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What is Cultural Sociology?

Paperback / softback By Lyn Spillman
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Culture, cultural difference, and cultural conflict always surround us. Cultural sociologists aim to understand their role across all aspects of social life by examining processes of meaning-making.

In this crisp and accessible book, Lyn Spillman demonstrates many of the conceptual tools cultural sociologists use to explore how people make meaning. Drawing on vivid examples, she offers a compelling analytical framework within which to view the entire field of cultural sociology. In each chapter, she introduces a different angle of vision, with distinct but compatible approaches for explaining culture and its role in social life: analyzing symbolic forms, meaning-making in interaction, and organized production.

This book both offers a concise answer to the question of what cultural sociology is and provides an overview of the fundamental approaches in the field.

Product Details

Format: Paperback / softback, 160 pages Language: English
Dimension: 137 x 15 x 216mm ISBN10: 1509522816
Weight: 204g ISBN13: 9781509522811
Publication Date: 26 Nov 2019 Publisher: Polity Press

About Author

Lyn Spillman is Professor of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame

Product Reviews


“What is Cultural Sociology?

 reveals Spillman's remarkable ability for analytical synthesis, and her knowledge of (often little-known) empirical studies adds welcome depth to her theoretical discussion. Rather than posing cultural sociology as a battle between schools, Spillman reconstructs it as a relatively coherent model of social life, developing a sophisticated and compelling model that provides an organizing frame for the entire cultural sociological field.”Jeffrey C. Alexander, Yale University, and Co-Director, Center for Cultural Sociology“Spillman has produced a particularly smart, sound, clear, and up-to-date description of the state of the field of cultural sociology. With a focus on meaning-making and cultural processes, she takes stock and provides an excellent account of what this popular field has to offer after thirty exciting years of dynamic growth. Her book should become an essential tool for all sociologists and a popular reference source.”Michèle Lamont, Harvard University and former President of the American Sociological Association"What is Cultural Sociology?

 makes for a valuable resource for students and teachers from the undergraduate level and up, as well as researchers interested in cultural sociology, meaning making, and the social construction of reality."Acta Sociologica"The goal of this book is to create a means by which to learn cultural sociology that is not only about certain theorists or mutually exclusive theoretical positions, and towards this end, I believe, Spillman succeeds. […] The text would make for an excellent undergraduate primer, and as such, makes the task of teaching an introduction to cultural sociology all the more attainable."International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society


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