Synopses & Reviews
Nothing has generated more controversy in the social sciences than the turn toward culture, variously known as the linguistic turn, culturalism, or postmodernism. This book examines the impact of the cultural turn on two prominent social science disciplines, history and sociology, and proposes new directions in the theory and practice of historical research.
The editors provide an introduction analyzing the origins and implications of the cultural turn and its postmodernist critiques of knowledge. Essays by leading historians and historical sociologists reflect on the uses of cultural theories and show both their promise and their limitations. The afterword by Hayden White provides an assessment of the trend toward culturalism by one its most influential proponents.
Beyond the Cultural Turn offers fresh theoretical readings of the most persistent issues created by the cultural turn and provocative empirical studies focusing on diverse social practices, the uses of narrative, and the body and self as critical junctures where culture and society intersect.
About the Author
Victoria E. Bonnell is Professor of Sociology and Chair of the Center for Slavic and East European Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, author of Iconography of Power: Soviet Political Posters under Lenin and Stalin (California, 1997), and editor of The Russian Worker: Life and Labor under the Tsarist Regime (California, 1983), among other works. Lynn Hunt is Annenberg Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania, and is author of The Family Romance of the French Revolution (California, 1992), and editor of The New Cultural History (California, 1989), among other works.
Table of Contents
The concept(s) of culture / William H. Sewell, Jr. -- Method and metaphor after the new cultural history / Richard Biernacki -- Science studies after social construction: the turn toward the comparative and the global / Margaret C. Jacob -- The privatization of citizenship: how to unthink a knowledge culture / Margaret R. Somers -- Cultural history and the challenge of narrativity / Karen Halttunen -- Colonizers, scholars, and the creation of invisible histories / Steven Feierman -- Cultural analysis and moral discourses: episodes, continuities, and transformations / Sonya O. Rose --Why all the fuss about the body? a medievalist's perspective / Caroline Bynum -- Problematizing the self / Jerrold Seigel -- Afterword / Hayden White.