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`This is a wide-ranging and authoritative analysis of sociology's 'state-of-the-art'. It will set the terms of debate for the next decade' - John Urry, Lancaster University, U.K.`The profession of sociology was blessed by abundance of excellent handbooks. The one edited by Craig Calhoun, Christ Rojek and Bryan Turner was preceded by outstanding sociology handbooks, the most eminent ones by Robert Farris and E Lee published in 1964 and a more recent one by Neil Smelser in1988. The volume by Farris and Lee not only served as an introductory text to the discipline, but contained many innovative papers, which re-oriented social research for years to come. Smelser brought together the best possible and most polished overview of the contributions professional sociology at his time. The Calhoun-Rojek-Turner ...

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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