Russian Sociological Review 9 (2):5-10 (2010)

In the short preface to the special issue of “Sociological Review” one of the key contemporary sociologists, Jeffrey Alexander, casts a look on the intellectual origins of so called “strong program” in cultural sociology. In particular, Alexander directs his attention to Dilthey’s hermeneutical project which was developed further in the works of Ricouer. Alexander shows briefly that in the masterpieces of classical sociology, i.e. in the famous Weber’s book “The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism,” there are already elements of hermeneutical program. However, Alexander believes that a critical role in the making of cultural sociology belongs to Durkheim’s “The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life.” Then Alexander describes a reception of Durkheimian ideas in the social science of the XXth century. Alexander also considers the making of cultural sociology as a part of his intellectual biography and in conclusion presents his view on the perspectives of cultural sociology
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