Contemporary articles citing Sewell W (1985) J Mod Hist

history, symbolic, historical, culture, cultural, dynamics, studies, outcomes, account, process

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.

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. Link
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.

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.

GOODWIN, J. 1994. "Toward a New Sociology of Revolutions." Theory and Society. 23:6 731-766. Link

Burns, G. 1996. "Ideology, Culture, and Ambiguity: the Revolutionary Process in Iran." Theory and Society. 25:3 349-388. Link

Burke, E. 1998. "Orientalism and World History: Representing Middle Eastern Nationalism and Islamism in the Twentieth Century." Theory and Society. 27:4 489-507. Link

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

Kittikhoun, Anoulak. 2009. "Small State, Big Revolution: Geography and the Revolution in Laos." Theory and Society. 38:1 25-55. Link
Extant theoretical insights-mostly derived from studies of prominent revolutions in large countries-are less useful when applied to the unfolding of revolutions in small states. To understand why revolutions happened in the latter, a framework is needed that takes into account geography. For small states, geography is more than dotted lines on maps. It is the source of intervention and vulnerability. Deeply mired in history and memory, states' geographies shape their distinctive identities and have great impacts on national political trajectories, including revolutions. Thus, to provide understanding of revolutions in these countries, no analysis could be complete without taking into account their places, understood in physical, ideational, and historical terms, within their regions and the world. The case of Laos is used to suggest a geographical analysis of revolutions that provides overlooked insights into the origins, processes, and outcomes of revolutions in small, vulnerable states.

Ermakoff, Ivan. 2010. "Theory of Practice, Rational Choice, and Historical Change." Theory and Society. 39:5 527-553. Link
If we are to believe the proponents of the Theory of Practice and of Rational Choice, the gap between these two paradigmatic approaches cannot be bridged. They rely on ontological premises, theories of motivations and causal models that stand too far apart. In this article, I argue that this theoretical antinomy loses much of its edge when we take as objects of sociological investigation processes of historical change, that is, when we try to specify in theoretical terms how and in which conditions historical actors enact and endorse shifts in patterns of relations as well as shifts in the symbolic and cognitive categories that make these relations significant. I substantiate this argument in light of the distinction between two temporalities of historical change: first, the long waves of gradual change and, second, the short waves of moments of breaks and ruptures. Along the way, I develop an argument about the conditions of emergence of self-limiting norms and the centrality of epistemic beliefs in situations of high disruption.