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Related: alienation - altruism - anthropology - culture - communication - conflict theory - Cultural Studies - culture theory - everyday life - group - social sciences - sociobiology - social - society - taste (sociology)

By field: sociology of culture - sociology of music - sociology of art

Experiments: Milgram experiment - Stanford experiment

The Sociology of Culture (1982) - Raymond Williams
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Essays: Cultural Studies and the Sociology of Culture (1999) - Janet Wolff

People: Georges Bataille - Peter Berger - Pierre Bourdieu - Dick Hebdige - Émile Durkheim - Raymond Williams - Georg Simmel


Sociology studies the social rules and processes that bind, and separate, people not only as individuals, but as members of associations, groups, and institutions. --http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sociology

Sociology of culture

Sociology of culture, or "cultural sociology," is one of the most popular fields of sociology, particularly in the United States and Europe. Cultural sociology is a methodology that accounts for social life as an outcome of meaning or interpretation. Cultural sociologists are primarily influenced by Max Weber. More than other fields of sociology, cultural sociologists are predisposed to humanistic investigation and postmodern analysis. Scientific investigation and the production of empirically verifiable analysis (especially in terms of testable theories) is considered taboo among many cultural sociologists. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sociology_of_culture [Nov 2006]

Collège de Sociologie (1937 - 1939)

The College of Sociology ("Collège de Sociologie" in French) was a loosely-knit group of French intellectuals, named after the informal discussion series that they organized. The College was founded in 1937 in Paris and continued operating until 1939, when it was disrupted by the war.

Founding members of the College of Sociology include some of France's most well-known intellectuals of the interwar period, including Georges Ambrosino, Georges Bataille, Roger Caillois, Pierre Klossowski, Pierre Libra, and Jules Monnerot . Participants also included Michel Leiris, Alexandre Kojève, Jean Paulhan (lover of Pauline Réage), and Jean Wahl.

The members of the College were united in their dissatisfaction with surrealism. They believed that surrealism's focus on the unconscious privileged the individual over society, and obscured the social dimension of human experience.

In contrast to this, the members of the College focused on "Sacred Sociology, implying the study of all manifestations of social existence where the active presence of the sacred is clear." The group drew on work in anthropology which focused on the way that human communities engaged in collective rituals or acts of distribution such as potlatch. It was here, in moments of intense communal experience, rather than the individualistic dreams and reveries of surrealism, that the College of Sociology sought the essence of humanity.

The group met for two years and lectured on many topics, including the structure of the army, the Marquis de Sade, English monarchy, literature, sexuality, Hitler, and Hegel. This focus, and in particular their interest in indigenous cultures, was part of a wider trend towards primitivism of the time. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/College_of_Sociology [Nov 2006]

History of sociology

Sociology as a scientific discipline emerged in the early 19th century as an academic response to the challenge of modernity: as the world is becoming smaller and more integrated, people's experience of the world is increasingly atomized and dispersed. Among many early sociologists, prominently including Émile Durkheim, the aim of the discipline was in structuralism, or trying to understand what holds social groups together, and to develop an "antidote" to social disintegration. Max Weber was concerned with the modernization of society through the concept of rationalization, which he believed would trap individuals in an "iron cage" of rational thought based around means ends calculation. Some early sociologists, including Georg Simmel and W. E. B. Du Bois, utilized more microsociological, qualitative analyses. This microlevel approach was especially an important aspect of early American sociology, with the theories of George Herbert Mead and his student Herbert Blumer resulting in the creation of an approach to sociology known as symbolic interactionism.

American sociology in the 1940s and 1950s was dominated largely by the work of Talcott Parsons, who, expanding on Durkheim, believed that aspects of society that promoted structural integration were therefore "functional". This approach to sociological thinking was coined normative functionalism or structural functionalism. While Parsons was challenged by sociologists such as C. Wright Mills throughout the 1950s, it wasn't until the 1960s that the approach was popularly questioned. A number of sociologists came to see this approach to sociology as merely a justification for inequalities present in the status quo, and developed conflict theory in opposition to it. Inspired in large part by the philosophies of Karl Marx and many early European sociologists, conflict theorists saw society as an arena of conflict, with different groups competing for control over resources. Symbolic-interactionism also came to be regarded as central to sociological thinking. Erving Goffman saw social interactions as a stage performance, with individuals preparing "backstage" and attempting to control their audience through impression management. While these three theories are currently the most prominent in sociological thought, many others of importance exist, including feminist theory, post-structuralism, rational choice theory, postmodernism, and exchange theory. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_science [Oct 2005]

Capitalism and Modern Social Theory : An Analysis of the Writings of Marx, Durkheim and Max Weber (1971) - Anthony Giddens

In search of industrial society

Capitalism and Modern Social Theory : An Analysis of the Writings of Marx, Durkheim and Max Weber (1971) - Anthony Giddens [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Book Description
Giddens's analysis of the writings of Marx, Durkheim and Weber has become the classic text for any student seeking to understand the three thinkers who established the basic framework of contemporary sociology. The first three sections of the book, based on close textual examination of the original sources, contain separate treatments of each writer. The author demonstrates the internal coherence of their respective contributions to social theory. The concluding section discusses the principal ways in which Marx can be compared with the other two authors, and discusses misconceptions of some conventional views on the subject.

Many sociologists had wrestled with the question of what is the nature of sociology: Max Weber, Emile Durkheim, Georg Simmel just to name a few. Giddens took a stance against the functionalists (like Talcott Parsons in Capitalism and Modern Social Theory (1971), where he examined works of Weber, Durkheim and Marx, arguing that despite their different approaches each was concerned with the link between capitalism and social life. Giddens emphasised the social constructs of power, modernity and institutions, defining sociology as "the study of social institutions brought into being by the industrial transformation of the past two or three centuries." --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Giddens#The_nature_of_sociology [Feb 2006]

The Right Honourable Anthony Giddens, Baron Giddens (b. Edmonton, London, January 18, 1938) is a British sociologist who is renowned for his theory of structuration and his holistic view of modern societies. He is considered to be one of the most prominent modern contributors in the field of sociology, the author of at least 34 books, published in at least 29 languages, issuing on average more then one book every year. Giddens' ambition is both to recast social theory and to re-examine our understanding of the development and trajectory of modernity. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Giddens [Feb 2006]

Also by Anthony Giddens
Giddens, A. (1986) `The politics of taste: review of "Distinction"' [by Pierre Bourdieu], Partisan Review 53(2), 300-305.

See also: Émile Durkheim - Karl Marx - politics - sociology

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