- Copyright Page
- List of Contributors
- Cognitive Sociology and the Cultural Mind: debates, directions, and challenges
- Cognitive Sociology: between the personal and the universal mind
- Critical Theory and Cognitive Sociology
- Pierre Bourdieu as Cognitive Sociologist
- Embodied Cognition: sociology’s role in bridging mind, brain, and body
- The Old One-Two: preserving analytical dualism in cognitive sociology
- Can Carnal Sociology Bring Together Body and Soul?: or, who’s afraid of christian wolff?
- Cognitive Sociology and French Psychological Sociology
- Cognitive Science and Social Theory
- Dual-Process Models in Sociology
- Bridging the Vocabularies of Dual-Process Models of Culture and Cognition
- Metaphorical Creativity: the role of context
- Priming and Framing: dimensions of communication and cognition
- Cognitive Linguistics
- Class, Cognition, and Cultural Change in Social Class
- Cognitive Dichotomies, Learning Directions, and the Cognitive Architecture
- What Is Cultural Fit?: from cognition to behavior (and back)
- Productive Methods in the Study of Culture and Cognition
- An Assessment of Methods for Measuring Automatic Cognition
- Methods for Studying the Contextual Nature of Implicit Cognition
- Social Mindscapes and the Self: the case for social pattern analysis
- Charting the Emergence of the Cultural from the Cognitive with Agent-Based Modeling
- Sociology of Attention: fundamental reflections on a theoretical program
- Risk, Culture, and Cognition
- Cultural Blind Spots and Blind Fields: collective forms of unawareness
- The Sacred, Profane, Pure, Impure, and Social Energization of Culture
- Cognition and Social Meaning in Economic Sociology
- Scientific Analogies and Hierarchical Thinking: lessons from the hive?
- Getting a Foot in the Door: symbolism, door metaphors, and the cognitive sociology of access
- Foregrounding and Backgrounding: the logic and mechanics of semiotic subversion
- War Widows and Welfare Queens: the semiotics of deservingness in the US welfare system
- Perceiving and Enacting Authentic Identities
- Cognitive Migrations: a cultural and cognitive sociology of personal transformation
- The Experience of Time in Organizations
- Silence and Collective Memory
- Name Index
- Subject Index
Abstract and Keywords
In this chapter, I argue that the Durkheimian theory of the sacred is a crucial yet not fully recognized resource for cognitive sociology. It contains not only a theory of culture (which is acknowledged in contemporary sociology), but also a vision of culture-cognition relations. Thus, Durkheimian cultural sociology allows us to understand the crucial role the sacred/profane opposition plays in structuring culture, perception and thought. Based on a number of theories, I also show how another opposition—between the pure and impure modes of the sacred, allows us to explain dynamic features of the sacred and eventually provides a basic model of social change. While explicating this vision and resultant opportunities for sociological analysis I also criticize “cognition apart from culture” approaches established within cognitive sociology. I argue, thus, that culture not only participates in cognition but is an intrinsic ingredient of the human mind. Culture is not a chaotic and fragmented set of elements, as some sociologists imply to a greater or lesser degree, but a system; and as such it is an inner environment for human thought and social action. This system, however, is governed not by formal logic, as some critics of the autonomy of culture presuppose, but by concrete configurations of emotionally-charged categories, created and re-created in social interactions.
Dmitry Kurakin is a Leading Research Fellow at the Centre for Fundamental Sociology and the Director of the Centre for Cultural Sociology and Anthropology of Education at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (Moscow, Russia). He is also a Faculty Fellow at the Center for Cultural Sociology at Yale University. He works in the fields of sociological theory, Durkheimian cultural sociology, focusing particularly on the theories of the sacred, cultural sociology of the body, and cultural sociology of education. He has published widely on these topics.
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