Cultural analysis in historical sociology: The analytic and concrete forms of the autonomy of culture
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Sociological Theory 9 (1):53-69 (1991)
In an effort to clear away confusions regarding the role of cultural analysis in historical explanation, this paper proposes a new approach to the issue of cultural autonomy. The premise is that there are two forms of cultural autonomy, analytic and concrete. Analytic autonomy posits the independent structure of culture-its elements, processes, and reproduction. It is achieved through the theoretical and artificial separation of culture from other social structures, conditions, and action. Concrete autonomy establishes the interconnection of culture with the rest of social life, and is achieved by fleshing out the historically specific formulation of particular cultural structures. In addition to theoretically specifying the two forms of cultural autonomy, I demonstrate analytic and concrete autonomy in practice by examining two works that incorporate culture into the analysis of the same historical event. The rewards of recognizing both analytic and concrete cultural autonomy are twofold. First, cultural reductionism can be countered by establishing that culture is structural. Second and more important, once the independent nature of a cultural form is established, its causal contribution to concrete historical situations can be assessed accurately and integrated into historical explanation
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Ming-Cheng M. Lo & Yun Fan (2010). Hybrid Cultural Codes in Nonwestern Civil Society: Images of Women in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Sociological Theory 28 (2):167 - 192.
Similar books and articles
Vladislav A. Lektorsky (2001). Scientific Knowledge as Historical and Cultural Phenomenon. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 2001:205-212.
Margaret Moore (1999). Beyond the Cultural Argument for Liberal Nationalism. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 2 (3):26-47.
Seungbae Park (2011). Defence of Cultural Relativism. Cultura. International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology 8 (1):159-170.
David Bridges (ed.) (1997). Education, Autonomy, and Democratic Citizenship: Philosophy in a Changing World. Routledge.
V. S. Stepin (2000). Knowledge as Cultural and Historical System. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 5:133-138.
Bruce G. Carruthers (1994). When is the State Autonomous? Culture, Organization Theory, and the Political Sociology of the State. Sociological Theory 12 (1):19-44.
Nils Goldschmidt & Bernd Remmele (2005). Anthropology as the Basic Science of Economic Theory: Towards a Cultural Theory of Economics. Journal of Economic Methodology 12 (3):455-469.
Zushe Yuan (2011). The Autonomy of Cultural Practice: Basis, Limit and Significance of the Possibility of Developing “Cultural Automatism”. [REVIEW] Frontiers of Philosophy in China 6 (1):134-144.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads32 ( #64,028 of 1,679,377 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #59,909 of 1,679,377 )
How can I increase my downloads?