Culture operates both as an essential ingredient of social systems and as a source of action. Indeed, one the one hand, culture underlies social actors' perception, evaluation and action schemes (working as an essential power resource, as it underlies processes of interaction framing legitimization, categorization etc.). On the other hand, in a more macro or socio-historical perspective, one has to acknowledge (i) the socio-historically diversified modalities of articulation of the cultural, the economic and the political spheres ; and (ii) the unequal relations between cultures and civilizations.
As a consequence, the course will pursue the following double objective :
1. From a microsociologial point of view : analyse the processes of the social construction of cultural disposi-tions
2. From a macrosocial point of view: reflect on the different socio-historical modalities of articulation of the cultural, the economic and the political spheres. We will pay special attention to the contemporary context of (cultural )globalisation and on the new power relations that culture contributes to construct.
¢ Specific objectives
1) Introduce to the historical foundations of the notion of culture and of the construction of this notion as a scientific concept.
2) Familiarise to the main theoretical streams in sociology, offering definitions of culture as well as of the rela-tion between the cultural, economic and political spheres
3) Analyse the intercultural social relations in the context of (cultural) globalisation, from a global perspective and from the point of view of social relations underlying the " intercultural encounter ".
Content and teaching methods
Part one : Historic foundations
Introduce to the socio-historical genesis of the notion of " culture " (historical and ideological context of the 19th century, influence of North-American anthropology ) and of the debate between " universal " and " rela-tive " conceptions of culture.
Part two : Theoretical foundations
- Presentation of the most influent theoretical streams in sociology, offering a definition of culture and of the relation between cultural, economic and politic spheres [see for instance: critical approaches (Marx, Lu-caks ) ; functional approach; comprehensive approach (Weber) ; civilisation approach (Elias) ; contempo-rary constructionist approaches]
- The articulation of the cultural, economic and politic spheres : theoretical approaches
Part three : globalisation and intercultural social relations
Chapter 1 : Macrosociological perspectives: The articulation between cultural, economic and political spheres in the con-text of globalisation
- The articulation of cultural, economic and political spheres : The Nation-State, democracy and industrial society (Gellner, Bell ) ; move towards post-industrial society (Bell, Touraine, )
- (Cultural) globalisation: symbolic relations between cultures, role of the media (Appadurai, Saïd)
Chapter 2. " Micro " perspectives: construction of cultural dispositions in a plural context and analysis of interculturality (from " intercultural encounter " to social relations).
- Sociology of the contemporary individual and Sociology of cultural dispositions' construction: reminder of the foundations (dynamic between social relation, meaning relation and social position; habitus theory and the acquisition of cultural dispositions ; contemporary evolutions (Bourdieu / Lahire debate, homogeneous habitus or plural repertoires?) ; new forms of cultural inequalities
- Contemporary approaches to interculturality and the intercultural encounter
Other information (prerequisite, evaluation (assessment methods), course materials recommended readings, ...)
Prerequiste : The course will combine theoretical sessions of knowledge transmission by the teacher, and sessions of presentation/discussion of examples from research in social sciences (so-ciology and anthropology).
Evaluation : Oral exam : discussion on the subject of the course
Individual paper on personal practice
Material support :
Written material (texts) on the presented methods
Notes or transparents from the teacher, or syllabus? Book?
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