Contemporary articles citing Putnam R (1993) Making Democracy Wor
public, political, account, cultural, concept, studies, sphere, structured, culture, analyze
- 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.
- Molm, Linda, David Schaefer & Jessica Collett. 2009. "Fragile and Resilient Trust: Risk and Uncertainty in Negotiated and Reciprocal Exchange." Sociological Theory. 27:1 1-32.
- Both experimental and ethnographic studies show that reciprocal exchanges (in which actors unilaterally provide benefits to each other without formal agreements) produce stronger trust than negotiated exchanges secured by binding agreements. We develop the theoretical role of risk and uncertainty as causal mechanisms that potentially explain these results, and then test their effects in two laboratory experiments that vary risk and uncertainty within negotiated and reciprocal forms of exchange. We increase risk in negotiated exchanges by making agreements nonbinding and decrease uncertainty in reciprocal exchanges by having actors communicate their intentions. Our findings support three main theoretical conclusions. (1) Increasing risk in negotiated exchange produces levels of trust comparable to those in reciprocal exchange only if the partner's trustworthiness is near-absolute. (2) Decreasing uncertainty in reciprocal exchange either increases or decreases trust, depending on network structure. (3) Even when reciprocal and negotiated exchanges produce comparable levels of trust, their trust differs in kind, with reciprocal exchange partners developing trust that is more resilient and affect-based.
- Green, Adam. 2008. "The Social Organization of Desire: the Sexual Fields Approach." Sociological Theory. 26:1 25-50.
- Modern urban life is increasingly characterized by specialized erotic worlds designed for sexual partnership and sexual sociality. In this article, I build on sociological theory developed in areas other than the sociology of sexuality to formulate a framework uniquely suited to the analysis of such modern erotic worlds-the sexual fields framework. Coupling Goffman's social psychological focus on situational negotiation with a Bourdieusian model of routine practice, the sexual fields framework highlights the relationship of interactional work to fields of objective relations wherein historically specific erotic schemas acquire a structural manifestation that erotic players must navigate. In so doing, the sexual fields approach advances a set of sensitizing concepts for identifying the structures of collective sexual life, and raises a set of new lines of sociological inquiry, including the relationship of sexual fields to both psychoanalytic and macro-level structures and processes.
- 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.
- Wuthnow, R. 2004. "The Religious Factor Revisited." Sociological Theory. 22:2 205-218.
- Four decades have passed since the publication of Gerhard Lenski's The Religious Factor. While generally regarded as a classic in the sociology of religion, the book has had a curious history, largely because of the interest it generated in differences between Protestants and Catholics. In this paper I provide an alternative reading of The Religious Factor's impact on sociology of religion that points to its larger theoretical implications. I argue that the book should be understood in relation to continuing debates about the classification of religious traditions, differentiation among socioreligious groups, intergroup relations among religious traditions, and friendship ties within religious communities. Through understanding these contributions, the book's legacy as well as continuities and new opportunities in the study of religion can be appreciated.
- Misztal, BA. 2001. "Normality and Trust in Goffman's Theory of Interaction Order." Sociological Theory. 19:3 312-324.
- The article asserts that Goffman's concept of normality comes close to the notion of trust as a protective mechanism that prevents chaos and disorder by providing us with feelings of safety, certainty, and familiarity. Arguing that to account for the tendency of social order to be seen as normal we need to conceptualize trust as the routine background of everyday interaction, the article analyzes Goffmans concepts of normal appearances, stigma, and frames as devices for endowing social order with predictability, reliability, and legibility. For Goffman, normality is a collective achievement, which is possible because of the orderliness of interactional activities, which is-in turn-predicated ``on a large base of shared cognitive presuppositions, if not normative ones, and self-sustained restraints''.
- Rabinovitch, E. 2001. "Gender and the Public Sphere: Alternative Forms of Integration in Nineteenth-century America." Sociological Theory. 19:3 344-370.
- This paper intends to evaluate two competing models of multicultural integration in stratified societies: the ``multiple publics'' model of Nancy Fraser and the ``fragmented public sphere'' model of Jeffrey Alexander. Fraser and Alexander disagree oil whether or not claims to a general ``common good'' or ``common humanity'' are democratically legitimate in light of systemic inequality. Fraser rejects the idea that cultural integration can be democratic in conditions of social inequality, while Alexander accepts it and tries to explain how it may be realized. In order to address this debate, I analyze the cultural foundations of the female-led, maternally themed social movements of nineteenth-century America. The language of these movements supports Alexander's position over Fraser's, though it also suggests that Alexander is mistaken in the specifics of his cultural theory of a general and democratic ``common good.'' While Alexander's model of integration is structured uniquely by what he and Philip Smith have called ``the discourse of civil society,'' the evidence suggests a distinctly alternative, equally democratic code at play in this case, which I have labeled a discourse of affection and compassion.
- 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.
- 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.
- Eliasoph, N & P Lichterman. 1999. "``we Begin With Our Favorite Theory ...'': Reconstructing the Extended Case Method." Sociological Theory. 17:2 228-234.
- Somers, MR. 1995. "Narrating and Naturalizing Civil Society and Citizenship Theory: the Place of Political Culture and the Public Sphere." Sociological Theory. 13:3 229-274.
- The English translation of Habermas's The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere converges with the revival of the `'political culture concept'' in the social sciences. Surprisingly Habermas's account of the Western bourgeois public sphere has much in common with the original political culture concept associated with Parsonian modernization theory in the 1950s and 1960s. In both cases, the concept of political culture is used in a way that is neither political nov cultural. Explaining this peculiarity is the central problem addressed in this article and its companion piece, which appeared in Sociological Theory, volume 3, number 2 (1995). I hypothesize that this is the case because the concept itself is embedded in an historically constituted political culture (here called a conceptual network)-a structured web of conceptual relationships that combine into Angle-American citizenship theory. The method of an historical sociology of concept formation is used to analyze historically and empirically the internal constraints and dynamics of this conceptual network. The method draws from new work in cultural history and sociology, social studies, and network, narrative, and institutional analysis. This research yields three empirical findings: this conceptual network has a narrative structure, here called the Angle-American citizenship story; this narrative is grafted onto an epistemology of social naturalism; and these elements combine in a metanarrative that continues to constrain empirical research in political sociology.
- SOMERS, MR. 1995. "Whats Political or Cultural About Political-culture and the Public Sphere - Toward an Historical Sociology of Concept-formation." Sociological Theory. 13:2 113-144.
- The English translation of Habermas's The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere converges with a recent trend toward the revival of the `'political culture concept'' in the social sciences. Surprisingly, Habermas's account of the Western bourgeois public sphere has much in common with the original political culture concept associated with Parsonian modernization theory in the 1950s and 1960s. In both cases, the concept of political culture is used in a way that is neither political nor cultural. Explaining this peculiarity is the central problem addressed in this article and one to follow I hypothesize that this is the case because the concept itself is embedded in an historically constituted political culture (here called a conceptual network)-a structured web of conceptual relationships that combine into Anglo-American citizenship theory. The method of an historical sociology of concept formation is introduced to analyze historically and empirically the internal constraints and dynamics of this conceptual network. The method draws from new work in cultural history and sociology, social studies, and network, narrative, and institutional analysis. This research yields three empirical findings: this conceptual network has a narrative structure, here called the Anglo-American citizenship story; this narrative is grafted onto an epistemology of social naturalism; and these elements combine in a metanarrative that continues to constrain empirical research in political sociology.