Traditionally social science treated culture as a peripheral issue, but the last twenty years have witnessed a cultural turn throughout the social sciences. Culture is now at the core of debate. Culture and Economy After the Cultural Turn examines the impact of the cultural turn for the social sciences in relation to the decline of interest in economic aspects of society. It presents a number of responses to the changing relationship between culture and economy, and to the way in which the cultural turn has sought to understand it.
Chapter 3: Economy, Equality and Recognition
Economy, Equality and Recognition
The cultural turn in social theory has manifested itself both in a shift away from political economy towards a politics of identity, recognition and voice in the cultural sphere and in a shift within political economy away from traditional issues of power, property and distribution towards a treatment of the economy itself as a cultural sphere of consumption. This cultural turn is often presented as a new departure in social theory. That presentation displays a common amnesia in social teory about its own past. As I shall show, questions concerning recognition and identity and of the ‘sign value’ as against the ‘use-value’ of commodities have a long history in political economy. The cultural turn has involved a rediscovery ...