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date: 10 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article introduces the reader to the current status of cultural sociology as a specific mode of inquiry. It first discusses the pre-history of cultural sociology, tracing its origins in the demise of Parsonian functionalism from the mid-1960s onward, the cultural turn in sociology through the 1980s, and the emergence of an increasingly confident cultural sociology as an alternative paradigm to the once dominant sociology of culture. The article then considers the impact of cultural sociology, especially on well-established research areas such as economic sociology. It also examines the tensions marking “best practices” in contemporary cultural sociology as a dimension of social life, including the tension between discourse and materiality, the link between public ritual and everyday life, and the question of method and epistemology.

Keywords: cultural sociology, Parsonian functionalism, cultural turn, sociology, sociology of culture, economic sociology, social life, materiality, public ritual, everyday life

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