looking for a reader for cultural sociology? see Matt Wray’s Cultural Sociology

Looking for a reader for a cultural sociology class?  Matt Wray has put together Cultural Sociology: An Introductory Reader, which is an excellent anthology that covers classic and contemporary readings of cultural sociology, including several penned by our very own orgtheory bloggers and guest bloggers like Jenn Lena and Stephen Vaisey.  In addition, Wray has interspersed excerpts with his own essays, which uses Burning Man as a phenomena to help students understand sociological concepts and forms of inquiry. 

Bonus: Wray’s cover art also exhibits good taste in featuring Pepe Ozan‘s (2005) The Dreamer. (Read about Steve Mobia’s account of making the Dreamer and subsequent activities here.)

Here’s official info about Cultural Sociology: An Introductory Reader:
“Available for Fall courses, this brand new reader is a comprehensive and clever mix of classic and contemporary essays on the sociology of culture. This mix of essays is an essential resource for understanding this fast growing, dynamic area of sociology. An introduction outlines the building blocks of a sociological approach to studying culture, and helpful headnotes guide students through each reading. For more information, or to order an exam copy, visit”

Click below for the Table of Contents:

Cultural Sociology: An Introductory Reader



  • Introduction 
  • Part One: Foundations & Definitions
  • 1. The German Ideology by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels 
  • 2. Classifying Things from Primitive Classification by Émile Durkheim and Marcel Mauss
  • 3. The Metropolis and Mental Life by Georg Simmel 
  • 4. Basic Sociological Concepts from Economy and Society: An Outline of Interpretive Sociology by Max Weber 
  • 5. The Meanings of “Culture” by Raymond Williams 
  • Part Two: Frames, Actions, & Effects
  • 6. Mass Deception by Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno 
  • 7. Frames by Erving Goffman 
  • 8. Highbrow and Lowbrow Culture by Paul DiMaggio 
  • 9. Culture as a Toolkit by Ann Swidler 
  • 10. Media Effects by Michael Schudson 
  • 11. Collective Memory by Robin Wagner-Pacifici and Barry Schwartz 
  • Part Three: Production, Stability, & Change
  • 12 Art Worlds by Howard S. Becker 
  • 13 Agency and Structural Change by William H. Sewell, Jr. 
  • 14 Making Hits by William T. Bielby and Denise D. Bielby 
  • 15 The Enduring Structure of Civil Discourse by Jeffrey C. Alexander and Philip Smith 
  • 16 Cultural Diffusion by Jason Kaufman and Orlando Patterson 
  • 17 Changing Musical Styles by Jennifer C. Lena and Richard A. Peterson 
  • Part Four: Analyzing Culture
  • 18. Thick Description by Clifford Geertz 
  • 19. Method by Wendy Griswold 
  • 20. Analyzing Codes, Contexts, and Institutions by Ann Swidler
  • 21. Making Film into Art by Shyon Baumann 
  • 22. Studying Oprah by Eva Illouz 
  • 23. Researching Music Worlds by David Grazian 
  • Part Five: Groups, Networks, & Identities
  • 24. Group Culture by Gary Alan Fine 
  • 25. Music and Symbolic Exclusion by Bethany Bryson 
  • 26. Political Microcultures by Andrew J. Perrin 
  • 27. Cultural Preferences and Personal Networks by Omar Lizardo 
  • 28. Communes and Community by Stephen Vaisey 
  • 29. Culture and Racial and Ethnic Groups by John D. Skrentny 
  • Part Six: Inequality, Politics, & Power
  • 30. Culture, Capitalism, and the Working Class by Paul Willis 
  • 31. Naming as Power by Pierre Bourdieu 
  • 32. Culture, Class, and Race by Jay MacLeod 
  • 33. Families, Institutions, and Inequalities by Annette Lareau 
  • 34. Culture and Health by Peter A. Hall and Michèle Lamont”

Written by katherinechen

June 25, 2013 at 4:00 am

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