Contemporary articles citing Lamont M (1992) Money Morals Manners
cultural, culture, empirical, studies, first, bourdieu's, states, united, sociological, recent
- Lizardo, Omar & Sara Skiles. 2012. "Reconceptualizing and Theorizing ``omnivorousness'': Genetic and Relational Mechanisms." Sociological Theory. 30:4 263-282.
- Scores of sociological studies have provided evidence for the association between broad cultural taste, or omnivorousness, and various status characteristics, such as education, occupation, and age. Nevertheless, the literature lacks a consistent theoretical foundation with which to understand and organize these empirical findings. In this article, we offer such a framework, suggesting that a mechanism-based approach is helpful for examination of the origins of the omnivore-univore taste pattern as well as its class-based distribution. We reground the discussion of this phenomenon in Distinction (Bourdieu 1984), conceptualizing omnivorous taste as a transposable form of the aesthetic disposition available most readily to individuals who convert early aesthetic training into high cultural capital occupational trajectories. After outlining the genetic mechanisms that link the aesthetic disposition to early socialization trajectories, we identify two relational mechanisms that modulate its manifestation (either enhancing or inhibiting it) after early socialization.
- Wimmer, Andreas. 2009. "Herder's Heritage and the Boundary-making Approach: Studying Ethnicity in Immigrant Societies." Sociological Theory. 27:3 244-270.
- Major paradigms in immigration research, including assimilation theory, multi-culturalism, and ethnic studies, take it for granted that dividing society into ethnic groups is analytically and empirically meaningful because each of these groups is characterized by a specific culture, dense networks of solidarity, and shared identity. Three major revisions of this perspective have been proposed in the comparative ethnicity literature over the past decades, leading to a renewed concern with the emergence and transformation of ethnic boundaries. In immigration research, ``assimilation'' and ``integration'' have been reconceived as potentially reversible, power-driven processes of boundary shifting. After a synthetic summary of the major theoretical propositions of this emerging paradigm, I offer suggestions on how to bring it to fruition in future empirical research. First, major mechanisms and factors influencing the dynamics of ethnic boundary-making are specified, emphasizing the need to disentangle them from other dynamics unrelated to ethnicity. I then discuss a series of promising research designs, most based on nonethnic units of observation and analysis, that allow for a better understanding of these mechanisms and factors.
- Abend, G. 2006. "Styles of Sociological Thought: Sociologies, Epistemologies, and the Mexican and Us Quests for Truth." Sociological Theory. 24:1 1-41.
- Both U.S. and Mexican sociologies allege that they are in the business of making true scientific knowledge claims about the social world. Conventional conceptions of science notwithstanding, I demonstrate that their claims to truth and scientificity are based on alternative epistemological grounds. Drawing a random sample of nonquantitative articles from four leading journals, I show that, first, they assign a different role to theories, and indeed they have dissimilar understandings of what a theory should consist of. Second, whereas U.S. sociology actively struggles against subjectivity, Mexican sociology maximizes the potentials of subjective viewpoints. Third, U.S. sociologists tend to regard highly and Mexican sociologists to eagerly disregard the principle of ethical neutrality. These consistent and systematic differences raise two theoretical issues. First, I argue that Mexican and U.S. sociologies are epistemologically, semantically, and perceptually incommensurable. I contend that this problem is crucial for sociology's interest in the social conditioning of scientific knowledge's content. Second, I suggest four lines of thought that can help us explain the epistemological differences I find. Finally, I argue that sociologists would greatly profit from studying epistemologies in the same fashion they have studied other kinds of scientific and nonscientific beliefs.
- Collins, R. 2000. "Situational Stratification: a Micro-macro Theory of Inequality." Sociological Theory. 18:1 17-43.
- Kane, AE. 1997. "Theorizing Meaning Construction in Social Movements: Symbolic Structures and Interpretation During the Irish Land War, 1879-1882." Sociological Theory. 15:3 249-276.
- Though the process of meaning construction is widely recognized to be a crucial factor in the mobilization, unfolding, and outcomes of social movements, the conditions and mechanisms that allow meaning construction and cultural transformation are often misconceptualized and/or underanalyzed. Following a ``tool kit'' perspective on culture, dominant social movement theory locates meaning only as it is embodied in concrete social practices. Meaning construction from this perspective is a matter of manipulating static symbols and meaning to achieve goals. I argue instead that meaning is located in the structure of culture, and that the condition and mechanism of meaning construction and transformation are, respectively, the metaphoric nature of symbolic systems, and individual and collective interpretation of those systems in the face of concrete events. This theory is demonstrated by analyzing, through textual analysis, meaning construction during the Irish Land War 1879-1882, showing how diverse social groups constructed new and emergent symbolic meanings and how transformed collective understandings contributed to specific, yet unpredictable, political action and movement outcomes. The theoretical model and empirical case demonstrates that social movement analysis must examine the metaphoric logic of symbolic systems and the interpretive process by which people construct meaning in order to fully explain the role of culture in social movements, the agency of movement participants, and the contingency of the course and outcomes of social movements.
- Lichterman, P. 1995. "Beyond the Seesaw Model: Public Commitment in a Culture of Self-fulfillment." Sociological Theory. 13:3 275-300.
- Communitarian sociological theory and research of the past 30 years has often assumed that a growing culture of self-fulfillment, or `'personalism,'' is ultimately incompatible with commitment to the public good. This article argues that this `'seesaw model'' does not exhaust the possible relations between personalism and public commitment. It borrows insights from radical democratic theories to argue the existence of a form of public commitment that is enacted through, rather than impeded by, personalism. A cultural analysis that highlights everyday practices enables us to conceptualize this personalized form of public commitment, which goes unrecognized in communitarian accounts, and which gets discussed only in formal theoretical or social-psychological, terms in radical democratic theories. A case example of personalized public commitment in recent grass-roots environmentalism illustrates the limits in the seesaw model and speaks back to radical democratic theories of public commitment by illuminating how the individualized commitment they theorize may work in everyday cultural practice. I conclude with suggestions for further theoretical work on personalism.
- 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.
- Lareau, A & EB Weininger. 2003. "Cultural Capital in Educational Research: a Critical Assessment." Theory and Society. 32:5-6 567-606.
- In this article, we assess how the concept of cultural capital has been imported into the English language, focusing on educational research. We argue that a dominant interpretation of cultural capital has coalesced with two central premises. First, cultural capital denotes knowledge of or facility with ``highbrow'' aesthetic culture. Secondly, cultural capital is analytically and causally distinct from other important forms of knowledge or competence (termed ``technical skills,'' ``human capital,'' etc.). We then review Bourdieu's educational writings to demonstrate that neither of these premises is essential to his understanding of cultural capital. In the third section, we discuss a set of English-language studies that draw on the concept of cultural capital, but eschew the dominant interpretation. These serve as the point of departure for an alternative definition. Our definition emphasizes Bourdieu's reference to the capacity of a social class to ``impose'' advantageous standards of evaluation on the educational institution. We discuss the empirical requirements that adherence to such a definition entails for researchers, and provide a brief illustration of the intersection of institutionalized evaluative standards and the educational practices of families belonging to different social classes. Using ethnographic data from a study of social class differences in family-school relationships, we show how an African-American middle-class family exhibits cultural capital in a way that an African-American family below the poverty level does not.
- Goldberg, CA. 2003. "Haunted by the Specter of Communism: Collective Identity and Resource Mobilization in the Demise of the Workers Alliance of America." Theory and Society. 32:5-6 725-773.
- This article seeks to integrate identity-oriented and strategic models of collective action better by drawing on Pierre Bourdieu's theory of classification struggles. On the one hand, the article extends culture to the realm of interest by highlighting the role collective identity plays in one of the key processes that strategic models of collective action foreground: the mobilization of resources. The article extends culture to the realm of interest in another way as well: by challenging the notion that labor movements are fundamentally different from or antithetical to the identity-oriented new social movements. On the other hand, the article also extends the idea of interest to culture. Rather than viewing collective identity as something formed prior to political struggle and according to a different logic, I show that collective identity is constructed in and through struggles over classificatory schemes. These include struggles between movements and their opponents as well as struggles within movements. The article provides empirical evidence for these theoretical claims with a study of the demise of the Workers Alliance of America, a powerful, nation-wide movement of the unemployed formed in the United States in 1935 and dissolved in 1941.
- Sallaz, Jeffrey. 2006. "The Making of the Global Gambling Industry: an Application and Extension of Field Theory." Theory and Society. 35:3 265-297.
- The past two decades have seen a global convergence from gambling prohibition to legalization, but also a divergence regarding how new gambling industries are structured and regulated. This article compares two cases of casino legalization exhibiting different and, given conventional understandings of the two countries, unexpected outcomes. In the United States, ethnic entrepreneurs (Indian tribes) were granted a monopoly on casinos in California; in South Africa, the new ANC government legalized a competitive, corporate casino industry. Through explaining these disparate industry structurings, two arguments are advanced. First, Bourdieu's field theory best describes the interests and strategies of industry ``players'' as they attempted to shape policy. Second, Bourdieu neglects the independent role of institutions in mediating between field-level dynamics and concrete regulatory outcomes. In California, Tribes converted economic into political capital through a public election. In South Africa, the ANC used a centralized commission to implement corporate gambling over public opposition, in essence converting political into economic capital. By viewing policy domains as ``dramaturgical prisms'' whose sign-production tools and audiences facilitate certain but not other capital conversion projects, I both explain unexpected regulatory outcomes and synthesize field and political process theories.
- Gartman, David. 2007. "The Strength of Weak Programs in Cultural Sociology: a Critique of Alexander's Critique of Bourdieu." Theory and Society. 36:5 381-413.
- Jeffrey Alexander's recent book on cultural sociology argues that sociologists must grant the realm of ideas autonomy to determine behavior, unencumbered by interference from instrumental or material factors. He criticizes the sociology of Pierre Bourdieu as ``weak'' for failing to give autonomy to culture by reducing it to self-interested behavior that immediately reflects class position. However, Alexander's arguments seriously distort and misstate Bourdieu's theory, which provides for the relative autonomy of culture through the concepts of habitus and field. Because habitus is a set of durable dispositions conditioned by past structures, it may contradict the changed structures of the present. Further, the influence of the habitus is always mediated by the structure and strategies of the field of contest in which it is deployed, so that the same habitus may motivate different actions in different circumstances. However, Alexander is correct to argue that in Bourdieu's theory culture generally serves to reproduce, not contradict social structures. Yet Bourdieu addresses this and other problems in his later work, in which he argues for the existence of certain cultural universals transcending particular structures.
- Swartz, David. 2008. "Social Closure in American Elite Higher Education." Theory and Society. 37:4 409-419.
- Elite college admissions exemplify processes of social closure in which status-group conflict, organizational self-interest, the strategic use of cultural ideals of merit, and broader social trends and contingent historical events interweave to shape institutional power in the United States. The Chosen, Jerome Karabel's monumental study of the history of college admissions at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton from 1900 to 2005, offers a political sociology of elite recruitment and a cultural and social history of the definition of merit that has guided these three schools and shaped much current thinking about college admissions. As Max Weber reminded us, the very definition of cultural ideals of an epoch bear the stamp of elite group domination: not cultural ideals but cultural interests and their strategic uses guide institutional power. The book provides an impressive empirical demonstration of that proposition: it identifies four different definitions of merit as organizational gatekeeping tools that have guided Harvard, Yale, and Princeton over the last hundred years and shows how these definitions were molded by status-group conflict and organizational interests. This essay outlines the central arguments of Karabel's book; it identifies key contributions for our understanding of the history, culture, organizational interests, and politics of these three institutions; it highlights the social closure framework guiding the analysis; and it reflects on a fundamental ambiguity in Karabel's thinking about meritocratic ideals as governing principles for modern stratified societies.
- Chan, Cheris. 2009. "Creating a Market in the Presence of Cultural Resistance: the Case of Life Insurance in China." Theory and Society. 38:3 271-305.
- This article brings together two different conceptions of culture-a shared meaning system on one hand and a repertoire of strategies on the other-to understand the emergence of a market. Based on ethnographic data, it examines how a Chinese life insurance market is emerging in the presence of incompatible shared values and ideas acting as cultural barriers, and how these cultural barriers shape the formation of the market. The findings reveal a burgeoning Chinese life insurance market despite local cultural logics incompatible with the profit-oriented institutional logic of life insurance. This Chinese market, however, has developed along a different trajectory from what might be expected. It first emerged as a money management, rather than a risk management, market. I argue that the very cultural barriers that compose the local resistance to a new economic practice also necessitate the mobilization of the cultural tool-kit to circumvent this resistance. These dual processes, shared ideas composing the resistance and the cultural tool-kit circumventing the resistance, shape the trajectory and characteristics of an emergent market. I propose a theoretical model specifying the mechanisms through which the two forms of culture interplay to influence the development of the life insurance. I apply this model to extend Zelizer's (1979) insights and discuss how culture matters in forging a new market in the global diffusion of capitalism.
- Ghaziani, Amin. 2009. "An ``amorphous Mist''? the Problem of Measurement in the Study of Culture." Theory and Society. 38:6 581-612.
- Sociological studies of culture have made significant progress on conceptual clarification of the concept, while remaining comparatively quiescent on questions of measurement. This study empirically examines internal conflicts (or ``infighting''), a ubiquitous phenomenon in political organizing, to propose a ``resinous culture framework'' that holds promise for redirection. The data comprise 674 newspaper articles and more than 100 archival documents that compare internal dissent across two previously unstudied lesbian and gay Marches on Washington. Analyses reveal that activists use infighting as a vehicle to engage in otherwise abstract definitional debates that provide concrete answers to questions such as who are we and what do we want. The mechanism that enables infighting to concretize these cultural concerns is its coupling with fairly mundane and routine organizational tasks. This mechanism affords one way to release the culture concept, understood here as collective self-definitions, from being ``an amorphous, indescribable mist which swirls around society members,'' as it was once provocatively described.
- Tavory, Iddo. 2010. "Of Yarmulkes and Categories: Delegating Boundaries and the Phenomenology of Interactional Expectation." Theory and Society. 39:1 49-68.
- Based on ethnographic fieldwork and interviews, this article delineates a process through which members of an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood in Los Angeles unintentionally delegate boundary work and membership-identification to anonymous others in everyday life. Living in the midst of a non-Jewish world, orthodox men are often approached by others, both Jews and non-Jews, who categorize them as ``religious Jews'' based on external marks such as the yarmulke and attire. These interactions, varying from mundane interactions to anti-Semitic incidents, are then tacitly anticipated by members even when they are not attending to their ``Jewishness''aEuro''when being a ``Jew'' is interactionally invisible. Through this case, I argue that, in addition to conceptualizing boundaries and identifications as either emerging in performance or institutionally given and stable, the study of boundaries should also chart the sites in which members anticipate categorization and the way these anticipations play out in everyday life.
- Kaufman, Jason & Matthew Kaliner. 2011. "The Re-accomplishment of Place in Twentieth Century Vermont and New Hampshire: History Repeats Itself, Until It Doesn't." Theory and Society. 40:2 119-154.
- Much recent literature plumbs the question of the origins and trajectories of ``place,'' or the cultural development of space-specific repertoires of action and meaning. This article examines divergence in two ``places'' that were once quite similar but are now quite far apart, culturally and politically speaking. Vermont, once considered the ``most Republican'' state in the United States, is now generally considered one of its most politically and culturally liberal. New Hampshire, by contrast, has remained politically and socially quite conservative. Contrasting legacies of tourist promotion, political mobilization, and public policy help explain the divergence between states. We hypothesize that emerging stereotypes about a ``place'' serve to draw sympathetic residents and visitors to that place, thus reinforcing the salience of those stereotypes and contributing to their reality over time. We term this latter process idio-cultural migration and argue its centrality to ongoing debates about the accomplishment of place. We also elaborate on several means by which such place ``reputations'' are created, transmitted, and maintained.
- Sanghera, Balihar, Mehrigiul Ablezova & Aisalkyn Botoeva. 2011. "Everyday Morality in Families and a Critique of Social Capital: an Investigation Into Moral Judgements, Responsibilities, and Sentiments in Kyrgyzstani Households." Theory and Society. 40:2 167-190.
- This article examines individuals' lay understandings of moral responsibilities between adult kin members. Moral sentiments and practical judgments are important in shaping kinship responsibilities. The article discusses how judgments on requests of support can be reflexive and critical, taking into account many factors, including merit, social proximity, a history of personal encounters, overlapping commitments, and moral identity in the family. In so doing, we argue that moral responsibilities are contextual and relational. We also analyze how class, gender, and capabilities affect how individuals imagine, expect and discuss care responsibilities. We also offer a critique of social capital theory of families, suggesting that their versions of morality are instrumental, alienated, and restrictive. Although Bourdieu's concept of habitus overlaps with our proposed moral sentiments approach, the former does not adequately address moral concerns, commitments, and evaluations. The article aims to contribute to a better understanding of everyday morality by drawing upon different literatures in sociology, moral philosophy, postcotnmunism, and development studies.
- Gross, Neil & Ethan Fosse. 2012. "Why Are Professors Liberal?." Theory and Society. 41:2 127-168.
- The political liberalism of professors-an important occupational group and anomaly according to traditional theories of class politics-has long puzzled sociologists. This article sheds new light on the subject by employing a two-step analytic procedure. In the first step, we assess the explanatory power of the main hypotheses proposed over the last half century to account for professors' liberal views. To do so, we examine hypothesized predictors of the political gap between professors and other Americans using General Social Survey data pooled from 1974-2008. Results indicate that professors are more liberal than other Americans because a higher proportion possess advanced educational credentials, exhibit a disparity between their levels of education and income, identify as Jewish, non-religious, or non-theologically conservative Protestant, and express greater tolerance for controversial ideas. In the second step of our article, we develop a new theory of professors' politics on the basis of these findings (though not directly testable with our data) that we think holds more explanatory promise than existing approaches and that sets an agenda for future research.
- Schulz, Jeremy. 2012. "Talk of Work: Transatlantic Divergences in Justifications for Hard Work Among French, Norwegian, and American Professionals." Theory and Society. 41:6 603-634.
- This article approaches work talk, a neglected but vital object of sociological inquiry, as a possible key to unlocking the mystery of the contemporary work ethic as it appears among male professionals living and working in the United States and Western Europe. This analytical task is carried out through a close examination of the contrasting rhetorics, scripts, and vocabularies anchoring French, Norwegian, and American forms of hard work talk. This comparative exercise capitalizes on material from over one hundred in-depth interviews with comparable French, Norwegian, and American male business professionals working in finance, law, consulting, engineering and other professional fields. Scrutinizing the scripts that members of these three groups use to address their motives for working hard in demanding jobs, this article maps a legitimation divide between the American respondents and their French and Norwegian counterparts. The hard work commentaries of the French and Norwegian respondents feature script repertoires that focus exclusively on the stimulating and enriching character of their work activities. By contrast, the commentaries of the American respondents incorporate overachievement scripts addressing both the extrinsic rewards of work and the personality traits that make hard work a natural expression of personality. These hard work commentaries invoke career success and moneymaking as inducements to hard work. But they also invoke personality traits such as drive and the innate aversion to leisure. This transatlantic divide reflects the greater cultural resonance of self-realization in the two European contexts and the fact that the French and Norwegians have embraced a more Maslowian approach to working life. As I argue in the article's conclusion, these transatlantic differences in script repertoires can be viewed as the product of the societally specific cultural configurations at work in the three countries. Such cultural configurations define what it means-in terms of status and authenticity-to work hard in a remunerative and rewarding job.
- Moon, Dawne. 2013. "Powerful Emotions: Symbolic Power and the (productive and Punitive) Force of Collective Feeling." Theory and Society. 42:3 261-294.
- This article argues that emotions can be a medium of social power. Using qualitative interview material from American Jews discussing anti-Semitism and its relationship to contemporary politics, it engages recent scholarship on emotions and political contention and shows how emotions make effective the various forms of symbolic exclusion by which group members exercise what Bourdieu calls symbolic power. It also explores the emotional connections to group membership by which some ``excluded'' members can engage in symbolic struggle over ``the principles of vision and division'' Bourdieu (Sociological Theory 7(1), 14-25, 1989) that define the group. Finally, it shows how emotions work to incite discipline in some group members, inspiring them to conform to dominant definitions of group membership so as to avoid both symbolic struggle and exclusion.