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Culture/Power/History: A Reader in Contemporary Social Theory / Edition 1

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Overview

The intellectual radicalism of the 1960s spawned a new set of questions about the role and nature of "the political" in social life, questions that have since revolutionized nearly every field of thought, from literary criticism through anthropology to the philosophy of science. Michel Foucault in particular made us aware that whatever our functionally defined "roles" in society, we are constantly negotiating questions of authority and the control of the definitions of reality. Such insights have led theorists to challenge concepts that have long formed the very underpinnings of their disciplines. By exploring some of the most debated of these concepts—"culture," "power," and "history"—this reader offers an enriching perspective on social theory in the contemporary moment.

Organized around these three concepts, Culture/ Power/History brings together both classic and new essays that address Foucault's "new economy of power relations" in a number of different, contestatory directions. Representing innovative work from various disciplines and sites of study, from taxidermy to Madonna, the book seeks to affirm the creative possibilities available in a time marked by growing uncertainty about established disciplinary forms of knowledge and by the increasing fluidity of the boundaries between them. The book is introduced by a major synthetic essay by the editors, which calls attention to the most significant issues enlivening theoretical discourse today. The editors seek not only to encourage scholars to reflect anew on the course of social theory, but also to orient newcomers to this area of inquiry.

The essays are contributed by Linda Alcoff ("Cultural Feminism versus Post-Structuralism"), Sally Alexander ("Women, Class, and Sexual Differences in the 1830s and 1840s"), Tony Bennett ("The Exhibitionary Complex"), Pierre Bourdieu ("Structures, Habitus, Power"), Nicholas B. Dirks ("Ritual and Resistance"), Geoff Eley ("Nations, Publics, and Political Cultures"), Michel Foucault (Two Lectures), Henry Louis Gates, Jr. ("Authority, [White] Power and the [Black] Critic"), Stephen Greenblatt ("The Circulation of Social Energy"), Ranajit Guha ("The Prose of Counter-Insurgency"), Stuart Hall ("Cultural Studies: Two Paradigms"), Susan Harding ("The Born-Again Telescandals"), Donna Haraway ("Teddy Bear Patriarchy"), Dick Hebdige ("After the Masses"), Susan McClary ("Living to Tell: Madonna's Resurrection of the Fleshly"), Sherry B. Ortner ("Theory in Anthropology since the Sixties"), Marshall Sahlins ("Cosmologies of Capitalism"), Elizabeth G. Traube ("Secrets of Success in Postmodern Society"), Raymond Williams (selections from Marxism and Literature), and Judith Williamson ("Family, Education, Photography").

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This collection of important essays, with a thoughtful and, in places, moving . . . introduction to the current questions and conversations-and dilemmas-of social-cultural history is now the best volume we have on the topic."International Labor and Working-Class History

International Labor and Working-Class History
This collection of important essays, with a thoughtful and, in places, moving . . . introduction to the current questions and conversations-and dilemmas-of social-cultural history is now the best volume we have on the topic.
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Preface
Permissions Acknowledgments
Introduction 3
Ch. 1 Teddy Bear Patriarchy: Taxidermy in the Garden of Eden, New York City, 1908-1936 49
Ch. 2 Cultural Feminism versus Post-Structuralism: The Identity Crisis in Feminist Theory 96
Ch. 3 The Exhibitionary Complex 123
Ch. 4 Structures, Habitus, Power: Basis for a Theory of Symbolic Power 155
Ch. 5 Two Lectures 200
Ch. 6 After the Masses 222
Ch. 7 Family, Education, Photography 236
Ch. 8 Authority, (White) Power and the (Black) Critic; It's All Greek to Me 247
Ch. 9 Women, Class and Sexual Differences in the 1830s and 1840s: Some Reflections on the Writing of a Feminist History 269
Ch. 10 Nations, Publics, and Political Cultures: Placing Habermas in the Nineteenth Century 297
Ch. 11 The Prose of Counter-Insurgency 336
Ch. 12 Theory in Anthropology since the Sixties 372
Ch. 13 Cosmologies of Capitalism: The Trans-Pacific Sector of "The World System" 412
Ch. 14 Living to Tell: Madonna's Resurrection of the Fleshly 459
Ch. 15 Ritual and Resistance: Subversion as a Social Fact 483
Ch. 16 The Circulation of Social Energy 504
Ch. 17 Cultural Studies: Two Paradigms 520
Ch. 18 The Born-Again Telescandals 539
Ch. 19 Secrets of Success in Postmodern Society 557
Ch. 20 Selections from Marxism and Literature 585
Notes on the Contributors 609
Index 613
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