Book Review: The Crisis of Journalism Reconsidered: Democratic Culture, Professional Codes, Digital Futures

The Crisis of Journalism Reconsidered (edited by Jeffrey C. Alexander, Elizabeth Butler Breese, Maria Luengo) is an important and necessary addition to cultural sociology. Continuing the call for a more focused and institutionalized media sociology, this volume demonstrates the utility of cultural sociology for media analysis. The wide-ranging pieces in this volume all consider (or reconsider, as the title suggests) the “crisis” of journalism. Continue reading Book Review: The Crisis of Journalism Reconsidered: Democratic Culture, Professional Codes, Digital Futures

Advertisements

Book Summary: Memory Activism: Reimagining the Past for the Future In Israel- Palestine

In my new book, Memory Activism: Reimagining the Past for the Future In Israel- Palestine (Vanderbilt UP, 2017), I examine how collective memories of a contested past can be used as a weapon of the weak for political change. The book presents and conceptualizes a surge in memories of a difficult past among civil society and grassroots groups around the world in the last two decades, which I term “memory activism.” Continue reading Book Summary: Memory Activism: Reimagining the Past for the Future In Israel- Palestine

Conference Report: History in Cultural Explanation

When I saw that Lyn Spillman’s (Univ. of Notre Dame) session, “History in Cultural Explanation,” was to feature no less than five papers, I wondered how on earth everyone would be able to give due diligence to their rich historical work within the allotted time. This might have been a problem with less capable presenters, but not with this group, whose presentations were all richly detailed and cogent and together demonstrated a useful array of concepts (cultural imaginaries, micro-practices, artefacts, continuity) and methods (corpus linguistics) for historical analysis, and convincingly demonstrated the irreplaceable role of historical analysis in the study of culture. Continue reading Conference Report: History in Cultural Explanation

Conference Report: Stigmatization and Discrimination

Michéle Lamont (Harvard) organized an informative session titled “Stigmatization and Discrimination”, in which she, Graziella Moraes D. Silva (The Graduate Institute, Geneva),  Jessica S. Wellburn (University of Iowa), and Joshua Guetzkow (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem) discussed findings from their book Getting Respect: Responding to Stigma and Discrimination in the United States, Brazil, and Israel. Throughout the session, presenters discussed how cultural context shapes perceptions of and responses to stigmatization and discrimination. Continue reading Conference Report: Stigmatization and Discrimination

Conference Report: Culture & the 2016 Presidential Election

In a paper session organized, and presided, by Ronald Jacobs (Univ. of Albany), cultural sociologists reflected on the events leading up to the 2016 US Presidential election, and the aftermath. In particular, the talks consider the intersection of meaning and power, politics and media. Continue reading Conference Report: Culture & the 2016 Presidential Election

Conference Report: Gender, Culture, Media

In a session entitled “Gender, Culture, Media,” five scholars presented papers that addressed the intersection of media and culture. Organizer and presider, Andrea Press (University of Virginia) identified the question that unites the various studies: “Where is the influence?” In other words, which groups have the power to affect cultural shifts? Highlighting the role of consumers, producers, and gatekeepers the panel addressed the degree to which each of these actors is able to maintain or challenge gender difference and inequality in media. Continue reading Conference Report: Gender, Culture, Media