Sociology | Advanced Topics: Sociology of Culture (3 CR)
S660 | 25968 | Steensland


11:15AM-1:10PM	M	S7 100

Obtain on-line authorization for above class from department

“Culture” is a notoriously multifaceted concept. So it stands to
reason that the “sociology of culture” encompasses diverse topics,
concepts, explanatory perspectives, and methodological approaches.
Despite this diversity, what unites most genres of cultural
sociology is the central place they give the symbolic-expressive
dimension of social life. Put most simply, the focus in cultural
sociology revolves around the problem of meaning.

The first third of the course will provide an overview of the
sociology of culture, which will involve reading classic theoretical
statements, contemporary extensions, and empirical exemplars. It
will also examine a few recent debates. The course will then shift
to research on the sociology of knowledge, research on the
production and reception of culture, and analytic and empirical
examinations of meaning. Throughout the semester, the focus will be
more on macro-level meaning systems than on cultural processes at
the individual level. Many of the substantive examples will be drawn
from research on religion, politics, and economics.

Representative Readings:

Mannheim, Karl. 1936. Ideology and Utopia: An Introduction to the
Sociology of Knowledge. New York, NY: Harcourt.

Weber, Klaus, Kathryn L. Heinze & Michaela DeSoucey. 2008. “Forage
for Thought: Mobilizing Codes in the Movement for Grass-fed Meat and
Dairy Products,” Administrative Science Quarterly, 53 (September):
529-567.

Sewell, William H., Jr. 1992. "A Theory of Structure: Duality,
Agency, and Transformation." American Journal of Sociology 98:1-29.

Billings, Dwight. 1990. "Religion as Opposition: A Gramscian
Analysis." American Journal of Sociology 96:1-31.

Griswold, Wendy. 1987. "The Fabrication of Meaning: Literary
Interpretation in the United States, Great Britain, and the West
Indies." American Journal of Sociology 92:1077-1117.

Go, Julian. 2008. American Empire and the Politics of Meaning: Elite
Political Cultures in the Philippines and Puerto Rico during U.S.
Colonialism. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Bourdieu, Pierre. 1993. The Field of Cultural Production. New York,
NY: Columbia University Press.

Burns, Gene. 1990. "The Politics of Ideology: The Papal Struggle
with Liberalism." American Journal of Sociology 95:1123-1152.

Somers, Margaret R. 1995. "What's Political or Cultural about
Political Culture and the Public Sphere? Toward an Historical
Sociology of Concept Formation." Sociological Theory 13:113-144.

Williams, Raymond. 2005. "Base and Superstructure in Marxist
Cultural Theory." Pp. 31-49 in Culture and Materialism: Selected
Essays. New York, NY: Verso.