The place of culture in sociology: romanticism and debates about the 'cultural turn'

de la Fuente, Eduardo (2007) The place of culture in sociology: romanticism and debates about the 'cultural turn'. Journal of Sociology, 43 (2). pp. 115-130.

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Despite intense debate regarding the 'cultural turn', there has been very little framing of these intellectual conflicts in terms of the sociology of ideas or knowledge. Following Gouldner, the article proposes that sociology has oscillated between two major styles of thought: Classicism and Romanticism. The latter stimulated an interest in culture amongst social scientists and also led to an emphasis on the cultural properties of social life. Yet Romanticism has its equal in the opposing tendency to see the sociological study of culture as no different from other forms of social scientific explanation (Classicism). The notion of 'style wars' is used to frame debates about the 'cultural turn' and its consequences for sociology. Divisions within the sociology of art — a subfield within the sociology of culture — are used to demonstrate that one major fault line in these debates is the notion of aesthetics. It is suggested that theoretical and methodological debates about culture, and its role in sociology, require some degree of sociological reflexivity about the predominant styles of thought present in the discipline.

Item ID: 40395
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1741-2978
Keywords: 'cultural turn', Gouldner, romanticism, sociology of art, styles of thought
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2015 03:01
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1608 Sociology > 160899 Sociology not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society @ 100%
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