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The Handbook of Political, Social, and Economic Transformation$
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Wolfgang Merkel, Raj Kollmorgen, and Hans-Jürgen Wagener

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198829911

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198829911.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 22 June 2021

Cultural Approaches

Cultural Approaches

(p.84) Chapter 8 Cultural Approaches
The Handbook of Political, Social, and Economic Transformation

Jan Kubik

Oxford University Press

The task of this chapter is to delineate the role of culture in transformations. First, two conceptualizations of culture are introduced: socio-psychological (syndrome of attitudes) and semiotic (web of meanings). Second, the problem of prime movers of transformations is discussed: are they material-economic or cultural? Or perhaps both, in a complex interaction? Third, the significance of agency is highlighted. The point is not to study abstract cultural (ideational) ‘forces’ to determine their relative impact, but rather to reconstruct specific meaning-creating actions of concrete agents and try to gauge their influence on people’s attitudes. Fourth, the different role of culture in three stages of transformation (breakdown, power transfer, and consolidation of a new system) is examined. Both conceptualizations of culture are utilized. Finally, a theory of cultural trauma and a theory of delayed cultural countertransformation are briefly introduced.

Keywords:   culture in/of transformations, socio-psychological concept of culture, semiotic concept of culture, phases of transformation and culture, cultural causation, prime movers of transformation

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