Social Performance: Symbolic Action, Cultural Pragmatics, and Ritual

Publication Date: 
May 2006
Cambridge University Press

Bernhard Giesen
Jason L. Mast

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Taking a “cultural pragmatic” approach to meaning, the contributors suggest a new way of looking at the continuum that stretches between ritual and strategic action. They do so by developing, for the first time, a model of “social performance”. This volume offers the first systematic and analytical framework that transforms the metaphor into a social theory and applies it to a series of facinating large-scale social and cultural processes–from September 11 and the Clinton/Lewinsky Affair, to the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Willy Brandt’s famous “kneefall” before the Warsaw momument.

  • Professor Alexander is one of the leading cultural sociologists in the US
  • The first attempt to bring performative studies into the center of sociology. This volume offers the first, systematic performance based analytical framework
  • Makes a path-breaking contribution to social theory and cultural sociology - the first attempt to synthesize sociological and performance studies theories with conceptual frameworks