Legitimation Crisis: Recovering the Performance of Power

Culture, 26 (3):9-10, Fall 2013


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In this essay, I sketch a brief history of power in its sociological form. My animus will be anti-cultural theories, my premise that progress in power studies depends on taking distance from Weber, not only from his sociology of domination but from his understanding of legitimation. Moving to late-Durkheim and theories of cultural texts can help overcome this legitimation deficit, but they alone are not enough. Only a performative turn to cultural pragmatics will allow a new and better political sociology to arise.