With the ‘cultural turn’, the concept of culture has assumed enormous importance in our understanding of the interrelations between social, political, and economic structures, patterns of everyday interaction, and systems of meaning-making. In The SAGE Handbook of Cultural Analysis, the leading figures in their fields explore the implications of this paradigm shift. Addressed to academics and advanced students in all fields of the social sciences and humanities, this Handbook is at once a synthesis of advances in the field, with a comprehensive coverage of the scholarly literature, and a collection of original and provocative essays by some of the brightest intellectuals of our time.
Chapter 21: Culture and Economy
Culture and Economy
To conventional ways of thinking, economy and culture stand as opposites. The economy is the sphere of material needs, it is said, shaped by a universal human requirement to interact with the environment in order to secure survival and satisfy wants. Culture, from this perspective, represents merely the local meanings people attach to this process or the particular values that shape their needs. The cultural turn in social analysis marked a shift in emphasis, drawing attention to the fact that no economic process can be understood independently of its cultural dimensions and proposing a much closer understanding of how the economic and the cultural are related. Yet the question remained one of the relationship between two different dimensions of the ...