Nothing has generated more controversy in the social sciences than the turn toward culture, variously known as the linguistic turn, culturalism, or postmodernism. This book examines the impact of the cultural turn on two prominent social science disciplines, history and sociology, and proposes new directions in the theory and practice of historical research.
The editors provide an introduction analyzing the origins and implications of the cultural turn and its postmodernist critiques of knowledge. Essays by leading historians and historical sociologists reflect on the uses of cultural theories and show both their promise and their limitations. The afterword by Hayden White provides an assessment of the trend toward culturalism by one its most influential proponents.
Beyond the Cultural Turn offers fresh theoretical readings of the most persistent issues created by the cultural turn and provocative empirical studies focusing on diverse social practices, the uses of narrative, and the body and self as critical junctures where culture and society intersect.