Chapter

The Strong Program In Cultural Sociology

Jeffrey C. Alexander and Philip Smith

in The Meanings of Social Life

Published in print October 2003 | ISBN: 9780195160840
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199944156 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195160840.003.0011
The Strong Program In Cultural Sociology

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This chapter evaluates the competing models or understandings of culture currently available to social theory using the concept of cultural autonomy. It highlights the fundamental flaws that characterize most of these models and proposes an alternative approach that can be broadly understood as a kind of structural hermeneutics. It explains that structuralism and hermeneutics can be made into fine bedfellows because the former offers possibilities for general theory construction, prediction, and assertions of the autonomy of culture while the latter allows analysis to capture the texture and temper of social life.

Keywords: culture; social theory; cultural autonomy; structural hermeneutics; structuralism; theory construction; social life

Chapter.  7826 words. 

Subjects: Sociology

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