Bennett M. Berger's An Essay on Culture: Symbolic Structure and Social Structure PDF

By Bennett M. Berger

The results of 35 years of inspiration and learn on tradition via the best and so much literate writers in sociology, this wide-ranging overview of the that means and learn of tradition is Bennett Berger at his top. Drawing on his unsurpassed wisdom of the scholarly literature and on his wealth of non-public adventure, Berger studies and synthesizes fresh paintings in cultural sociology from a materialist viewpoint. His essay culminates in a choice for an empirical examine application concerned with the relation among symbolic offerings and social destinations, instead of on interpretive debts of the meanings of texts or performances.Among his strange insights are a security of reductionism, sympathetic money owed of "peer strain" and "special interests," an try and fix a few dignity to the observe "ideology," and a clean standpoint on "conspiracy theory."Scholars and scholars of tradition alike will locate right here attractive discussions and theoretical insights on ideological paintings, morality and tradition, and at the relatives among social constitution and cultural constitution.

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I mean, America thought that bin Laden was hiding in Afghanistan, so they attacked them but I don’t understand why they were sending him arms and food before. And now what’s happening with Saddam—it’s just hitting my head.

The book begins by defining empire so as to foreground this framework, for although the word may have now become incorporated into American public discourse, using the word “empire” alone is not sufficient. The book has three strands or modes of writing: first, narratives about and by the youth; second, analysis based on my fieldwork and engagement with theoretical and political ideas; and third, an account of my own involvement in community and political issues in relation to the questions of the book.

Youth come to understand social problems and citizenship through the particular political lens of economic individualism within neoliberal capitalism, as youth increasingly do in Britain and Europe (France 1998). The notion of youth as active citizens is often translated into youth as active consumers whose presumed “right to choose between services,” rather than rights to basic needs, is emphasized by the neoliberal state ( Jones and Wallace 1992, 140), as elaborated in chapter 4. Discourses of active citizenship that emerged in the 1980s in the United States as well as in Europe, in response to economic restructuring and the erosion of the welfare state, have promoted volunteering as one of the modes in which citizens, including youth, construct their 17 18 Introduction civic identity (France 1998; Storrie 1997).

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