The idea of cultural reproduction was first developed by Bourdieu (1973) who sees the function of the education system as being to reproduce the culture of the dominant classes, thus helping to ensure their continued dominance. Through his concepts of cultural capital' and habitus' Bourdieu's influence spread into other areas of socialization and high culture. However, despite the complex of influences that contribute to Bourdieu's method, sociologists of culture and students of cultural studies seem to have picked up on the negative and critical elements in the work. In particular, they developed the metaphor of reproduction as copy or imitation rather than reproduction as regeneration and synthesis. As a consequence cultural reproduction' has become part of the orthodoxy of studies in the theory of ideology and neo-Marxisms. While still addressing this well established theme of ideology and structural determinacy in cultural reproduction theory, this collection of original essays seeks also to explore other possibilities, in terms of ethnomethodology, Durkheimianism, structuralism and post-structuralism. Many of the arguments put forward also confront the most contemporary challenges presented by postmodernism. The papers address an unusually wide spectrum of cultural formations including gender roles, fine art, film, journalism, education, consumerism, style, language and sociology itself. The introduction discusses the origin and development of the concept of cultural reproduction and shows the variety of analytic possibilities within several traditions of social theorizing, all later expanded in the body of the text. Most of the contributors are academics working in the area of sociology of communication studies. All of them have taught in and have continuing research interests in the sociology of culture and cultural studies.
Table of ContentsIntroduction - The Analytic Bases of Cultural Reproduction Theory Chris Jenks 1. Economy and Strategy: The Possibility of Feminism Malcolm Barnard 2. The Natural Man and the Virtuous Woman James Donald 3. Yes - But Logic: The Quasi-Science of Cultural Reproduction Stephen Featherstone 4. A Report on the Western Front: Postmodernism and the Politics of Style Dick Hebdige 5. Culture Made, Found and Lost: The Cases of Climbing and Art Ian Heywood 6. The Necessity of Tradition - Sociology or the Postmodern? Chris Jenks 7. Snapshots: Notes on Myth, Memory and Technology - Short Fictions Concerning the Camera Justin Lorentzen 8. Everyday Life, Technoscience and Cultural Analysis: A One-Sided Conversation Michael Phillipson 9. Unfixing the Subject: Viewing `Bad Timing' David Silverman 10. Going Shopping: Markets, Crowds and Consumption Don Slater 11. Manet and Durkheim: Images and Theories of Re-production John Smith 12. The Role of Ideology in Cultural Reproduction Dave Walsh
What People are Saying About This
This is a stunning collection of essays on the cuttingedge of the new sociology. It poses some very important challenges in the debate over postmodernism; it is an invitation to sociologists and students to break free from the inertia of mainstream sociological discourse. One of the finest collections of cultural criticism currently available, it will be a difficult book to ignore in the coming year.
(Peter McLaren, Renowned ScholarinResidence, Miami University, Ohio)