Journal Article

The Cultural Turn in the Sociology of Religion in France

Jean-Paul Willaime

in Sociology of Religion

Published on behalf of Association for the Sociology of Religion

Volume 65, issue 4, pages 373-389
Published in print January 2004 | ISSN: 1069-4404
Published online January 2004 | e-ISSN: 1759-8818 | DOI:
The Cultural Turn in the Sociology of Religion in France

Show Summary Details


The decline in the influence of Marxism and structuralism in the social sciences has led to greater attention being paid to both social actors and cultural identities in the sociology of religion.

Prompted by debates between republicans (in the French sense of the word) and democrats concerning the status of cultural and religious identities in the public sphere, the sociology of religion in France has increasingly questioned the classic paradigms of secularization. It has turned instead to the approaches of anthropology and the political sciences, revealing both the structures and the dynamics of religious identities in ultra-modernity. As a result, French laïcité is increasingly questioned—the more so given the pressures of the European context. No longer is the sociological study of religious phenomena simply an analysis of social determinants; it becomes instead, in France as elsewhere, the study of symbolic mediations, examining their influence on both social bonds and the formation of individuals as active subjects.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Sociology of Religion

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.