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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $41.20
  • May 2013
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-93413-7
  • 600 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

Cultural Sociology

An Introductory Reader


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Matt Wray (Author, Temple University)


A comprehensive and clever mix of classic and contemporary essays on the sociology of culture.

Cultural sociology has grown to exercise a deep influence on other subfields over the last forty years, on areas such as the study of race and ethnicity, education, social movements, economic sociology, and political sociology. This mix of essays is an essential resource for understanding this fast growing, dynamic area of sociology. An introduction outlines the building blocks of a sociological approach to studying culture, and helpful headnotes guide students through each reading.


Download The Introduction (pdf)

    Foreword by Michèle Lamont

    Part One: Foundations & Definitions
    1. The German Ideology by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
    2. Classifying Things from Primitive Classification by Émile Durkheim and Marcel Mauss
    3. The Metropolis and Mental Life by Georg Simmel
    4. Basic Sociological Concepts from Economy and Society: An Outline of Interpretive Sociology by Max Weber
    5. The Meanings of “Culture” by Raymond Williams

    Part Two: Frames, Actions, & Effects
    6. Mass Deception by Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno
    7. Frames by Erving Goffman
    8. Highbrow and Lowbrow Culture by Paul DiMaggio
    9. Culture as a Toolkit by Ann Swidler
    10. Media Effects by Michael Schudson
    11. Collective Memory by Robin Wagner-Pacifici and Barry Schwartz

    Part Three: Production, Stability & Change
    12 Art Worlds by Howard S. Becker
    13 Agency and Structural Change by William H. Sewell, Jr.
    14 Making Hits by William T. Bielby and Denise D. Bielby
    15 The Enduring Structure of Civil Discourse by Jeffrey C. Alexander and Philip Smith
    16 Cultural Diffusion by Jason Kaufman and Orlando Patterson
    17 Changing Musical Styles by Jennifer C. Lena and Richard A. Peterson

    Part Four: Analyzing Culture
    18. Thick Description by Clifford Geertz
    19. Method by Wendy Griswold
    20. Analyzing Codes, Contexts, and Institutions by Ann Swidler
    21. Making Film into Art by Shyon Baumann
    22. Studying Oprah by Eva Illouz
    23. Researching Music Worlds by David Grazian

    Part Five: Groups, Networks & Identities
    24. Group Culture by Gary Alan Fine
    25. Music and Symbolic Exclusion by Bethany Bryson
    26. Political Microcultures by Andrew J. Perrin
    27. Cultural Preferences and Personal Networks by Omar Lizardo
    28. Communes and Community by Stephen Vaisey
    29. Culture and Racial and Ethnic Groups by John D. Skrentny

    Part Six: Inequality, Politics, & Power
    30. Culture, Capitalism, and the Working Class by Paul Willis
    31. Naming as Power by Pierre Bourdieu
    32. Culture, Class, and Race by Jay MacLeod
    33. Families, Institutions, and Inequalities by Annette Lareau
    34. Culture and Health by Peter A. Hall and Michèle Lamont