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The Meanings of Social Life – A Cultural Sociology - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Meanings of Social Life: A Cultural Sociology

Jeffrey C. Alexander


This book presents a new approach to how culture works in contemporary societies. Exposing our everyday myths and narratives in a series of empirical studies that range from Watergate to the Holocaust, it shows how these unseen yet potent cultural structures translate into concrete actions and institutions. Only when these deep patterns of meaning are revealed, it argues, can we understand the stubborn staying power of violence and degradation, but also the steady persistence of hope. By understanding the darker structures that restrict our imagination, we can seek to transform them. By recogn ... More

Keywords: culture, contemporary societies, Watergate, Holocaust, cultural structures, actions, institutions

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2003 Print ISBN-13: 9780195160840
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195160840.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jeffrey C. Alexander, author
Yale University