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The Two Cultures of Culture: Stuart Hall’s missing legacy from American cultural sociology

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Abstract:

On February 10th 2014, Stuart Hall passed away. Hall was one of the world’s leading cultural theorists. But Hall’s groundbreaking sociological approach remains directly at odds with what passes for sociological inquiry as practiced by many American sociologists. Taking its title from C.P. Snow’s famous lecture on the “The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution”, this paper, (i) traces the “two cultures” of sociological work on culture, the British Cultural Studies and American sociology of culture traditions, exploring how the object of inquiry has come to be framed in such diametrically opposed ways by each, (ii) I specifically compare and contrast the approaches and distinctive contributions of Hall and Patterson, using Patterson’s recent edited collection “Cultural Matrix: Understanding Black Youth” and Hall’s earlier texts “Resistance Through Rituals: Youth Subcultures in Post-War Britain” and “Policing the Crisis: Mugging, the State, and Law and Order” to help highlight and exemplify the different ways of understanding culture, identity, meaning and the role of the state, found within each author’s framework and (iii) I challenge recent arguments concerning the value of a “transdisciplinary” approach to the study of culture that some have argued is a “new” way forward for the study of culture. Instead, I suggest that a less myopic (and ultimately more meaningful and informed) American sociology of culture is possible if the five decades worth of intellectual contributions from sociologists such as Hall, and others, are acknowledged and taken more seriously by American sociology of culture scholars.
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Name: American Sociological Association Annual Meeting
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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1122405_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Carrington, Ben. "The Two Cultures of Culture: Stuart Hall’s missing legacy from American cultural sociology" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Washington State Convention Center, Seattle, WA, Aug 17, 2016 <Not Available>. 2017-11-01 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1122405_index.html>

APA Citation:

Carrington, B. , 2016-08-17 "The Two Cultures of Culture: Stuart Hall’s missing legacy from American cultural sociology" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Washington State Convention Center, Seattle, WA Online <APPLICATION/PDF>. 2017-11-01 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1122405_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: On February 10th 2014, Stuart Hall passed away. Hall was one of the world’s leading cultural theorists. But Hall’s groundbreaking sociological approach remains directly at odds with what passes for sociological inquiry as practiced by many American sociologists. Taking its title from C.P. Snow’s famous lecture on the “The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution”, this paper, (i) traces the “two cultures” of sociological work on culture, the British Cultural Studies and American sociology of culture traditions, exploring how the object of inquiry has come to be framed in such diametrically opposed ways by each, (ii) I specifically compare and contrast the approaches and distinctive contributions of Hall and Patterson, using Patterson’s recent edited collection “Cultural Matrix: Understanding Black Youth” and Hall’s earlier texts “Resistance Through Rituals: Youth Subcultures in Post-War Britain” and “Policing the Crisis: Mugging, the State, and Law and Order” to help highlight and exemplify the different ways of understanding culture, identity, meaning and the role of the state, found within each author’s framework and (iii) I challenge recent arguments concerning the value of a “transdisciplinary” approach to the study of culture that some have argued is a “new” way forward for the study of culture. Instead, I suggest that a less myopic (and ultimately more meaningful and informed) American sociology of culture is possible if the five decades worth of intellectual contributions from sociologists such as Hall, and others, are acknowledged and taken more seriously by American sociology of culture scholars.


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