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The Meanings of Social Life: A Cultural Sociology
     

The Meanings of Social Life: A Cultural Sociology

by Jeffrey C. Alexander
 

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In The Meanings of Social Life , Jeffrey Alexander presents a new approach to how culture works in contemporary societies. Exposing our everyday myths and narratives in a series of empirical studies that range from Watergate to the Holocaust, he shows how these unseen yet potent cultural structures translate into concrete actions and institutions. Only when

Overview

In The Meanings of Social Life , Jeffrey Alexander presents a new approach to how culture works in contemporary societies. Exposing our everyday myths and narratives in a series of empirical studies that range from Watergate to the Holocaust, he shows how these unseen yet potent cultural structures translate into concrete actions and institutions. Only when these deep patterns of meaning are revealed, Alexander argues, can we understand the stubborn staying power of violence and degradation, but also the steady persistence of hope. By understanding the darker structures that restrict our imagination, we can seek to transform them. By recognizing the culture structures that sustain hope, we can allow our idealistic imaginations to gain more traction in the world. A work that will transform the way that sociologists think about culture and the social world, this book confirms Jeffrey Alexander's reputation as one of the major social theorists of our day.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...a collection of very worthwhile essays, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, for the book offers Alexander's most complete formulation of cultural sociology as a program and, through its diverse exemplars, lays his strongest claim to this program's potential.... The Meanings of Social Life provides the urtext for a new cultural framing of sociology."—John R. Hall, Contemporary Sociology

"With The Meanings of Social Life, Jeffrey Alexander has boldly staked his claim for the internal transformation of American sociology."—Fuyuki Kurasawa, Thesis 11

"The Meanings of Social Life is an intellectual tour de force that cements Jeffrey Alexander's reputation as a paradigmatic thinker in cultural as well as theoretical sociology."—Mabel Berezin, Newsletter of the Sociology of Culture Section of the American Sociological Asssociation

"This book is important for the clarity and liveliness with which it communicates the core ideas and real innovations cultural sociology offers the discipline, and I hope that it's widely read."—Lyn Spillman, Newsletter of the Sociology of Culture Section of the American Sociological Asssociation

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780190207571
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
09/18/2003
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
907 KB

Meet the Author

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

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