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Purpose – This concluding essay suggests how contemporary developments in cultural sociology can enrich and extend the American sociology of work. While recent studies in…
Purpose – This concluding essay suggests how contemporary developments in cultural sociology can enrich and extend the American sociology of work. While recent studies in the sociology of work consider more fully the role of sense making and representations in workers’ lives, we propose additional possibilities for conceptual and theoretical cross-pollination. We propose questions that a cultural sociologist might ask about European workers in the age of neo-liberalism.
Methodology/approach – We examine how authors in this volume and its companion (Brady, 2011), and other students of workers approach culture-related phenomena. In particular we focus on how they use culture as explanans and explananda. Borrowing from Lamont and Small (2008) and Small, Harding, and Lamont (2010), we present a set of analytical tools that cultural sociologists use widely. We then draw from culturally focused studies of workers to illustrate how researchers have used these concepts.
Findings – Research on European workers documents important political and economic trends that affect this group, but it examines less frequently how individuals understand, experience, and respond to these changes. With tools from cultural sociology, we can explore these understudied aspects of the conditions and lives of European workers.
Originality/value of paper – To our knowledge, this is the first systematic discussion of how concepts from contemporary cultural sociology can enrich research on European workers.
Four conferences, held in Britain in 1991/2, on particular specialisms in Sociology considered their place within the curriculum and how distinctions can be drawn between…
Four conferences, held in Britain in 1991/2, on particular specialisms in Sociology considered their place within the curriculum and how distinctions can be drawn between what is essential to a first degree in Sociology and what are optional elements. The research aim was to develop a qualitative understanding of the way particular specialisms within Sociology are constituted through teaching and fined into the overall curriculum. The conferences were of practical benefit to the participants in clarifying assumptions embedded in alternative course designs, facilitating the flow of good ideas about teaching methods and learning materials and establishing personal contacts with teachers from other institutions in the same field of study. The topics of the four conferences were Sociology of Culture, Sociology of Work and Employment, Methods of Social Research and Sociological Theory.
Approaches to the sociology of culture have largely been constituted around the long tradition of functionalism in sociology. This has hampered the field greatly. Among…
Approaches to the sociology of culture have largely been constituted around the long tradition of functionalism in sociology. This has hampered the field greatly. Among other shortcomings, this intellectual foundation has led to a limited understanding of ideology and civil society, a conservative political orientation and an overdeterministic view of social action and the actor. In this paper, I explore and then apply a new approach to the sociology of culture, one that attempts to conceptualize more robustly the dynamics of ideology, ideological conflict and civil society. As part of this project, I endeavor to map out a critical cultural perspective that establishes a multidimensional understanding of the contingency of social action.
During the 1995 annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, I presided over a panel discussion on new perspectives in the sociology of culture. Most of the papers are being published in this volume. The contributions by Annie Ruth Leslie and myself are additional papers.
The purpose of this paper is to highlight both the contribution and the present need to reconfigure the literature on “queue culture” as a precursor of the sociology of…
The purpose of this paper is to highlight both the contribution and the present need to reconfigure the literature on “queue culture” as a precursor of the sociology of waiting.
The study employs a legal-structural lens in comparing the initial conceptual treatment of the archetypal “waiting line” with the “line” modifying sociology of waiting that results in waiting rooms, number and telephone queues and in the experience of online waiting.
The initial conception of the culture of the queue understates the importance of three factors: first, the role of third parties in the design, management and inculcation of rules binding those experiencing thick time; second the degree to which communication technology and its attachment to the “mobilities” paradigm has thinned the experience of thick time and lastly the degree to which the increasing commodification of the wait has resulted in the creation of waiting time as a form of pay as you go flexitime.
The social construction of waiting and the experience of thick time are shown to be increasingly part of the privatized market experience where queue management innovations not only are commercialized but have strong implications for the egalitarian social assumptions imbedded in the initial queue culture based sociology of waiting. Policy implications support the present pay for use philosophy increasingly applied in the transition from public to private management of space.
The self-policing “fairness” of the waiting line is now open to scrutiny given the proliferation of the newly shaped distributional logics imbedded in the management, design and use of waiting spaces.
Purpose – This chapter focuses on the status of Emile Durkheim's work in the United States, and on the prospects of its rehabilitation in light of the crisis of theory…
Purpose – This chapter focuses on the status of Emile Durkheim's work in the United States, and on the prospects of its rehabilitation in light of the crisis of theory engendered by the critique of the theory of the sign and the paradox presented by the application of terms that invoke an inertial view of culture to everyday discourse.
Design/methodology/approach – How is it possible to reconcile the most general aspect of the internal life of the sociality that Durkheim places under the name of “solidarity,” with the theoretically expansive idea of social movements and with an idea of a generative culture radically different from the inertial institutional concept attributed to Durkheim? Our argument depends on conceiving of society as a course of activity, therefore, according to internal relations among subjectivities and objectivities. The main ontological assumptions of the human sciences are that humans and human affairs are essentially social and that sociality is irreducible and irrepressible. That difference lies at the heart of every attempt to identify something as unitary, complete, and stable.
Findings – Culture is tied to social movements, where the latter are thought of as expressions of the “becoming” of society. An understanding of the dynamics of culture requires revisiting dialectics and “internal relations.” The challenge to the idea of meaning based on the exchange of signs requires a reformulation of basic categories of human science. When the social is thought of as historical, it is necessary to think of history as immanent rather than as a condition or temporal course. Therefore, one is driven back to Marx by way of Hegel, where “history” refers to the contradictory character of whatever can be said about the social. It follows that every instance of unity is merely ostensible and cannot be relied on as a primary referent of a social science.
Research limitations/implications – “Culture” can no longer stand for something inert; rather, it appears as radically generative and reflexive. Further, it is not independent of economic reality, though it has the sort of weight that makes economism impossible.
Originality value – This chapter will stimulate more insightful appreciations of the work of Emile Durkheim, relative to his typical reception in U.S. social science. For instance, to reappropriate Durkheim for theoretical purposes, it is necessary to work through the problems raised by poststructuralism and the literature of ethnomethodology and its adjacent areas of research, with attention to the ontological presuppositions of theories of human affairs and the epistemological requirement of all the human sciences, that theory find itself in its object and its object in itself.
The aim of this chapter is to examine and problematize the taken-for-granted conceptual understanding of risk practices in sport cultures. By inspecting the mainstay, and one might argue relatively stagnant, constructions of risk in the sociological study of sport, a case for attending to a wider range of risk-based ideologies and cultural practices is presented. The chapter ventures away from viewing risk as predominantly physical in sport settings and constructing athletes as oppressed agents who naively acquiesce to practices of self-injury and self-alienation in sport cultures. Emphasis is given to a broad spectrum of risks undertaken in the practice of sport, and the reflexive, personal nature by which risk may be understood by sports and physical culture participants.
In the first part of the chapter, the relatively simplistic or unidimensional construction of risk in sociological research in sport is reviewed. In the second part, the complexity of the concept of risk is then discussed alongside case examples that push the analytical boundaries of how risk is a multidimensional construct of athletes’ minds, bodies, selves, beliefs, values, and identities in a host of relational contexts.
Risk is best understood as a set of practices and belief that exists on a continuum in sport and physical cultures. Risk-taking in sport, however, can be personally injurious and detrimental along a number of lines but is also often calculated, personally/group satisfying and existentially rewarding at times. If the concept of risk is to be applied and interrogated in sport and physical cultures, it should be done so, therefore, in radically contextual manners.
This chapter illustrates the need for new and exploratory theoretical understandings of what risk means to athletes and other participants in sport and physical culture. New substantive topics are proposed, as are methodological suggestions for representations of the unfolding risk in the process of “doing” sport.
This text is the result of an extensive bibliographical research on the development of Childhood Studies in various regions of Brazil based on the understanding that…
This text is the result of an extensive bibliographical research on the development of Childhood Studies in various regions of Brazil based on the understanding that childhood is a social discursive construction, as well as human rights, and both concepts are interlinked when the subject in focus is the children’s rights. According to research data while advances in the concept of childhood have supported specific child protection policies, the issue of marginalization and inequalities affecting children is some of the central matters developed within childhood studies in Brazil. In this article, we map the advances of childhood studies in Brazil and its relation to children’s rights. However, we may state that neither childhood nor children’s rights are still a reality for all Brazilian children, especially when considering other markers that have challenged the rights of our children, such as race, ethnicity, social class, and gender.