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The Sociology of Culture
The sociology of culture

Cultural sociology's boom began in the mid-1980s, and by the turn of the century ‘culture’, which had been becalmed in a sociological backwater during the 1960s and 1970s, was everywhere. Research fell into two camps, close theoretically but distant empirically. First was the old ‘sociology of culture’ school, whereby culture was a dependent variable produced by and registering some social process or formation. Second was ‘cultural sociology’, whereby culture was an independent variable shaping socially significant outcomes. Crude as it is, such a categorization helps explain why sociologists who claim to be ‘doing culture’ often seem to be talking about different things. (For brevity's sake, I call both ‘cultural sociology’ in this chapter.)

The market for cultural sociology has ...

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