Sociology of Culture: An Introduction - Princeton University - Home

Sociology of Culture: An Introduction - Princeton University - Home

12 Pages · 1999 · 49 KB · English

Soc. 530w: Sociology of Culture: An Introduction Instructor: Paul DiMaggio (8-1971; [email protected]) Term: Spring, 1999 (9:00 am – 12:00 noon, Thursdays)

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Soc. 530w: Sociology of Culture: An Introduction Instructor: Paul DiMaggio (8-1971; [email protected]) Term: Spring, 1999 (9:00 am – 12:00 noon, Thursdays) Place: Princeton University, Department of Sociology Purpose: The seminar is intended to survey the field, exposing you to major research traditions, themes, and areas of study. In so doing, it provides an overview for the cur- ious and a platform for those who wish to do further work (research, comprehensives reading, teaching, etc.) on culture, broadly defined. Eligibility: Enrollment in this six-week "mini-seminar" is open to any graduate student in Sociology, to graduate students in any other social-science department or the Woodrow Wilson school, and to undergraduate sociology majors. Graduate students in other de- partments may apply to instructor for admission. Scope: Sociologists use the word "culture" to mean many things, some cognitive (ideas or schemata), some behavioral (e.g., rituals. speech), and some physical (art works, sermons, the periodic table). We shall attend to all kinds, as long as they have something to do with meaning (whether divined from the structural relations among cultural elements or inferred from utterances and writings of people dead or living). Discussion: Sociology of culture is among the broadest, fastest-moving, and most fuzzily- bounded of sociology's "subfields," encompassing sociology of the arts (including sociol- ogies of art, literature, and music); sociologies of mass media and of popular culture, of religion, science, law, and language; cognitive sociology, sociology of knowledge and of ideas; and doubtless others I have forgotten. Moreover, cultural analysis is an important aspect of other sociological subfields, such as historical sociology, economic sociology, and the study of social inequality. Although the seminar's topic makes institutional sense, it is intellectually odd, because "culture" is less a distinct area of social life than an aspect of almost any phenomenon one might study. This raises four temptations in syllabus- building, two of them OK, and two of which I have resisted. 1. A bias

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