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Cultures and Societies in a Changing World (Sociology for a New Century Series) Paperback – March 7, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-1412961264 ISBN-10: 1412961262 Edition: 3rd

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Product Details

  • Series: Sociology for a New Century Series
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Pine Forge Press; 3rd edition (March 7, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1412961262
  • ISBN-13: 978-1412961264
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #277,791 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Excellent, comprehensive introduction to the key concepts in sociology of culture." (Nick Dempsey)

About the Author

Wendy Griswold has a background in both social science and the humanities. She received her doctorate in sociology from Harvard University in 1980 and has a master’s degree in English from Duke University. She taught at the University of Chicago from 1981 to 1997, She is the Bergen Evans Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Sociology at Northwestern University. She has been associate editor and book review editor of the American Journal of Sociology and has been on the editorial boards of Contexts, Poetics, and Acta Sociologica. She is on the Advisory Board for the Centro per lo Studio della Moda e della Produzione Culturale, Università Cattolica del Sarcro Cuore, Milan. She has received research support from the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, support from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Science American Council of Learned Societies, the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences, and the European University Institute in Florence. Her research on culture has been international in scope. Her most recent book is Regionalism and the Reading Class (2008); she is currently completing a book on the WPA Federal Writers’ Project and its impact on American culture. Bearing Witness: Readers, Writers, and the Novel in Nigeria (2000), won the “Best Book” award for the Sociology of Culture section of the American Sociological Association. Her first book was on the English theater (Renaissance Revivals: City Comedy and Revenge Tragedy in the London Theatre 1576–1980 [1986]). In addition, she co-edited a book on the sociology of literature (Literature and Social Practice [1989]) and has written on the sociology of religion, specifically on conflict within churches. Her current research explores cultural regionalism; she is also studying the relationship between the Internet and reading in Africa. She has written an influential paper on sociological methods for cultural analysis (“A Methodological Framework for the Sociology of Culture,” Sociological Methodology 17 [1987]:1–35); much of her methodological thinking is incorporated in the present book.

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By D. R. Bricault on January 29, 2005
Format: Paperback
Wendy Griswold's "Culture and Societies in a Changing World" provides serious students of sociology with an elegant model -- the "cultural diamond" -- with which to approach the analysis of cultures and societies. This model is comprised of four vertices: the social world (or context), the cultural object (the item or ritual under examination), the creator of the object, and the receiver of the object. In the first four chapters, Griswold takes the reader through various ways of understanding each vertex, as well as the interplay between each; the final three chapters examine social problems, organizational cultures, and the wired world, as each relates in different ways to cultures.

This short book (175 pages) offers the reader numerous examples and analytical tools in the search for cultural meaning within society. Griswold draws on writings and studies from both classical authors (e.g., Marx, Durkheim, Geertz) and more contemporary researchers. Her writing is at times almost too compact and efficient for my taste; a bit more elaboration on each point would have clarified some points -- hence my initial caveat that this book may not be for novices. However, this observation should be taken only as a personal preference, since the book provides solid theoretical underpinnings and examples that are right up to the moment (most evident in her frequent references to current events in the Middle East). Perhaps the closing chapter is the best in terms of tying cultures and societies together: "Cultures in a Wired World" is the most engaging and intriguing chapter as it provokes some serious thought about the Internet and its impact on the communities to which we belong.
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Cultures and Societies in a Changing World (Sociology for a New Century Series --very quick service will use again and again
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