Coordinator(s): Håkon Larsen (Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway)
In order to fully understand tensions related to such phenomenon as the rise of populism, or the divides over environmental issues or immigration, we need to understand culture. Not only are the arts, the media, and civil society important arenas for interpretations of and engagement in such societal tensions, but these tensions do also have a strong cultural component, in that culture help shape how actors perceive of and engage with society.
Sociologists possess a range of tools for engaging in cultural analysis of politics and societal struggles, as well as to study how society and politics is portrayed in powerful arenas for symbolic production. Cultural sociology is both about meaning-centered analysis of social life and sociological studies of the arts, the media, and civil society. Where researchers working within the former strand applies cultural theories in order to properly analyze society, researchers working within the latter strand applies theories in order to study some form of aesthetic expression, culture organization or the regulation of a culture sector within society. Some are also drawing on both strands of research.
In this session we seek to bring together research working within one, or both, of these strands of cultural sociology. We welcome theoretical and empirical papers related to any topic, as long they are engaging with cultural theories and/or study some aspect related to the arts, the media or civil society.