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Understanding Culture

Understanding Culture
Cultural Studies, Order, Ordering

First Edition

May 2001 | 192 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Understanding Culture offers an accessible and comprehensive overview of the field of cultural studies whilst also proposing a different way of `doing' cultural studies. It focuses on the ways in which cultural objects and practices serve as both a means of ordering people's lives and as markers of that ordering.

Understanding Culture:

· Reviews the state of the discipline of cultural studies and suggests a new theoretical and methodological orientation drawing on the work of: Foucault; scepticism, Wittgenstein; Harvey Sacks and John Law.

· Uses insights from a variety of sources to examine the complex ways in which meanings are manufactured as lives are ordered in particular social settings: personal life; education; health; the city and law.

· Presents case studies that illustrate what the new cultural studies looks like, covering: colonialism; everyday life and identity; and technology.

Understanding Culture will be invaluable reading for students and scholars of cultural studies and sociology.


Surveying the Field of Cultural Studies
The Notion of Ordering as an Organizing Principle for Cultural Studies
Building a Method for Cultural Studies as a Study of Ordering
Ordering through the Culture of Government
A Colonial Example

Ordering through the Culture of Law and Regulation
Ordering through the Culture of Everyday Life
Ordering through Routinization
Technique, Technology and Self

Reshaping Cultural Studies


`Cultural Studies has made a name for itself by pricking the pretensions of several disciplines, from sociology to literature. Now, along come Kendall and Wickham to do the same to cultural studies - a "must read" for anyone in the field' - Toby Miller, New York University

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