Social Performance: Symbolic Action, Cultural Pragmatics, and Ritual (Cambridge Cultural Social Studies)

Social Performance: Symbolic Action, Cultural Pragmatics, and Ritual (Cambridge Cultural Social Studies)

Jeffrey C. Alexander, Bernhard Giesen, Jason L. Mast

Language: English

Pages: 393

ISBN: 052167462X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Taking a "cultural pragmatic" approach to meaning, the contributors suggest a new way of looking at the continuum that stretches between ritual and strategic action. They do so by developing, for the first time, a model of "social performance". This volume offers the first systematic and analytical framework that transforms the metaphor into a social theory and applies it to a series of facinating large-scale social and cultural processes--from September 11 and the Clinton/Lewinsky Affair, to the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Willy Brandt's famous "kneefall" before the Warsaw momument.



















postmodern social life in a different way. The essay that concludes this vol- ume, Bernhard Giesen’s “Performing the sacred: A Durkheimian perspective on the performative turn in the social sciences,” provides a major theoretical statement to be placed alongside Alexander’s. We have placed these theoretical treatments at the beginning and end of the book in order not to obscure their subtle differences, and to allow their consequential nuances to drift to the fore. Functioning as

Press. 2000. “Cutting Loose: Burying the ‘First Man of Jazz,’” pp. 3–14 in Joyous Wakes, Dignified Dying: Issues in Death and Dying, ed. Robert Harvey and E. Ann Kaplan. Stony Brook: Humanities Institute of the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Sahlins, Marshall. 1976. Culture and Practical Reason. Chicago: Chicago University Press. 1981. Historical Metaphors and Mythical Realities: Structure in the Early History of the Sandwich Islands Kingdom. Ann Arbor: University of

post-Mosaic Judaism or of Islam, that prepared the ground for the principled order of moder- nity, does, however, not only ban polytheism and exempt God from any earthly imagination, but it also extends to the identity of those living human beings who are chosen by God and who consequently carry his charisma. Images of human beings are banned and mirrors are considered to be an invention of the devil. The representation of the individual person is also a duplication and as such it

societies, however, fusion is still possible, and it frequently is achieved in settings where the ele- ments of performances can be controlled carefully: between the faithful and their priest, rabbi, or mullah; between children and their mothers and fathers; between patients and their doctors and therapists; between motivated employees and inspiring managers; between partisan audiences and artful orators. The more complex the society, however, the more often social performances fail to

from an elegant symmetry between his campaign’s selected means of symbolic production and a script that emphasized how the candidate’s biography naturally demanded that he empathize with a public far removed from the world of Washington insiders. For instance, to highlight Clinton’s differences from Bush Sr., – a distanced figure who seemed to personify the buttoned-down Washington establishment, who flew over the people’s heads in Air Force 1, the archetypical symbol of governmental power

Download sample