By Kate Nash
This absolutely revised and up to date creation to political sociology contains the burgeoning literature on globalization and exhibits how modern politics is associated with cultural matters, social constitution and democratizing social action.New fabric on worldwide governance, human rights, worldwide social events, international mediaNew dialogue of democracy and democratizationClearly lays out what's at stake in figuring out among possible choices of cosmopolitanism, imperialism and nationalismIncludes extra dialogue of the significance of learning tradition to political sociology
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Extra info for Contemporary Political Sociology: Globalization, Politics and Power, Second Edition
5 below – was directly influenced by Durkheim. As Alexander points out, even if there was no direct influence, the resonances of Durkheim’s ideas about symbols in Sassure’s “semiotics” are substantial (Alexander, 1998: 4–5). Just as important as a good grasp of symbolic meanings to contemporary political sociology, however, are workable definitions of power and politics that enable us to map how meanings are contested by concrete social actors and with what effects in constituting identities and perspectives across the social field.
This is not to say, of course, that culture creates reality as such: clearly, symbols do not create mountains out of stone or trees out of wood. It is rather that culture is constitutive of our reality, and this is crucial to how our social world (including its material artifacts – buildings, borders, irrigation systems, and all the rest) is reproduced and transformed. We only know the effects of material artifacts, as well as of existing social structures that exist “outside” our heads, through our own understanding and use.
Continuities are vital to culture; culture is the reproduction of traditions, habits, perceptions, and understandings. But culture is inherently fluid and dynamic, a continually moving and “changing same” (Gilroy, 1993: 101), which makes it open to political contestation and at the same time somewhat resistant to political invention. On the other hand, meanings may become relatively solidified and fixed. At the extreme, they may become “hegemonic”: taken-for-granted as if they simply reflect how things are and must be.
Contemporary Political Sociology: Globalization, Politics and Power, Second Edition by Kate Nash