Society and Culture reclaims the classical heritage, provides a clear-eyed assessment of the promise of sociology in the 21st century and asks whether the `cultural turn' has made the study of society redundant. Sociologists have objected to the rise of cultural studies on the grounds that it produces cultural relativism and lacks a stable research agenda. This book looks at these criticisms and illustrates the relevance of a sociological perspective in the analysis of human practice. The book argues that the classical tradition must be treated as a living tradition, rather than a period piece. It analyzes the fundamental principles of belonging and conflict in society and provides a detailed critical survey of the p
Chapter 3: Disorder
Classical sociology was born from an attempt to elucidate principles of gravity in collective life in the midst of seemingly exponential and destabilizing increases in the mass of populations and the velocity of industrial and economic change. Industrialization and modernization did not simply uproot traditional practices, communities and formations of identity. Rather, they uprooted them without allowing new forms of social integration to gain a footing. That is why the problem of social order was identified as such an urgent issue in the classical tradition. The fusillade fired against traditional religious and aristocratic forms of authority left the philosophes without a prayer book, but clutching a lantern of flickering, ‘objective’ insights into the nature of truth and social change.
The Enlightenment legacy has famously been ...