American sociology is in the midst of a cultural turn. Where sociologists once spurned culture, today they embrace and explore it, seeking to understand the construction of social forms and the way culture matters. Problems of meaning, discourse, aesthetics, value, textuality, form and narrativity, topics traditionally within the humanists' purview, have come to the fore as sociologists increasingly emphasize the role of meanings, symbols, cultural frames and cognitive schema in their theorizations of social process and institution. Matters of Culture is an introduction to some of the best theorizing in cultural sociology, focusing in particular on questions of power, the sacred and cultural production. With a major theoretical introduction that lays out the internal structure of the field and its relation to cultural studies and contributions from leading academics Matters of Culture offers students and professors alike a representative range of the types of cultural sociological analysis available.
Roger Friedland is Professor of Religious Studies and Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara and has published extensively in both disciplines. He is co-founder with John Mohr of the Cultural Turn conferences at UC Santa Barbara. John W. Mohr is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara where he also serves as Associate Dean of the Graduate Division. He has published articles across a wide range of topics in cultural sociology and is co-founder with Roger Friedland of the Cultural Turn conferences at UC Santa Barbara.