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date: 19 April 2021

(p. xiii) Contributors

(p. xiii) Contributors

Jeffrey C. Alexander, Lillian Chavenson Saden Professor of Sociology at Yale University, works in the areas of theory, culture and politics, developing a meaning-centered approach to the tensions and possibilities of modern social life. He is a Director of the Center for Cultural Sociology, also at Yale. His recent publications include: Understanding the Holocaust: A Debate 2009; A Contemporary Introduction to Sociology: Culture and Society in Transition (with Kenneth Thompson 2008); Social Performances: Symbolic Action, Cultural Pragmatics, and Ritual (with Bernhard Giesen and Jason Mast 2006); Cultural Trauma and Collective Identity (with Eyerman, Giesen, Sztompka, and Smelser 2004); and The Meanings of Social Life: A Cultural Sociology, 2003. In his major work The Civil Sphere (2006), Alexander developed a new cultural-sociological theory of democracy, a perspective that provides the foundation The Performance of Politics: Obama's Victory and the Democratic Struggle for Power (2010) and his newest volume, Performative Revolution in Egypt: An Essay in Cultural Power (2011).

Gianpaolo Baiocchi is Associate Professor of Sociology and International Studies at Brown University. He is the author of Militants and Citizens (Stanford UP 2005), and co-author of Bootstrapping Democracy (Stanford UP 2011), with Patrick Heller and Marcelo K. Silva. His most recent work is on the travel and translation of ideas about democracy and empowerment from social movements in Brazil to other parts of the world.

Mabel Berezin, Associate Professor of Sociology at Cornell University, is a comparative historical sociologist whose work explores the intersection of political and cultural institutions, with an emphasis on modern and contemporary Europe. She is the author of Illiberal Politics in Neoliberal Times: Culture, Security, and Populism in the New Europe (Cambridge University Press 2009) and Making the Fascist Self: the Political Culture of Inter-war Italy (Cornell 1997). Most recently, she is the editor of a special issue of Theory and Society (38 (4) 2009), entitled “Emotion and Rationality in Economic Life.”

Richard Biernacki teaches sociology and history at the University of California, San Diego.

Pang Ching Bobby Chen is a PhD student in Sociology at the University of California, Irvine. His interests include cultural sociology, social movements, historical sociology of emotions, mass media and deliberative democracy. He is currently working on two projects: one, on understanding the construction of social movement actors’ emotions in the public sphere; the other on gender dynamics in public deliberation.

(p. xiv) Simon Cottle is Professor of Media and Communications and Deputy Head of the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies at Cardiff University. His latest books are Mediatized Conflict (2006), Global Crisis Reporting (2009) and Transnational Protests and the Media (with Libby Lester) (2010) and he is currently writing Disasters and the Media (with Mervi Pantti and Karin Wahl-Jorgensen). He is the Series Editor of the Global Crises and the Media Series for Peter Lang publishing.

James Joseph Dean is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Sonoma State University. His research focuses on the sociology of sexualities, particularly the sociology of heterosexualities. Recent publications include an article analyzing cultural shifts in gay, lesbian, and queer films in Sexualities (2007, Vol. 10, No. 3) and a book chapter on intersectionality, sexualities, and the politics of multiple identities in Theorising Intersections: Sexual Advances, edited Yvette Taylor, Sally Hines, and Mark Casey (Palgrave 2010). Currently, he is completing a book manuscript that explores the gendered and racial character of heterosexual identities in the context of lesbian and gay visibility.

Nina Eliasoph is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Southern California. She is the author of Avoiding Politics: How Americans Produce Apathy in Everyday Life (Cambridge University Press 1998) and Making Volunteers: Civic Life After Welfare's End (Princeton University Press 2011).

Ron Eyerman is Professor of Sociology and a Director of the Center for Cultural Sociology at Yale University. His areas of research include social theory, trauma and memory and he has taught undergraduate and graduate classes and seminars on these topics. Recent books include The Assassination of Theo van Gogh and The Trauma of Political Assassination.

Arthur W. Frank is Professor of Sociology at the University of Calgary. He is the author of At the Will of the Body, The Wounded Storyteller, The Renewal of Generosity, and most recently, Letting Stories Breathe: A Socionarratology. He is on the editorial board of several journals, including Body & Society, and is a contributing editor to Literature and Medicine. He has been visiting professor at the University of Sydney, University of Toronto, Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan, and University of Central Lancashire in Preston, England.

Roger Friedland is Professor of Religious Studies and Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Friedland works on the question of institution as a religious phenomenon, and on politicized religions a case through which to explore this approach. He is also working with Paolo Gardinali and John Mohr on the relation between eroticism, love and religiosity among American university students. He is author of “Institution, Practice and Ontology: Towards A Religious Sociology,” in Ideology and Organizational Institutionalism, Research in the Sociology of Organizations, ed. by Renate Meyer, Kerstin Sahlin-Andersson, Marc Ventresca and Peter Walgenbach (2009).

Rui Gao completed her PhD in Sociology at Yale University in 2011. She got her M.A and M.Phil degree in sociology from Yale University, her B.A. degree in English (p. xv) and English Literature from Beijing Foreign Studies University and she has also been studying and doing research at the University of Tokyo. Her fields of interests include cultural sociology, sociological theories, media studies, critical communication studies, gender studies, feminist studies, China studies, etc. Her latest publications include a forthcoming article titled “Revolutionary Trauma and Representation of the War: the Case of China in Mao's Era,”(in Narrating Trauma edited by Ron Eyerman, Jeffrey Alexander, and Elizabeth Breese, Paradigm Publishers) and translation works that focus on fields of journalism and mass communication.

Bernhard Giesen holds the Chair for Macro-sociology in the Department of History and Sociology at the University of Konstanz (Germany) and is a member of the executive board of the Center of Excellence 16 “Cultural Foundations of Social Integration” at the University of Konstanz. He has held visiting positions at the Department of Sociology at Yale University, the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles, the Committee for Social Thought (Chicago), the Department of Sociology at New York University, and the Center for Advanced Studies at Stanford University. Bernhard Giesen works in the areas of cultural and historical sociology and sociological theory and has extensively published on collective memory, trauma, intergenerational conflict and collective rituals. Among his latest book publications are Social Performance. Symbolic Action, Cultural Pragmatics and Ritual (ed. with J.C. Alexander and J.L. Mast, Cambridge 2006); Religion and Politics. Cultural Perspectives (ed. With D. Suber, Leiden 2005); Cultural trauma and collective identity (ed. with J.C. Alexander et al., Berkeley 2004); Triumph and Trauma (Boulder 2004); Intellectuals and the Nation. Collective Identity in a German Axial Age (Cambridge 1998).

Ronald N. Jacobs is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University at Albany, State University of New York. His research focuses on culture, media, and the public sphere. His current work is concentrated in two areas: (1) a study of media intellectuals and the social space of opinion, and (2) a study of entertainment media and the aesthetic public sphere.

Paul Lichterman is Professor of Sociology and Religion at the University of Southern California. He is author of Elusive Togetherness (Princeton 2005), The Search for Political Community (1996), and a variety of articles on social movement groups, community service organizations, cultural and social theory.

Jade Lo is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles. She got her Ph.D. from the Department of Management and Organization at at the University of Southern California.

Jason L. Mast is a postdoctoral fellow with the Karl Mannheim Chair of Cultural Studies at Zeppelin University in Germany. He co-edited a volume on Social Performance (2006) with Jeff Alexander and Bernhard Giesen, which features his chapter on the “Cultural Pragmatics of Event-ness.” His forthcoming book analyzes the performative dimensions of power and legitimacy during the Clinton presidency.

(p. xvi) Lisa McCormick is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at Haverford College. She earned her PhD in Sociology from Yale University. With Ron Eyerman, she is co-editor of Myth, Meaning, and Performance: Toward a Cultural Sociology of the Arts (Paradigm 2006). Her article “Higher, Faster, Louder: Representations of the International Music Competition” won the SAGE Prize for Excellence and Innovation for the best paper published in Cultural Sociology in 2009.

Chet Meeks was Assistant Professor of Sociology at Georgia State University before his untimely death in 2008. His research and teaching interests included contemporary social theory, sexuality studies, and cultural sociology. His publications included co-authoring (with Steven Seidman and Francie Traschen) the article “Beyond the Closet? The Changing Social Meaning of Homosexuality in the United States” in Sexualities (1999, Vol. 2, No. 1), the article “Civil Society and the Sexual Politics of Difference” in Sociological Theory (2001, Vol. 19, No. 3), and co-editing Introducing the New Sexuality Studies: Original Essays and Interviews (Routledge, 2006).

John Mohr is Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara where he also serves as Director of the Social Sciences Survey Research Center. He received his Ph.D. in sociology from Yale University. Along with Roger Friedland he is co-editor of Matters of Culture (Cambridge University Press 2004) and author of a number of articles concerned with the use of formal models in cultural analysis, the history of the welfare state, and the racial politics of affirmative action ( He is currently writing about the institutional foundations of nanotechnology.

Francesca Polletta is a Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Irvine. She studies social movements, experiments in radical democracy, and culture in politics. She is the author of It Was Like a Fever: Storytelling in Protest and Politics (Chicago 2006), Freedom Is an Endless Meeting: Democracy in American Social Movements (Chicago 2002) and editor, with Jeff Goodwin and James M. Jasper, of Passionate Politics: Emotions and Social Movements (Chicago 2001). She is currently studying how plot shapes audiences’ responses to accounts of sexual assault and, in another project, how gender affects public deliberation.

Craig Rawlings is an Institute for Education Science (IES) Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University's Institute for Research in Education Policy and Practice (IREPP). He completed his B.A. in International Studies at the University of Oregon, his M.A. in Sociology from Rutgers University, and Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. His dissertation research was funded by the Social Science Research Council-Sloan Foundation and the National Science Foundation, and focused on organizational change and gender segregation in American higher education since the early 1970s. His work seeks to bridge structural and cultural explanations of how social actors (individuals, colleges, academic departments) influence one another. He is particularly interested in the ways that (p. xvii) social networks and status inequalities help shape influence processes. With Dan McFarland, he is currently working on a number of projects concerning peer influences on faculty productivity, as well as the social and structural bases that facilitate the spread of knowledge between academic departments.

Isaac Ariail Reed is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he is also the Director of the Sociology Honors Program. He is the author of Interpretation and Social Knowledge (University of Chicago Press 2011), and of several articles in social theory, cultural sociology, and historical sociology, including “Why Salem Made Sense: Culture, Gender, and the Puritan Persecution of Witchcraft” (2008). One of his current projects addresses power and performance in conflicts over science and religion in American history.

Barry Schwartz, Professor Emeritus of Sociology, University of Georgia, is author of numerous articles and seven books, including Abraham Lincoln and the Forge of National Memory, which traces popular views of Lincoln from 1865 to the 1920s. His second volume, Abraham Lincoln in the Post-Heroic Era: History and Memory in the Late Twentieth Century, tracks Lincoln perceptions from the Depression decade to the turn of the twenty-first century. He is now working on The Gettysburg Address in American Memory, a book-length treatment of the original and drastically changing meanings of Lincoln's famous eulogy. Schwartz's research on collective memory addresses many issues in many national cultures, including memories of shameful and exemplary events in the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. His most recent book with Mikyoung Kim deals with Northeast Asia's Difficult Past. Barry Schwartz's recent work also addresses the problem of the historical Jesus through the lens of collective memory theory and method. These works develop common themes: the resistance of historical reality to social construction, the functions of forgetting, memory as a source of national unity and disunity, the tension between mnemonic continuity and social change, and the enduring need of individuals to find orientation and meaning for their lives by invoking, assessing, embracing, rejecting, revising, and judging the past.

Giuseppe Sciortino teaches sociology at the Università di Trento, Italy. His main interests are social theory, migration studies and cultural sociology.

Steven Seidman is Professor of Sociology at the State University of New York at Albany. He is the author of, among other books, Romantic Longings: Love in America, 1830–1980 (Routledge, 1991), Embattled Eros: Sexual Politics and Ethics in America (Routledge, 1992), Difference Troubles: Queering Social Theory and Sexual Politics (Cambridge University Press, 1997), Beyond the Closet: The Transformation of Gay and Lesbian Life (Routledge, 2002), and The Social Construction of Sexuality, Second Edition (W.W. Norton, 2010). He is co-editor of Social Postmodernism: Beyond Identity Politics (Cambridge University Press, 1995), editor of Queer Theory/Sociology (Blackwell, 1996), co-editor of Handbook of Lesbian & Gay Studies (Sage, 2002), and co-editor of Introducing the New Sexuality Studies: Original Essays and Interviews (Routledge, 2006).

(p. xviii) Philip Smith is Professor of Sociology and a Director of the Yale Center for Cultural Sociology. He has written widely in the field of cultural sociology and cultural theory. Recent books include Why War? (Chicago 2005); Punishment and Culture (Chicago 2008) and Incivility: The Rude Stranger in Public (Cambridge 2010, with R. King and T. Phillips).

Lyn Spillman's research interests are grounded in cultural, historical, and economic sociology. Her works include Solidarity in Strategy: Making Business Meaningful in American Trade Associations (University of Chicago Press, forthcoming); Nation and Commemoration: Creating National Identities in the United States and Australia (Cambridge University Press, 1997); the anthology Cultural Sociology (Blackwell, 2002); as well as articles and chapters on cultural theory, collective memory, nationalism, and business culture. A recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and the A.S.A's Fund for the Advancement of the Discipline Award, she received her Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley and teaches in the Sociology Department, University of Notre Dame.

Kenneth Thompson is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the Open University, UK, and has also taught at Yale, UCLA, Rutgers, Smith College and Bergen University (Norway). He is a former member of the Executive Committee of the International Sociological Association and was Co-president of its Research Committee 16, ‘Sociological Theory’; he was a member of the Executive Committee of the British Sociological Association and was President of its Sociology of Religion section. In addition to sociological theory, his research interests include issues of cultural identity and moral regulation in relation to media and everyday life practices. His publications include: Moral Panics; Media and Cultural Regulation; Beliefs and Ideology; Emile Durkheim; Auguste Comte; Sartre; Bureaucracy and Church Reform; and A Contemporary Introduction to Sociology (with Jeffrey Alexander).

Carlo Tognato is currently Visiting Research Fellow at the School of History and Politics and at the Indo-Pacific Governance Research Centre of the University of Adelaide. He is also Faculty Fellow at the Center for Cultural Sociology at Yale University. He has been Director of the Center for Social Studies and Associate Professor of Sociology at the National University of Colombia in Bogotá. His research focuses on symbolic communication in the economic arena and on the working of the public sphere in deeply divided societies.

Eleanor Townsley is Professor and Chair of Sociology and Anthropology at Mount Holyoke College. She is interested in the role of intellectuals and ideas in social change.

Mats Trondman is Professor of Cultural Sociology at the Center for Cultural Sociology, Linnaeus University in Sweden. He was the founding editor of the Sage journal Ethnography together with Paul Willis, with whom he also wrote the “Manifesto for Ethnography” in 2000. Over the years Trondman has covered a large number of theoretically informed empirical research topics such as: musical taste and lifestyle; social and cultural mobility; counter cultures; the transformation of the Swedish Welfare Society during 1990s; sports; the Arts; social and cultural policy; (p. xix) childhood studies, issues of multiculturalism, education, and schooling. His main focus is youth culture research and social and cultural theory which often combines with aspects of political philosophy. He has published eight books in Swedish. The most well known is on class travelling, that is, working class kids becoming academics. He has also published more than one hundred articles and reports, as well as being a public speaker, columnist and occasional writer for the Art pages in the Swedish press. Trondman is currently working on a large research project in Malmö, Sweden – An Educational Dilemma: School Achievement and Multicultural Incorporation – financed by the Swedish Research Council. The project is informed by Jeffrey C. Alexander's cultural sociology. He is also collaborating with Paul Willis and John Hughes on a book on socio-symbolic homologies.

Robin Wagner-Pacifici Professor of Sociology at the New School for Social Research at Swarthmore College. She is the author of The Art of Surrender: Decomposing Sovereignty at Conflict's End and Theorizing the Standoff: Contingency in Action, winner of the 2001 American Sociological Association's Culture Section Best Book Award. Her work analyzes violent events and their mediations. An article on the “restlessness” of historical events was recently published (March, 2010) in The American Journal of Sociology.

Ian Woodward is Senior Lecturer in cultural sociology at the School of Humanities and Deputy Director, Griffith Centre for Cultural Research, at Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia. He has research interests in the sociology of consumption, aesthetics and material culture, and in the cultural dimensions of cosmopolitanism. He has published research papers in leading journals such as Theory, Culture and Society; The British Journal of Sociology; The Sociological Review; Journal of Material Culture; Journal of Contemporary Ethnography and Poetics. His critical survey of the field of material culture studies, Understanding Material Culture, was published by Sage in 2007. With Gavin Kendall and Zlatko Skrbis, he is co-author of Sociology of Cosmopolitanism (Palgrave 2009). He is an Editor of the Journal of Sociology and in 2010–2011 he was a Fellow of the Kulturwissenschaftliches Kolleg, University of Konstanz, Germany.

Alford A. Young, Jr. is Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology at the University of Michigan. He also holds an appointment in the Center for Afroamerican and African Studies. He has published The Minds of Marginalized Black Men: Making Sense of Mobility, Opportunity, and Future Life Chances (Princeton University Press 2004) and co-authored The Souls of WEB Du Bois (Paradigm Publishers 2006). He has published articles in Sociological Theory; The Annual Review of Sociology; Symbolic Interaction; Ethnic and Racial Studies, and other journals. Young is completing a manuscript entitled, “From the Edge of the Ghetto: African Americans and the World of Work,” and is also working on a follow-up manuscript to the The Minds of Marginalized Black Men, that examines how African American men who were reared in poverty but who have engaged extreme upward mobility as young adults discuss learning to navigate of race and class-based constraints over the course of their lives. (p. xx)