Cultural Theory

Course convenor

Léna Pellandini-Simányi

Course content

How is it possible that people go home, turn on the TV and watch exactly the same programme with an identical can of beer in their hand without any conscious coordination? Why is it that children of intellectual families are more likely to become intellectuals even though in theory the career is open to everyone? How are social groups formed and maintained? One set of sociological theories answer these and similar questions with reference to the “hard” variables of society and economy, and treat culture as  side-effect.  Theories following the “cultural turn”, on the other hand, attribute a central role to culture in the formation of society, everyday life and even the economy. This course introduces students to the key theories and debates associated with the “cultural turn”. We will discuss differences and similarities between social and cultural theory, recent developments and critical perspective.

Indicative reading

Bourdieu, P. (2004). Distinction. London, Routledge.

Boltanski, L. and L. Thévenot (2008). “A kritikai képesség szociológiája.” Replika(62).

Fraser, N. (2008). Az újraelosztástól az elismerésig? Az igazságosság dillemái a poszt-szocializmus korában. Rasszizmus a tudományban. Budapest, Napvilág.

Hall, S. (1997). Representation :cultural representations and signifying practices. London, Sage.

Horkheimer, M. és T. W. Adorno (1990). A kultúripar. A felvilágosodás mint a tömegek becsapása. A felvilágosodás dialektikája. Budapest, Gondolat-Atlantisz.

Latour, B. (2005). Reassembling the social: an introduction to actor-network-theory. Oxford, Oxford University Press.

Marx, K. (1970 ). Az elidegenült munka. Gazdasági-filozófiai kéziratok 1844-ből. Budapest, Kossuth.

Shove, E. (2003). Comfort, cleanliness and convenience : the social organization of normality. Oxford, Berg; New York.

Taylor, C. (1996). Az elismerés politikája. Café Bábel.21. 77-88..

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