edited by Jeffrey C. Alexander, Steven Seidman
This volume brings together the major statements by the leading contemporary scholars of cultural analysis on the relationship between culture and society. Part one surveys the range of current analytical debate over culture, focusing on the relationship of culture to social structure and power. Approaches to the study of culture covered include functionalism, semiotics, and Weberian, Durkheimian, and Marxian analysis. While individual contributions differ in defining the nature of culture and its relation to society, they are in agreement in assessing the relative autonomy of culture and the centrality of symbolic analysis. Part two turns to substantive debates, including those over the role of religion, secular ideology, and mass culture and brings to light disputes about the meaning of modernity. The book testifies to the remarkable development in the last two decades of a cultural paradigm for social and political analysis.