Contemporary articles citing Wagnerpacifici R (1991) Am J Sociol

historical, order, ritual, cultural, activities, public, suggests, memory, hiroshima, process

West, Brad. 2008. "Enchanting Pasts: the Role of International Civil Religious Pilgrimage in Reimagining National Collective Memory." Sociological Theory. 26:3 258-270. Link
The burgeoning activity of Australian backpacker tourists visiting the WWI Gallipoli battlefields is analyzed to explore the rite of international civil religious pilgrimage. Drawing on Maurice Halbwachs, it is argued that this ritual form plays an important role in reimagining and enchanting established national mythologies. At Gallipoli, this occurred through the development of a dialogical historical narrative combining Australian and Turkish understandings of the past. The broader influence of this narrative on Australian historical understanding illustrates how global forces can be integrated within the study of national collective memory.

Jacobs, Ronald & Sarah Sobieraj. 2007. "Narrative and Legitimacy: Us Congressional Debates About the Nonprofit Sector." Sociological Theory. 25:1 1-25. Link
This article develops a theory about the narrative foundations of public policy. Politicians draw on specific types of narratives in order to connect the policies they are proposing, the needs of the public, and their own needs for legitimacy. In particular, politicians are drawn to policy narratives in which they themselves occupy the central and heroic character position, and where they are able to protect the scope of their jurisdictional authority. We demonstrate how this works through a historical analysis of congressional debate about the nonprofit sector in the United States. Two competing narratives framed these debates: (1) a selfless charity narrative, in which politicians try to empower heroic charity workers and philanthropists, and then stay out of the way; and (2) a masquerade narrative, in which fake charities are taking advantage of the nonprofit tax exemption, in order to pursue a variety of noncivic and dangerous activities. Members of Congress quickly adopted the masquerade narrative as the dominant framework for discussing the nonprofit sector because it provided a more powerful and flexible rhetoric for reproducing their political legitimacy. By developing innovative elaborations of the masquerade narrative (i.e., identifying new categories of ``false heroes''), while remaining faithful to its underlying narrative format, politicians were able to increase the persuasive impact of their legislative agendas. We argue that the narrative aspects of political debate are a central component of the policy-making process because they link cultural and political interests in a way that involves the mastery of cultural structure as well as the creativity of cultural performance.

Saito, Hiro. 2006. "Reiterated Commemoration: Hiroshima as National Trauma." Sociological Theory. 24:4 353-376. Link
This article examines historical transformations of Japanese collective memory of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima by utilizing a theoretical framework that combines a model of reiterated problem solving and a theory of cultural trauma. I illustrate how the event of the nuclear fallout in March 1954 allowed actors to consolidate previously fragmented commemorative practices into a master frame to define the postwar Japanese identity in terms of transnational commemoration of ``Hiroshima.'' I also show that nationalization of trauma of ``Hiroshima'' involved a shift from pity to sympathy in structures of feeling about the event. This historical study suggests that a reiterated problem-solving approach can be efficacious in analyzing how construction of national memory of a traumatic event connects with the recurrent reworking of national identity, on the one hand, and how a theory of cultural trauma can be helpful in exploring a synthesis of psychological and sociological approaches to commemoration of a traumatic event, on the other.

Roth, AL. 1995. "`'men Wearing Masks'': Issues of Description in the Analysis of Ritual." Sociological Theory. 13:3 301-327. Link
Since Durkheim ([1912] 1965), the concept of ritual has held a privileged position in studies of social life because investigators recurrently have treated it as a source of insight into core issues of human sociality, such as the maintenance of social order Consequently, studies of ritual have typically focused on rituals' function(s), and, specifically whether ritual begets social integration or fragmentation. In this frame, students of ritual have tended to ignore other equally fundamental issues, including (1) how actions, or courses of action, constitute a ritual, and (2) whether ritual is best understood as an aspect of all social action or a specific type of it. Drawing on Durkheim's overlooked contemporary, Van Gennep ([1908] 1960), I argue that analyses of ritual must describe how participants enact an occasion as ritual through distinctive activities and sequences of these. Analysts of ritual must attempt to ground the relevance of their descriptions in the participants' demonstrable orientations, an undertaking with move general implications for the study of social action.

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

Bell, MM. 1997. "The Ghosts of Place." Theory and Society. 26:6 813-836.

Zolberg, VL. 1998. "Contested Remembrance: the Hiroshima Exhibit Controversy." Theory and Society. 27:4 565-590. Link

Auyero, J. 2002. "The Judge, the Cop, and the Queen of Carnival: Ethnography, Storytelling, and the (contested) Meanings of Protest." Theory and Society. 31:2 151-187. Link

Pfaff, Steven. 2013. "The True Citizens of the City of God: the Cult of Saints, the Catholic Social Order, and the Urban Reformation in Germany." Theory and Society. 42:2 189-218. Link
Historical scholarship suggests that a robust cult of the saints may have helped some European regions to resist inroads by Protestantism. Based on a neo-Durkheimian theory of rituals and social order, I propose that locally based cults of the saints that included public veneration lowered the odds that Protestantism would displace Catholicism in sixteenth-century German cities. To evaluate this proposition, I first turn to historical and theoretical reflection on the role of the cult of the saints in late medieval history. I then test the hypothesis with a data set of sixteenth-century German cities. Statistical analysis provides additional support for the ritual and social order thesis because even when several important variables identified by materialist accounts of the Reformation in the social scientific literature the presence of shrines as an indicator for the cult of the saints remains large and significant. Although large-scale social change is usually assumed to have politico-economic sources, this analysis suggests that cultural factors may be of equal or greater importance.