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

Norms

Norms

In this chapter we want to comment on the influence of the work of Foucault and Beck in exploring the institutions of normative coercion as a perspective for the continuing growth of sociology. In particular, this chapter attempts to make links between Foucault's analysis of power/knowledge/discipline (namely ‘governmentality’) and the notion of ‘risk society’ (Beck, 1992). These two frameworks may be analysed as paradigms for understanding the new epidemiology of disease in late modern or postmodern society and elucidating the modalities of normative coercion today. The philosophical choice between these two paradigms also indicates real tensions in contemporary society between the deregulation of the macro-global level (so-called ‘risk society’) and the micro-local requirement for a continuing micro-politics of surveillance and control (so-called ‘carceral society’).

Foucault ...

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