discovers changes which confirm the theory of informalization. Relations between the sexes are, he shows us, less regulated from outside and more from inside. This change calls - paradoxically - for both an emancipation of emotion and an ever sharper cultural eye on ways of managing emotion. The book carries Elias's classic, The Civilizing Process one giant step further. An important contribution and a fascinating read' - Arlie Russell Hochschild, University of California This dazzling book examines changes in American, Dutch, English and German manners, regarding the changing relationships between men and women. From the disappearance of rules for chaperonage and the rise of new codes for courting, dates, public dances and the work place, it shows how women have become their own chaperone by gaining the rights to pay for themselves, to have a job and be a sexual subject. This original and thought-provoking book: * provides empirical evidence showing how younger generations removed their courting from under parental wings and how the balance of power between the sexes shifted in women's favour; * monitors changes in codes regarding sexuality by focusing on the balance between the desire for sexual gratification and the longing for enduring intimacy; * documents the balance of controls over sexual impulses and emotions shifting from external social controls to internal ones; * compares nationally different trends, particularly between the USA and Europe, focusing on the American dating system and its resulting double standards; * argues that the initial greater freedom of American women has turned into a deficit. Cas Wouters teaches Sociology at Utrecht University
An outstanding contribution to our understanding of postcolonial theory and its engagement with significant changes within the contemporary world. Couze Venn forces us to rethink the very parameters of the post-colonial and suggests a new political economy for post-modern times. This critical engagement opens up the possibility to reimagine the world from its current narrow European strictures to a world full of alternative possibilities and modernities... This is a timely and ground breaking book that contributes to a much needed reconceptualisation of the postcolony . - Professor Pal Ahluwalia, Goldsmiths, University of London What is postcolonial studies? What are its achievements, strengths and weaknesses? This ground breaking book offers an essential guide to one of the most important issues of our time, with special emphasis on neo-liberalism within world poverty and the 'third world'. It clarifies: The territory of postcolonial studies How identity and postcolonialism relate The ties between postcolonialism and modernity New perspectives in the light of recent geo-political events Potential future developments in the subject.
'Diaspora & Hybridity deals with those theoretical issues which concern social theory and social change in the new millennium. The volume provides a refreshing, critical and illuminating analysis of concepts of diaspora and hybridity and their impact on multi-ethnic and multi-cultural societies' - Dr Rohit Barot, Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Bristol What do we mean by 'diaspora' and 'hybridity'? Why are they pivotal concepts in contemporary debates on race, culture and society? This book is an exhaustive, politically inflected, assessment of the key debates on diaspora and hybridity. It relates the topics to contemporary social struggles and cultural contexts, providing the reader with a framework to evaluate and displace the key ideological arguments, theories and narratives deployed in culturalist academic circles today. The authors demonstrate how diaspora and hybridity serve as problematic tools, cutting across traditional boundaries of nations and groups, where trans-national spaces for a range of contested cultural, political and economic outcomes might arise. Wide ranging, richly illustrated and challenging, it will be of interest to students of cultural studies, sociology, ethnicity and nationalism.
Why are sport stars central to celebrity culture? What are the implications of their fame? Proceeding from a broadly based discussion of heroism, fame and celebrity, Smart addresses a number of prominent modern sports and sport stars, including Michael Jordan (basketball), David Beckham (football), Tiger Woods (golf), Anna Kournikova and the Williams sisters (tennis). He analyses the development of modern sport in the UK and USA, demonstrating the key economic and cultural factors that have contributed to the popularity of sport stars, while examining issues such as race and gender, the impact of professionalization, growing media coverage, the role of agents and the increasing presence of commercial corporations providing sponsorship and endorsement contracts. This book situates the sport star as the embodiment of the various tensions of age, class, race, gender and culture. It argues that sporting figures possess an increasingly rare quality of authenticity that gives them the capacity to lift and inspire people. The book is a major contribution to the sociology and culture of sport and celebrity.
`From Thomas Hobbes' fear of the power of laughter to the compulsory, packaged fun of the contemporary mass media, Billig takes the reader on a stimulating tour of the strange world of humour. Both a significant work of scholarship and a novel contribution to the understanding of the humourous, this is a seriously engaging book' - David Inglis, University of Aberdeen This delightful book tackles the prevailing assumption that laughter and humour are inherently good. In developing a critique of humour the author proposes a social theory that places humour - in the form of ridicule - as central to social life. Billig argues that all cultures use ridicule as a disciplinary means to uphold norms of conduct and conventions of meaning. Historically, theories of humour reflect wider visions of politics, morality and aesthetics. For example, Bergson argued that humour contains an element of cruelty while Freud suggested that we deceive ourselves about the true nature of our laughter. Billig discusses these and other theories, while using the topic of humour to throw light on the perennial social problems of regulation, control and emancipation.
'This is an ambitious, original, and complex treatment of key aspects of contemporary capitalism. It makes a major contribution because it profoundly destabilizes the scholarship on globalization, the so-called new economy, information technology, distinct contemporary business cultures and practices' - Saskia Sassen, author of Globalization and its Discontents 'Nigel Thrift offers us the sort of cultural analysis of global capitalism that has long been needed - one that emphasizes the innovative energy of global capitalism. The book avoids stale denouncements and offers instead a view of capitalism as a form of practice' - Karin Knorr Cetina, Professor of Sociology, University of Konstanz, Germany Capitalism is well known for producing a form of existence where `everything solid melts into air'. But what happens when capitalism develops theories about itself? Are we moving into a condition in which capitalism can be said to possess a brain? These questions are pursued in this sparkling and thought-provoking book. Thrift looks at what he calls 'the cultural circuit of capitalism', the mechanism for generating new theories of capitalism. The book traces the rise of this circuit back to the 1960s when a series of institutions locked together to interrogate capitalism, to the present day, when these institutions are moving out to the Pacific basin and beyond. What have these theories produced? How have they been implicated in the speculative bubbles that characterized the late twentieth century? What part have they played in developing our understanding of human relations? Building on an inter-disciplinary approach which embraces the core social sciences, Thrift outlines an exciting new theory for understanding capitalism. His book is of interest to readers in geography, social theory, anthropology and cultural economics.
'Once in a while a manuscript stops you in your tracks... What we are offered here is no recovering of old ground but a step change in perspectives on body matters that is both innovative and of fundamental importance to anyone working on this sociological terrain...This text is groundbreaking and simply has to be read' - Acta Sociologica 'This is Shilling at his creative best...these are seminal observations of the classical theories drawn together as never before. Moreover, as a framework [this monograph] provides a genuinely new and fertile way of reconsidering not just classical sociology but contemporary forms as well' - Sport, Education & Society 'This is a comprehensive, theoretically sophisticated, and ambitious treatise on the body that draws from, and applies, both classical and contemporary sociological theory in a manner that is innovative and thought-provoking. This book is engaging and thought-provoking, but Shilling's greatest achievement is his ability to illustrate the importance and continued relevance of classical and contemporary sociological theory to real world concerns. It is a book worthy of widespread attention. It reinvigorated my interest in the sociological classics and contained countless nuggets of interesting information that led me to conclude that it would be a worthy book to recommend to a broad sociological audience' - Teaching Sociology 'Shilling's book (like his earlier The Body and Social Theory) is crucial reading...a further valuable contribution in a field where he has provided so much' - Theory & Psychology 'This is an impressive book by one of the leading social theorists working in the field of body studies. It provides a critical summation of theoretical and substantive work in the field to date, while also presenting a powerful argument for a corporeal realism in which the body is both generative of the emergent properties of social structure and a location of their effects. Its scope and originality make it a key point of reference for students and academics in body studies and in the social and cultural sciences more generally' - Ian Burkitt, Reader in Social Science, University of Bradford 'Chris Shilling is as always a lucid guide through the dense thickets of the sociology of the body , and his chapters on the fields of work, sport, eating, music and technology brilliantly show how abstract theoretical debates relate to the real world of people's lives' - Professor Stephen Mennell, University College Dublin 'What I find very useful and without any doubt valuable, not only in Shilling's The Body in Culture, Technology and Society but in his work in general, is the breadth and profoundness of his discussion about the body...the style Shilling maintains is crucial for further development of the sociology of the body as a discipline, for it provides us with a rich intellectual environment about the body' - Sociology 'For any colleague wanting to have a clear idea of how studies of the body can be empirically grounded as well as theoretically 'rich', Chris Shilling's The Body in Culture, Technology and Society , is the book to read. To my mind it offers the best account thus far of not only how social action is embodied and must be recognised as such but also of how social structures condition and shape embodied subjects in a variety of social arenas... This is wonderful insightful 'stuff' - the ideas and intricate thoughts of a scholar such as Shilling who has been immersed in thinking about the complexities of the body in society as well as sociology for a number of years' - Sociology of Health and Illness This is a milestone in the sociology of the body. The book offers the most comprehensive overview of the field to date and an innovative framework for the analysis of embodiment. It is founded on a revised view of the relation of classical works to the body. It argues that the body should be read as a multi-dimensional medium for the constitution of society. Upon this foundation, the author constructs a series of analyses of the body and the economy, culture, sociality, work, sport, music, food and technology.
'Globalization and Belonging's headline message - that place matters, that locality remains vital to people, is arresting' - Frank Webster, Professor of Sociology, City University, London Drawing on long-term empirical research into cultural practices, lifestyles and identities, Globalization and Belonging explores how far-reaching global changes are articulated locally. The authors address key sociological issues of stratification as analysis alongside 'cultural' issues of identity, difference, choice and lifestyle. Their original argument: Shows how globalisation theory conceives of the 'local' Reveals that people have a sense of elective belonging based on where they choose to put down roots Suggests that the feel of a place is much more strongly influenced by the values and lifestyles of those migrating to it reinvigorates debates in urban and community studies by recovering the 'local' as an intrinsic aspect of globalisation Theoretically rigorous, the book is brought to life with direct quotations from the authors' research, and appeals to students in urban sociology, urban geography, media studies and cultural studies.
`Philip Mellor's ambition is to save sociology from itself...or to save society from the sociologists. He has written a brilliant polemic and theoretically rich argument against the many fashionable contemporary social theories that provide acquiescent 'post-societal' endorsements of the economic and technological forces that are 'hollowing out' the religious, moral and human dimensions of societies. I am tremendously impressed' - Kenneth Thompson, Professor of Sociology at the Open University Religion, Realism and Social Theory challenges those contemporary sociologists who argue that the notion of 'society' is an outmoded basis for sociological analysis and instead revitalizes the idea that sociology is truly 'the study of society'. Through a bold and original argument, Philip Mellor returns the human and religious aspects of social life to the centre of social theory, drawing on a vast range of contemporary social theoretical literature in the process. The book: comprehensively reassesses what societies are offers a detailed critique of current failings in social theory draws out the religious underpinnings of social life throws fresh light on the religious, cultural and social conflicts that appear to herald a new period of global disorder Religion, Realism and Social Theory will stimulate debate amongst academics and students of sociology and social theory, cultural studies and the sociology of religion.
Five Bodies offers an introduction to some of the most urgent contemporary concerns within the sociology of the body. The book was first published in 1985 in the USA by Cornell University Press, and was nominated for the John Porter Award (sponsored by the Canadian Sociology and Anthropology Association). A path breaking book, it offered a framework for the growing field of the sociology of the body and opened up 'the body' for sociological research. This new edition (the previous edition was published by Cornell University Press (1985) has been substantially revised and updated to address today's issues of the body in modern life, community and politics. John O'Neill examines how embodied selves and relationships are being re-shaped and re-figured and how the embodied figures of the polity, economy and society represent the contested notions of identity, desire, wholeness and fragmentation. He focuses upon those cultural practices through which we map our macro-micro worlds: * articulating a cosmology * a body politic * a productivensumptive economy * a bio-technological frontier of human design and transplantation
Best known as the author of the acclaimed book, The Theory of the Leisure Class (1899), Thorstein Veblen was much more than a one-book wonder. He is in fact a seminal classical sociologist who made many original contributions to the study of culture and society. This inspired selection conveys the full zest and penetrating insights of Veblen's writings.The collection comes with a full-length essay which demonstrates the continuing relevance of Veblen's sociology.
`This is a very fine text, a powerful piece of work that deserves to be read widely. The analysis is truly panoramic. It ranges across central concerns in the fields of social theory, political theory, and science studies and engages with and/or draws upon the ideas of key classical and contemporary thinkers, including Tocqueville, Weber, Schumpeter, Polyani, Habermas, Foucault, Schmitt and Beck' - Barry Smart, Professor of Sociology, University of Portsmouth What are the political implications of 'expert' knowledge and especially scientific knowledge for liberal democracy? If knowledge is not evenly distributed upon what basis can the philosophy of equal rights be sustained? This important book points to the crisis in knowledge in liberal democracies. This crisis, simply put, is that most citizens cannot understand, much less judge, the claims scientists make. One response is the appointment of public commissions to provide conclusions for policy-makers to act upon. There are also `commissions from below', such as grass roots associations that quiz the limits of expert knowledge and power and make rival knowledge claims. Do these commissions represent a new stage in the development of liberal democracy? Or is it merely a pragmatic device of no political consequence. The central argument of the book is that in a `knowledge society' in which specialized knowledge is increasingly important to politics, more has to be delegated because democratic discussion can't handle it. This limitation in the scope of liberal democracy threatens its fundamental character. The book will be required reading in the fields of social theory, political theory and science studies.
No national tradition of social theory has been more seductive to Anglo-American readers than the French.There has been a long-standing fascination with French ideas and debates. This extraordinarily accomplished book, written by one of Britain's leading commentators on social theory, provides a peerless account of the French tradition.The book: provides a systematic account of French social theory from the aftermath of the French Revolution (St Simon, Bazard and Comte) to the contemporary scene dominated by Kristeva, Deleuze, Bourdieu and Baudrillard; divides French social theory into three logically coherent cycles: 1800-80 (positivist); 1880-1940 (anthropological); 1940-2000 (Marxist); provides a detailed guide to the three phases of postwar French social theory - existential, structural and post-structural; and situates the discussions of individuals and schools in the relevant social and political contexts. The book is a masterpiece of erudition and scholarship but is written throughout in an engaging and informative style. It will be required reading for anyone interested in social theory and sociology.
Increasingly the body is a possession that does not belong to us. It is bought and sold, bartered and stolen, marketed wholesale or in parts. The professions - especially reproductive medicine, transplant surgery, and bioethics but also journalism and other cultural specialists - have been pliant partners in this accelerating commodification of live and dead human organisms. Under the guise of healing or research, they have contributed to a new 'ethic of parts' for which the divisible body is severed from the self, torn from the social fabric, and thrust into commercial transactions -- as organs, secretions, reproductive capacities, and tissues -- responding to the dictates of an incipiently global marketplace. Breaking with established approaches which prioritize the body as 'text', the chapters in this book examine not only images of the body-turned-merchandise but actually existing organisms considered at once as material entities, semi-magical tokens, symbolic vectors and founts of lived experience. The topics covered range from the cultural disposal and media treatment of corpses, the biopolitics of cells, sperm banks and eugenics, to the international trafficking of kidneys, the development of 'transplant tourism', to the idioms of corporeal exploitation among prizefighters as a limiting case of fleshly commodity. This insightful and arresting volume combines perspectives from anthropology, law, medicine, and sociology to offer compelling analyses of the concrete ways in which the body is made into a commodity and how its marketization in turn remakes social relations and cultural meanings.
This penetrating book raises questions about how power operates in contemporary society. It explains how the speed of information flows has eroded the separate space needed for critical reflection. It argues that there is no longer an 'outside' to the global flows of communication and that the critique of information must take place within the information itself. The operative unit of the information society is the idea. With the demise of depth reflection, reflexivity through the idea now operates external to the subject in its circulation through networks of humans and intelligent machines. It is these ideas that make the critique of information possible. This book is a major testament to the prospects of culture, politics and theory in the global information society.
Individualization argues that we are in the midst of a fundamental change in the nature of society and politics. This change hinges around two processes: globalization and individualization. The book demonstrates that individualization is a structural characteristic of highly differentiated societies, and does not imperil social cohesion, but actually makes it possible. Ulrich Beck and Elisabeth Beck-Gernsheim argue that it is vital to distinguish between the neo-liberal idea of the free-market individual and the concept of individualization. The result is the most complete discussion of individualization currently available, showing how individualization relates to basic social rights and also paid employment; and concluding that in as much as basic rights are internalized and everyone wants to or must be economically active, the spiral of individualization destroys the given foundations of social co-existence.
Written by one of the most distinguished commentators in the field, this book asks why we see some bodies as 'monstrous' or 'vulnerable' and examines what this tells us about ideas of bodily 'normality' and bodily perfection. Drawing on feminist theories of the body, biomedical discourse and historical data, Margrit Shildrick argues that the response to the monstrous body has always been ambivalent. In trying to organize it out of the discourses of normality, we point to the impossibility of realizing a fully developed, invulnerable self. She calls upon us to rethink the monstrous, not as an abnormal category, but as a condition of attractivenes, and demonstrates how this involves an exploration of relationships between bodies and embodied selves, and a revising of the phenomenology of the body.
`The Sociological Ambition is a superb book... It is beautifully written, expertly edited and renders complex and original ideas entirely accessible... This is a modern classic' - Journal of Contemporary Religion `For all social scientists who are fed up with corporate-style textbooks, which appeal to the lowest common denominator The Sociological Ambition must come as a relief. Shilling and Mellor have written an account of their discipline but they have done so with a multi-purpose task in mind' - Irish Journal of Sociology In a comprehensive reassessment of the field, Chris Shilling and Philip A Mellor examine the various attempts that have been made to reconstruct sociology over the last century, arguing that classical and contemporary social theories must be studied in relation to the ambition that first shaped and established the discipline. The authors begin by situating sociology in its historical, philosophical and theological contexts; examining how the founders of the discipline developed competing analyses of the processes elementary to social and moral life through their unique contributions. The result is a landmark work in recent sociological study. Accomplished and erudite, this book will be required reading for students of sociology, social theory, religious studies and cultural studies.
Edited by one of the leading Paul Virilio authorities this book offers the reader a guide through Virilio's work. Using the interview form, Virilio speaks incisively and at length about a vast assortment of cultural and theoretical topics, including architecture and `speed-space', `chronopolitics', art and technoculture, modernism, postmodernism and `hypermodernism', the time of the trajectory and the `information bomb'. His thoughts on Foucault, Baudrillard, Deleuze and Guattari, the performance artist Stelarc, the Persian War and the Kosovo War, are also gathered together.
Divided into two parts, this book examines the train of social theory from the 19th century, through to the 'organization of modernity', in relation to ideas of social planning, and as contributors to the 'rationalistic revolution' of the 'golden age' of capitalism in the 1950s and 60s. Part two examines key concepts in the social sciences. It begins with some of the broadest concepts used by social scientists: choice, decision, action and institution and moves on to examine the 'collectivist alternative': the concepts of society, culture and polity, which are often dismissed as untenable by postmodernists today. This is a major contribution to contemporary social theory and provides a host of essential insights into the task of social science today.
This penetrating book re-examines `the project of modernity'. It seeks to oppose the abstract, idealized vision of modernity with an alternative `ethnographic' understanding. The book defends an approach to modernity that situates it as embedded in particular and historical contexts. It examines cases of `popular modernism' in the United States, Britain and colonial Malaysia, drawing out the specific cultural and religious assumptions underlying popular modernism and concludes that modernism is implicated in a diversity of forms of cultural and racial exclusion.
Society and Culture reclaims the classical heritage, provides a clear-eyed assessment of the promise of sociology in the 21st century and asks whether the `cultural turn' has made the study of society redundant. Sociologists have objected to the rise of cultural studies on the grounds that it produces cultural relativism and lacks a stable research agenda. This book looks at these criticisms and illustrates the relevance of a sociological perspective in the analysis of human practice. The book argues that the classical tradition must be treated as a living tradition, rather than a period piece. It analyzes the fundamental principles of belonging and conflict in society and provides a detailed critical survey of the principal social theories that offer solutions to the challenges of modernism.
This insightful book is the first to critically examine the ideas of some of the key thinkers of simulation. It addresses the work of Baudrillard, Debord, Virilio and Eco, clarifying their arguments by referring to the intellectual and social worlds each emerged from distilling what is important from their discussions. The book argues for a critical and selective use of the concept of simulation. Like the idea of ideology, simulation is a political theory, but it has also become a deeply pessimistic theory of the end of history and the impossibility of positive change. Through a series of reflections on the meaning of theme parks, warfare and computer modelling, Sean Cubitt demonstrates the strengths and limitations of the simulation thesis.
In this book, one of the most accomplished and thoughtful cultural commentators of the day, considers the contradictory nature of cultural relations. Elizabeth Wilson explores these themes through an examination of fashion, feminism, consumer culture, representation and postmodernism. Debates within feminism on the nature and effects of pornography are used to illustrate a particular kind of cultural contradiction. Wilson recognizes that postmodernism permitted the reappropriation of subjects that were not previously considered worthy of attention, or opposed to the idea of emancipation, chief among these was fashion. She shows that the association of an interest in this culturally significant subject with a revisionist project raises doubts about the coherence of postmodernism itself.
This important book critically addresses the `becoming West' of Europe and investigates the `becoming Modern' of the world. Drawing on the work of Derrida, Foucault, Levinas, Lyotard, Merleau-Ponty and Ricoeur, the book proposes that the question of postmodernity is inseparable from that of post-coloniality. The argument fully conveys the sense that modernity is in crisis. It maps out a new genealogy of the birth of the modern and suggests a new way of grounding the idea of an emancipation of being. Postcolonialism has emerged as a central topic in contemporary social science and cultural studies. This book informs readers as to the central strands of the debate and introduces a host of new ideas which will be a rich fund for other writers and researchers.
de Certeau is often considered to be the theorist of everyday life par excellence. This book provides an unrivalled critical introduction to de Certeau's work and influence and looks at his key ideas and asks how should we try to understand him in relation to theories of modern culture and society. Ian Buchanan demonstrates how de Certeau was influenced by Lacan, Merleau-Ponty and Greimas and the meaning of de Certeau's notions of `strategy', `tactics', `place' and `space' are clearly described. The book argues that de Certeau died before developing the full import of his work for the study of culture and convincingly, it tries to complete or imagine the directions that de Certeau's work would have taken, had he lived.
Offering a fascinating survey of Norbert Elias's life and writings, Dennis Smith traces the growth of his reputation. He is the first author to confront Elias's work with the contrasting theories of Talcott Parsons, Hannah Arendt, Michel Foucault and Zygmunt Bauman. He also illustrates how Elias's insights can be applied to understand Western modernity and social and political change. Smith shows why Elias is important for sociology, but he is also clear sighted about the limitations of Elias's approach.
Culture is big business. It is at the root of many urban regeneration schemes throughout the world, yet the economy of culture is under-theorized and under-developed. In this wide-ranging and penetrating volume, the economic logic and structure of the modern cultural industries is explained. The connection between cultural production and urban-industrial concentration is demonstrated and the book shows why global cities are the homelands of the modern cultural industries. This book covers many sectors of cultural economy, from craft industries such as clothing and furniture, to modern media industries such as cinema and music recording. The role of the global city as a source of creative and innovative energy is examined in detail, with particular attention paid to Paris and Los Angeles.
Paul Virilio is one of the most significant and stimulating French cultural theorists writing today. Increasingly hailed as the 'archaeologist of the future', Virilio is noted for his proclamation that the logic of ever increasing acceleration lies at the heart of the organization and transformation of the contemporary world. The first book to afford a properly critical evaluation of Virilio's cultural theory, it includes an interview with Virilio; a recently translated example of his work; and a select bibliography of his writings. The commissioned contributions by leading cultural and social theorists examine Virilio's work from his early speculations on military and urban space to his current writings on dromology, politics, new communications technologies, disappearance, and the fallout from `the information bomb'.
This fascinating collection explores the growing range of body modification practices such as piercing, tattooing, branding, cutting and inserting implants, which have sprung up recently in the West. It asks whether this implies that we are returning to traditional tribal practices of inscribing identities onto bodies on the part of 'modern primitives', or is body modification better understood as purely cosmetic and decorative with body markings merely temporary signs of transferable loyalties?
Reading feminist theory as a complex imaginative achievement, Feminist Imagination considers feminist commitment through the interrogation of its philosophical, political and affective connections with the past, and especially with the `race' trials of the twentieth century. The book looks at: the 'directionlessness' of contemporary feminist thought; the question of essentialism and embodiment; the racial tensions in the work of Simone de Beauvoir; the totalitarian character in Hannah Arendt; the 'mimetic Jew' and the concept of mimesis in the work of Judith Butler. Vikki Bell provides a compelling rethinking of feminist theory as bound up with attempts to understand oppression outside a focus on 'women'. She affirms feminism as a site and mode of making these connections.
'If you've ever felt like we're going nowhere fast, and you'd like to know why - preferably sometime before you die - read this book' - James Der Derian, Brown University and UMASS/Amherst Examining how the 'here and now' of space, territory, the body, are being redefined by new technologies and how this undoes simplistic versions of the globalization thesis, Paul Virilio demonstrates how technology has made inertia the defining condition of modernity. An instantaneous present has replaced space and the sovereignty of territory; everything happens without the need to go anywhere.
Performing Culture presents a detailed and probing account of cultural studies' changing fixations with theory, method, policy, text, production, audience and the micro-politics of the everyday. John Tulloch encourages academics and students to take seriously the need to break down the separation between high and low cultural studies. Tulloch's case studies show that the performance of cultural meanings occurs in forms as diverse as The Royal Shakespeare Company's Shakespeare and Chekhov productions and our everyday work and leisure encounters. Drawing upon anthropological and dramatic studies of performance, the book emphasizes that academic research also performs cultural meaning. A central feature of the book is its reflexive consideration of the representations of culture constructed by academic 'experts'.
This book explores belonging as a performative achievement. The contributors investigate how identities are embodied and effected, and how lines of allegiance and fracture are produced and reproduced. Questions of 'difference' are tackled from a perspective that attends to the complexities of history and politics. Drawing on sociology, philosophy and anthropology, this collection brings together leading commentators, including Judith Butler, Paul Gilroy and Arjun Appadurai, as well as a range of new scholars. It examines questions of visuality, political affiliation, ethics, mimesis, spatiality, passing, and diversity in modes of embodied difference. The volume advances conceptual and theoretical issues through testing various propositions around specific examples or questions. What emerges is a rich engagement with the complexity of contemporary forms of belonging.
Over the last 30 years the post-war centre-ground which recognized the welfare state, the funding of education, protection of the environment and the management of capitalism as the proper business of the state, has fragmented. Emphasis on the freedom of the individual and the proper limitations of state power has changed the climate of everyday life. This book locates the roots of radical conservatism in the writings of Nietzsche, Dostoyevsky, Heidegger, Junger and Schmitt. It documents the radical conservative worldview and points to limitations in its perspective. Dahl asserts that we should be wary of considering radical conservatism as a singular phenomenon and discusses global divergences in belief and policy.
In Spaces of Culture an international group of scholars examines the implications of questions such as: What is culture? What is the relationship between social structure and culture in a globalized and networked world? Do critical perspectives still apply, or does the speed and complexity of cultural production demand new forms of analysis? They explore the key themes in social theory: the nation state; the city; modernity and reflexivity; post-Fordism and the spatial logic of the informational city. The contributors go on to analyze the public sphere, questioning the reductive representation of technology as a form of instrumentality, and demonstrating how new technologies can offer new spaces of culture. This analysis of public space is essential to an understanding of issues like global citizenship and multicultural human rights.
This book decodes the ambivalence of gift-giving. It examines its socio-ethical and integrative potential. Following a short recollection of contemporary gift-giving, its motives, occasions and its rules, the reader is invited to travel back in time and space examining 'sacrifice', 'food-sharing', and 'gift giving' as those basic institutions upon which symbolic orders of 'traditional' society rely. The historical invention of hospitality is considered and paves the way to an analysis of the anthropology of giving. Berking goes on to explore the transition from traditional society to the market, self interest form. He questions the view that our societies are dominated by individualism and explores the contemporary interplay between self interest and the common good.
This major collection explores the contested nature of love and eroticism, examining the ways in which erotic bodily pleasures have become central to contemporary consumer culture. It investigates the spatial dimension of erotic life through considerations of Bohemian love, the gay city and the ways in which the urban landscape and everyday life have become sexualized - issues which have become central to the emergence of `queer' as a new form of gender politics and more general questions of sexual citizenship. Drawing on the work of feminists, sociologists and cultural theorists, this book contains a wide-ranging and accessible set of contributions to contemporary debates on sexuality, love and eroticism. Love & Eroticism is simultaneously published as volume 15, issue 3-4 of Theory, Culture & Society.
In this major work, Zygmunt Bauman seeks to classify the meanings of culture. He distinguishes between culture as a concept, culture as a structure and culture as praxis and analyzes the different ways in which culture has been used in each of these settings. For Bauman, culture is a living, changing aspect of human interaction which must be understood and studied as a universal of human life. At the heart of his approach is the proposition that culture is inherently ambivalent. With a major new introduction to this new edition, this classic work emerges as a crucial link in the development of Bauman's thought. By his own admission, it was the first of his books to grope towards a new kind of social theory, in contrast to the false certainties and gross theorems that dominated much of the post-war period. This is Bauman at his best, at his most subtle and his most searching.
Barry Smart offers a wide-ranging and critical discussion of how issues of reflexivity, ethics and moral responsibility inform social and political thought. Through a critical discussion of the `ambivalent fruits' of social analysis, exemplified in particular by the work of Foucault, Derrida, Lyotard, Baudrillard, Vattimo, Beck, Bourdieu, Goffman, Giddens, Levinas and Bauman, this book submits that an important responsibility of social enquiry today is to engage critically with the moral difficulties and ethical dilemmas which have arisen in relation to modernity.
This innovative book sets out to question what we understand by the term `new social movements'. By examining a range of issues associated with identity politics and alternative lifestyles, the author challenges those who treat new social movements as instances of wider social change while often ignoring their more `local' and `dispersed' importance. This book questions what it means to adopt an identity that is organised around issues of expressivism - and offers a series of non-reductionist ways of looking at identity politics. Hetherington analyzes expressive identities through issues of performance, spaces of identity and `the occasion'. This important work shows how the significance of identity politics are at once local, plural, situated and topologically complex.
The aesthetic nature and purposes of computer culture in the contemporary world are investigated in this book. Sean Cubitt casts a cool eye on the claims of cybertopians, tracing the globalization of the new medium and enquiring into its effects on subjectivity and sociality. Drawing on historical scholarship, philosophical aesthetics and the literature of cyberculture, the author argues for a genuine democracy beyond the limitations of the free market and the global corporation. Digital arts are identified as having a vital part to play in this process. Written in a balanced and penetrating style, the book both conveniently summarizes a huge literature and sets a new agenda for research and theory.
Bakhtin and the Human Sciences demonstrates the abundance of ideas Bakhtin's thought offers to the human sciences, and reconsiders him as a social thinker, not just a literary theorist. The contributors hail from many disciplines and their essays' implications extend into other fields in the human sciences. The volume emphasizes Bakhtin's work on dialogue, carnival, ethics and everyday life, as well as the relationship between Bakhtin's ideas and those of other important social theorists. In a lively introduction Gardiner and Bell discuss Bakhtin's significance as a major intellectual figure and situate his ideas within current trends and developments in social theory.
Georges Bataille's work is an essential reference in any discussion of modernity and postmodernity. An important influence on Foucault, Derrida and post-structuralism, Bataille is a thinker of key significance. This volume makes a selection from the entire body of his academic work, showing how his thinking on sacrifice, eroticism, taboo and transgression, and the nature of identity inform his social theory. Bataille - Essential Writings will be the standard introductory text to this profound and difficult thinker.
Demonstrating that all notions of nature are inextricably entangled in different forms of social life, the text elaborates the many ways in which the apparently natural world has been produced from within particular social practices. These are analyzed in terms of different senses, different times and the production of distinct spaces, including the local, the national and the global. The authors emphasize the importance of cultural understandings of the physical world, highlighting the ways in which these have been routinely misunderstood by academic and policy discourses. They show that popular conceptions of, and attitudes to, nature are often contradictory and that there are no simple ways of prevailing upon people to `save the environment'.
The German sociologist and philosopher Georg Simmel (1858-1918) is recognized as a leading early twentieth-century European social theorist. This collection enables the reader to engage with the full range of Simmel's dazzling contributions to the study of culture. It opens with Simmel's basic essays on defining culture, its changes and its crisis. These are followed by more specific explorations of: the culture of face-to-face interactions; spatial and urban culture; leisure culture; the culture of money and commodities; the culture of belief; and the politics of female culture.
`The aestheticization of everyday life' has become a commonplace term, one which often merely scratches the surface of contemporary culture. This study illuminates the deeper dynamics of aesthetic reality from a philosophical perspective. Wolfgang Welsch, author of the influential Aesthetic Thinking, develops an important analysis of contemporary culture with philosophical bite. He examines global aestheticization phenomena, probes the relationship of aesthetics and ethics, and considers the broad relevance of aesthetics for contemporary thinking. He argues that modes of thought familiar from the aesthetic realm comprise fundamental paradigms for understanding today's reality. The implications for specific and everyday issues are demonstrated in studies of architecture, advertising, the Internet and our perception of the life world.
This shrewd and probing book seeks to theorize shopping as an autonomous realm. It avoids the reductionist characteristics of economics and marketing. At the same time it avoids the moralizing tone of many contemporary discussions of shopping and consumption. It also contains an appendix which gives a brief history and selected literature of shopping.
Explanations of how identities are constructed are fundamental to contemporary debates in feminism and in cultural and social theory. Formations of Class & Gender demonstrates why class should be featured more prominently in theoretical accounts of gender, identity and power. Beverley Skeggs identifies the neglect of class, and shows how class and gender must be fused together to produce an accurate representation of power relations in modern society. The book questions how theoretical frameworks are generated for understanding how women live and produce themselves through social and cultural relations. It uses detailed ethnographic research to explain how 'real' women inhabit and occupy the social and cultural positions of class, femininity and sexuality. As a critical examination of cultural representation - informed by recent feminist theory and the work of Pierre Bourdieu - the book is an articulate demonstration of how to translate theory into practice.
`Enriches the concpetual arsenal for interdisciplinary analysis of political, social and cultural change... stimulates more nuanced thinking about the cultural and political legacy of the Reformation era... manages both to clarify tensions surrounding cultural and social integration in the late 20th century while underscoring the real historical complexity of modern bodies' - American Journal of Sociology Through an analysis of successive re-formations of the body, this innovative and penetrating book constructs a fascinating and wide-ranging account of how the creation and evolution of different patterns of human community are intimately related to the somatic experience of the sacred. The book places the relationship between the embodiment and the sacred at the crux of social theory, and casts a fresh light on the emergence and transformation of modernity. It critically examines the thesis that the rational projects of modern embodiment have 'died and gone to cyberspace', and suggests that we are witnessing the rise of a virulent, effervescent form of the sacred which is changing how people 'see' and 'keep in touch' with the world around them.
This is the first comprehensive description of Pierre Bourdieu's theory of culture and habitus. Within the wider intellectual context of Bourdieu's work, this book provides a systematic reading of his assessment of the role of `cultural capital' in the production and consumption of symbolic goods. Bridget Fowler outlines the key critical debates that inform Bourdieu's work. She introduces his recent treatment of the rules of art, explains the importance of his concept of capital - economic and social, symbolic and cultural - and defines such key terms as habitus, practice and strategy, legitimate culture, popular art and distinction. The book focuses particularly on Bourdieu's account of the nature of capitalist modernity, on the emergence of bohemia and, with the growth of the market, the invention of the artist as the main historical response to the changed place of art.
This accessible book examines critically the writings of Deleuze and Guattari, clarifying the ideas of these two notoriously difficult thinkers without over-simplifying them. Divided into three sections - Knowledge, Power, and Liberation of Desire - the book provides a systematic account of the intellectual context as well as an exhaustive analysis of the key themes informing Deleuze and Guattari's work. It provides the framework for reading the important and influential study Capitalism and Schizophrenia and, with the needs of students in mind, explains the key concepts in Deleuze and Guattari's discussion of philosophy, art and politics. Definitive and incisive, the book will be invaluable in situating the philosophy of these two major figures within the perspective of the social and human sciences.
In this unique and agenda-setting examination of the relation between nature and culture, Klaus Eder demonstrates our ideas of nature are culturally determined, and explains how the relation between modern, industrial societies and nature is increasingly violent and destructive. Through an analysis of symbolism, ritual and taboo, Eder questions the view of nature as an object. Showing how nature is socially constructed, he presents a critique of Marx and Durkheim while offering a radical reinterpretation of the relationship among society, culture and nature. Eder concludes with an examination of the symbolic order of society and of the role of religion in modern culture. Using a culturalist interpretation, he explains how environmentalism, and the social construction of nature, is a key index of social order and structure.
This wide-ranging and accessible contribution to the study of risk, ecology and environment helps us to understand the politics of ecology and the place of social theory in making sense of environmental issues. The book provides insights into the complex dynamics of change in `risk societies'.
How can we interpret cyberspace? What is the place of the embodied human agent in the virtual world? This innovative collection examines the emerging arena of cyberspace and the challenges it presents for the social and cultural forms of the human body. It shows how changing relations between body and technology offer new arenas for cultural representations. At the same time, the contributors examine the realities of human embodiment and the limits of virtual worlds. Topics examined include: technological body modifications, replacements and prosthetics; bodies in cyberspace, virtual environments and cyborg culture; cultural representations of technological embodiment in visual and literary productions; and cyberpunk science fiction as a pre-figurative social and cultural theory.
In this exciting book Michel Maffesoli argues that the conventional approaches to understanding solidarity and society are deeply flawed. He contends that mass culture has disintegrated and that today social existence is conducted through fragmented tribal groupings, organized around the catchwords, brand-names and sound-bites of consumer culture. The book provides a rich backcloth against which to consider the rise of `identity politics' and the `proliferation of lifestyle cultures'.
Written with the clarity and insight that readers have come to expect of Mike Featherstone Undoing Culture is a notable contribution to our understanding of modernism and postmodernism. It explores the formation and deformation of the cultural sphere and the effects on culture of globalization. Against many orthodox postmodernist accounts,the author argues that it is wrong to regard our present state of fragmentation and dislocation as an epochal break. Existing interdependencies and power balances are not so easily broken down. Nonetheless some important cultural changes have occurred since World War II. In particular, the book examines some of the processes which have uncoupled culture from the social; the erosion of the ideal of the heroic life in the face of the onslaught from consumerism and the deformation of culture; and the rise of new forms of identity development. It explains why culture has gained a more significant role in everyday life and also why it has come to preoccupy the Academy in recent years. Mike Featherstone looks at the effects of the multiplication of cultural goods and images on our ability to read culture and develop fixed meanings and relationships. He highlights the importance of the global in attempting to cope with the objective difficulties of cultural overproduction. The book concludes that the rise of non-Western nation-states with different cultural frames produces different reactions of modernity, making it more appropriate to refer to global modernities.
In this vital addition to the sociological literature on racism, Michel Wieviorka presents a detailed and revisionary analysis of the vocabulary of racism (prejudice, discrimination, segregation and violence), arguing that racism is not reducible to these elementary forms. He shows how the experiences of institutionalized racism in America and anti-Semitism in Europe can be analyzed to provide an understanding of the complex transition from race to racism. As cultural identies are more and more fragmented in our societies, as the social relations defined by industrial capitalism are in decline, so too are ideas of progress and universality. It is in this context of postmodern social and economic flux that Wieviorka puts forward a definition of racism. He demonstrates that racism has to be understood as an action related to factors fixed in the dislocation between the social and the communal.
Global Modernities is a sustained commentary on the international character of the most microcosmic practices. It demonstrates how the global increasingly informs the regional, so deconstructing ideas like the `nation state' and `national sovereignty'. The spatialization of social theory, hybridization and bio-politics are among the critical issues discussed.
Ranging over a rich variety of material from film and film literature, and encompassing a critical interrogation of traditional realist ethnographic and cinematic texts, this book highlights the extent to which the cinema has contributed to the rise of voyeurism throughout society. The cinema not only turns its audience into voyeurs, eagerly following the lives of its screen characters, but casts its key players as onlookers, spying on other's lives. The nature of the cinematic voyeur is examined in depth, as are its implications for contemporary society. Norman K Denzin analyzes Hollywood's manipulations of gender, race and class, and, drawing on the work of Foucault, argues that the cinematic gaze must be understood as part of the machinery of surveillance and power which regulates social behaviour in the late twentieth century.
This book explores the meaning of leisure in the context of key social formations of our time. Chris Rojek brings together the insights of feminsim, Marxism, Weber, Elias, Simmel, Nietzsche and Baudrillard to produce a survey - and rethinking - of leisure theory. At the same time he presents a radical critique of the traditional 'centring' of leisure, on 'escape', 'freedom' and 'choice'. Revealing how leisure practices have responded to living in a risk society, he shows that 'free' time becomes something very different when simulation and nostalgia lie at the heart of everyday life.
The Established and the Outsiders is a classic text from one of the major figures of world sociology. This new edition includes a theoretical introduction, published in English for the first time. In Norbert Elias's hands, a local community study of tense relations between an established group and outsiders - with no other discernible difference between them - becomes a microcosm that illuminates a wide range of sociological configurations including racial, ethnic, class and gender relations. The book examines the mechanisms of stigmatisation, taboo and gossip, monopolisation of power, collective fantasy and 'we' and 'they' images which support and reinforce divisions in society. Developing aspects of Elias's thinking that relate his work to current sociological concerns, it presents the fullest elaboration of his concepts of mutual identification and functional democratisation. The Established and the Outsiders not only brings out the important theoretical implications of micro-analysis but also demonstrates the significance of such detailed study analysis for better sociological theory. It is essential reading for students and scholars in social theory, sociology and anthropology.
This fascinating book explores the interface between global processes, identity formation and the production of culture. Examining ideas ranging from world systems theory to postmodernism, Jonathan Friedman investigates the relations between the global and the local, to show how cultural fragmentation and modernist homogenization are equally constitutive trends of global reality. With examples taken from a rich variety of theoretical sources, ethnographic accounts of historical eras, the analysis ranges across the cultural formations of ancient Greece, contemporary processes of Hawaiian cultural identification and Congolese beauty cults. Throughout, the author examines the interdependency of world market and local cultural transformations, and demonstrates the complex interrelations between globally structured social processes and the organization of identity. Jonathan Friedman also documents the development and significance of a global perspective in an anthropology that illuminates a wide variety of domains from prehistory to world hegemony. In so doing, he interrogates the emergence of the concept of culture and suggests that anthropology itself is best understood within the trajectory of modernity.
This is a fascinating examination of the relationship between consumption, the idea of the body and the formation of the self. In tracing these connections, The Consuming Body develops a profile of individuality in the late twentieth century - in both its bodily and mental aspects. Pasi Falk offers a major synthesis and critical assessment of the debates surrounding the body, the self and contemporary consumer culture. He explores two fundamental issues for modern social theory - the delineation of modern consumption and the body's historically changing position in various cultural orders. In the course of his argument he examines both metaphors of consumption and investigates the issues of representation in advertising and pornography.
In his exploration of the interaction between religion and worldwide social and cultural change, the author examines the major theories of global change and discusses the ways in which such change impinges on contemporary religious practice, meaning and influence. Beyer explores some of the key issues in understanding the shape of religion today, including religion as culture and as social system, pure and applied religion, privatized and publicly influential religion, and liberal versus conservative religions. He goes on to apply these issues to five contemporary illustrative cases: the American Christian Right; Liberation Theology movements in Latin America; the Islamic Revolution in Iran; Zionists in Israel; and religious environmentalism.
In this fascinating book, Christine Buci-Glucksmann explores the condition of modernity - alienation, melancholy, nostalgia - through the works of a number of writers and philosophers, including the social and aesthetic philosophy of Walter Benjamin. The author examines Baudelaire's haunting image of the city and its profound effect on conceptions of modernity. She goes on to consider how such influential figures as Nietzsche, Adorno, Musil, Barthes and Lacan constitute a baroque paradigm, united by their allegorical style, their conflation of aesthetics with ethics and their subject matter - death, catastrophe, sexuality, myth, the female. In her exegesis of these fundamental themes Buci-Glucksmann proposes an epistemology beyond postmodernism. This extraordinary exposition of a baroque reason for modernity sheds new light on a number of themes central to modern social theory.
This is a novel account of social change that supplants conventional understandings of `society' and presents a sociology that takes as its main unit of analysis flows through time and across space. Developing a comparative analysis of the UK and US, the new Germany and Japan, Lash and Urry show how restructuration after organized capitalism has its basis in increasingly reflexive social actors and organizations. The consequence is not only the much-vaunted `postmodern condition' but also a growth in reflexivity. In exploring this new reflexive world, the authors argue that today's economies are increasingly ones of signs - information, symbols, images, desire - and of space, where both signs and social subjects - refugees, financiers, tourists and fl[ci]aneurs - are mobile over ever greater distances at ever greater speeds.
The works of Pierre Bourdieu occupy a central place in the current development of world sociology. This volume offers an accessible but challenging introduction to Bourdieu's ideas. In a series of discussions, lectures and interviews, the range of Bourdieu's ideas is laid out and its relation to other disciplines and other sociological schools is explored. The issues developed include the sociology of culture, leisure and taste; the intrinsic reflexivity of social science; and the role of language in society and social sciences.
Are contemporary societies organized by class? In recent years the apparent fragmentation of established class structures and the emergence of new social movements - in particular the women's movement and environmentalism - have altered the traditional expressions of class in society. At the same time, these changes have posed fundamental questions for the concept of class in sociology and political science. In this major reassessment, Klaus Eder offers a new perspective on the status of class in modernity. Drawing on a critique of Bourdieu, Touraine and Habermas, he outlines a cultural conception of class as the basis for understanding contemporary societies. His model reevaluates the role of the middle classes, traditionally the crux of class analysis, and links class to social theories of power and cultural capital. The result is a cultural theory of class which incorporates the changing forms of collective action and the new social movements of contemporary societies.
In this rigorous and challenging analysis of American postmodernity, Anthony Woodiwiss re-examines the political, economic and social life of the United States over the past 60 years. Exploring the rise and fall of modernism as a social ideology, he offers a distinctive and original interpretation of the unique experience of American modernity and the arrival of the postmodern world. The result is both a novel history of postwar America and a significant contribution to the idea of postmodernism as a social and cultural form. Postmodernity USA also carries lessons for the understanding of class, culture and politics in late industrial societies in general.
This panoramic analysis of the condition of Western societies has been hailed as a classic. This first English edition has taken its place as a core text of contemporary sociology alongside earlier typifications of society as postindustrial and current debates about the social dimensions of the postmodern. Underpinning the analysis is the notion of the 'risk society'. The changing nature of society's relation to production and distribution is related to the environmental impact as a totalizing, globalizing economy based on scientific and technical knowledge becomes more central to social organization and social conflict.
A stimulating appraisal of a crucial contemporary theme, this comprehensive analysis of globalizaton offers a distinctively cultural perspective on the social theory of the contemporary world. This perspective considers the world as a whole, going beyond conventional distinctions between the global and the local and between the universal and the particular. Its cultural approach emphasizes the political and economic significance of shifting conceptions of, and forms of participation in, an increasingly compressed world. At the same time the book shows why culture has become a globally contested issue - why, for example, competing conceptions of 'world order' have political and economic consequences.
Changing Cultures brings together a selection of challenging essays which have their roots in the fertile convergence of feminism, sociology and cultural studies. Themes include the assessment of feminist theory, its transformations and its ability to illuminate issues and practices. The complex relationship between objects of study, their political implications and their historical context is a recurring theme. The book includes analyses of the utopianism of feminist thought on the family; sexuality and sexual difference in youth service provision; and the symbolic resonance of the urban and the domestic in the education of girls. It goes on to investigate child sexual abuse in relation to problems of interpretation and the politics of media representation. The final section examines different theorizations of consumerism and advertising and their implications for our understanding of youth and consumerism.
By using a series of studies of contemporary mainstream Hollywood movies - Blue Velvet, Wall Street, Crimes and Misdemeanors, When Harry Met Sally, Sex Lies and Videotape, Do the Right Thing - Norman Denzin explores the tension between ideas of the postmodern, and traditional ways of analyzing society. The discussion moves between two forms of text: social theory and cinematic representations of contemporary life. Denzin analyzes the ideas of society embedded in poststructuralism, postmodernism, feminism, cultural studies and Marxism through the ideas of key theorists like Baudrillard, Barthes, Habermas, Jameson, Bourdieu and Derrida. He relates these to the problematic of the postmodern self as exposed in cinema centering on the decisive performance of race, gender and class.
The second edition of this major book on the social analysis of religion incorporates a substantial new introduction by Bryan S Turner. Religion and Social Theory assesses the different theoretical approaches to the social function of religion. Turner discusses at length the ideas of key contributors to these approaches (including Engels, Durkheim, Weber, Nietzsche, Freud, Parsons, Marcuse, Habermas and Foucault). In so doing, he develops a distinctive perspective on the role of religion as an institutional link between economic and human reproduction. Social theories of religion are explored through a resolutely comparative and historical analysis of the Abrahamic faiths - Judaism, Islam and Christianity. Relating comparative religion to the social context of individualism, civil religions and political legitimacy, the book makes a major contribution to the analysis of conflict and consensus in social systems.
In The Symbol Theory, Norbert Elias draws together three central themes. At the first level the book is concerned with symbols in relation to language, knowing and thinking. Secondly, Elias stresses that symbols are also tangible sound-patterns of human communication, made possible by the evolutionary biological precondition of human vocal apparatus. At a third level, the book addresses theoretical issues about the ontological status of knowledge, moving beyond traditional philosophical dualisms such as subject/object and idealism/materialism. The bulk of The Symbol Theory was published in Vol 6, issues 2, 3 and 4 of Theory, Culture & Society.
This volume offers a reappraisal of Parsons' work by leading social theorists, who place his writing at the centre of current controversies over modernity, postmodernity and globalization. The wide-ranging discussion encompasses Parsons' value commitments and his place in American social theory, the problems of interpreting his work today, his conception of world history, and the contemporary neofunctionalist movement. Parsons' own work is represented by a previously neglected essay on American values that is central to an understanding of his analysis of modernization.
This challenging volume reasserts the centrality of the body within social theory as a means to understanding the complex interrelations between nature, culture and society. At a theoretical level, the volume explores the origins of a social theory of the body in sources ranging from the work of Nietzsche to contemporary feminist theory. The importance of a theoretical understanding of the body to social and cultural analysis of contemporary societies is demonstrated through specific case studies. These range from the expression of the emotions, romantic love, dietary practice, consumer culture, fitness and beauty, to media images of women and sexuality.
The way in which the ruling ideas of a social system are related to structures of class, production and power, and how these are legitimated and perpetuated, is fundamental to the sociological project. In this second edition of this classic text, which includes a new introduction by Pierre Bourdieu, the authors develop an analysis of education (in its broadest sense, encompassing more than the process of formal education). They show how education carries an essentially arbitrary cultural scheme which is actually, though not in appearance, based on power. More widely, the reproduction of culture through education is shown to play a key part in the reproduction of the whole social system. The analysis is carried through not only in theoretical terms but through the development of empirically testable propositions within the wider framework of the historical transformation of the educational system.
In this book leading social scientists from many countries analyze the extent to which we are seeing a globalization of culture. Is a unified world culture emerging? And if so, how does this relate to existing cultural divisions and to the autonomy of the nation state? Differing explanations are offered for trends towards global unification and their relation to an economic world-system. Will the intensification of global contact produce increasing tolerance of other cultures? Or will an integrating culture produce sharper reactions in the form of fundamentalist and nationalist movements? The contributors explore the emergence of `third cultures', such as international law, the financial markets and media conglomerates, as elements which transcend the boundaries of the nation state. As well as examining the extent, causation and consequences of global homogenization, the authors consider its implication for the social sciences. Global Culture was published simultaneously as Volume 7, issues 2-3 of Theory, Culture & Society.