This book collects 31 path-breaking essays by classic and contemporary scholars to introduce cultural sociology to an emerging generation of students and to others unfamiliar with the field. A selection of foundational reflections and cutting-edge research is grouped into five core sections - key ideas, cultural repertoires, cultural production, cultural frameworks and social change. Essays cover a wide range of topics in such areas as work, inequality, political culture, and the arts, and treat many diverse aspects of contemporary culture, from television viewing to volunteering, from rock music to war memorials, from stories of violence to ideals of the public good.
The editor's introduction provides an overview of the field, discussing the idea of culture, the development of cultural sociology in relation to other areas of sociology, and interdisciplinary influences from such fields as anthropology, literary criticism and cultural studies. Notes set each essay in a wider context and point to further reading. This is an essential resource and an important guide to this rapidly-expanding field.