Confronting Culture

Confronting Culture : Sociological Vistas

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Confronting Culture offers a clear and accessible discussion and analysis of the complex field of the sociology of culture, and how it compares with approaches developed within cultural studies. * An accessible guide to the complex field of the sociological study of culture. * Unique in showing how sociological understandings of culture often differ from rival approaches in the discipline of cultural studies. * Introduces the various ways of thinking sociologically about culture that have been developed over the last century. * Examines the legacy of classical sociology for the sociology of culture, and situates thinking about culture within the historical, cultural and social contexts of the rival schools of thought in the US, UK, France and Germany. * Examples of topics under discussion include the rise of postmodernism, the American production of culture approach, and the cultural sociology of Pierre Bourdieu.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 266 pages
  • 149.86 x 223.52 x 20.32mm | 340.19g
  • Polity Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1, black & white illustrations
  • 0745625622
  • 9780745625621
  • 1,088,303

Review quote

"This is a most satisfying book! It covers so much, so well -- the entire field of culture and its various interpretations. I do not know of any book quite like it." Charles Lemert, Wesleyan University "This original and admirable textbook fills an important gap in the literature. The "sociology of culture" has crucial implications for our understanding of the concept of culture itself, so the book should appeal not just to students of sociology, but also to that far wider constituency, the area of "cultural studies". No other text, to my knowledge, fulfils this function and the authors have risen to the challenge of covering such a large compass of material very successfully." John Tomlinson, Nottingham Trent University "Confronting Culture is a truly excellent contribution to the enhancement of the sociology of culture. It combines beautifully a direct appreciation of the significance of culture with an acute analytical perspicuousness." Roland Robertson, University of Aberdeen "This book provides a comprehensive introduction to the sociology of culture. The authors argue that the sociological study of culture is crucial for understanding what goes on both within and between particular groups and societies, and more generally for understanding human social life. They provide a detailed definition of culture, and relate it to sociological approaches developed in Germany, France, Great Britain and the United States. In particular, attention is paid to the Frankfurt School, British and American mass cultural theorists, the work of Bourdieu, and poststructuralist and postmodernist thought. The impact of globalisation and reflexivity upon culture and its study is also addressed. The authors conclude that the sociology of culture will continue to make an important contribution to understanding fundamental aspects of the human condition." Sage Race Relations
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Back cover copy

The study of culture is crucial for understanding many of the most important aspects of human life. Social scientists increasingly regard it as one of their central areas of interest, and sociologists have offered valuable and provocative insights into the nature of cultural life. Yet up until now, no single volume has brought together in a comprehensive fashion the array of ideas and viewpoints that together make up the specifically sociological study of culture. Confronting Culture rectifies this situation, offering a clear and accessible introduction to the complex field of the sociology of culture.

Inglis and Hughson critically discuss the key contributions made to the study of culture by different streams of thought within sociology. They examine the nature of cultural matters as perceived by classical sociology, the Frankfurt School, English and American mass culture theorists, culturalists and cultural materialists, semioticians, poststructuralists and postmodernists, the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, and scholars within the 'production of culture' paradigm. The book will appeal to those studying culture both from within sociology and from the perspectives of other disciplines, such as cultural studies, media and communication studies, anthropology and literary studies.
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About David Inglis

David Inglis is a Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Aberdeen. John Hughson is a Lecturer in Sociology in the Department of Sport and Health at the University of Durham.
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Table of contents

Acknowledgements. Introduction: Sociology and Culture. 1. Setting Up the Terrain: Classical Sociology and Culture. 2. High German Seriousness: The Frankfurt School on Culture. 3. An American Tragedy? Mass Culture in the USA. 4. Reading from Right to Left: Culturalism in England. 5. The Empire of Signs: The Semiotics of Culture. 6. Phantasmagoria: Postmodernism and Culture. 7. In the French Style: The Sociology of Pierre Bourdieu. 8. The Land of the Free? Production of Culture in America and Elsewhere. Conclusion: Globalization, Reflecivity and the Future. References. Index.
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