In this book Jeffrey Alexander develops the view that cultural sociology and “cultural pragmatics” are vital for understanding the structural turbulence and political possibilities of contemporary social life.
Central to Alexander’s approach is a new model of social performance that combines elements from both the theatrical avant-garde and modern social theory. He uses this model to shed new light on a wide range of social actors, movements, and events, demonstrating through striking empirical examples the drama of social life. Producing successful dramas determines the outcome of social movements and provides the keys to political power. Modernity has neither eliminated aura nor suppressed authenticity; on the contrary, they are available to social actors who can perform them in compelling ways.
This volume further consolidates Alexander’s reputation as one of the most original social thinkers of our time. It will be of great interest to students and scholars in sociology and cultural studies as well as throughout the social sciences and humanities.