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The Drama of Social Life

Paperback By Jeffrey C. Alexander
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Product Description

In this book Jeffrey Alexander develops the view that cultural sociology and “cultural pragmatics” are vital for understanding the structural turbulence and political possibilities of contemporary social life.

Central to Alexander’s approach is a new model of social performance that combines elements from both the theatrical avant-garde and modern social theory. He uses this model to shed new light on a wide range of social actors, movements, and events, demonstrating through striking empirical examples the drama of social life. Producing successful dramas determines the outcome of social movements and provides the keys to political power. Modernity has neither eliminated aura nor suppressed authenticity; on the contrary, they are available to social actors who can perform them in compelling ways.

This volume further consolidates Alexander’s reputation as one of the most original social thinkers of our time. It will be of great interest to students and scholars in sociology and cultural studies as well as throughout the social sciences and humanities.

Product Details

Format: Paperback, 180 pages Language: English
Dimension: 22.61cm x 14.99cm x 1.52cm ISBN10: 1509518134
Weight: 295g ISBN13: 9781509518135
Publication Date: 08 May 2017 Publisher: Polity Press

About Author

Jeffrey C. Alexander is the Lillian Chavenson Saden Professor of Sociology at Yale University and Co-Director of the Center for Cultural Sociology at Yale.

Product Reviews


“From Mao to Martin Luther King, Mubarak’s Egypt to Obama’s America, the ritual roots of social structure to the performativity of postmodern everyday life, Alexander shows how we live and act today. This book is a necessary update on Erving Goffman and Victor Turner, a brilliantly illuminating must-read for all humanists, social scientists, and dramaturges.”Richard Schechner, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University“Jeffrey Alexander’s — The Drama of Social Life — reveals the ability of this essential American social theorist to unpack and explain the dynamic dramas of large-scale change. Ranging from Tahrir Square to the Black Lives Matter movement to the Obama White House, Alexander connects these world-shaking political events to their essential performative qualities, a core feature of modernity. Some books are designed to be read, while others demand to be read and discussed. This book is one of the latter.”Gary Alan Fine, Northwestern University


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