Contemporary articles citing Bellah R (1985) Habits Heart Individ
public, contemporary, historical, his, political, cultural, religious, suggests, recent, religion
- Manza, Jeff & Clem Brooks. 2012. "How Sociology Lost Public Opinion: a Genealogy of a Missing Concept in the Study of the Political." Sociological Theory. 30:2 89-113.
- In contemporary sociology the once prominent study of public opinion has virtually disappeared. None of the leading theoretical models in the closest disciplinary subfield (political sociology) currently provide ample or sufficiently clear space for consideration of public opinion as a possible factor in shaping or interacting with key policy or political outcomes in democratic polities. In this article, we unearth and document the sources of this curious development and raise questions about its implications for how political sociologists have come to understand policy making, state formation, and political conflict. We begin by reconstructing the dismissal of public opinion in the intellectual reorientation of political sociology from the late 1970s onward. We argue that the most influential scholarly works of this period (including those of Tilly, Skocpol, Mann, Esping-Andersen, and Domhoff) face an underlying paradox: While often rejecting public opinion, their theoretical logics ultimately presuppose its operation. These now classical writings did not move toward research programs seeking engagement with the operation and formation of public opinion, even though our immanent critique suggests they in fact require precisely this turn. We address the challenge of reconceptualizing how public opinion might be productively integrated into the sociological study of politics by demonstrating that the major arguments in the subfield can be fruitfully extended by grappling with public opinion. We conclude by considering several recent, interdisciplinary examples of scholarship that, we argue, point the way toward a fruitful revitalization.
- Hart-Brinson, Peter. 2012. "Civic Recreation and a Theory of Civic Production." Sociological Theory. 30:2 130-147.
- The debate on civic decline inspired by Putnam's ``bowling alone'' thesis exposed an important limitation in three dominant conceptions of the civic. Whether conceptualized as a locus, type, or motivation for action, the boundaries distinguishing the civic from other categories of political action are permeable and indistinct. This article develops a theory of civic production to better account for the inherent normativity and ``porousness'' of this analytic category. I conceptualize the civic as a variable, contingent outcome or product of a contentious performance undertaken in some venue for some reason. The phenomenon of ``civic recreation,'' a form of fund-raising that combines a leisure activity with a public cause, underscores the necessity of a theory of civic production. I draw from social movement theory and from ethnographic data from one fitness fund-raiser to illustrate some of the key processes and outcomes for which a theory of civic production must account.
- Lichterman, Paul. 2012. "Religion in Public Action: From Actors to Settings." Sociological Theory. 30:1 15-36.
- Contemporary social research often has located religion's public influence by focusing on individual or collective religious actors. In this unitary actor model, religion is a stable, uniform feature of an individual or collectivity. However, recent research shows that people's religious expression outside religious congregations varies by context. Building on this new work, along with insights from Erving Goffman and cultural sociology, an alternative, ``cultural-interactionist model'' of religious expression focuses on how group styles enable and constrain religious expression in public settings. Illustrating the model are two ethnographic cases, a religiously sponsored homeless advocacy organization and a secondary comparison setting from an activist campaign for housing, both from a U.S. metropolitan area. Shifting from actors to settings and group styles clarifies the interplay between religious and nonreligious culture over time. The shift refines our understanding of how religion's civic or political effects work, as in the case of building social capital for collective action. The cultural-interactionist model enables us to track historical change in everyday group settings. It promotes further research on historically changing ways of managing religious diversity, and diverse ways of constructing a religious self.
- Paretskaya, Anna. 2010. "The Soviet Communist Party and the Other Spirit of Capitalism." Sociological Theory. 28:4 377-401.
- Based on qualitative analysis of the Soviet press and official state documents, this article argues that the Communist Party was, counterintuitively, an agent of capitalist dispositions in the Soviet Union during 1970s-1980s. Understanding the spirit of capitalism not simply as an ascetic ethos but in broader terms of the cult of individualism, I demonstrate that the Soviet party-state promoted ideas and values of individuality, self-expression, and pleasure seeking in the areas of work and consumption. By broadening our conception of the spirit of capitalism, tracing the formation of capitalist dispositions as well as institutions, and showing that the culture of capitalism can come from within the old regime, I further the agenda of neoclassical sociology of studying varieties of origins, paths, and destinations of modern capitalisms.
- Kenny, Robert. 2010. "Beyond the Elementary Forms of Moral Life: Reflexivity and Rationality in Durkheim's Moral Theory." Sociological Theory. 28:2 215-244.
- Was Durkheim an apologist for the authoritarianism? Is the sociology founded upon his work incapable of critical perspective; and must it operate under the presumption that social agents, including sociologists themselves, are incapable of reflexivity? Certainly some have said so, but they may be wrong. In this essay, I address these questions in the light of Durkheim's revisionary sociology of morals. I elaborate on unfinished elements in Durkheim's abruptly concluded (because of his early and unexpected death) scholarship, pointing out Durkheim's recognition that co-present moral spheres always exist in an organically complex society, and explaining how these co-present spheres obligate social agents to untether from any absolute moral affiliations. Ultimately, then, the argument shows how the solidarity/social-order relationship is transcended within Durkheim's sociology, even by Durkheim himself
- Goldberg, Chad. 2008. "Introduction to Emile Durkheim's ``anti-semitism and Social Crisis''." Sociological Theory. 26:4 299-323.
- Emile Durkheim's ``Antisemitisme et crise sociale,'' written in 1899 during the Dreyfus Affair in France, is introduced. The introduction summarizes the principal contributions that ``Antisemitisme et crise sociale'' makes to the sociology of anti-Semitism, relates those contributions to Durkheim's broader theoretical assumptions and concerns, situates his analysis of anti-Semitism in its social and historical context, contrasts it to other analyses of anti-Semitism (Marxist and Zionist) that were prominent in Durkheim's time, indicates some of the revisions and additions that a fuller and more complete Durkheimian theory of anti-Semitism would entail, and highlights the significance of Durkheim's ideas for the contemporary study of ethnic and racial antagonism. While noting the limitations of Durkheim's analysis, the introduction concludes that ``Antisemitisme et crise sociale'' has sadly regained its relevance in the light of a revival of anti-Semitism at the turn of the millennium.
- Baiocchi, Gianpaolo. 2006. "The Civilizing Force of Social Movements: Corporate and Liberal Codes in Brazil's Public Sphere." Sociological Theory. 24:4 285-311.
- Analysts of political culture within the ``civil religion'' tradition have generally assumed that discourse in civil society is structured by a single set of enduring codes based on liberal traditions that actors draw upon to resolve crises. Based on two case studies of national crises and debate in Brazil during its transition to democracy, I challenge this assumption by demonstrating that not only do actors draw upon two distinct but interrelated codes, they actively seek to impose one or another as dominant. In Brazil this is manifest in actors who defend elements from the code of liberty and its valuation of the freestanding citizen, and those who defend the corporate code and its valuation of the collectivity over the individual. In an earlier debate on crime the corporate code was dominant, but in a later debate surrounding presidential improprieties, the liberal code became dominant. This analysis makes two contributions to the literature: it highlights the importance of nonindividualist cultural codes, such as the corporate code, in animating discourse in the public sphere in democratizing societies, raising attention to the importance of the symbolic contestation between actors seeking to establish one or another code during political transitions. Second, it offers a subtle commentary on the literature on democratization: changes in collective representations in the public sphere may not proceed apace of institutional changes and may be contingent on the kinds of crisis events and actors willing to contest previously dominant codes.
- Gross, N. 2005. "The Detraditionalization of Intimacy Reconsidered." Sociological Theory. 23:3 286-311.
- This essay challenges those strains of cot? temporary social theory that regard romantic/sexual intimacy as a premier site of detraditionalization in the late modern era. Striking changes have occurred in intimacy and family life over the last half-century, but the notion of detraditionalization as currently formulated does not capture them very well. With the goal of achieving a more refined understanding, the article proposes a distinction between ``regulative'' and ``ineaning-constitutive'' traditions. The former involve threats of exclusion from various moral communities; the latter involve linguistic and cultural frameworks within which sense is made of the world. Focusing on the U.S. case and marshaling various kinds of empirical evidence, the article argues that while the regulative tradition of what it terms lifelong, internally stratified marriage has declined in strength in recent years, the image of the form of couplehood inscribed in this regulative tradition continues to function as a hegemonic ideal in many American intimate relationships. Intimacy in the United States also remains beholden to the tradition of romantic love. That these meaning-constitutive traditions continue to play a central role in structuring contemporary intimacy suggests that detraditionalization involves the relative decline only of certain regulative traditions, a point that calls into question some of the normative assessments that often accompany the detraditionalization thesis.
- Besecke, K. 2005. "Seeing Invisible Religion: Religion as a Societal Conversation About Transcendent Meaning." Sociological Theory. 23:2 179-196.
- Contemporary sociology conceptualizes religion along two dimensions: the institutional and the individual. Lost in this dichotomy is religion's noninstitutional, but collective and public, cultural dimension. As a result, theories of religious modernity, including both sides of the secularization debate, are unable to recognize or evaluate the social power of noninstitutionalized religious communication. This article offers a reconceptualization of religion that highlights its cultural, communicative dimension. Original research on religious talk provides an empirical ground for a theoretical discussion that highlights: (1) the ``invisible'' nature of religion in modern societies, as theorized by Thomas Luckmann and (2) the social power attributed to communication by contemporary cultural sociologists and cultural theorists. I argue that conceptualizing religion as an evolving societal conversation about transcendent meaning broadens the empirical and theoretical grasp of the religion concept.
- Fine, GA & B Harrington. 2004. "Tiny Publics: Small Groups and Civil Society." Sociological Theory. 22:3 341-356.
- It has been conventional to conceptualize civic life through one of two core images: the citizen as lone individualist or the citizen as joiner. Drawing on analyses of the historical development of the public sphere, we propose an alternative analytical framework for civic engagement based on small-group interaction. By embracing this micro-level approach, we contribute to the debate on civil society in three ways. By emphasizing local interaction contexts-the microfoundations of civil society-we treat small groups as a cause, context, and consequence of civic engagement. First, through framing and motivating, groups encourage individuals to participate in public discourse and civic projects. Second, they provide the place and support for that involvement. Third, civic engagement feeds back into the creation of additional groups. A small-groups perspective suggests how civil society can thrive even if formal and institutional associations decline. Instead of indicating a decline in civil society, a proliferation of small groups represents a healthy development in democratic societies, creating cross-cutting networks of affiliation.
- Brint, S. 2001. "Gemeinschaft Revisited: a Critique and Reconstruction of the Community Concept." Sociological Theory. 19:1 1-23.
- Community remains a potent symbol and aspiration in political and intellectual life. However, it has largely passed out of sociological analysis. The paper shows why this has occurred, and it develops a new typology that can make the concept useful again in sociology: The neu typology is based on identifying structurally distinct subtypes of community using a small number of partitioning variables. The first partition is defined by the ultimate context of interaction; the second by the primary motivation for interaction; the third by rates of interaction and location of members; and the fourth by the amount of face-to-face as opposed ro computer-mediated interaction. This small number of partitioning variables yields eight major subtypes of community. The paper shows how and why these major subtypes are related to important variations in the behavioral and organizational outcomes of community. The paper also seeks to resolve some disagreements between classical liberalism and communitarians. It shows that only a few of the major subtypes of community are likely to be as illiberal and intolerant as the selective imagery of classical liberals asserts, while at the same time only a few are prone to generate as much fraternalism and equity as the selective imagery of communitarians suggests. The paper concludes by discussing the forms of community that are best suited to the modern world.
- Dillon, M. 1999. "The Authority of the Holy Revisited: Habermas, Religion, and Emancipatory Possibilities." Sociological Theory. 17:3 290-306.
- This article argues that Jurgen Habermas's view of religion as anathema to rational critical discourse reflects his misunderstanding that religion comprises a monolithic and immutable body of dogma that is closed to reason. Illustrative data from Catholic history and theology and empirical data gathered from contemporary American Catholics are used to show the weaknesses in Habermas's negation of the possibility of a self-critical religious discourse. Specifically, I highlight the doctrinal differentiation within Catholicism , its longstanding theological emphasis on the coupling of faith and reason, institutional reflexivity, and the doctrinally reflexive reasoning that contemporary Catholics us in negotiating what might appear as ``contradictory'' identities (e.g., being gay or lesbian and Catholic). Although the data presented take issue with Habermas's disavowal of religion the article shows that the practical relevance of doctrinal reasoning at both the institutional and the individual level vindicate Habermas's faith in the emancipatory potential of reasoned argumentation to advance participative equality.
- Wood, RL. 1999. "Religious Culture and Political Action." Sociological Theory. 17:3 307-332.
- Recent work by political sociologists and social movement theorists extend our understanding of how religious institutions contribute to expanding democracy, but nearly all analyze religious institutions as institutions; few focus directly on what religion qua religion might contribute. This article strives to illuminate the impact of religious culture per se, extending recent work on religion and democratic life by a small group of social movement scholars trained also in the sociology of religion. In examining religion's democratic impact, an explicitly cultural analysis inspired by the new approach to political culture developed by historical sociologists and cultural analysts of democracy is used to show the power of this approach and to provide a fuller theoretical account of how cultural dynamics shape political outcomes. The article examines religious institutions as generators of religious culture, presents a theoretical model of how religious cultural elements are incorporated into social movements and so shape their internal political cultures, and discusses how this in turn shapes their impact in the public realm. This model is then applied to a key site of democratic struggle: four efforts to promote social justice among low-income urban residents of the United States, including the most widespread such effort-faith-based community organizing.
- Klausner, SZ. 1998. "E. Digby Baltzell: Moral Rhetoric and Research Methodology." Sociological Theory. 16:2 149-171.
- The ways in which values are assimilated to social research differ according to the theoretical frame of reference informing the research. An example from the writings of E. Digby Baltzell illustrates how a moral commitment shaped his assumptions al,out the nature of the social matrix and his research strategies. A Western moral rhetoric fares well if the researcher chooses a methodologically individualist framework. The framework assists a moral rhetoric by providing it with concrete rather than abstract social actors and with a basis for explanation in terms of motive rather than situational forces. Along the way moral statements can appear in the form of empirical generalizations and historical laws. Should sociologists deem ethically neutral social research desirable, this study suggests that concentration on scientific method, without exploring the value bases for selecting a frame of reference, is not a promising approach. A value analysis, especially around Weber's ``value relevance,'' may function propaedeuticly.
- McLaughlin, N. 1996. "Nazism, Nationalism, and the Sociology of Emotions: Escape From Freedom Revisited." Sociological Theory. 14:3 241-261.
- The recent worldwide resurgence of militant nationalism, fundamentalist intolerance, and right-wing authoritarianism has again put the issues of violence and xenophobia at the center of social science research and theory. German psychoanalyst and sociologist Erich Fromm's work provides a useful theoretical microfoundation for contemporary work on nationalism, the politics of identity, and the roots of war and violence. Fromm's analysis of Nazism in Escape from Freedom (1941), in particular outlines a compelling theory of irrationality, and his later writings on nationalism provide an existential psychoanalysis that can be useful for contemporary social theory and sociology of emotions. Escape from Freedom synthesizes Marxist, Freudian, Weberian,and existentialist insights to offer an original theoretical explanation of Nazism that combines both macrostructural and micropsychological levels of analysis. After forty-five years of research into the social origins of fascism and with recent theorizing in the sociology of nationalism and emotions, Escape from Freedom, its analysis of Nazism, and Fromm's larger theoretical perspective are worth reconsidering.
- Emirbayer, M. 1996. "Useful Durkheim." Sociological Theory. 14:2 109-130.
- From the mid-1960s through much of the 1980s, Durkheim's contributions to historical-comparative sociology were decidedly marginalized; the title of one of Charles Tilly's essays, ``Useless Durkheim,'' conveys this prevailing sensibility with perfect clarity. Here, ky contrast, I draw upon writings from Durkheim's later ``religious'' period to show how Durkheim has special relevance today for debates in the historical-comparative field. I examine how his substantive writings shed light on current discussions regarding civil society; how his analytical insights help to show how action within civil society as well as other historical contexts is channelled by cultural, social-structural, and social-psychological configurations (plus transformative human agency); and how his ontological commitment to a ``relational social realisin'' contributes to ongoing attempts to rethink the foundations of historical-comparative investigation.