SOC254 Chapters in Cultural Sociology

Faculty of Social Studies
Autumn 2015
Extent and Intensity
1/1/0. 12 credit(s). Type of Completion: zk (examination).
Dr. Werner Binder (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
prof. PhDr. Ladislav Rabušic, CSc.
Department of Sociology - Faculty of Social Studies
Contact Person: Ing. Soňa Enenkelová
Supplier department: Department of Sociology - Faculty of Social Studies
Thu 15:15–16:45 U35
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is also offered to the students of the fields other than those the course is directly associated with.
The capacity limit for the course is 40 student(s).
Current registration and enrolment status: enrolled: 0/40, only registered: 0/40, only registered with preference (fields directly associated with the programme): 0/40
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
there are 10 fields of study the course is directly associated with, display
Course objectives
Course Description:
Arguably, signs, symbols and meanings have always been the province of sociologists but not always their primary concern. Many believe we have finally taken or are in the midst of taking a “cultural turn” in contemporary sociology. Problems of meaning, discourse, aesthetics, value, textuality, narrativity, and performativity, topics traditionally within the purview of humanists, have come to the fore as sociologists increasingly emphasize the role of meanings, symbols, cultural frames and cognitive schema in their theorization of social processes and institutions.
This course will focus on the sociology of performance and its contribution to the cultural sociological perspective. We will start with classical accounts on performativity from Austin and Goffman and proceed to contemporary theorists and issues, for example Judith Butler and the performance of Gender or Jeffrey Alexander's account on social performances in politics. The aim of this course is to provide knowledge about performances and performativity in different spheres of social life as well as to provide analytical tools for the empirical analysis of different social phenomena.
  • Timetable:
  • Seminar 1: Organizational Meeting
  • Seminar 2: Introduction to Cultural Sociology
  • Seminar 3: Performative Speech Acts
  • Seminar 4: Ritual and Performance
  • Seminar 5: Performances in Everyday Life
  • Seminar 6: Social Performance
  • Seminar 7: Reading Week - No Class
  • Seminar 8: Gender as Performance
  • Seminar 9: Cultural Performances
  • Seminar 10: Economics as Performative
  • Seminar 11: Politics as Performance
  • Seminar 12: Social Dramas and Public Apologies
  • Seminar 13: Intellectual Performances
    required literature
  • Social performance : symbolic action, cultural pragmatics, and ritual. Edited by Jeffrey C. Alexander - Bernhard Giesen - Jason L. Mast. 1st pub. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006. xv, 374. ISBN 052167462X. info
    recommended literature
  • ALEXANDER, Jeffrey C. The meanings of social life : a cultural sociology. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003. 296 p. ISBN 9780195306408. info
  • Culture and society : contemporary debates. Edited by Jeffrey C. Alexander - Steven Seidman. 1st pub. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990. vii, 375 s. ISBN 0-521-35086-7. info
  • EDLES, Laura Desfor. Cultural sociology in practice. 1st pub. Malden: Blackwell Publishers, 2002. ix, 265 s. ISBN 0-631-21090-3. info
  • INGLIS, David. Culture and everyday life. 1st ed. New York, NY: Routledge, 2005. x, 159. ISBN 0415319269. info
  • SMITH, Philip and Alexander RILEY. Cultural theory : an introduction. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2009. 307 p. ISBN 9781405169073. info
    not specified
  • ALEXANDER, Jeffrey C. Performative revolution in Egypt : an essay in cultural power. New York, NY: Bloomsbury Academic, 2011. xv, 138. ISBN 9781780930886. info
  • ALEXANDER, Jeffrey C. The performance of politics : Obama's victory and the democratic struggle for power. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010. xiv, 364. ISBN 9780199744466. info
  • AUSTIN, J. L. How to do things with words : the William James lectures delivered at Harvard University in 1955. London: Oxford University Press, 1971. vii, 166. ISBN 0198812345. info
  • GOFFMAN, Erving. The presentation of self in everyday life [Goffman, 1959]. New York: Doubleday Anchor Books, 1959. xii, 259 s. info
Teaching methods
Class discussions, response papers, presentations, essays
Assessment methods
Conditions for passing the course:

1. Regular attendance
2. Eight response papers (1-2 pages) – 50%
2. Participation in the discussion – 30%
3. Presentation in class OR final essay (6-8 pages) - 20%
Language of instruction
Further comments (probably available only in Czech)
Study Materials
General note: Předmět je určen přednostně studentům bakalářských programů.
Listed among pre-requisites of other courses
The course is also listed under the following terms Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Autumn 2012, Autumn 2013, Autumn 2014, Autumn 2016, Autumn 2017, Autumn 2018.
  • Enrolment Statistics (Autumn 2015, recent)
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