Contemporary articles citing Cohen J (1992) Civil Soc Political

public, society, cultural, sphere, institutional, civil, action, culture, account, discussion

Adut, Ari. 2012. "A Theory of the Public Sphere." Sociological Theory. 30:4 238-262. Link
The dominant approach to the public sphere is characterized by idealism and normativism. It overemphasizes civic-minded or civil discourse, envisions unrealistically egalitarian and widespread participation, has difficulty dealing with consequential public events, and neglects the spatial core of the public sphere and the effects of visibility. I propose a semiotic theory that approaches the public sphere through general sensory access. This approach enables a superior understanding of all public events, discursive or otherwise. It also captures the dialectical relationship between the public sphere and politics by (1) specifying the mechanisms through which visibility and publicity become resources or constraints for political actors, (2) explaining the political regulation of visibility, (3) showing the central role that struggles over the contents of public spaces play in political conflict, and (4) analyzing the links among social structure, social norms, and political action in the transformation of the public sphere.

Hart-Brinson, Peter. 2012. "Civic Recreation and a Theory of Civic Production." Sociological Theory. 30:2 130-147. Link
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.

Baiocchi, Gianpaolo. 2006. "The Civilizing Force of Social Movements: Corporate and Liberal Codes in Brazil's Public Sphere." Sociological Theory. 24:4 285-311. Link
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.

Besecke, K. 2005. "Seeing Invisible Religion: Religion as a Societal Conversation About Transcendent Meaning." Sociological Theory. 23:2 179-196. Link
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. Link
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.

Tilly, C. 2004. "Terror, Terrorism, Terrorists." Sociological Theory. 22:1 5-13. Link
The terms terror, terrorism, and terrorist do not identify causally coherent and distinct social phenomena but strategies that recur across a wide variety of actors and political situations. Social scientists who reify the terms confuse themselves and render a disservice to public discussion. The U.S. government's own catalogs of terrorist events actually support both claims.

Strydom, P. 2001. "The Problem of Triple Contingency in Habermas." Sociological Theory. 19:2 165-186. Link
From a certain perspective, Habermas's theory of communicative action is a response, in extension of Mead, Schutz, and Parsons, to the risk of dissension posed by double contingency. Starting from double contingency, both The Theory of Communicative Action and Between Facts and Norms are essentially an elaboration of a solution to this problem in terms of a more fully developed theory of communication than had been available to his predecessors. Given the intense concentration and the immense expenditure of energy on the working out of the coordinating accomplishments and structures required by the complex solution envisaged by him, it is unsurprising that Habermas overlooks the next most important problems intermittently raised by the theory of communicative action, namely, the problem of ``triple contingency,'' that is, the contingency that the public brings into the social process. This has far-reaching implications for Habermas's place in the sociological tradition and for the relation of the younger generation to him. Because of his continued search for a solution to a problem posed in the classical phase of sociology and his concomitant failure to develop the new problem that he himself raised in the course of so doing, he can be classified with Parsons as being a neoclassical sociologist. He nevertheless bequeaths a serious problem to contemporary sociology.

Wood, RL. 1999. "Religious Culture and Political Action." Sociological Theory. 17:3 307-332. Link
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.

Eisenstadt, SN. 1998. "The Paradox of Democratic Regimes: Fragility and Transformability." Sociological Theory. 16:3 211-238. Link
In most of the vast scholarly literature on constitutional-democratic regimes, the major emphasis has been on the broader social, economic, or cultural conditions conducive to their development, breakdown, or consolidation and continuity (Diamond 1993b; Diamond, Lint, and Lipset 1989, 1990). The major thesis of this essay is that fragility and instability are inherent in the very constitution of modem constitutional-democratic regimes, and are rooted in (I) the tensions between the different conceptions of democracy (especially between constitutional and participatory democracy) and (2) the central aspects of the political and cultural program of modernity. The common core of these premises is the openness of the political process (particularly with regard to protest) and the concomitant tendency toward continual redefinition of the political realm. Openness is an important contributor to the fragility of modern democratic regimes; paradoxically, it also allows for their continuity. The key question, then, is how and under what conditions non-zero-sum conceptions of the ``game'' of politics develop. The second part of this essay takes up this question, with special emphasis on the development and reproduction of trust among different sectors of society, the relationships between such sectors and the centers of society, and the construction of different types of collective identity.

Ku, AS. 1998. "Boundary Politics in the Public Sphere: Openness, Secrecy, and Leak." Sociological Theory. 16:2 172-192. Link
The issue of openness/secrecy has nor received adequate attention in attention discussion on the public sphere. Drawing on ideas in critical theory, political sociology, and cultural sociology. this article explores the cultural and political dynamics involved in the public sphere in modem society vis-a-vis is the practice of open/secret politics by the state. It argues that the media, due to their publicist quality are situated at the interface between publicity and secrecy which thereby allows for struggles over the boundary of state openness/secrecy in the public sphere. A theory of boundary, politics is introduced that is contextualized In the relationship among state forms, the means of making power visible/invisible (media strategies), and symbolic as well as discursive practices in the public sphere. In explaining the dynamics of boundary politics over openness/secrecy three ideal-types of boundary creation are conceptualized: open politics, secrecy and leak. The theory is illustrated with a case study of the Patten controversy in Hong Kong.

Jacobs, RN & P Smith. 1997. "Romance, Irony, and Solidarity." Sociological Theory. 15:1 60-80. Link
Contemporary social theory has turned increasingly to concepts such as civil society, community, and the public sphere in order to theorize about the construction of vital, democratic, and solidaristic political cultures. The dominant prescriptions for attaining this end invoke the need for institutional and procedural reform, but overlook the autonomous role of culture in shaping and defining the forms of social solidarity. This article proposes a model of solidarity based on the two genres of Romance and Irony, and argues that these narrative forms offer useful vocabularies for organizing public discourse within and between civil society and its constituent communities. Whilst unable to sustain fully-inclusive and solidaristic political cultures on their own, in combination the genres of Romance and Irony allow for solidaristic forms built around tolerance, reflexivity, and intersubjectivity.

Emirbayer, M. 1996. "Useful Durkheim." Sociological Theory. 14:2 109-130. Link
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.

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. Link
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.

LIPSET, SM & G BENCE. 1994. "Anticipations of the Failure of Communism." Theory and Society. 23:2 169-210. Link

SOMERS, MR. 1994. "The Narrative Constitution of Identity - a Relational and Network Approach." Theory and Society. 23:5 605-649. Link
This article argues for reconfiguring the study of identity formation through the concept of narrative. It is motivated by two recent but seemingly unrelated developments in social theory and society. One is the emergence of a wide-spread `'identity politics'' and a concomitant scholarly focus on the `'social construction of identity.'' The other is the reconfigured approach to the concept of narrative that researchers from many disciplines have been formulating in recent years. Both are important developments not to be overlooked by social scientists and social theorists; both, however, have problems and limitations as they now stand. I argue in this article that the limitations of each potentially can be overcome by bringing the two thematics together. The key concept I propose to achieve this reconfiguration is that of narrative identity.

BRENNER, N. 1994. "Foucault New Functionalism." Theory and Society. 23:5 679-709. Link

Nielsen, G. 1995. "Bakhtin and Habermas: Toward a Transcultural Ethics." Theory and Society. 24:6 803-835. Link

Pakulski, J & M Waters. 1996. "The Reshaping and Dissolution of Social Class in Advanced Society." Theory and Society. 25:5 667-691.

Emirbayer, M & M Sheller. 1998. "Publics in History." Theory and Society. 27:6 727-779. Link

Swedberg, R. 1999. "Civil Courage (zivilcourage): the Case of Knut Wicksell." Theory and Society. 28:4 501-528. Link

Emirbayer, M & CA Goldberg. 2005. "Pragmatism, Bourdieu, and Collective Emotions in Contentious Politics." Theory and Society. 34:5-6 469-518. Link
We aim to show how collective emotions can be incorporated into the study of episodes of political contention. In a critical vein, we systematically explore the weaknesses in extant models of collective action, showing what has been lost through a neglect or faulty conceptualization of collective emotional configurations. We structure this discussion in terms of a review of several ``pernicious postulates'' in the literature, assumptions that have been held, we argue, by classical social-movement theorists and by social-structural and cultural critics alike. In a reconstructive vein, however, we also lay out the foundations of a more satisfactory theoretical framework. We take each succeeding critique of a pernicious postulate as the occasion for more positive theory-building. Drawing upon the work of the classical American pragmatists-especially Peirce, Dewey, and Mead-as well as aspects of Bourdieu's sociology, we construct, step by step, the foundations of a more adequate theorization of social movements and collective action. Accordingly, the negative and positive threads of our discussion are woven closely together: the dismantling of pernicious postulates and the development of a more useful analytical strategy.

Tugal, Cihan. 2009. "Transforming Everyday Life: Islamism and Social Movement Theory." Theory and Society. 38:5 423-458. Link
The Islamist movement in Turkey bases its mobilization strategy on transforming everyday practices. Public challenges against the state do not form a central part of its repertoire. New Social Movement theory provides some tools for analyzing such an unconventional strategic choice. However, as Islamist mobilization also seeks to reshape the state in the long run, New Social Movement theory (with its focus on culture and society and its relative neglect of the state) needs to be complemented by more institutional analyses. A hegemonic account of mobilization, which incorporates tools from theories of everyday life and identity-formation, as well as from state-centered approaches, is offered as a way to grasp the complexity of Islamism.