Yale Cultural Sociology Series – Paradigm Publishers

Jeffrey Alexander and Ronald Eyerman, editors

Paradigm Publishers

All titles are available at a 15% discount when ordering direct at www.paradigmpublishers.com

Ron Eyerman, Jeffrey Alexander and Elizabeth Breese, Editors
Narrating Trauma: On the Impact of Collective Suffering

In case studies that examine wrenching historical and contemporary crises across five continents, cultural sociologists analyze the contingencies of trauma construction and their fateful social impact. How do some events get coded as traumatic and others which seem equally painful and dramatic not? Why do culpable groups often escape being categorized as perpetrators? Why are some horrendously injured parties not seen as victims? Why do some trauma constructions lead to moral restitution and justice, while others narrow solidarity and trigger future violence? Expanding the pioneering cultural approach to trauma, contributors from around the world provide answers to these important questions.

Eric Magnuson
Changing Men, Transforming Culture: Inside the Men’s Movement

The men’s movement is a fascinating and vexing phenomenon that is part of the important history of gender change in the United States and the world. Men are finally engaging the challenges of feminism and rethinking what it means to be a man in today’s society. At stake in this “crisis of masculinity” is the future of the family, the economy, and the society as a whole. This book examines the cultural imagery and the actions of the men of the mythopoetic men’s movement in particular, examining their ideas, goals, and behavior.

Talcott Parsons, Edited by Guiseppe Sciortino
American Society: Toward a Theory of Societal Community

Never before published, American Society is the product of Talcott Parsons’s last major theory-building project. During the 1970s, Parsons worked persistently to fulfill his earlier promise to produce “a general book on American society.” The surviving manuscript, completed just a few weeks before his
death, is just such a book—and much more.

Ron Eyerman and Lisa McCormack, Editors
Myth, Meaning, and Performance: Toward a New Cultural Sociology of the Arts

The cultural and performative turns in social theory have enlivened sociology. For the first time these new developments are fully integrated into new approaches to the sociology of the arts in this important new book. Building on the established research into art worlds, what is interesting for the new sociology of the arts, understood in the broad sense to include popular culture as well the classical focus on music, painting, and literature, is the relationship between art works and meaning, myth, and performance.

Bernhard Giesen
Triumph and Trauma

This book deals with triumphant and tragic heroes, with victims and perpetrators as archetypes of the Western imagination. A major recent change in Western societies is that memories of triumphant heroism-for example, the revolutionary uprising of the people-are increasingly replaced by the public remembrance of collective trauma of genocide, slavery and expulsion.

Hans Joas
Do We Need Religion?: On the Experience of Self-Transcendence

The old assumption that modernization leads to secularization is outdated. Yet the certainty that religion is an anthropological universal that can only be suppressed by governments is also dead. Thus it is now a favorable moment for a new perspective on religion. This book takes human experiences of
self-transcendence as its point of departure. Religious faith is seen as an attempt to articulate and interpret such experiences. Faith then is neither useful nor a symptom of weakness or misery, but an opening up of ways of experience. This book develops this basic idea, contrasts it with the thinking of
some leading religious thinkers of our time, and relates it to the current debates about human rights and universal human dignity.

Isaac Reed and Jeffrey Alexander
Culture, Society, and Democracy

This volume addresses the key question of the intersection of sociology and politics, and asks what a non-Marxist cultural perspective can offer the Left. Written by leading scholars, it develops new conceptions of social critique, new techniques of interpretive analysis, and new concepts for the sociology of democratic practice. It is a volume for the twenty-first-century, where global and local meet, when critical theory must examine its most fundamental presuppositions.

Jeffrey Alexander and Kenneth Thompson
A Contemporary Introduction to Sociology:
Culture and Society in Transition

It has been decades since a truly new introduction to sociology has appeared—let alone one from two leading sociologists at the cutting edge of theory and research. Alexander and Thompson’s is such a text—the first that takes its lead from the cultural turn in social science and how it transforms the recent practice of sociology. Jargon-free, the text reflects the idioms and interests of contemporary American life and global social issues. It invites students to come to terms with their lives within the current world transition—a combustible leap from modern to postmodern life. It shows how culture is central to understanding many world problems as it challenges readers to confront the risks and potentialities of a postmodern era in which the futures of both the physical and social environment seem uncertain.

Colin Campbell
The Easternization of the West

In this provocative and groundbreaking book, Colin Campbell shows that the civilization of the West is undergoing a revolutionary process of change, one in which features that have characterized the West for two thousand years are in the process of being marginalized, to be replaced by those more often
associated with the civilizations of the East.

Tanya Goodman
Staging Solidarity: Truth and Reconciliation in a New South Africa

The South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) is a modern social drama that enabled the nation’s apartheid past to be constructed as a cultural trauma, and by doing so created a new collective narrative of diversity and inclusion. The TRC relied primarily on testimonies from victims and perpetrators of apartheid violence who came forward to tell their stories in a public forum. Rather than simply serving as data for setting the historical record straight, this book shows that it was not only the content of these testimonies but also how these stories were told and what values were attached to them that became significant.

Isaac Reed and Jeffrey Alexander
Meaning and Method: The Cultural Approach to Sociology

Culture is increasingly important to American social science, but in what way? This book volume addresses the core issues of the sociology of culture—questions about the social role of meaning, on the one hand, and questions about the methods sociologists use to study culture and society, on the
other—in a manner that makes clear their relevance to sociology as a whole. Part I of Meaning and Method is made up of essays by leading cultural sociologists on how the turn to culture has changed the sociological study of organizations, economic action, and television, and concludes with Georgina
Born’s methodological statement on the sociology of art and cultural production. Part II contains a highly original, and at times heated, debate between Richard Biernacki and John H. Evans on the appropriateness of abstract and quantifiable coding schemes for the sociological study of culture. Ranging from the philosophy of science to the concrete, practical problems of interpreting masses of cultural data, the debate raises the controversy over the interpretation of culture and the explanation of social action to a new level of sophistication.

Farhad Khosrokhavar
Inside Jihadism: Understanding Jihadi Movements Worldwide

Jihad is the most organized force against Western capitalism since the Soviet era. Yet jihadism is multifaceted and complex, much broader than Al-Quaeda alone.

In the first wide-ranging introduction to today’s rapidly growing jihadism, Khosrokhavar explains how two key movements variously influence jihadi activists. One, based in the Middle East, is more heavily influenced by Islamic religion and political thought. The other, composed of individuals growing up or living mostly in Europe and Western democracies including the United States, is motivated by secular as well as religious influences.

Khosrokhavar interprets religious and lesser-known Arabic texts and the real world economic and political dynamics that make jihadism a growing threat to Western democracies. Interviews with imprisoned jihadists on what motivated their plots and actions help the readers understand reality as seen by jihadists. The author concludes with recommendations to safeguard democracies from future jihadism.

François Dubet
Injustice at Work

Injustice at Work describes the way workers perceive social injustice. It reveals why they so often feel unequal, scorned, dominated, and alienated at work. The book develops three principles of justice—equality, merit, and autonomy—showing how individuals combine them in singular moral and social experiences that constitute people’s relation to society. Dubet also shows, in a liberal and globalized society, why it has become more and more difficult to denounce the social causes of injustice and fight them.

Elzbieta Matynia
Performative Democracy

Performative Democracy explores a potential in political life that easily escapes theorists: the indigenously inspired enacting of democracy by citizens. Written by one who experienced an emerging public sphere within Communist Poland, the book seeks to identify the conditions for performativity—performing politics–in public life. It examines a broad spectrum of cultural, social, and political initiatives that facilitated the non-violent transformation of an autocratic environment into a democratic one. Examples of performativity range from experimental student theater, through the engaged political thinking of dissident Adam Michnik, the alternative culture, and the Solidarity movement, to the drama of the Round Table Talks (and their striking parallels in South Africa), and finally, the post-1989 efforts of feminist groups and women artists to defend the recently won right of free public discourse. The book argues that performative democracy, with its improvisational mode and imaginative solutions, deserves a legitimate place in our broader reflections on democracy.

Marcel Mauss, Henri Hubert, Robert Hertz. Translated by Alexander Riley, Sarah Daynes, Cyril Isnart
Saints, Heroes, Myths, and Rites: Classical Durkheimian Studies of Religion and Society

Classical Durkheimian Studies of Myth and the Sacred presents English translations of several important essays, some never before translated, by members of the famous Année sociologique group around Emile Durkheim. These works by Marcel Mauss, Henri Hubert, and Robert Hertz are key contributions to today’s growing interest in and reinterpretation of Durkheimian thought on culture, religion, and symbolism. The central thrust in this new interpretive effort uses the Durkheimian theory of the sacred to understand the symbolism and meanings of cultural structures and narratives more generally. This book is vital to any contemporary collection emphasizing social theory.

Christopher Campbell
Making Los Angeles: How People Create Place Out of Ordinary Urban Space
(July 2008)

How do people construct a sense of place out of ordinary, undifferentiated urban space?/br Although the intentional construction of place has received considerable attention by scholars and place professionals alike, much less attention has been devoted to the far more common problem of how people living in very un-place-like urban spaces create a sense of place out of their everyday environments. Using the rich descriptive accounts of people living in Palms, a notably unremarkable neighborhood in the city of Los Angeles, this innovative new work uncovers the underlying discursive structures that inform our concepts of place.

Mustafa Emirbayer
Émile Durkheim Today