A social aesthetics as a general cultural sociology?

Authored by: John Levi Martin , Ben Merriman

Routledge International Handbook of the Sociology of Art and Culture

Print publication date:  September  2015
Online publication date:  September  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415855112
eBook ISBN: 9780203740248
Adobe ISBN: 9781135008895

10.4324/9780203740248.ch8

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Abstract

Cultural sociology has often been considered a coherent approach that assumes the central role of culture in a large number of spheres of social life (see especially Alexander 2003). This is in contrast to a more narrowly defined sociology of Culture, which more often focuses on, for instance, the production, distribution, consumption and reception of what are consensually taken to be Cultural products and services, such as paintings, country music performances or haute cuisine. (We use small-c to indicate the broader, anthropological use of the word and big-C to indicate the narrower one.) The dominant understanding of cultural sociology has been one that emphasizes the importance of shared cognitions, most generally ‘schema’ of different sorts, up to and including shared understandings of the most transcendent values.

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