Iconic Power: Materiality and Meaning in Social Life

Overview

Iconic Power is a collection of original articles that explores social aspects of the phenomenon of icon. Having experienced the benefits and realized the limitations of so called "linguistic turn," sociology has recently acknowledged a need to further expand its horizons. "Visual sociology" is emerging as a separate field and prominent scholars announce the coming of "the pictorial turn." The methods and themes taken up in these studies respond to this shift in social scientific interest. Each contribution to ...

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Iconic Power: Materiality and Meaning in Social Life

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Overview

Iconic Power is a collection of original articles that explores social aspects of the phenomenon of icon. Having experienced the benefits and realized the limitations of so called "linguistic turn," sociology has recently acknowledged a need to further expand its horizons. "Visual sociology" is emerging as a separate field and prominent scholars announce the coming of "the pictorial turn." The methods and themes taken up in these studies respond to this shift in social scientific interest. Each contribution to this book carefully tests the analytic purchase and empirical implications of iconicity. If we can succeed in understanding the iconic, we should be able to know our culture much better.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Iconic Power is the strongest theoretical statement to yet come out of the 'Strong Program' in Cultural Sociology. Arguably, more than any other trope, including those of ritual and performance, the concept of 'iconicity' promises to break free of the economistic, linguistic, and other kinds of reductionisms that plague the cultural sciences. This fine volume contains both theoretical expositions on how pictorial icons do their cultural work, as well as applied analyses of phenomena such as 9/11, images of famines, Woodstock and Bayreuth as 'iconic' events, expensive Australian red wines, and the political iconography of post-communist Eastern Europe. If cultural sociology is to have a vibrant future - and not repeat the mistakes of the past - then in Iconic Power practitioners have a handbook on how to approach the distinctive character of the visual and other non-discursive symbols." - Eduardo de la Fuente, Lecturer in Sociology, Flinders University of South Australia; Author, Twentieth Century Music and the Question of Modernity.

"Ranging in its coverage from the events of 9/11 to images of HIV, and from the revolutions of 1989 to cult wines, this book systematically unpacks the tremendous importance of icons in social life. Both a striking contribution to visual sociology and a powerful manifesto for new directions in cultural sociology, Iconic Power is fascinating reading for everyone interested in the seductive potency of iconography." - David Inglis, Head of the Sociology Department, University of Aberdeen, Scotland

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230340053
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 1/3/2012
  • Series: Cultural Sociology Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.16 (w) x 9.68 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeffrey C. Alexander is the Lillian Chavenson Saden Professor of Sociology at Yale University. With Ron Eyerman, he is the Co-Director of the Center for Cultural Sociology (CCS). Dominik Maksymilian Bartmanski is a doctoral student at Yale University in the Sociology Department's Center for Cultural Sociology. Bernhard Giesen is a professor of Sociology and the Chair of the Department of Macrosociology at theUniversität Konstanz in Germany.

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Table of Contents

Materiality and Meaning in Social Life: Toward an Iconic Turn in Cultural Sociology - Dominik Bartmanski and Jeffrey Alexander
• PART I
• Representation, Presentation, Presence: Tracing the Homo Pictor - Gottfried Boehm
• Iconic Power and Performance: the Role of the Critic - Jeffrey Alexander
• PART II
• Inconspicuous Revolutions of 1989. Culture and Contingency in The Making of Political Icons - Dominik Bartmanski
• The Making of Humanitarian Visual Icons. On the 1921-1923 Russian Famine as Foundational Event - Fuyuki Kurasawa
• Seeing Tragedy in the News Images of September 11 - Wendy Bowler
• The Emergence of Iconic Depth. Secular Icons in a Comparative Perspective - Werner Binder
• PART III
• Shifting Extremism: On the Political Iconology in Post-socialist Serbia - Daniel Šuber and Slobodan Karamanic
• The Visualization of Uncertainty: HIV Statistics in Public Media - Valentin Rauer
• How To Make an Iconic Commodity: The Case of Penfolds‘ Grange Wine - Ian Woodward and David Ellison
• Becoming Iconic. The Cases of Woodstock and Bayreuth - Philip Smith
• PART IV
• Body and Image - Hans Belting
• Iconic Difference and Seduction - Bernhard Giesen
• Iconic Rituals. Towards a Social Theory of Encountering Images - Julia Sonnevend
• Visible Meanings - Piotr Sztompka
• Afterword - Bernhard Giesen

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