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



In this chapter, the sociology of the body is employed as a basis for defending a universalistic theory of human rights. Such a proposal immediately runs into at least two formidable obstacles. First, notions about universalism have been radically attacked by a variety of traditions in social philosophy with the result that there is a broad consensus that universalistic arguments are likely to be sociologically naïve. For example, Max Weber's sociology of law was an overt criticism of the idea that natural law could provide an authoritative and convincing basis for rights. The second obstacle is that the body in sociological theory is typically seen to be socially constructed and as such could not act as a general foundation for human rights. For example, ...

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