• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This timely volume provides a framework for understanding the cultural turn in terms of the classical legacy, contemporary cultural theory, and cultural analysis. It reveals the significance of Marxist humanism, Georg Simmel, the Frankfurt School, Stuart Hall, and the Birmingham School, Giddens, Bauman, Foucault, Bourdieu and Baudrillard. Readers receive a dazzling, critical survey of some of the primary figures in the field. However, the book is much more than a rough guide tour through the ‘great figures’ in the field. Through an analysis of specific problems, such as transculturalism, transnationalism, feminism, popular music, and cultural citizenship, it demonstrates the relevance of cultural sociology in elucidating some of the key questions of our time.

Giddens and Cultural Analysis: Absent Word and Central Concept
Giddens and cultural analysis: Absent word and central concept

Anthony Giddens has been one of the most widely cited social theorists in English-speaking countries in the past two decades.1 His work is widely used across the social sciences, and has been very influential among cultural analysts. Rather surprisingly, however, Giddens rarely uses the word culture in any of his many publications. Despite this apparent disregard for the word culture, however, the concept is central to his theoretical concerns. There are, in fact, two principal conceptions of culture in his work. These can be termed culture as structure and culture as lifeworld.

Culture as structure is, in fact, the central idea in Giddens’ sociology. According to this view, culture ...

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