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vastukala academy
college of architecture

the cultural role of architecture

the cultural role of architecture
the cultural role of architecture
the cultural role of architecture































hen we think about the human groups, the idea of culture often seems commonplace and

indispensable. But what exactly is CULTURE? In common usage, the term has a number of overlapping
yet sometimes contradictory connotations. According to one expert Raymond Williams, culture is one of
the two or three most complicated words in the English languagebecause it has now come to be used for
important concepts in several distinct intellectual disciplines and in several distinct systems of thought
In its early uses in English, culture was associated with the cultivation of animals and crops and
with religious worship (hence the word cult). From the sixteenth century until the nineteenth the term
began to be widely applied to the improvement of the individual human mind and personal manners
through learning. During this period, the term began to refer also to the improvement of society as a whole,
with culture being used as a value laden synonym for civilization. A typical usage of the time might
compare the nations of Europe that had culture with the barbarism of Africa.
Cultural that whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, laws, morals, customs
and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society.
Historical definitions tended to see culture as a heritage which is passed on over time through the
generations. In 1921 Park and Burgess wrote: the culture of a group is the sum total and organization of
the social heritages which have acquired a social meaning because of racial temperament and of the
historical life of the group
Normative definitions. These could take two forms. The first suggested culture was a rule or way of
life that shaped patterns of concrete behavior and action. For example, The mode of life followed by the
community or the tribe is regarded as a culture. The aggregate of standardized beliefs and procedures
followed by the tribe. The second form emphasized the role of values without reference to behavior.
Culture was the material and social values of any group of people, whether savage or civilized
Psychological definitions of culture emphasized its role as a problem solving device, allowing
people to communicate, learn, or fulfill material and emotional needs.
Structural definitions pointed to the organized interrelation of the isolable aspects of culture and
highlighted the fact that culture was an abstraction that was different from concrete behavior.
Genetic definition defined culture in terms of how it came to exist or continued existing. These had
little to do with biology, but rather explained culture as arising from human interactions or continuing to exist
as the product of intergenerational transmission.

While all these definitions have remained current in the half century since Kroeber and Kluckhohns
work understandings of culture have shifted in subtle ways within the field of cultural theory. Insofar as it is
possible to isolate a core usage today, it revolves around the following themes.


Culture tends to be opposed to the material, technological and social stryctural. While it is
recognized there may be complex empirical relations between them, it is also argued that we need
to understand culture as something distinctive from and more abstract than an entire way of life.
Culture is seen as the realm of the ideal, the spiritual, and the non material. It is understood as a
patterned sphere of beliefs, values , symbols, signs, and discourses.
Emphasis is placed on the autonomy of culture. This is the fact that it cannot be explained away
as a mere reflection of underlying economic forces, distributions of power, or social structural
Efforts are made to remain value-neutral. The study of culture is not restricted to the Arts, but
rather is understood to pervade all aspects and levels of social life. Ideas of cultural superiority and
inferiority play almost no place in contemporary academic study.
Culture in Classical Social Theory
While we could begin this process with a discussion of thinkers extending back through the
Enlightenment and on to Ancient Greece, perhaps the most useful place to start is in the body of
literature generally thought of as classical social theory, and more particularly the work of Marx,
Durbeim, Weber, and Simmel.
Karl Marx (1811-1883)
Marx was born in Prussia and studied philosophy, languages, law, and history at
university. He then worked as a journalist and was a member of a circle of Young Hegelians a
group of idealist intellectuals Influenced by the Ideas of the philosopher Hegel. His radical opinions
attracted disapproval from the Prussian authorities, and he was accused of treason and exiled,
During the 1840s he shifted from Hegelian idealism to a materialist position. He began to publish
his major works and developed a lifelong friendship with Friedrich Engels, who was later to support
him financially. Marx lived in Paris, Brussels, and eventually London. Here he spent much of his
time reading in the library of the British Museum and writing In the area of history and political
philosophy. When not engaged in his academic work, he assisted in the formation of the
Communist movement. He died in March 1883.
One of the greatest minds of the Victorian era, Karl Marx is generally thought of as an anticultural theorist. This is certainly the case when we focus on his historical materialism. Such a
position is most clearly advocated in his late masterwork Das Kapital (Capital), the first volume of
which was published in 1867 (Marx 1956). Here Marx advocated what has become known as the
base/superstructure model of society. According to this perspective, the real motor in capitalist
society was the mode of production (very roughly the economy) that was concerned with
providing for material needs. He identified as key aspects of this sphere the private ownership of
the means of production (e.g., factories, machine technology) and a system of relations of
production that pivoted around the exploitation of productive labor. Arising from these was, a
broader social structure organized around a class system. This divided society into owners and


workers. Under this materialist understanding of industrial society, culture (along with politics and
the law) was seen as an epiphenomenal superstructure built upon a determinant economic base,
For Marx, culture in industrial society operates as a dominant ideology. This has several
It reflects the views and interests of the bourgeoisie (the ruling, capitalist class of owners) and
serves to legitimate their authority.
It arises from and expresses underlying relations of production. As Marx and Engels wrote in the
Communist Manifesto: "Your very ideas are but the outgrowth of the conditions of your bourgeois
production and bourgeois property" (1978: 487).
It makes that which is conventional and socially constructed (eg. wage labor, the commodity form)
seem natural and inevitable. It transformed into "eternal laws of nature and of reason, the social
forms springing from [the] present mode of production and form of property" (1978: 487).
It engenders a mistaken or distorted view of reality. This condition, sometimes known as false
consciousness, allows people to feel happy with their miserable lot. Religion, for example, was an
"opium" which prevented the formation of class consciousness (awareness of a common class
identity and interests) among the proletariat (workers).
The broad perspective marked out in Kapital and Marx's other writing remains foundational for
writers in the tradition of critical cultural studies.
Emile Durkheim (1858 - 1917)
Durkheim was born into the tight-knit Jewish community of eastern France, He was the
son of a rabbi and he studied Hebrew and scripture alongside his regular schooling. While this
background was repudiated by his embrace of secular modernity and civic morality, it may have
influenced his later religious sociology. Early in his academic career Durkheim taught philosophy
and obtained a position at the University of Bordeaux. The publication of The Division of Labour
in Society, The Rules of Sociological Method, and Suicide in the 1890s moved him to the front
of the French intellectual stage and established sociology as an academic discipline in France. He
moved to Paris in 1902 and founded a school around the journal L'Annee Sociologique. During
World War One, Durkheim's son and many of his promising students died. His health suffered as a
consequence of these losses and he died in 1917.
For much of the twentieth century, Emile Durkheim was best known as an advocate of
functionalism and positivism. This is the Durkheim who advocates "social facts," the systemic
integration of society, and the need for objective data that tests laws and hypotheses. Yet an
increasingly prominent way of thinking about him is as an advocate of cultural analysis. Central to
this reading is Durkheim's insistence that society was very much a moral phenomenon, held
together by sentiments of solidarity. These played their part in ensuring the survival of a smoothly
functioning, well-integrated society in which every piece had its role.
In his doctoral thesis, The Division of Labor in Society, Durkheim (1984 [1893)) argued
that simple and industrial societies were characterized by different kinds of solidarity. In the former,
people were more alike and performed the same tasks. The result was mechanical solidarity. In


industrial societies, by contrast, there was a division of labor and organic solidarity. Durkheim
suggested that under mechanical solidarity people tend to think alike as they all do the same work.
There is little tolerance for deviance, and conformity is the norm. Within organic solidarity there is
more tolerance for difference thanks to the role diversity that comes from the increased division of
labor. Durkheim used the term collective conscience when talking about the shared moral
awareness and emotional life in a society. According to Durkheim the collective conscience could
be seen very clearly during the punishment of deviants. Such episodes documented collective
outrage and were expressive as much as practical in orientation. He argued that in societies with
mechanical solidarity, punishments tended to be harsh and violent, whilst organic solidarity saw
punishment aimed at the reintegration of the individual into the group.
Looking at the sweep of history, Durkheim suggested that although the increasing division
of labor had opened up the potential for greater individual freedom and happiness, we have not
managed this transition very well. He suggested that anomie had resulted. This is a situation of
social dislocation where customary and cultural controls on action are not very strong. In his study
of Suicide, Durkheim (1966 [1897]) looked at suicide data in order to document the social
conditions under which an individual will experience anomie. He suggested that lack of social
integration and rapid social change could be key factors in this process. The Division of Labour in
Society and Suicide are similar in approach in that Durkheim argues for the centrality of social facts
over individual volition, These are collective or "social" in nature and are external and constraining
on the individual. Durkheim suggested that sentiments, moralities, and behaviors could be
explained away as social facts that were linked to other objective features of society like social
organization, societal differentiation, and social change. There is a tendency toward reductionism
here which undercuts his emphasis on the moral and normative aspects of social life. That is to
say, sentiments and beliefs, like other dimensions of the social, are accounted for as a response to
social structural forms and needs. In particular they tend to work to generate social order and
social integration. This vision of a stable society made up of mutually reinforcing institutions,
sentiments, and roles is known as functionalism. In The Elementary Forms of Religious Life,
Durkheim (1968 [1915]) turned to the study of religion in order to explain processes of social
integration. Durkheim sees religion more as a unique phenomenon that needs to be explained on
its own terms, Consequently, he produces a picture of culture as a dynamic and motivating force in
society rather than as simply a response to social needs for organization and harmony. Durkheim
claimed that all religions revolved around a distinction between the sacred and the profane. The
sacred involves feelings of awe, fear, and reverence and is set apart from the everyday or profane,
The sacred is potentially dangerous as well as beneficent and is often separated from the profane
by special taboos, whilst its power is regulated by special rites (e.g., ritual, prayer, sacrifice).
Durkheim suggested. that "a society can neither create nor re-create itself without at the same time
creating an ideal". The point is that the sets of symbols and beliefs in religious systems provided
societies with a way of thinking about and concentrating their diffuse moral sentiments and feelings
of common identity. According to Durkheim the purely ideal power of symbol systems is
complemented by concrete acts of observance. He pointed out that societies periodically come


together in ritual in order to fulfill the need to worship the sacred. These events involve the use of
bodies and symbols and further help to integrate society in that they bring people into proximity
with each other. With the aid of music, chants, and incantations they generate collective emotional
excitement or collective effervescence. This provides a strong sense of group belonging.
Major criticisms of Durkheim's cultural sociology usually elaborate on one or another of the
following points,
He assumes culture brings social consensus or social integration and therefore cannot
account for its role in generating conflict or sustaining social exclusion.
His perspective is one-sided in an idealist direction, It privileges the role of culture in
generating social stability and patterns of social interaction. He has little to say about the role of
force, power, interest, or necessity as key variables influencing social life. His evolutionary
perspective is often empirically wrong and denies the complexity of traditional societies and their
beliefs by assuming that they are somehow more "basic" or "elementary" than those of industrial
There is a mechanistic tendency in his works thanks to the influence of functionalism.
This sees patterns of action, belief, and sentiment (culture) arising from the needs and organization
of the social structure rather than from the agent's choice or interpretation of the social world.
On the positive side, Durkheim's advocates suggest that his later thinking provides a key
resource for linking culture with social structure in a way that that resists materialist reductionism.
Society for Durkheim was an idea or belief as much as a concrete collection of individuals and
Max Weber (1846 1920)
Weber grew up in an affluent but rather repressive Protestant family. He attended
Heidelberg University as an undergraduate and participated in its masculineculture of drinking and
dueling. He later studied at the University of Berlin. Here he adopted a more ascetic lifestyle and
studied obsessively. His interests and reading were diverse and included history, law and
philosophy. His talent was recognized early and he obtained a prestigious chair at Heidelberg at a
young age. Weber's mental and personal life was very complex. He never consummated his
marriage and in 1897 had a mental breakdown after an argument with his authoritarian father
Restored to health in 1903, he began writing again and also speaking out public issues, Weber
was highly critical of Germany's conservative elites, yet he never fully embraced radical politics. By
the time of his death in I920, Weber was recognized as a leading intellectual in his country
Max Weber is a complex author whose work covered a vast historical and theoretical
territory. Weber drew attention to two contrasting modes of action. Wert-rational, or value-rational
action, was driven by cultural beliefs and goals, such as the search for religious salvation. Here
there is a "conscious belief in the value for its own sake of some ethical, aesthetic, religious or
other form of behavior" (Weber 1968: 25). By contrast, Zweck-rational, or goal-oriented action
(also known in cultural theory as purposive rationality, means-ends rationality, and instrumental


action), was driven by norms of efficiency. These emphasized the need to calculate precise means
of attaining specified ends, but lacked the ability to identify overarching moral directions and
culturally specified goals. Weber suggested that as we entered modernity zweck-rational action
was becoming more common.
In cultural circles Weber is probably best known for his work on The Protestant Ethic and
the Spirit of Capitalism. Here he argues against materialist views of the origins of capitalism,
asserting that religious beliefs also played a part. Weber looked at the role of the doctrine of
predestination held by early Protestants. This argued that fate with respect to heaven and hell was
determined before birth. Salvation could not be bought or sold or earned by good deeds.
According to Weber, this led to feelings of unease. Protestants looked for signs that they had been
chosen to be saved by God. Economic success was one such sign. The unintended consequence
of the doctrine of predestination was a rational and planned acquisition of wealth with an
associated protestant ethic about the need for methodical and disciplined hard work. Over time
the religious foundations of capitalist accumulation dropped from view, leaving a field characterized
by a shallow, unfailing, and constraining zweckrational mode of action and an economic order of
"pure utilitarianism" organized around thrift, profit, and constraint. Weber writes: "The Puritan
wanted to work in a calling; we are forced to do so. The modern economic order is now bound to
the technical and economic conditions of machine production which today determine the lives of all
the individuals who are born into this mechanism". Weber argued for the importance of economic
and organizational factors as well as religious motivations and opposed one-sided explanations,
whether material or ideal in nature.
In his monumental comparative inquiry, Weber emphasized the universality of the problem
of salvation in all known religions. He suggested that the Judea-Christian tradition was
characterized by a "this-worldly asceticism" which promoted evangelical activism and worldtransforming activity, By contrast, the religions of the Orient, such as Confucianism, Taoism, and
Hinduism, suggested that salvation could come from withdrawal from the world, conformity to
tradition, and contemplation. Weber saw these differences as contributing to the rise of industrial
modernity in the West. Even though China had been technologically advanced in the Middle Ages,
its religious values had prevented the emergence of the entrepreneurial innovation and social
dynamism to be found in Europe at the same time. Clear affinities exist between Weber and
Durkheim in that both point to the centrality of religion as a core dimension of culture. However,
Weber's approach places a greater emphasis on the intellectual content of abstract belief systems,
while Durkheim foregrounds visceral, embodied emotions. A more significant difference is in their
attitude toward the role of religion in contemporary societies. As we have seen, Durkheim was very
clear that moral ties and sacred goals were of vital importance in today's world. Weber, by contrast,
advanced a thesis of disenchantment. This asserted that with the onset of modernity, meaning was
being emptied out of the world. We are living in an age of bureaucracy, where the locus is placed
on efficiency and rationality rather than on attaining some kind of transcendence or pursuing
ultimate meanings. In Weber's terms the Zweck-rational was coming to replace the Wert-rational.
Life had lost its sense of purpose, and people had become trapped in what he called an iron cage
of meaningless bureaucracy and rationalism.


Two other themes remain to be addressed in this all-too-brief review of Weber's

contribution to cultural theory. The first is the discussion of the forms of authority or legitimate
domination. Weber insisted that rule was justified by reference to broader structures of meaning,
and suggested three ideal types (models or simplified versions of reality) to understand this
process. Traditional authority was based on the idea that things should be as they always had
been. Weber had little to say about this, but suggested it was prominent in small-scale and preindustrial societies. A problem here is for the ruler to introduce change. Charismatic authority is
organized around the belief that a ruler possesses exceptional powers or some kind of divine gift.
Weber argues this form of authority is linked to social dislocation and social change and is
antithetical to economic considerations. A key feature of charismatic authority is its instability.
According to Weber the charismatic leader is under constant pressure to produce signs of their
power. If they fail to produce results, their charismatic power can evaporate. Further problems
revolve around the issue of succession. Once the charismatic figure dies, a power vacuum can
arise. For these reasons Weber suggested that over the long term charisma was inevitably
routinized and replaced by a bureaucratic mode of domination. While charisma has generally been
treated as a psychological or interpersonal phenomenon, it can also be understood in more cultural
terms. Weber's writings discuss religion, prophecy, salvation, and redemption as much as group
psychology and so the concept has much to offer those interested in the role of symbolic patterns
in political life. Legal-rational authority characterizes highly bureaucratized contemporary
societies. It emphasizes the role of law, procedure, and efficiency as standards against which
administrative acts are judged. According to Weber, disenchantment arises as this form of authority
replaces the more religiously and symbolically meaningful forms associated with tradition and
The final concept from Weber to be considered is that of status. In contrast to Marx's classdriven model of social organization, Weber distinguished between class and status. Class refers to
position in the economic order. Weber provides examples such as entrepreneurs, laborers, and
rentiers. Status, which is of most interest here, refers to groups with a common "style of life" and a
shared level of social prestige. Weber pointed to the ways that the authority of elites often
depended upon their distinctive culture and value system. They might share customs, conventions,
and educational training. These could be used as the basis of obtaining deference or other kinds of
special privileges such as monopolies and sinecures. Weber argued that class and status could
interact in complex ways. He claimed there was no necessary reason why a group with economic
power would also enjoy the other forms of power, as Marx had argued. He notes that a student, a
civil servant, and an army officer might have very different class locations and yet share a common
status "since upbringing and education create a common style of life".
Weber's work has a number of attractive features. He provides a compelling argument for
the centrality of human agency to sociological explanation. In highlighting the pivotal and nearuniversal significance of religious beliefs in human life, he creates space for the autonomy of
culture. His theories also foreground questions of power and domination and link these in definite
ways to culture. These attractive features, however, are perhaps undercut by an insistence on the
disenchantment of the modern world and on the routinized and rationalized qualities of


contemporary life with a corresponding instrumental regulation of human sociality. It is almost as if

Weber is arguing that culture was once important, but now needs to be excluded from social
Georg Simmel (1858 1918)
Simmel was born in Berlin in 1858, and was to spend much of his life in that city. He had a
prodigious output of some twenty-five books, in fields ranging from sociology to psychology, to
philosophy and aesthetics. Despite this scholarship, he found it difficult to obtain academic
advancement. This seems to have been due to antisemitism, disapproval of his socialist
sympathies, and jealousy at the large numbers attending his lectures. It probably did not help that
he championed the cause of women and other minority students in the university system. After
failing to obtain senior positions in Berlin and Heidelberg, Simmel eventually obtained a chair at the
provincial University of Strasbourg.
Simmels model of society differs radically from the more collectivistic one proposed by
Durkheim. For Simmel, society was essentially the product of the ceaseless interactions of
individuals. He argued that the task of sociology was to describe the ways that people came
together, the ways they formed groups, and how these interacted with each other. His overall
position was to favor empirical observation over the construction of a priori models and elaborate
conceptual categories. According to Simmel we should be looking at patterns of concrete
interaction rather than developing abstract models of society. Aside from this distinctive vision,
Simmel's interest for cultural theory ties in a number of studies providing diverse views on modern
life. In various ways these foreground the importance of interaction patterns and modernity for the
self and for sociality. Simmel argued that the self had become more free thanks to the removal of
customary constraints upon action in the course of societal modernization. Yet at the same time
our relation-ships have become more anonymous, and our lives mediated by science, technology,
commodities, and other social phenomena that appear alien to us. These themes are taken up in
The Philosophy of Money (1900), perhaps Simmel's most important work. Here he explores the
ways that money has transformed human interactions by making it possible for them to be
impersonal. Simmel argued that the economy was really about inter-actions focused on exchange
rather than production, thus providing a distinctive alternative to Marxian understandings. Yet at the
same time, he agrees that contemporary life is characterized by something like alienation. He
notes that money makes our interactions more instrumental and calculable in character, and that
acquiring money can become an end in itself. The result has been a subtle transformation of
human sociality. Individuality and care are removed from interactions, to be replaced by hardness,
a matter-of-fact attitude, and a "calculative exactness of practical life". This idea that
contemporary life had become more impersonal was extended in a famous essay on The
Metropolis and Mental Life first published in 1903.
Simmel asserts that in the contemporary city (he was drawing on his experience of Berlin
circa 1900) we are constantly bombarded by information and there is an "intensification of nervous
stimulation". Everything is new, rapid, and ephemeral, and citizens are surrounded by strangers.


Simmel sees these various aspects of urban life as threatening to our sense of self and our ability
to operate as autonomous subjects in the metropolitan environment, He writes: "The deepest
problems of modern life derive from the claim of the individual to preserve the autonomy and
individuality of his existence in the face of overwhelming social forces". In order to cope with this
situation, we have to shut down some of our emotional responses and develop what he calls a
blase attitude, This involves remaining cool, aloof, and distant from other people and from the
streetscape around us. There is a tendency to respond to everything in the same way and to not
take an interest in any one thing in the urban environment. According to Simmel, we face a tension
between our need to remain inconspicuous in such settings, and the need to assert our identity (it
only to ourselves) or to be noticed.
In his writing on the Philosophy of Fashion, dating from 1905, Simmel maintained a
similar line of analysis that revolved around issues of modernity and identity. He suggests that the
codes of fashion are arbitrary and respond to cultural needs rather than practical ones. Hemlines
and colors make little difference to our survival chances their primary function is social, not
material. He argues that fashion is a response to our desire to modulate the tension between the
expression of the individual self and belonging to a larger collectivity. The success of fashion as an
institution arises from its unique ability to fulfill both simultaneously. On the one hand people can
imitate others and thus have the psychological security of being members of a collectivity. On the
other they can use it to express their individuality, perhaps by only subtle adjustments to a given
style. Simmel also notes that fashion plays a role in the stratification system and tends to exist only
in societies that are highly stratified, "Fashion is a product of class division and operates , the
double function of holding a given circle together and at the same time closing it off from others". It
responds to the needs of high-status groups to symbolize their difference from those of lower
status, and allows those of lower-status groups to make claims to higher status. The result is a
never-ending game of catch-up. Once fashions trickle down to the lower groups, those of higher
status will abandon them in favor of new styles. The image he presents here is of consumer goods
and cultural tastes being used as a marker of distinction. Simmel's impact on subsequent cultural
theory has been diverse. His work on money deeply impressed Max Weber and influenced his
thinking about the protestant ethic.

ultural sociology is about meaning-making. Cultural sociologists investigate how meaning-

making happens, why meanings vary, how meanings influence human action, and the ways
meaning-making is important in social cohesion, domination, and resistance. What is distinctive
about cultural sociology as a perspective on meaning-making? What are its strengths and its blind
spots? How does a cultural sociologist approach a topic like work, or politics, differently from other
sociologists, or a topic like novels, or music, differently from scholars in the humanities? What are
some of the unresolved issues and neglected topics that should be ressed by cultural sociologists
in the future? Cultural sociology, combining interdisciplinary influences with sociological
presuppositions, examines meaning-making processes along three specific dimensions; meaning-



making in everyday action, the institutional production of meaning, and the shared mental
frameworks which are the tools of meaning-making.

Culture as a feature of entire Groups and Societies

Sometimes we think of culture as something that connects us to other people in our
groups, by contrast with outsiders. If we share with others certain ways of seeing the world, or
habits, or shorthand codes and assumptions (for instance, about the way we eat meals, or the
heroes we know and admire) we think of ourselves as members of the same culture or subculture.
Against this background, we are conscious of "cultural difference" when we encounter a new
situation or a new group and find that our usual ways of seeing and acting in the world can no
longer be taken for granted (for instance, when commonplace symbols like flags or flowers are
used differently, or when informal rules about dating or drugs are different). When we think about
culture in this way, we see culture as an attribute of entire groups or societies, and we draw
contrasts between the cultures of different peoples.
This idea of culture emerged in nineteenth-century Europe. By that time, new reflection
about differences among human populations had been prompted by European exploration and
conquest across the globe. This gradually generated a comparative way of thinking about human
society which ultimately became commonplace in modern life, and was also crucial to the formation
of anthropology as a discipline. Cultures are thought to be evident in anything from tools to
religion; and different cultures are seen as distinct units. In the nineteenth century, cultures were
rated according to western ideals of social progress, and European cultures were placed at the top
of a world hierarchy. But explicit claims about the superiority of western cultures gradually
dissipated in the twentieth century. More recently, many scholars have challenged implicit as well
as explicit assumptions about western superiority, assumptions embedded in colonial and
postcolonial social relations and in relations between cultures of dominant and subordinate groups.
Against the belief in cultural hierarchy, the concept of culture was gradually pluralized and
relativized, so that different "cultures" were thought to have equal value.4 We see this connotation
very frequently in common usage today, such as when we consider "multiculturalism," or when
tourists enjoy visiting "another culture."
Culture as a Separate Realm of Human Expression
Another way we often think of culture has quite different connotations. We can label as
"cultural" special activities or material artifacts characteristic of particular groups, like opera, rap
music, folk song, novels or haiku, quilts or masks or building styles. In this usage, an implicit
contrast is drawn between "culture" and other realms of social life, whether or not we also contrast
different societies as well. And we might think of those specialized cultural practices and artifacts
as what is most valuable about us or others, what needs to be preserved to express and represent
the identity of a group.



"Culture" came to refer to the practices and products of a special set of institutions in
society in the course of the Industrial Revolution in England. The social differentiation and dissent
generated in the transition from pre-modern to modern social organization accentuated a new
contrast between the mundane, pragmatic, and conflict-ridden realms of economics and politics the new worlds of capitalism, industry, democracy, and revolution - and an ideally purer realm of art
and morality expressing higher human capabilities and values than could be seen in modern
economic and political life. For some, this separate sphere of culture could serve as a basis for
judging what was destructive and superficial in modern society.' For others, considering culture as
a differentiated realm of expression could encourage the opinion that culture was in some way
more trivial, more "epiphenomenal," and, perhaps, more "feminine" than the apparently more
consequential spheres of politics or economics. And just as the first under-standing of culture was
associated with and elaborated by scholars in anthropology, this second sense was associated
with and became the core of several forms of scholarship now considered "humanities" such as
the study of literature, art, and music.
So the commonsense meanings of culture still current today echo the history of the idea. In
everyday life, the term might still refer either to that realm of human activity and special artifacts
separate from the mundane world of practical social life, or to the whole way of life of a group or a
people. Cultural sociology has been shaped by this sort of wide-ranging difference and
development in the understanding of culture. Confusion can multiply when we consider that even
if we restrict our under-standing of culture to the sense in which it refers to attributes of whole
groups of people, various scholars have taken that to mean many different things. For instance,
different scholars might emphasize different analytic dimensions of meaning and value, stressing
artifacts, norms, customs, habits, practices, rituals, symbols, categories, codes, ideas, values,
discourse, worldviews, ideologies, or principles. Such a list conceals some important theoretical
disputes between those scholars who emphasize discourses and those who emphasize
practices, those who focus on cognitive categories and those who stress values, those who
analyze concrete products and those who analyze deep textual patterns. The central concerns
of those who study culture are to understand processes of meaning-making, to account for different
meanings, and to examine their effects in social life. This view can encompass both culture as
specialized realm and culture as an attribute of groups, and can include all the various things, from
artifacts to principles, which scholars have thought to be important parts of cultures. Cultural
sociologists might investigate culture as "a separate sphere of society," or culture as a "whole
way of life", but they do it because their key goal is now formulated as understanding processes of
meaning-making. What is distinctive about focusing on culture can be seen if we contrast the study
of culture with different sorts of accounts of human action. Most obviously, a focus on culture
contrasts with accounts of human action emphasizing nature or biology. It also challenges
accounts of social life which focus on universally shared psychological processes or principles.
Contemporary cultural sociology often draws on anthropology, history, feminist
scholarship, literary criticism, media studies, political science, cultural studies, and social



psychology for approaches which generate better ways of understanding culture. But a more
specific set of intellectual "influences and resources have also shaped cultural sociology. As Smith
has pointed out, disciplinary history and institutional pressures have generated a set of
sensibilities, assumptions, and questions which ultimately differentiate work in the field from related
work in such areas as anthropology and cultural studies. Sociology, like anthropology, was formed
in the nineteenth century when concepts of culture were still emerging. Sociology was especially
concerned with conflicts between traditional society and emerging modern society problems of
individual community, inequality, and power. Early sociologists certainly had a lot to say ut culture:
for instance, Marx's notion of ideology, Durkheim's ideas about ritual, symbol, and the sacred,
Weber's studies of how subjective meanings direct action, and Mead's theory of "significant
symbols" in interaction are still essential research in cultural sociology.
Sociology might examine either aspects of society identifiable independently of what they
mean to people e.g. class structure, organizational forms, persistent institutions or look at
more micro-level interactional or social psychological processes "within" a culture e.g. the life
course, or professional socialization or study aggregations of individual attitudes as potential
outcomes of social background and possible determinants of actions e.g. opinions about racial
segregation, or about political parties. At least two other traditions of inquiry also addressed culture
in different ways at this time: the sociology of knowledge, studying how social context influences
ideas, and symbolic interactionism, examining meaning-making in continuous interactional
adjustments. All these areas of research continue to be important elements in cultural sociology,
but none made "culture" as central in sociological inquiry as it was in anthropology.
Marginalization and fragmentation of sociological studies of culture were exacerbated by a
theoretical impasse. By this time, those sociologists interested in broader theories of collective
meaning-making took one of two contradictory lines of thought. On the one hand, the
anthropological idea of culture as characterizing a whole society was applied, with modifications, to
contemporary complex societies, and so culture was treated as relatively or ideally consensual
values, norms, and attitudes shared by entire groups. So, for instance, surveys of national attitudes
and values were used to investigate "the cultures" of different groups. On the other hand, the idea
that meaning-making was about power, a matter of domination or critique, was also widely
assumed. So, for instance, critics of the mass media examined how new media could shape
consciousness. Both "consensual values" and "ideology" theories of meaning-making in
sociology had well-established theoretical and empirical grounding, but both seemed to speak at
cross-purposes, and both seemed inadequate in some ways. If culture was seen as consensual
values, then differences within groups and societies were not given enough weight, and power and
domination through ideology was ignored. On the other hand, if culture was seen as ideology, then
meaning-making seemed relatively unimportant for understanding what was "really" going on in
society. While both approaches to analyzing cultures seemed to have some truth, both seemed to
over-generalize about meaning-making processes, to present too "global" a view of culture.
Culture in Practice, Cultural Production, and Cultural Frameworks



Three sorts of work may be identified in recent cultural sociology, each focusing on
meaning-making processes at a different analytic level. The first line of inquiry represented in this
volume examines meaning-making processes "on the ground," investigating how interactions
constitute meanings and how individuals use them. At this level, culture is treated as a contingent
and variable element of the way action is framed. This more fluiid approach to culture has the
strength of giving analytic purchase on diversity, since a variety of meanings may be embraced by
people in the same context, or even the same person at different times. It also creates theoretical
space for understanding importance of culture in structural change, since variant and shifting
interpretations may be the mechanisms or conditions of changes in structural patterns.
The second line of inquiry exemplified here examines meaning-making processes as they
occur within fields of institutions or networks of cultural producers, treating culture as a social
product like any other and highlighting the specific contexts in which cultural production and
innovation occurs. The focus here is on how the particular organizational context in which, for
instance, art is created, or a new musical style disseminated, or science practiced, can have
important consequences for the emergent cultural product. Much of the research in this area
applies this "production of culture" perspective to specialized cultural artifacts and genres. But the
perspective can also be used to examine the impact of institutional context on more diffuse sets of
symbols, meanings, and values. Thus, for instance, Larson examines how postmodern architecture
is a product of particular professional contexts more than large-scale, world-historical changes, and
Peterson attributes the emergence of rock music to industry changes rather than to large-scale
demographic changes.
If the first two approaches examine meaning-making processes "on the ground," and "in
the institutional field," the third approach in cultural sociology investigates meaning-making "in the
text," focusing on features of culture intrinsic to meaning-making processes themselves and
drawing on insights about textual analysis more familiar in the humanities than in sociology.
Cultural repertoires, objects, and texts are analytically distinguished from their social contexts and
treated as independent objects of inquiry. By analogy with languages, they are assumed to have
their own internal structure; this internal structure is consequential for the ways meanings are
generated. Cultural sociologists have drawn analytic tools for understanding deep cultural structure
rather freely from a variety of interdisciplinary sources: some common concepts include the notions
of symbolic codes, signifiers and sign systems, categorical schemas, genre, and narrative. Of
course, exploring meaning-making "on the ground," "in the institutional field," and "in the text" are
not mutually exclusive: some of the richest contributions in cultural sociology have carefully
combined these levels of analysis.
Treating meaning-making as occurring simultaneously in these different ways can also help
transcend fruitless conflicts between views that culture is essentially con-sensual and views that
culture ideology reflects power relations. First, looking at meaning-making "on the ground,"
as the variable enactment of symbolic repertoires, allows for difference and conflict within and
between social groups: the amount of consensus in a particular case is fundamentally open to



empirical question. But analyzing culture "on the ground" also challenges views of culture as
ideology, because ambiguity in cultural repertoires, human agency, and historical contingency all
suggest that cultural domination isn't simply a matter of misleading people about their interests.
Second, looking at meaning-making "in the institutional field" and "in the text" also helps identify
many sources of variation and indeterminacy in the process which make over generalized claims
about consensus or ideological domination difficult to sustain. Sociologists have also been divided
between those who are most interested in micro-social processes (asking questions about the
attitudes of individuals, for instance, or analyzing aspects of interaction) and those who are most
interested in macro-social processes (trying to understand the organization and main features of
whole groups and societies).
Cultural sociology provides ways of thinking about meaning-making which can help bridge
this perennial division. So the identities and practices of individuals and small groups are
constructed from cultural resources which themselves depend on two wider conditions; the social
organization of meaning production, and the discursive frameworks which structure available
meanings. And yet these macro-social phenomena are ultimately composed in micro-practices of
Cultural Sociology as an Agenda
Cultural sociologists are well positioned to offer empirically grounded reflection and new
theoretical resolutions for several other general problems now emerging on sociological agendas.
These issues could include:

pursuing the implications in general sociological research of the observation that whether
or not most individuals agree with particular cultural discourses (like "culture wars" or
"individualism") the general recognition and circulation of such discourses creates
important social fact.
incorporating neglected theories of cultural diffusion into theories of large-scale cultural
innovation and social change.
reconciling two potentially contradictory lines of research currently being integrated into
cultural sociology from social psychology, one focusing on cognition, and the other
focusing on emotions.
developing a richer view of causality which includes extensive attention to meaning-making
processes as causal mechanisms.
encouraging wider recognition of criteria for designing and assessing qualitative,
interpretive, and critical research so that it is neither dismissed as idiosyncratic nor lauded
as unreproducibly virtuoso.
communicating research findings and newer ways of thinking about meaning-making in
ways that will be useful in activism or policy-making. Understanding what makes things
meaningful to people is surely an important step in any attempt at viable and humane
social change.



Although this agenda is necessarily sketchy here, it does suggest that cultural sociology
can have a wide impact. All these issues the social consequences of discourse independent of
majority belief, cultural diffusion in social change, cognition and emotion in meaning-making
processes, causal mechanisms, assessing interpretive research, and meaning-making in
sociological practice are important for furthering general sociological understanding. They also
exemplify issues on which cultural sociologists have a lot to contribute, both empirically and
theoretically. But the impact of any future contributions like these will depend on demystifying
common confusions about culture and disseminating to a broader audience the conceptual
advances and empirical richness in contemporary cultural sociology. I hope that this collection
helps in that process.


Culture is the reflection of a society (or a group of people) or an individual. In this chapter
Ill discuss the physical aspects governing culture. The historians and philosophers took us through the
broad spectrum of culture in Macro and micro level giving us a defined knowledge about the subject. But as
times change the value of culture changes, it may be politically, economically, socially, technologically and
ideologically. But does it really change or evolve? When Philosophers divided culture into various aspects
of everyday life the larger proportion was given to ideologies than the ground level. The physical aspects
such as geography, climate, resources, occupation, politics, architecture plays major role in governing
Culture, the total way of life that characterizes a group of people, is one of the most important
things that geographers study. There are literally thousands of cultures on Earth today and each
contributes to global diversity. One reason for the existence of so many cultures is that there are so many
ways that Earth's 6.3 billion people can be culturally different. Specifically, a culture consists of
numerous cultural components(see chart below) that vary from one culture group to the next.

Cultural Components (a partial list)

Religion | Language | Architecture | Cuisine | Technology | Music
Dance | Sports | Medicine | Dress | Gender roles | Law
Education | Government | Agriculture | Economy | Sport | Grooming
Values | Work ethic | Etiquette | Courtship | Recreation | Gestures

For example, language is a cultural component. While some cultural communities use English, others
speak Spanish, Japanese, Arabic, or another of the thousands of languages spoken today. Religion is
another cultural component, and there are hundreds (if not thousands) of ways that different culture groups
practice and are characterized by that trait. Likewise, there is a world of cultural differences with respect to
technology and medicine, economic and agricultural activity, and modes of architecture and transportation.
Moreover, cultural communities may differ in their dress, grooming, music, cuisine, dance, sport, etiquette,
and other cultural components, all of which make for a culturally diverse world.
Cultural components are not limited to humans. Culture characterizes Earth as well; for it is primarily
through the agency of their culture that people interact with and modify Earths surface. Thus, areas may
have different looks and feels that reflect differences in culture. For example, church steeples dominate the
skylines of numerous small towns in New York State. Minarets dominate similar settlements in the Middle


Because of the innumerable cultural differences that characterize people and land the world over, there is
an entire subfield of geography devoted to the study of cultureappropriately named cultural geography.
This subfield is vast; its key concepts, however, can be related to the needs of third-grade teachers. Those
concepts are culture region, cultural landscape, cultural diffusion, cultural ecology, and cultural interaction.
Culture Region
A culture region is a portion of Earths surface that has common cultural elements. Identifying and mapping
culture regions are significant tasks because they show us where particular culture traits or cultural
communities are located. Maps of culture regions provide answers to the most fundamental geographical
question: Where?
The concept of culture region serves roughly the same educational purpose as that of historical period.
When teaching world history, for example, the subject is commonly divided into time segments that might
be labeled The Neolithic Revolution, The Cold War Era, and so forth. The purpose of these arbitrary
divisions is to make world history more comprehensible by dividing it into periods that have common
themes. Similarly, the purpose of regions (which also are arbitrary) is to make geographyor cultural
geography, in this casemore comprehensible by dividing the world into areas that have something in
Culture regions, like cultures themselves, display considerable variety. For starters, any number of cultural
components may be used to define culture regions. A map of world religions, for example, includes a
shaded area in South Asia where Hinduism is dominant. That is a culture region based on a single cultural
component, as are each of the other shaded areas on that map. Similarly, a language map of Europe would
show a shaded area where Basque is dominant. That also would be a culture region based on a single
cultural component. In contrast, if you were teaching about Japan, you might ask your students to go down
the list of cultural components and characterize the Japanese culture region with respect to religion,
language, architecture, cuisine, and so forth. For comparisons sake, you might then compare that list to the
U.S. culture region, or to the Mexican culture region, or the culture region of some other country.
Culture regions differ greatly in size. Some are exceedingly large, like the Islamic culture region that
encompasses millions of square miles of North Africa and Southwest Asia. Some are very small, like
Spanish Harlem, which encompasses about two square miles of Manhattan. Many others are of
intermediate size, like the Corn Belt, which occupies a portion of the midwestern United States.
When students see the words Hindu culture region, they may logically infer that only Hindus live
there. Not so. That region also is home to millions of Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, and other non-Hindus.
Similarly, there are some people in Spanish Harlem who do not speak Spanish, and some farmers in the
Corn Belt who do not grow corn. Culture regions tend to exhibit a certain diversitytheir titles identify a
dominant characteristic (Hinduism, Spanish, corn) but do not necessarily mean that everybody who lives
there shares that characteristic. Students should understand that diversity typically exists within a culture
region through the use of specific examples, to avoid making logical assumptions that are nevertheless


Culture regions can be found in urban, suburban, or rural settings. Many cities contain ethnic
neighborhoods. Basically, these are urban culture regions whose borders are defined by the locations of
specific cultural communities. Different cities around the world have ethnic mixes, however. If you were
teaching about France, for example, your students would discover that Arabs, sub-Saharan Africans, and
West Indians comprise large ethnic communities in many cities. In Germany, in contrast, Turks and various
Slavic peoples often are the major groups. Urban fringes the world over also exhibit cultural differences.
The typical American suburb exhibits housing, land use, and lifestyles that differ significantly from what is
observed on the periphery of cities in West Africa or Central America, for example (see Fig. 4). Rural parts
of the world may differ on the basis of language, religion, or some other cultural componentmost notably
agriculture. Thus, dairy farming and apple growing characterize different sections of rural New York State.
Both are visually distinctive and may be thought of as separate culture regions. In contrast, rural culture
regions elsewhere in the world might be dominated by cattle ranches, rice fields, banana plantations, or
some other form of agriculture.
Over time culture regions tend to appear and disappear, and expand and contract in between.
Many millennia ago, for example, there were no human beings in North America. In the course of
subsequent migrations, however, different peoples occupied different parts of the continent. As a result, by
1492 North America was a mosaic of Native American culture regions. Many of them have since
disappeared or have diminished in size. Similarly, an ancient Phoenician culture region gave way to a
Roman culture region, which in turn disappeared. Much more immediately, there are lots of areas and
neighborhoods in New York State and elsewhere that are experiencing "ethnic change"a situation in
which one cultural community is expanding or contracting in opposition to another.
The latter highlights the fact that culture unites and divides humanity: while it instills a sense of
unity among some peoples, it creates differences (perhaps deep animosities) between others. Accordingly,
maps of culture regions may provide important perspectives on contemporary problems that are rooted in
cultural differences. For example, Americans have come to appreciate that all Iraqis are not the same.
Rather, they are divided mainly into three cultural communities (Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds) who occupy
culture regions that are more or less separate. To a large degree, the future of Iraq is likely to be
determined by the extent to which the occupants of those culture regions work together for the common
Cultural Diffusion
Cultural diffusion concerns the spread of culture and the factors that account for it, such as
migration, communications, trade, and commerce. Because culture moves over space, the geography of
culture is constantly changing. Generally, culture traits originate in a particular area and spread outward,
ultimately to characterize a larger expanse of territory. Culture region describes the location of culture traits
or cultural communities; cultural diffusion helps explain how they got there.
For example, New York State generally lies within the English-speaking culture region.
Nevertheless there are significant cultural communities within New York State in which Spanish, Chinese,
Hebrew, Arabic, or another language is dominant. Similarly, while most of New York State is part of the
Christian culture region, there also are local cultural communities in which Judaism, Islam, or Buddhism is
dominant. What all these languages and religions have in common is that none originated in New York


State or even in North America. Rather, each has come to characterize segments of the Empire State as a
result of cultural diffusion.
Similar stories apply to other parts of the world. If you were to teach about Australia, for example,
your students would learn that that continent was once the exclusive domain of an aboriginal cultural
community. Because of cultural diffusion, however, most of the present-day Australian people and their
homeland bear the unmistakable imprint of European cultureparticularly, cultural characteristics that
diffused from Great Britain.
Cultural diffusion occurs in different ways. As suggested by the examples above, migration is an
important example. When people move, they take their "cultural baggage" with them. Thus, there are
uncountable instances, past and present, in which the arrival of migrants has resulted in the appearance of
culture traits or entire cultural communities in areas where they were not previously present. An important
modern variation involves businesses that establish facilities or outlets in foreign lands. Thus, the
appearance of McDonalds, Burger King, and Starbucks outside the U.S. is a form of cultural diffusionand
so too the appearance of sushi bars in America.
Peoples tendency to copy one another characterizes another type of cultural diffusion. An example
occurs when a farmer looks over the fence, sees a neighboring farmer using a new or different agricultural
technique, and adopts it. Similarly, people sometimes adopt a new cultural trait in response to contact with
an advertisement, or by seeing something on TV or in a movie, or by interacting directly with people who
display a particular cultural trait.
Finally, there is an oft-observed tendency for culture traits to originate and take hold in large cities
and then "trickle down" the settlement hierarchy to smaller cities, towns, and rural areas. Contemporary
cultural fads in particular have a tendency to diffuse in this manner. Because diffusion occurs over time as
well as over space, there may be a time lag between the origin of a trait in a large city and its appearance
in small towns and rural areas.
Nowadays, the above phenomenon is particularly evident and important in developing countries,
where modernization tends to take hold in major cities and then trickle down to the countryside. If your
students were to study about China, for example, they would discover a land of rapidly modernizing cities
many with world-class industries, office towers, and port facilities. In contrast, portions of rural China are
still dominated by traditional pre-modern agricultural tools and techniques.
In reality, therefore, China is not a cultural community, but is instead a mosaic of many cultural
communities. The same is true of Mexico, India, Peru, and virtually every other country on Earth today.
Cultural differences exist within countries as well as between them. Thus, when you choose a country to
teach about "cultural community," your students should come away with an understanding that, say, all
Chinese (or all Mexicans, Indians, Peruvians, etc.) are not the same. Rather, countries are composed of
numerous cultural communities, just as in the United States.
When a cultural item diffuses, it typically does not keep spreading and spreading forever. Instead it
tends to diffuse outward from its place of origin, encounter one or more barrier effectsthings that inhibit
cultural diffusionand stop spreading. Barrier effects can assume physical or social forms. Physical barrier
effects consist of characteristics of the natural (physical) environment that inhibit the spread of culture. The


classic examples are oceans, deserts, mountain ranges, dense forests, and frigid climates. For example,
the Atlantic Ocean was a physical barrier that prevented the westward spread of European culture for many
centuries. The dense rain forest of the Amazon lowlands long served as a physical barrier, isolating
numerous native peoples and their ancient ways of life. While some of these groups have recently
experienced culture change wrought by roads and deforestation, others continue to lead traditional lives in
remote regions of rainforest. Similarly, the rugged Andes Mountains have long served to inhibit diffusion of
foreign culture throughout that region, thus helping to perpetuate indigenous cultural characteristics. One
result is that Quechua (pronounced KAY-chew-ah), purportedly the language of the Incas, continues to be
spoken by millions of Andean residents.
Social barrier effects consist of characteristics that differentiate human groups and potentially limit
interaction between them, thus inhibiting the spread of culture. Examples include language, religion, race
and ethnicity, and a history of conflict between specific cultural communities. Islam, for instance, nowadays
acts as a social barrier in many Middle Eastern countries by discouraging adoption of certain styles of
western dress and music.
For much of human history, therefore, barrier effects tended to isolate cultural communities from
each other, inhibiting their ability to share cultural characteristics. Today, however, traditional barrier effects
are being overwhelmed by modern means of communication. Isolation is on the decline. Cultural
characteristics are diffusing as never before. Adoption of a new culture item is often accompanied by
disuse of an old one. Hence, global decline in cultural diversity is a significant modern trend. Virtually
hundreds of languages spoken by formerly isolated peoples will disappear during the next 50 years
because, due to diffusion of "modern global languages" (such as English, Spanish, and French), they are
not being passed on to the next generation. This does not portend a single global culture, but rather a trend
toward cultural communities that come in fewer flavors.
In some parts of the world, for example, long-cherished cultural traditions are perceived by local
practitioners to be threatened by intrusion (i.e., diffusion) of alternatives. Westernization is a term often
associated with this process. Thus, while cultural diffusion encourages cultural sharing and interaction
between peoples, it may also promote conflict.

Cultural Landscape
What do a high-rise apartment, silo, stop sign, golf course, shopping mall, railroad, pyramid, oil
derrick, and banana plantation have in common? The answer is that each is a facet of the cultural
landscape. The cultural landscape consists of material aspects of culture that characterize Earths surface.
That includes buildings, shrines, signage, sports and recreational facilities, economic and agricultural
structures, crops and agricultural fields, transportation systems, and other physical things. Some
geographers would include humans as components of the cultural landscape if their clothing and grooming
visually reflect cultural preferences. Because cultural landscape so often embodies humans most basic
needsshelter, food, and clothingmany geographers consider it the most important aspect of cultural


All cultures change over time (albeit at different rates). As a result, the cultural landscape of a given
locale may look much different today than in the past. For example, the skyline of New York City is much
taller today than it used to be, thanks to technological innovations that include electricity, elevators,
construction materials, and machinery. Similarly, large areas of New York State have seen the
transformation of farmland to suburbia, thanks to changes in economics, agriculture, and transportation.
Typically, cultural landscapes change in bits and pieces. Thus, most cultural landscapes are a
mixture of new buildings and old ones (possibly including abandoned structures), modern superhighways
and old narrow streets, gleaming office buildings and rusting manufacturing facilities, and so on. Thus, if
you were to teach about Peru, students would learn that its cultural landscape consists of a variety of old
and new elements. That would include architectural artifacts from the Inca period (e.g., agricultural
terraces, roads, and ruinslike Machu Picchu), ornate cathedrals that date from Spanish colonial times,
and a host of more modern structures. Similarly, if you were teaching about Egypt, students would learn of
pyramids and temples that date from the time of the ancient pharaohs, grand mosques built in recent
centuries, grand hotels built in recent years, and other elements of varying age (see Fig. 9). People of all
regions and times have left their cultural imprints on Earth, and many of these endure. As a result, the
cultural landscape may be a tool for understanding the history and status of a given area, as well as current
Arrangement and placement of elements in the cultural landscape may be as noteworthy as the
elements themselves. For example, American farmers tend to live on their farms, residing in individual,
scattered farmsteads. In much of the rest of the world, however, farmers live in villages comprised of tightly
clustered residences, from which they commute to their farmland. The visual difference between these
contrasting cultural landscapes is unmistakable. Similarly, roads in American towns often adhere to a grid
pattern that is predictable and facilitates flow. In contrast, there are older cities in other lands with road
networks that are purposefully asymmetrical and include numerous dead endsapparently to thwart
would-be invaders. Finally, in some cultural contexts, the notion of favorable (or unfavorable) locations and
sacred directions dictates the placement and orientation of landscape elements.
Cultural Ecology
Cultural ecology addresses the relationships between culture and the physical environment.
Culture has arisen and evolved in a great variety of physical settings that differ in climate, natural
vegetation, soils, and landforms. In these diverse natural environments, humans developed adaptive
strategies to satisfy their needs for clothing, food, and shelter. The result is a literal world of difference in
clothing styles and the materials from which they are made; the production, preparation, and consumption
of foods; and the architectural styles and materials that define human shelter. The astonishing variety of
physical settings that characterize our planet, and the amazing variety of human adaptive strategies to
them, go a long way to explain why there are so many cultures on Earth today.
The concept of cultural ecology often helps us better understand the cultural landscape. Thus,
while a cultural landscape study might identify and describe a building that typifies a specific area, cultural
ecology may be employed to explain why that building looks the way it does. The Taos Pueblo, a large
adobe structure that is a quintessential element of the cultural landscape of the American Southwest,
provides a good example (see Fig. 10). In the pueblos immediate physical setting, scant rainfall results in
scant vegetation. Trees are few, except along permanent watercourses and in high mountains. Also, the


low humidity contributes to uncomfortably warm daytime temperatures that contrast with uncomfortably cold
nights during much of the year.
The pueblo embodies several adaptations to these conditions. It consists of finished mud brick (for
which the raw material is locally abundant) over a skimpy lattice of timber. The design produces an
amalgam of box-like attached residences, a feature that limits the walls that are exposed to the hot sun and
leaves flat rooftops, which may act as catchments for scarce rainfall. Also, the largely windowless thick
walls help regulate temperature within by heating up slowly during the day, keeping rooms cool in the face
of afternoon heat. In contrast, when the sun goes down and the air turns cold, the heat that built up in the
adobe during the day keeps the interior significantly warmer than the nighttime air.
Other physical settings offer other examples of cultural ecology. The terraced rice paddies of Bali,
Indonesia, embody cultural adaptation to a rainy equatorial climate and to what would otherwise be useless
(at least with respect to paddy farming) slopes (see Fig. 11). Meanwhile in snowy alpine Europe, the
inverted-V roofs of chalets facilitate snow removal, lessening the chance for structural damage.
Evidence of cultural ecology may be local as well as global, as four examples from New York State
attest. The location of Rochester has much to do with the presence therein of the falls of the Genesee
River, an early source of industrial power. The distinctive and attractive Finger Lakes wine country is partly
the result of a local microclimate, soils, and slopes that are favorable to grape growing. Manhattans tallest
buildings have historically been located in midtown and downtown, where bedrock is closest to the surface.
Finally, parts of the Long Island Railroads main line coincide with a glacially deposited ridge, which helps
keep water off the tracks. These are all examples of cultural adaptation to physical environment.
Cultural ecology focuses on culture-environment interaction in the past as well as the present.
Regarding the past, identification and analysis of culture hearths, regions that in ancient times gave rise to
significant cultural complexes, are of particular importance. These include the Nile Valley, the Fertile
Crescent (including Mesopotamia), Indus Valley, Huang Ho Valley, and Mesoamerica. Each provides
examples of how ancient peoples built impressive civilizations thanks to interaction between humans and
fertile river valleyswhich gave rise to agricultural surpluses, which in turn freed some people from daily
food production and allowed them to develop other pursuits.
Cultural Interaction
Cultural interaction focuses on the relationships that often exist between cultural components that
characterize a given community. When geographers seek to explain why a particular culture trait is found in
a particular area, they often discover that the answer lies in another trait possessed by that same cultural
community. This demonstrates that cultural components may be interrelated.
Concepts of personal privacy in Islamic and Iberian culture regions often explain why residences
lack street-level windows. Buddhists regard golden colors as a symbol of enlightenment. That explains why
gold-domed temples figure so prominently in cultural landscapes in various parts of Southeast Asia. If the
residents of a particular neighborhood were conservative Jews, then that would explain the presence of
kosher grocery stores, signs in Hebrew, synagogues, and particular styles of clothing. Because north was a
sacred direction to the ancient Mayans, the boulevard-facing facades of their temples were always aligned
in a north-south manner (see Fig. 12).


Bars and liquor stores are not likely to be found in Muslim neighborhoods because Islam forbids
consumption of alcoholic beverages. Cultural interaction may explain the presenceas well as the
absenceof particular traits in particular areas.
These examples attest to the explanatory power of cultural interaction. But they also demonstrate that
religious beliefs often underlie relationships between cultural components. That presents educators with a
quandary. Few culture traits have the power and importance of religion. Indeed, religion is often the key to
understanding the way of life of a particular cultural community. One needs to tread carefully.
ere are some activities to acquaint third graders with the concept of cultural interaction.

List and explain symbols, shrines, and colors that may be associated with different religions.
Collect photographs of houses of worship and symbols associated with different religions.
List ways that religious beliefs may influence other cultural components.
Describe the nature and celebration of holidays, festivals, and events that are associated with
various cultural communities.


In summary, geography seeks to describe and explain the distribution of phenomena that characterize
Earths surface. Because culture differentiates human beings and the lands they occupy, it is one of the
most important things that geographers study. Accordingly, there is an entire subfield of academic
geography devoted to the study of culture: cultural geography.
The key concepts of cultural geography are culture region, cultural diffusion, cultural landscape, cultural
ecology, and cultural interaction. Each offers insights and activities that an educator might use to teach
culture from a geographical point of view. Specifically, that perspective involves the following:

Delineating and describing parts of Earth that have common cultural elements, as well as
comparing and contrasting areas that are culturally different (i.e., studying the concept of culture
Describing how cultural components spread over space and come to characterize different parts of
our planet (i.e., studying the concept of cultural diffusion);
Appreciating how culture contributes to the visual distinctiveness of different areas (i.e., studying
the concept of cultural landscape);
Understanding how cultural communities have adapted toand, in turn, impactedthe natural
environment (i.e., studying the concept of cultural ecology); and
Noting how one particular culture trait might lead to the appearance of others in a specific cultural
community (i.e., studying the concept of cultural interaction).

These concepts, though distinct, may overlap in ways that help to describe and explain the nature of
cultural communities. Here is a closing example.
There is a culture region in southeastern Pennsylvania associated with a large Amish population. The sect
originated in Europe centuries ago. Their presence in Pennsylvania is the result of cultural diffusion
migration to America. The cultural landscape of the Pennsylvania Amish is dominated by dairy farms, so


big barns and silos are much in evidence. The fact that they are dairy farms, as opposed to, say, wheat
farms, is explained by a local climate favorable to raising dairy cows, and to lucrative and nearby urban
markets for their products. These relationships between Amish culture and both the natural and human
environments provide examples of cultural ecology. Amish religious beliefs stress separation from "the
world." (Indeed, persecution of Amish due to their religious beliefs explains why they left Europe for
Pennsylvania in the first place.) The interrelationship between religion and other aspects of Amish culture
exemplifies cultural interaction.


rchitecture is one of the primitive art forms acquired by humankind. First it was a need but then

it became status and then the culture of an entire generation depended on it. We get to know different
aspects of the cultural past by studying these architectural relics.This is a timeline of architecture,
indexing the individual year in architecture pages. Notable events in architecture and related disciplines
including structural engineering,landscape architecture and city planning. One significant architectural
achievement is listed for each year.
Summary of events in architecture by year
2000s 2010s - 2020s
1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s
1800s 1810s 1820s 1830s 1840s 1850s 1860s 1870s 1880s 1890s
1700s 1710s 1720s 1730s 1740s 1750s 1760s 1770s 1780s 1790s
1000s 1100s 1200s 1300s 1400s 1500s 1600s
3rd millennium BC 2nd millennium BC 1st millennium BC 1st millennium AD

2026 - The Sagrada Familia is expected to be finished. The

Proposed Orbita Residence is expected to be completed.
2025 - Proposal Dubai city tower in dubai, is completed with a height of
2,400 meters and will become the current tallest building.


2019 Kingdom Tower in Jeddah projected for completion.

2018 City Palace reconstruction in Berlin projected for completion.
2017 Elbe Philharmonic Hall in Hamburg projected for completion.
2016 Buenos Aires Forum in Buenos Aires is expected to be
2014 Shanghai Tower in Shanghai, the tallest building in
China and the second-tallest in the world, projected for completion.
2013 One World Trade Center dedicated in New York City.
2012 Oscar Niemeyer dies.
2011 Al Hamra Tower, the tallest skypscraper in Kuwait, completed.


2010 Burj Khalifa became the tallest man-made structure in the world,
at 828 metres (2,717 ft).

2009 CityCenter opens on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada.

This project is the largest privately funded construction project in the
history of the United States.
2008 "Water Cube", "Bird's Nest", South Railway Station, and other
buildings in Beijing, completed for the 2008 Summer Olympics.
2007 Tarald Lundevall completes the Oslo Opera House in
Oslo, Norway.
2006 Construction begins on the Freedom Tower, on the site of the
former World Trade Center.
2005 Casa da Msica opens in Porto, Portugal, designed by the Dutch
architect Rem Koolhaas with Office for Metropolitan Architecture.
2004 30 St Mary Axe (also known as "the Gherkin" and the Swiss Re
Building), designed by Norman Foster, completed in the City of London.
2003 Taipei 101, designed by C.Y. Lee & Partners the worlds tallest
building from 20042010 is topped out.
2002 Simmons Hall dormitory, designed by architect Steven Holl,
completed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
2001 Jewish Museum Berlin designed by Daniel Libeskind opens to
the public.
2000 The Emirates Towers are both completed in Dubai.



1999 Jewish Museum Berlin, designed by Daniel Libeskind is

1998 Petronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, designed
by Csar Pelli is completed. World tallest building 19982004.
1998 Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art by Steven Holl Architects,
opens to the public.
1997 Guggenheim Museum Bilbao designed by Frank Gehry.
1996 Oscar Niemeyer completes the Niteri Contemporary Art
Museum in Brazil.
1996 Aronoff Center for Design and Art, University of
Cincinnati completed by Peter Eisenman.


1995 Steven Holl Architects begin construction of St. Ignatius Chapel

at Seattle University.
1994 Building of the Basel Signal Box by Herzog and de Meuron
1993 The Umeda Sky Building in Osaka City, Japan is completed.
1992 The Bank of America Corporate Center in Charlotte, North
Carolina is completed.
1991 Stansted Airport terminal building in Essex, England, designed
by Norman Foster, is completed.
1990 Frederick Weisman Museum of Art, University of
Minnesota completed by Frank Gehry.


1989 I. M. Pei's pyramid addition to the Louvre is opened.

1988 MOMA Exhibition called Deconstructivist architecture opens.
1987 The Riga Radio & TV Tower in Riga, Latvia is completed.
1986 The Lloyd's Building in London, designed by Richard Rogers, is
1985 The HSBC Headquarters Building in Hong
Kong, China by Norman Foster, is completed.
1984 Philip Johnson's AT&T Building opens in New York City
1983 Xanadu House in Kissimmee opened.
1982 Design competition is held for the Parc de la Villette in Paris.
1981 Richard Serra installs Tilted Arc in the Federal Plaza in New York
City. The sculpture was removed in 1989.
1980 Santa Monica Place was constructed by Frank Gehry.


1979 Charles Moore designs the Piazza d'Italia in New Orleans.

1978 Charles Eames dies.
1977 Frank Gehry redesigns his own house in Santa Monica,
1976 The Barbican Estate, designed by Chamberlin, Powell and Bon,
opens in the City of London.
1976 The CN Tower in Toronto opens as the tallest freestanding
structure on land.
1975 Completion of the Seoul Tower in Seoul, South Korea.
1974 National Assembly Building in Dakka, Bangladesh, is completed.


1973 The World Trade Center towers, designed by Minoru Yamasaki,

are opened in New York.
1972 The Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco, California,
designed by William Pereira, is completed.
1971 Rothko Chapel in Houston, Texas, designed by Mark
Rothko and Philip Johnson is completed.
1970 Construction begins on the Sears Tower in Chicago, designed
by Bruce Graham and Fazlur Khan (of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill).


1969 Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Walter Gropius die.
1968 Mies van der Rohe's New National Gallery in Berlin finished.
1967 Expo 67 in Montreal features the American pavilion, a geodesic
dome designed by Buckminster Fuller, and the Habitat 67 housing
complex designed by Moshe Safdie.
1966 The Gateway Arch by Eero Saarinen is finished in St. Louis,
1965 NASA's Cape Canaveral VAB, the Niagara Skylon Tower,
Philadelphia's LOVE Park, the Tel-Aviv Shalom Meir tower and the Salk
Institute all open.
1964 The Unisphere heads New York World's Fair.
1963 The Palace of Assembly at Chandigarh, India, is finished.
1962 Seattle Space needle & TWA Terminal by Saarinen at JFK are
1961 Louis Kahn finishes the Richards Medical Building at
the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
1960 Lucio Costa & Oscar Niemeyer plan buildings of Brasilia, new
capital of Brazil.


1959 Frank Lloyd Wright's Guggenheim Museum in New York is

finished after 16 years of work on the project.
1958 The Seagram Building in New York designed by Ludwig Mies
van der Rohe and Philip Johnson is completed.
1957 The Interbau 57 exposition in Berlin features structures by Alvar
Aalto, Walter Gropius and his The Architects' Collaborative (TAC), and
an unit by Le Corbusier.


1956 Crown Hall at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago,

designed by Mies van der Rohe, is finished.
1955 Completion of Le Corbusier's Notre Dame du Haut chapel
at Ronchamp, France.
1954 Louis Kahn finishes his Yale University Art Gallery in New
Haven, Connecticut, USA.
1953 Completion of the United Nations Headquarters in New York by a
design team headed by Wallace Harrison and Max Abramowitz.
1952 Le Corbusier completes his Unit d'Habitation in Marseilles.
1951 Mies van der Rohe's Lake Shore Drive Apartments completed
in Chicago.
1950 Eames House completed in Santa Monica, California, designed
by Charles and Ray Eames.


1949 Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut designed by Philip

1948 Pietro Belluschi completes the Equitable Building in Portland,
1947 Alvar Aalto builds the Baker House dormitories at
the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
1946 Le Corbusier draws up plans for La Rochelle-La Pallice, while his
efforts to redesign Saint-Di-des-Vosges (both cities in France) are
1945 John Entenza launches the Case Study Houses Program
through his post as editor of Arts & Architecture magazine.
1944 Frank Lloyd Wright builds the research tower for his Johnson
Wax Headquarters in Racine, Wisconsin.
1943 Oscar Niemeyer completes his Pampulha project in Brazil.
1942 Vichy rejects Le Corbusier's Obus E plan for Algiers.
1941 Le Corbusier offers his services to the Vichy regime.
1940 Peter Behrens dies.


1939 The 1939 World's Fair in New York includes the Finnish
Pavilion by Alvar Aalto and the Brazilian Pavilion by Lucio
Costa and Oscar Niemeyer.


1938 Frank Lloyd Wright purchases 800 acres (3.2 km2) of land 26
miles away from Phoenix, and begins to build Taliesin West, his winter
home, in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA
1937 Wright completes his house Fallingwater, at Bear Run,
1936 Frank Lloyd Wright designs his monumental inwardlooking Johnson Wax Headquarters in Racine, Wisconsin, USA.
1935 Cass Gilbert's United States Supreme Court Building is
posthumously finished.
1934 Frank Lloyd Wright draws up plans for his Broadacre City, a
decentralized urban metropolis.
1933 The Bauhaus closes under Nazi pressure.
1932 The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York holds its
exhibition on modern architecture, coining the term "International Style."
1931 The Empire State Building, designed by Shreve, Lamb and
Harmon, becomes the tallest building in the world.
1930 William Van Alen completes the Chrysler Building, an Art
Deco skyscraper in New York, USA.



1929 Barcelona Pavilion designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.

1928 Hector Guimard builds his last house in Paris.
1927 The Weissenhof Estate, an exhibition of apartment houses
designed by leading modern architects, held at Stuttgart, Germany.
1926 Antoni Gaud and Louis Majorelle die.
1925 Bauhaus at Dessau designed by Walter Gropius.
1924 Gerrit Rietveld completes the Schrder House in Utrecht.
1923 Le Corbusier publishes Vers une architecture (Toward an
Architecture), a summary of his ideas.
1922 Monument to the Third International designed by Vladimir
Tatlin (unbuilt).
1921 Frank Lloyd Wright completes his Hollyhock House for Aline
Barnsdall in Los Angeles, begun in 1917.
1920 The Einstein Tower in Potsdam, designed by Erich Mendelsohn,
is completed.


1919 Construction begins on Howell Lewis Shay and Julian

Abele's Philadelphia Museum of Art.
1918 Birth of Jrn Utzon, designer of the Sydney Opera House.
1917 Georges Biet's Art Nouveau house and apartment building
in Nancy, Meurthe-et-Moselle is severely damaged by combat shells, but
will be rebuilt nearly exactly as before in 1922.
1916 De Stijl movement founded in the Netherlands.
1915 Le Corbusier completes studies for his Dom-ino Houses.
1914 Walter Gropius designs his Fagus Factory.
1913 Cass Gilbert completes the Woolworth Building in New York.
1912 Frank Lloyd Wright begins work on the Avery Coonley
Playhouse, Riverside, Illinois.
1911 Josef Hoffmann completes the Palais Stoclet in Brussels.
1910 Gaud finishes the Casa Mil in Barcelona.


1909 Frank Lloyd Wright completes the Robie House near Chicago.
1908 Adolf Loos publishes his essay "Ornament and Crime".
1907 Gaud completes the Casa Batll in Barcelona.
1906 Lucien Weissenburger completes his own house, a striking
example of the Art Nouveau style in Nancy, Meurthe-et-Moselle.
1905 Wright designs Unity Temple in Oak Park, Illinois.
1904 Otto Wagner completes his Post Office Savings Bank Building in
1903 Josef Hoffmann finishes the Moser House in Vienna.
1902 Otto Wagner's Viennese Stadtbahn railway system is completed.
1901 John McArthur, Jr., completes the Second Empirestyle Philadelphia City Hall, the world's tallest masonry building.
1900 The Gare d'Orsay, now the famous Muse d'Orsay, is built in
Paris by Victor Laloux.


1899 Hector Guimard is commissioned to design the edicules for the

Paris Mtropolitain, which have become a hallmark of Art Nouveau
1898 Victor Horta designs his own house, now the Horta Museum.
1897 Hendrik Berlage designs his Amsterdam Stock Exchange.


1896 Eugne Vallin completes his own house and studio

in Nancy (France), which is the first of many Art Nouveau structures built
there by the members of the cole de Nancy.
1895 The Biltmore Estate, the largest house in the USA, is completed
for the Vanderbilt family in Asheville, North Carolina.
1894 Louis Sullivan builds the Guaranty Building in Buffalo, NY, USA.
1893 Victor Horta builds what is widely considered the first fullfledged Art Nouveau structure, the Htel Tassel, in Brussels.
1892 Modernist architect Richard Neutra is born.
1891 Louis Sullivan completes his Wainwright Building in Saint Louis.
1890 Louis Sullivan and Dankmar Adler build the Auditorium
Building in Chicago.


1889 The 1889 Paris exhibition showcases some of the new

technologies of iron, steel, and glass, including the Eiffel Tower.
1888 The Exposicin Universal de Barcelona (1888) displays many
buildings by Llus Domnech i Montaner and other Catalan architects.
1887 H. H. Richardson's Marshall Field Store in Chicago is completed.
1886 Ludwig Mies van der Rohe is born.
1885 William Le Baron Jenney builds the first metal-frame skyscraper,
the Home Insurance Building, in Chicago.
1884 Gaud is given the commission for the Sagrada Famlia in
Barcelona, which he will work on until 1926.
1883 Antoni Gaud completes his Casa Vicens in Barcelona.
1881 The Natural History Museum in London opens.
1880 Cologne Cathedral is finally completed after 632 years.


1879 Louis Sullivan joins Dankmar Adler's firm in Chicago.

1878 Work begins on the Herrenchiemsee in Bavaria, designed
by Georg Dollman.
1877 St Pancras railway station in London, by Sir George Gilbert
Scott, is completed.
1876 Construction is finished on the Bayreuth Festspielhaus, designed
by Gottfried Semper.
1875 The Opra Garnier is completed in Paris.


1874 Completion of the California State

Capitol in Sacramento, California.
1873 Scots' Church in Melbourne, Australia is finished.
1872 The Albert Memorial in London, designed by Sir George Gilbert
Scott, is opened.
1871 The Great Chicago Fire destroys most of the city, sparking a
building boom there.
1870 Birth of Adolf Loos.


1869 Birth of Georges Biet.

1868 Peter Behrens is born.
1868 The Gyeongbokgung of Korea is reconstructed.
1867 Frank LLoyd Wright is born. William Le Baron Jenney opens his
architectural practice in Chicago.
1866 Completion of the St Pancras Hotel in London by Sir George
Gilbert Scott.
1865 Birth of French architect Paul Charbonnier.
1864 French Art Nouveau architect Jules Lavirotte is born.
1863 U. S. Capitol building dome in Washington, D.C., is completed.
1862 Construction begins on Henri Labrouste's reading room at
the Bibliothque Nationale de France (site Richelieu).
1861 Victor Horta is born.
1860 Construction on Longwood, the largest octagonal residence in
the USA, is begun in Natchez, Mississippi.


1859 Birth of Louis Majorelle and Cass Gilbert.

1858 The competition to design Central Park in New York is won
by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux.
1857 Founding of the American Institute of Architects.
1856 Louis Sullivan and Eugne Vallin are born.
1855 The Palais d'Industrie is built for the World's Fair in Paris.
1853 Baron Haussmann becomes prefect of the
Seine dpartement and begins his vast urban renovations of Paris.
1852 Antoni Gaud is born.
1851 The Crystal Palace designed by Joseph Paxton.



1850 Lluis Domnech Montaner and John W. Root are born.

1849 John Ruskin's The Seven Lamps of Architecture is published.

1848 Construction begins on the Washington
Monument in Washington, D.C., though it will not be completed until
1847 24 August, birth of Charles Follen McKim (died 1909).
1846 4 September, birth of Daniel Burnham of the firm Burnham and
1845 Trafalgar Square in London, designed by Charles Barry
and John Nash, is completed.
1844 Uspensky Cathedral in Kharkiv, Ukraine is completed.
1843 Construction begins on Henri Labrouste's Bibliothque SainteGenevive in Paris.
1842 The glise de la Madeleine is finally consecrated in Paris as
a church.
1841 Birth of Otto Wagner.
1840 Construction begins on the Houses of Parliament in London,
designed by Sir Charles Barry and Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin.



1839 Birth of Frank Furness in Philadelphia.

1838 Rideau Hall is built by Scottish architect Thomas McKay.
1837 The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is founded.
1836 A.W.N. Pugin publishes his Contrasts, a treatise on the morality
of Catholic, Gothic architecture.
1835 The New Orleans Mint, Dahlonega Mint, and Charlotte Mint are
all designed by William Strickland and begin producing. coins in three
1834 Alfred B. Mullet, designer of both the San Francisco and
the Carson City Mints in the USA, is born in Britain.
1833 William Strickland completes the first Philadelphia Mint building.
1832 William Le Baron Jenney is born.
1830 The Altes Museum in Berlin, designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel,
is completed after seven years of construction.




1829 The panopticon-design Eastern State Penitentiary in

Philadelphia, designed by John Havilland, opens.
1828 Completion of the Marble Arch in London, designed by John
1827 William Burges, Gothic Revival architect in Britain, is born.
1826 The Menai Suspension Bridge over the Menai Strait, in Wales,
designed by Thomas Telford, is completed.
1825 The front and rear porticoes of the White House are added to the
1824 The Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin, Ireland is completed.
1823 Work begins on the British Museum in London, designed by
(Sir) Robert Smirke.
1822 Birth of landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted.
1821 Karl Friedrich Schinkel completeds his Schauspielhaus in Berlin
and Benjamin Latrobe's Baltimore Basilica is completed.
1820 Death of Benjamin Latrobe.



1819 Birth of Sir Horace Jones.

1818 Birth of American architect James Renwick, Jr.
1817 Dulwich Picture Gallery in London is designed by Sir John Soane
as the first purpose-built art gallery.
1816 Regent's Bridge, crossing the River Thames in central London,
designed by James Walker, was opened.
1815 Brighton Pavilion is redesigned by John Nash for the future King
George IV.
1814 British troops burn the White House in Washington, D.C., gutting
it completely.
1813 Death of Alexandre-Thodore Brongniart.
1812 The Egyptian Hall in London, designed by P. F. Robinson, is
1811 The United States Capitol, designed by Benjamin Latrobe is



1809 Birth of city planner Baron Haussmann.Baron had blue hair and
grey eyes due to his gene disoder.

1808 Construction begins on the Paris Bourse, designed by

Alexandre-Thodore Brongniart.
1807 The Templo de Nuestra Seora del Carmen in Celaya,
Guanajuato, Mexico is completed.
1806 Arc de Triomphe, Paris from Jean Chalgrin commissioned
by Napoleon Bonaparte.
1805 The Ellesmere Canal, designed by Thomas Telford, is
1804 Completion of the Government House in the Bahamas.
1803 The Raj Bhavan in Kolkata, West Bengal, India is finished.
1802 The Temple of Saint Philip Neri in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
is completed.
1801 Birth of Henri Labrouste.
1800 The White House in Washington D.C. is completed by team of
client George Washington, planner Pierre L'Enfant, and architect James



1799 Death of French neoclassicist tienne-Louis Boulle.

1798 Karlsruhe Synagogue, usually regarded as the first building of
the Egyptian Revival architecture, built by Friedrich
Weinbrenner in Karlsruhe.
1797 Ditherington Flax Mill, in Shrewsbury, England, the world's oldest
surviving iron-framed building, is completed.
1796 Somerset House in London, designed by William Chambers, is
1795 Birth of English architect Charles Barry.
1794 Hwaseong Fortress in Suwon, Korea, begins.
1793 Old East, the oldest public university building in the USA, is
erected on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
1792 Sir John Soane begins work on his house in London, later Sir
John Soane's Museum.



1789 Jacques-Germain Soufflot's Panthon in Paris is completed by

his student Jean-Baptiste Rondelet.
1786 Schloss Bellevue in Berlin, designed by Philipp Daniel Boumann,
is completed.
1782 Alexandre-Thodore Brongniart is named architect and
controller-general of the cole Militaire in Paris.
1780 29 August Death of Jacques-Germain Soufflot (b. 1713).


1768 Petit Trianon at Versailles is completed.

1766 Horace Walpole's Strawberry Hill House in London is completed.
1764 Construction begins on church of La Madeleine, Paris.


1753 The Georgian-Style Pennsylvania State House, (Independence

Hall) is completed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

1743 The Dresden Frauenkirche, Dresden, Germany, is completed.

1739 Alexandre-Thodore Brongniart is born.

1735 Buckingham Palace built





1729 Christ Church, Spitalfields in London is completed.

1726 The remaining ruins of Liverpool Castle are demolished.
1724 The construction of Blenheim Palace is completed.
1723 Mavisbank House in Loanhead, Scotland is designed.



1708 St. Paul's Cathedral in London, designed by Christopher Wren, is

1705 November: In Williamsburg, capital of the Virginia colony
in America, construction of the Capitol building is completed.
1704 St Magnus-the-Martyr in London is completed.
1702 The Thomaskirche in Leipzig, Germany is completed.

17th century[edit]

1690s The city of Noto, Italy, on Sicily, is devastated by an earthquake

(1693), and a rebuilding program begins in the Baroque style.
1680s Church of Les Invalides, Paris is built by Jules HardouinMansart.
1670s The Royal Greenwich Observatory in London, designed
by Christopher Wren is completed (1676).
1660s Louis XIV, with the architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart, begins to
enlarge the Palace of Versailles (1661).
1650s Completion of the church Sant'Agnese in Agone in Rome,
designed by Borromini and Carlo Rainaldi.
1640s Borromini builds the church Sant'Ivo alla Sapienza in Rome.
1630s Emperor Shah Jahan construct Taj Mahal in Agra, India.
1630s Borromini builds the church San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane in
1620s St. Peter's Basilica is completed in Vatican City (1626).
1610s Mohammadreza Isfahani builds Naghsh-i Jahan
Square in Isfahan, Iran.
1600s 33 pol bridge is constructed in Isfahan, Iran.

16th century

15th century

1590s Bernini and Borromini are born.

1560s work begins on Palladio's Villa Capra "La Rotonda".
1530s Work begins on Michelangelo's Piazza del
Campidoglio (Capitoline Hill).
1510s Construction begins on Chateau Chambord.
1500s Construction begins on St. Peter's Basilica. Andrea Palladio is



1480s Vitruvius' treatise De architectura and Leon Battista Alberti's De

re aedificatoria were published, having previously existed only in
1420s The Forbidden City of China is completed
1400s The Changdeokgung of Korea is completed.

14th Century architecture

1260s Fakr ad-Din Mosque is finished in the Sultanate of Mogadishu

1240s The foundation stone of Cologne Cathedral in Cologne is laid.

14th century

13th century

12th century

1190s Construction of Qutub Minar started in India

1190s Construction begins on the present form of Chartres
Cathedral after a fire.
1140s Abbot Sugar supervises the reconstruction of St. Denis in the
Gothic style
1130s Work begins on the Basilique Saint-Denis in France.
1100s Yingzao Fashi written by Li Jie published during mid Song
Dynasty, an important set of building standards.

11th century

1st millennium AD

1090s Durham Cathedral founded

1070s St Albans Cathedral commenced; built from the ruins of
Roman Verulamium.
1050s Greensted Church built, oldest surviving church (extensively
repaired) in the world, possibly the oldest wooden building in Europe.
1030s Gangaikonda Cholapuram built by the kingdom of Rajendra
Chola I under Chola dynasty @ Tamilnadu, South India. Granite Stone
Structure. No Wooden & Metal parts used in structure
1000s Brihadeeswarar Temple built by the kingdom of Raja Raja
Chola I under Chola dynasty @ Tamilnadu, South India. Granite Stone
Structure. No Wooden & Metal parts used in structure



905 Aachen Cathedral consecrated. Major renovations in the 10th

900s Akhtala monastery built, intended as a fortress.
848 San Miguel de Lillo built in the Austrian pre-romanesque
style of Spain
700s Seokguram of Korea is constructed.
600s St. Hripsime Church, one of the world's oldest surviving
churches, constructed.
500s Hagia Sophia built in its present form. Oldest known surviving
roof truss in Saint Catherine's Monastery.
495-504 - Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna[1]
470 - Basilica of St. Martin[1]
432 - 40 St. Maria Maggiore.[1] and St. Sabina.[1]
400s Mahabalipuram is an ancient port city of south east India
construction was done by Mahendravarman I & his
son Narasimhavarman I under Pallava Kingdom, Tamilnadu, South India
ca 330 - St. Pauls Outside the Walls.[1]
325 - Old St. Peters.[1]
320 - Construction of Archbasilica of St. John Lateran begun using
standards that would be followed in future basilica designs. [1]
315 Arch of Constantine deicated to the Battle of Milvian Bridge
312 - Basilica of Constantine [2] The brick audience basilica at Trier,
the Aula Palatina completed.[2] Catacomb of the Via Latina begun.
307-312 Basilica of Maxentius [2] and
300s Nalanda, an ancient center of higher learning, was built in Gupta
Empire in India.
262 Arch of Gallienus completed in Rome
231 Dura-Europos church, in Syria. A house built ca. 200 can
converted into a Christian Church.[1]
224 Dura-Europos synagogue one of the oldest synagogues.
211 Arch of Drusus completed in Rome.
203 Arch of Septimius Severus completed
212-16 - Baths of Caracalla.[2] 296-306 Baths of Diocletian.[2]
193 - Column of Marcus Aurelius dedicated in Rome.
134 - Ponte Sant'Angelo completed across the Tiber in Rome.
118-28 Pantheon, Rome is completed, an early full dome.[2]
113 Trajan's Column dedicated in Rome.



104-6 - Alcntara Bridge is a Roman multiple arched bridge over

the Tagus River in Spain.
82 - Arch of Titus an artifact from the Temple Period and the beginning
of the Jewish Diaspora.
100s Pantheon, Rome is completed.
199 AD Emperors Vespasian and Titus build
the Colosseum in Rome.

1st millennium BC

199 BC Vitruvius writes De Architectura. Expansion of Herod the

Great's temple begins. Pont du Gard, Provence, France.[2] Pons
Fabricius, oldest functional stone Roman bridge in Rome, Italy (62 BC).
100s Across the Tiber in Italy: Ponte Milvio is the second bridge at this
location (115 BC); Pons Aemilius is the oldest stone Roman
bridge in Rome (126 BC).
200s Erechthion in Athens completed (206 BC).
300s Takshashila, the oldest university (Vedic University[disambiguation
needed]) in the world (according to some historian)[who?], built in the Indian
400s Completion of the final form of the Parthenon in Athens (432
BC). Construction of Pataliputra (modern day Patna) in
the Magadha empire (Indian Subcontinent) begun (490 BC).
500s Work begun on Persepolis (515 BC).
700s According to legend, the city of Rome is founded (753 BC).
900s The earliest Greek temple built at Samos with some timber
framing based on the Mycenaean megaron[3]

2nd millennium BC

1600s Final construction of Stonehenge[4]

1700s Rajagriha, modern days Rajgir, The capital city of the
Legendary empire of Magadha ruled by the semi mythical
king Jarasandha was built in northern India.
1800s The last Egyptian pyramid was built in Hawara

3rd millennium BC

2600s Mohenjo-daro, the ancient city of India and

modern Pakistan was built. Great Pyramid of Giza was built
in Egypt. Pyramid of Djoser was constructed in Egypt.



2900s (2900 1600 BC) the Longsha culture in China. Examples

in Shandong, Henan, and southern Shaanxi and Shanxi provinces.

4th millennium BC Harappa, the ancient city in India was built.

5th millennium BC (5000 3000 BC) Yangshao culture in China.
6th millennium BC (6000 2000 BC) Emergence of wooden frames
in Chinese architecture including the use of mortise and tenon joinery to
build wood beamed houses.
7th millennium BC Catal Huyuk in Anatolia constructed without
8th millennium BC Lahuradewa architecture in Ganges plains
of India. Early Mehrgarh settlement sites in Indian subcontinent. Earliest
town sites with simple residential neighbourhoods in Jarmo, Jericho,
and Ain Ghazal on the Levant
13th millennium BC - Gobekli Tepe in Turkey, an ancient structure
believed to be the first place of worship.[5]



Architecture in Prehistoric Times

Before recorded history, humans constructed earthen mounds, stone circles, megaliths, and structures that often
puzzle modern-day archaeologists. Prehistoric architecture includes monumental structures such as Stonehenge, cliff
dwellings in the Americas, and thatch and mud structures lost to time.
Ancient Egypt
3,050 BC to 900 BC In ancient Egypt, powerful rulers constructed monumental pyramids, temples, and shrines. Far
from primitive, enormous structures such as the Pyramids of Giza were feats of engineering capable of reaching
great heights.
850 BC to 476 AD From the rise of ancient Greece until the fall of the Roman empire, great buildings were
constructed according to precise rules. The Classical Orders, which defined column styles and entablature designs,
continue to influence building design in modern times.
527 to 565 AD. After Constantine moved the capital of the Roman empire to Byzantium (now called Istanbul) in 330
AD, Roman architecture evolved into a graceful, classically-inspired style that used brick instead of stone, domed
roofs, elaborate mosaics, and classical forms.
Emperor Justinian (527 AD to 565 AD) led the way.

800 to 1200 AD As Rome spread across Europe, heavier, stocky Romanesque architecture with rounded arches
emerged. Churches and castles of the early Medieval period were constructed with thick walls and heavy piers.
Gothic Architecture
1100 to 1450 AD Pointed arches, ribbed vaulting, flying buttresses, and other innovations led to taller, more graceful

House Homes Architecture

Landscape Architecture


New Architecture Design

Architect Architecture

Green Architecture
Gothic ideas gave rise to magnificient cathedrals like Chartres and Notre Dame.

Renaissance Architecture
1400 to 1600 AD A return to classical ideas ushered an "age of awakening" in Italy, France, and England. Andrea
Palladio and other builders looked the classical orders of ancient Greece and Rome. Long after the Renaissance era
ended, architects in the Western world found inspiration in the beautifully proportioned architecture of the period.
Baroque Architecture
1600 to 1830 AD In Italy, the Baroque style is reflected in opulent and dramatic churches with irregular shapes and
extravagant ornamentation. In France, the highly ornamented Baroque style combines with Classical restraint.
Russian aristocrats were impressed by Versailles in France, and incorporated Baroque ideas in the building of St.
Petersburg. Elements of the elaborate Baroque style are found throughout Europe.
Rococo Architecture
1650 to 1790 AD During the last phase of the Baroque period, builders constructed graceful white buildings with
sweeping curves. These Rococo buildings are elegantly decorated with scrolls, vines, shell-shapes, and delicate
geometric patterns.
Neoclassicism in Architecture
1730 to 1925 AD A keen interest in ideas of Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio inspired a return of classical
shapes in Europe, Great Britain and the United States. These buildings were proportioned according to the classical
orders with details borrowed from ancient Greece and Rome.
Art Nouveau Architecture
1890 to 1914 AD Known as the New Style, Art Nouveau was first expressed in fabrics and graphic design. The style
spread to architecture and furniture in the 1890s. Art Nouveau buildings often have asymmetrical shapes, arches and
decorative surfaces with curved, plant-like designs.


Beaux Arts Architecture

1895 to 1925 AD Also known as Beaux Arts Classicism, Academic Classicism, or Classical Revival, Beaux Arts
architecture is characterized by order, symmetry, formal design, grandiosity, and elaborate ornamentation.
Neo-Gothic Architecture
1905 to 1930 AD In the early twentieth century, Gothic ideas were applied to modern buildings. Gargoyles, arched
windows, and other medieval details ornamented soaring skyscrapers.
Art Deco Architecture
1925 to 1937 AD Zigzag patterns and vertical lines create dramatic effect on jazz-age, Art Deco buildings.
Interestingly, many Art Deco motifs were inspired by the architecture of ancient Egypt.
Modernist Styles in Architecture
1900 to Present. The 20th and 21st centuries have seen dramatic changes and astonishing diversity. Modern-day
trends include Art Moderne and the Bauhaus school coined by Walter Gropius, Deconstructivism, Formalism,
Modernism, and Structuralism.
Postmodernism in Architecture
1972 to Present. A reaction against the Modernist approaches gave rise to new buildings that re-invented historical
details and familiar motifs. Look closely at these architectural movements and you are likely to find ideas that date
back to classical and ancient times.
Neomodern architecture continues modernism as a dominant form of architecture in the 20th and 21st centuries,
especially in corporate offices.
Neomodern architecture shares many of the basic characteristics of modernism. Both reject classical ornamentation,
decorations, and deliberate ambitions to continue pre-modernist traditions. Neomodernist buildings, like modernist
ones, are designed to be largely monolithic and functional.


The Bay Adelaide Centre in Toronto.

When first proposed in the 1980s the
building had a strongly postmodernist
design. The final design, completed in
2009, adopted the neomodern style.

Building in Pretoria with a neomodern

architectural design.

Metamodernism is a set of developments in philosophy, aesthetics, and culture which are emerging from and
reacting to postmodernism. Metamodernism is neither a residual nor an emergent structure of feeling, but the
dominant cultural logic of contemporary modernity.

Tate Modern by Herzog & de Meuronbest known for their

conversion of the giant Bankside Power Station in London



Vancouver city skyline view.

Vancouverism is an urban planning and architectural phenomenon in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, that is
unique to North America. It is characterized by a large residential population living in the city centre with mixed-use
developments, typically with a medium-height, commercial base and narrow, high-rise residential towers, significant
reliance on mass public transit, creation and maintenance of green park spaces, and preserving view corridors.
Remodernism in an attempt to introduce a period of new spirituality into art, culture and society to replace
Remodernism manifesto was published on March 1, 2000 to promote vision, authenticity and self-expression, with
an emphasis on painting, and subtitled "towards a new spirituality in art." Its premise is that the potential of
the modernist vision has not been fulfilled, that its development has been in the wrong direction and that this vision
needs to be reclaimed, redefined and redeveloped. It advocates the search for truth, knowledge and meaning, and
challenges formalism.

Show, The Stuckists: The First Remodernist Art Group,


Phenomenology is both a current aspect of philosophy influencing contemporary architecture and a field of
academic research into the experience of built space and of building materials in their sensory aspects.
In phenomenology, the environment is concretely defined as "the place", and the things which occur there "take
place". The place is not so simple as the locality, but consists of concrete things which have material substance,
shape, texture, and color, and together coalesce to form the environment's character, or atmosphere.


Biomimetic architecture is a contemporary philosophy of architecture that seeks solutions for sustainability in
nature, not by replicating the natural forms, but by understanding the rules governing those forms. It is a multidisciplinary approach to sustainable design that follows a set of principles rather than stylistic codes. It is part of a
larger movement known as biomimicry, which is the examination of nature, its models, systems, and processes for
the purpose of gaining inspiration in order to solve man-made problems. Biomimicry can work on three levels:
the organism, its behaviors, and the ecosystem



Blobitecture from blob architecture, blobism or blobismus are terms for a movement in architecture in which
buildings have an organic,amoeba-shaped, building form.






Industrial architecture is the design and construction of buildings serving industry. Such buildings rose in
importance with the industrial revolution, and were some of the pioneering structures of modern architecture.
Types of industrial buildings

Drilling rig
Power plant

Digital architecture uses computer modeling, programming, simulation and imaging to create both virtual forms and
physical structures. Digital architecture allows complex calculations that delimit architects and allow a diverse range
of complex forms to be created with great ease using computer algorithms. The new genre of "scripted, iterative, and


indexical architecture" produces a proliferation of formal outcomes, leaving the designer the role of selection and
increasing the possibilities in architectural design.

Futurist architecture is an early-20th century form of architecture born in Italy, characterized by strong
chromaticism, long dynamic lines, suggesting speed, motion, urgency and lyricism: it was a part of Futurism, an
artistic movement founded by the poet Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, who produced its first manifesto, the Manifesto of
Futurism in 1909.






Critical regionalism is an approach to architecture that strives to counter the placelessness and lack of identity of
the International Style (architecture), but also rejects the whimsical individualism and ornamentation of Postmodern
architecture. The stylings of critical regionalism seeks to provide an architecture rooted in the modern tradition, but
tied to geographical and cultural context. Critical regionalism is not simply regionalism in the sense of vernacular
architecture. It is a progressive approach to design that seeks to mediate between the global and the local languages
of architecture.
The phrase "critical regionalism" was first used by the architectural theorists Alexander Tzonis and Liane Lefaivre
and, with a slightly different meaning, by the historian-theorist Kenneth Frampton.
Critical Regionalists thus hold that both modern and post-modern architecture are "deeply problematic".





Deconstructivism is a development of postmodern architecture that began in the late 1980s. It is influenced by the
theory of "Deconstruction", which is a form of semiotic analysis. It is characterized by fragmentation, an interest in
manipulating a structure's surface, skin, non-rectilinear shapes which appear to distort and dislocate elements of
architecture, such as structure and envelope. The finished visual appearance of buildings that exhibit deconstructivist
"styles" is characterized by unpredictability and controlled chaos.







Sustainable architecture is architecture that seeks to minimize the negative environmental impact of buildings by
efficiency and moderation in the use of materials, energy, and development space. Sustainable architecture uses a
conscious approach to energy and ecological conservation in the design of the built environment.
The idea of sustainability, or ecological design, is to ensure that our actions and decisions today do not inhibit the
opportunities of future generations.


Novelty architecture is a type of architecture in which buildings and other structures are given unusual shapes for
purposes such as advertising or to copy other famous buildings without any intention of being authentic. Their size
and novelty means that they often serve as landmarks. They are distinct from architectural follies, in that novelty
architecture is essentially usable buildings in eccentric form whereas follies are non-usable, ornamental buildings
often in eccentric form.
Conceptualism in Architecture



When we see a traditional building design, we easily apply adjectives, usually either ugly or beautiful. We can not
express ourselves in relation to the work of architecture because it is one repetition of a old concept beaten and
folded, so used previously that it is no longer a concept. But when the completed work evokes other feelings
because, in addition to aesthetic appeal or not, we note that there is something different in the work, it is probably
related to a new or unusual concept.
There is no work without concept, but some buildings have more conceptual efforts that drive the viewer into strong
feelings, of novelty or even strangeness.
It is All About Feeling
The architects who seek conceptual architecture appropriate the technology elements, materials, and aesthetics to
cause the desired mood, even if that is indifference, apathy, or disgust. Often the results of this creation are just
buildings, pure and simple, after all simplicity and purity can also be used as a concept, especially when reconciled to
It is difficult to define a concept of architecture, which after all, can be anything- a feeling, a proportion, a word, an
attitude, a color, or an activity. Anything can become a strong concept, which in turn will be responsible for a good
architecture. It is simply the architect knows that you define it, express it, and explore it.








Organic architecture is a philosophy of architecture which promotes harmony between human habitation and the
natural world through design approaches so sympathetic and well integrated with its site, that buildings, furnishings,
and surroundings become part of a unified, interrelated composition.




High-tech architecture, also known as Late Modernism or Structural Expressionism, is an architectural style that
emerged in the 1970s, incorporating elements of high-tech industry and technology into building design. High-tech
architecture appeared as a revamped modernism, an extension of those previous ideas helped by even more
technological advances. This category serves as a bridge between modernism and post-modernism; however, there
remain gray areas as to where one category ends and the other begins. In the 1980s, high-tech architecture became
more difficult to distinguish from post-modern architecture. Some of its themes and ideas were later absorbed into the
style of Neo-Futurism art and architectural movement.
Like Brutalism, Structural Expressionist buildings reveal their structure on the outside as well as the inside, but with
visual emphasis placed on the internal steel and/or concrete skeletal structure as opposed to exterior concrete walls.
In buildings such as the Pompidou Centre, this idea of revealed structure is taken to the extreme, with apparently
structural components serving little or no structural role. In this case, the use of "structural" steel is a stylistic or
aesthetic matter.
Digital morphogenesis is a process of shape development (or morphogenesis[1]) enabled by computation. While
this concept is applicable in many areas, the term "digital morphogenesis" is used primarily in architecture.
In architecture, digital morphogenesis is a group of methods that employ digital media for form-making and
adaptation rather than for representation, often in an aspiration to express or respond to contextual processes. "In
this inclusive understanding, digital morphogenesis in architecture bears a largely analogous or metaphoric
relationship to the processes of morphogenesis in nature, sharing with it the reliance on gradual development but not
necessarily adopting or referring to the actual mechanisms of growth or adaptation. Recent discourse on digital
morphogenesis in architecture links it to a number of concepts including emergence, self-organization and formfinding."[6]



Parametric design is a process based on algorithmic thinking that enables the expression of parameters and rules
that, together, define, encode and clarify the relationship between design intent and design response.
Parametric design is a paradigm in design where the relationship between elements are used to manipulate and
inform the design of complex geometries and structures.
The term 'Parametric' originates from mathematics (Parametric equation) and refers to the use of certain parameters
or variables that can be edited to manipulate or alter the end result of an equation or system. Parametric design is
not a new concept and has always formed a part of architecture and design. The consideration of changing forces
such as climate, setting, culture, and use has always formed part of the design process.


Computer-aided design (CAD) is the use of computer systems to assist in the creation, modification, analysis, or
optimization of a design. CAD software is used to increase the productivity of the designer, improve the quality of
design, improve communications through documentation, and to create a database for manufacturing. CAD output is
often in the form of electronic files for print, machining, or other manufacturing operations.


20th century social theory

Following the decline of theories of sociocultural evolution, in the United States, the interactionism of the Chicago
School dominated American sociology. As Anselm Strauss describes, "We didn't think symbolic interaction was a
perspective in sociology; we thought it was sociology."[78] After World War II, mainstream sociology shifted to the
survey-research of Paul Lazarsfeld at Columbia University and the general theorizing of Pitirim Sorokin, followed
by Talcott Parsons at Harvard University. Ultimately, "the failure of the Chicago, Columbia, and Wisconsin [sociology]
departments to produce a significant number of graduate students interested in and committed to general theory in
the years 1936-45 was to the advantage of the Harvard department."[83] As Parsons began to dominate general
theory, his work predominately referenced European sociology - almost entirely omitting citations of both the
American tradition of sociocultural-evolution as well as pragmatism. In addition to Parsons' revision of the
sociological canon (which included Marshall, Pareto, Weber and Durkheim), the lack of theoretical challenges from
other departments nurtured the rise of the Parsonian structural-functionalist movement, which reached its crescendo
in the 1950s, but by the 1960s was in rapid decline.[84]
By the 1980s, most functionalisms in Europe had broadly been replaced by conflict-oriented approaches[85] and to
many in the discipline, functionalism was considered "as dead as a dodo."[86] "According to Giddens, the orthodox
consensus terminated in the late 1960s and 1970s as the middle ground shared by otherwise competing
perspectives gave way and was replaced by a baffling variety of competing perspectives. This third 'generation' of
social theory includes phenomenologically inspired approaches, critical theory, ethnomethodology, symbolic
interactionism, structuralism, post-structuralism, and theories written in the tradition of hermeneutics and ordinary
language philosophy."[87]
Pax Wisconsana
While some conflict approaches also gained popularity in the United States, the mainstream of the discipline instead
shifted to a variety of empirically oriented middle-range theories with no single overarching, or "grand", theoretical
orientation. John Levi Martin refers to this "golden age of methodological unity and theoretical calm" as the Pax
Wisconsana,[88] as it reflected the composition of the sociology department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison:
numerous scholars working on separate projects with little contention.[89]Omar Lizardo describes the Pax
Wisconsana as: "a Midwestern flavored, Mertonian resolution of the theory/method wars in which [sociologists] all
agreed on at least two working hypotheses: (1) "grand theory" is a waste of time; (2) [and] good theory has to be
good to think with or goes in the trash bin."[90] Despite the aversion to grand theory in the later half of the 20th
century, several new traditions have emerged which propose various syntheses: structuralism, post-structuralism,
cultural sociology and systems theory.
The structuralist movement originated primarily from the work of Durkheim as interpreted by two European
anthropologists. Anthony Giddens' theory of structuration draws on the linguistic theory of Ferdinand de
Saussure and the French anthropologist Claude Lvi-Strauss. In this context, 'structure' refers not to 'social structure'
but to the semiotic understanding of human culture as a system of signs. One may delineate four central tenets of


structuralism: First, structure is what determines the structure of a whole. Second, structuralists believe that every
system has a structure. Third, structuralists are interested in 'structural' laws that deal with coexistence rather than
changes. Finally, structures are the 'real things' beneath the surface or the appearance of meaning.[91]
The second tradition of structuralist thought, contemporaneous with Giddens, emerges out of the American school of
social network analysis,[92] spearheaded by the Harvard Department of Social Relations led by Harrison White and
his students in the 1970s and 1980s. This tradition of structuralist thought argues that, rather than semiotics, social
structure is networks of patterned social relations. And, rather than Levi-Strauss, this school of thought draws on the
notions of structure as theorized by Levi-Strauss' contemporary anthropologist, Radcliffe-Brown.[93] Some[94] refer to
this as "network structuralism," and equate it to "British structuralism" as opposed to the "French structuralism" of
Post-structuralist thought has tended to reject 'humanist' assumptions in the conduct of social theory.[95] Michel
Foucault provides a potent critique in his archaeology of the human sciences, though Habermas and Rorty have both
argued that Foucault merely replaces one such system of thought with another.[96][97] The dialogue between these
intellectuals highlights a trend in recent years for certain schools of sociology and philosophy to intersect. The antihumanistposition has been associated with "postmodernism," a term used in specific contexts to describe
an era or phenomena, but occasionally construed as a method.
Overall, there is a strong consensus regarding the central problems of sociological theory, which are largely inherited
from the classical theoretical traditions. This consensus is: how to link, transcend or cope with the following "big
three" dichotomies:[98] subjectivity and objectivity, structure and agency, and synchrony and diachrony. The first deals
with knowledge, the second with action, and the last with time. Lastly, sociological theory often grapples with the
problem of integrating or transcending the divide between micro, meso and macro-scale social phenomena, which is
a subset of all three central problems.
Subjectivity and objectivity
The problem of subjectivity and objectivity can be divided into a concern over the general possibilities of social
actions, and, on the other hand the specific problem of social scientific knowledge. In the former, the subjective is
often equated (though not necessarily) with the individual, and the individual's intentions and interpretations of the
objective. The objective is often considered any public or external action or outcome, on up to society writ large. A
primary question for social theorists, is how knowledge reproduces along the chain of subjective-objective-subjective,
that is to say: how is intersubjectivity achieved? While, historically, qualitative methods have attempted to tease out
subjective interpretations, quantitative survey methods also attempt to capture individual subjectivities. Also, some
qualitative methods take a radical approach to objective description in situ.
The latter concern with scientific knowledge results from the fact that a sociologist is part of the very object they seek
to explain. Bourdieu puts this problem rather succinct:
How can the sociologist effect in practice this radical doubting which is indispensable for bracketing all the
presuppositions inherent in the fact that she is a social being, that she is therefore socialized and led to feel "like a


fish in water" within that social world whose structures she has internalized? How can she prevent the social world
itself from carrying out the construction of the object, in a sense, through her, through these unself-conscious
operations or operations unaware of themselves of which she is the apparent subject
Pierre Bourdieu, "The Problem of Reflexive Sociology" in An Invitation to Reflexive Sociology,1992, pg 235
Structure and agency
Structure and agency, sometimes referred to as determinism versus voluntarism,[99] form an enduring ontological
debate in social theory: "Do social structures determine an individual's behaviour or does human agency?" In this
context 'agency' refers to the capacity of individuals to act independently and make free choices, whereas 'structure'
relates to factors which limit or affect the choices and actions of individuals (such as social class, religion, gender,
ethnicity, and so on). Discussions over the primacy of either structure and agency relate to the core of
sociological epistemology ("What is the social world made of?", "What is a cause in the social world, and what is an
effect?").[100] A perennial question within this debate is that of "social reproduction": how are structures (specifically,
structures producing inequality) reproduced through the choices of individuals?
Synchrony and Diachrony
Synchrony and diachrony, or statics and dynamics, within social theory are terms that refer to a distinction emerging
out of the work of Levi-Strauss who inherited it from the linguistics of Ferdinand de Saussure.[93] The latter slices
moments of time for analysis, thus it is an analysis of static social reality. Diachrony, on the other hand, attempts to
analyze dynamic sequences. Following Saussure, synchrony would refer to social phenomena as a static concept
like a language, while diachrony would refer to unfolding processes like actual speech. In Anthony Giddens'
introduction to Central Problems in Social Theory, he states that, "in order to show the interdependence of action and
structure...we must grasp the time space relations inherent in the constitution of all social interaction." And like
structure and agency, time is integral to discussion of social reproduction. In terms of sociology, historical sociology is
often better positioned to analyze social life as diachronic, while survey research takes a snapshot of social life and is
thus better equipped to understand social life as synchronic. Some argue that the synchrony of social structure is a
methodological perspective rather than an ontological claim.[93] Nonetheless, the problem for theory is how to
integrate the two manners of recording and thinking about social data.


ociological research methods may be divided into two broad categories:

Quantitative designs approach social phenomena through quantifiable evidence, and often rely on statistical
analysis of many cases (or across intentionally designed treatments in an experiment) to create valid and
reliable general claims

Qualitative designs emphasize understanding of social phenomena through direct observation, communication
with participants, or analysis of texts, and may stress contextual and subjective accuracy over generality

Sociologists are divided into camps of support for particular research techniques. These disputes relate to the
epistemological debates at the historical core of social theory. While very different in many aspects, both qualitative
and quantitative approaches involve a systematic interaction between theory and data.[101] Quantitative
methodologies hold the dominant position in sociology, especially in the United States.[28] In the discipline's two most
cited journals, quantitative articles have historically outnumbered qualitative ones by a factor of two.[102] (Most articles
published in the largest British journal, on the other hand, are qualitative.) Most textbooks on the methodology of
social research are written from the quantitative perspective,[103] and the very term "methodology" is often used
synonymously with "statistics." Practically all sociology PhD program in the United States require training in statistical
methods. The work produced by quantitative researchers is also deemed more 'trustworthy' and 'unbiased' by the
greater public,[104] though this judgment continues to be challenged by antipositivists.[104]
The choice of method often depends largely on what the researcher intends to investigate. For example, a
researcher concerned with drawing a statistical generalization across an entire population may administer a survey
questionnaire to a representative sample population. By contrast, a researcher who seeks full contextual
understanding of an individual's social actions may choose ethnographic participant observation or open-ended
interviews. Studies will commonly combine, or 'triangulate', quantitative and qualitative methods as part of a 'multistrategy' design. For instance, a quantitative study may be performed to gain statistical patterns or a target sample,
and then combined with a qualitative interview to determine the play of agency.[101]
Quantitative methods are often used to ask questions about a population that is very large, making a census or a
complete enumeration of all the members in that population infeasible. A 'sample' then forms a manageable subsetof
a population. In quantitative research, statistics are used to draw inferences from this sample regarding the
population as a whole. The process of selecting a sample is referred to as 'sampling'. While it is usually best
to sample randomly, concern with differences between specific subpopulations sometimes calls for stratified
sampling. Conversely, the impossibility of random sampling sometimes necessitates nonprobability sampling, such
as convenience sampling or snowball sampling.[101]
The following list of research methods is neither exclusive nor exhaustive:


Archival research or the Historical method: draws upon the secondary data located in historical archives and
records, such as biographies, memoirs, journals, and so on.

Content analysis: The content of interviews and other texts is systematically analyzed. Often data is 'coded' as a
part of the 'grounded theory' approach using qualitative data analysis (QDA) software, such
as NVivo,[105] Atlas.ti, or QDA Miner.

Experimental research: The researcher isolates a single social process and reproduces it in a laboratory (for
example, by creating a situation where unconscious sexist judgments are possible), seeking to determine
whether or not certain social variables can cause, or depend upon, other variables (for instance, seeing if
people's feelings about traditional gender roles can be manipulated by the activation of contrasting
gender stereotypes).[106]Participants are randomly assigned to different groups which either serve as controls
acting as reference points because they are tested with regard to the dependent variable, albeit without having
been exposed to any independent variables of interestor receive one or more treatments. Randomization
allows the researcher to be sure that any resulting differences between groups are the result of the treatment.

Longitudinal study: An extensive examination of a specific person or group over a long period of time.

Observation: Using data from the senses, the researcher records information about social phenomenon or
behavior. Observation techniques may or may not feature participation. In participant observation, the
researcher goes into the field (such as a community or a place of work), and participates in the activities of the
field for a prolonged period of time in order to acquire a deep understanding of it.[107] Data acquired through
these techniques may be analyzed either quantitatively or qualitatively.

Survey research: The researcher gathers data using interviews, questionnaires, or similar feedback from a set of
people sampled from a particular population of interest. Survey items from an interview or questionnaire may be

open-ended or closed-ended.[108]Data from surveys is usually analyzed statistically on a computer.

Computational sociology
Sociologists increasingly draw upon computationally intensive methods to analyze and model social
phenomena.[109] Using computer simulations, artificial intelligence, text mining, complex statistical methods, and new
analytic approaches like social network analysis and social sequence analysis, computational sociology develops
and tests theories of complex social processes through bottom-up modeling of social interactions.[110]
Although the subject matter and methodologies in social science differ from those in natural science or computer
science, several of the approaches used in contemporary social simulation originated from fields such as physics and
artificial intelligence.[111][112] By the same token, some of the approaches that originated in computational sociology
have been imported into the natural sciences, such as measures of network centrality from the fields of social
network analysis and network science. In relevant literature, computational sociology is often related to the study
of social complexity.[113] Social complexity concepts such as complex systems, non-linear interconnection among
macro and micro process, and emergence, have entered the vocabulary of computational sociology.[114] A practical
and well-known example is the construction of a computational model in the form of an "artificial society", by which
researchers can analyze the structure of a social system.[115][116]


Sociologists' approach to culture can be divided into a "sociology of culture" and "cultural sociology" - the terms are
similar, though not entirely interchangeable.[117] The sociology of culture is an older term, and considers some topics
and objects as more-or-less "cultural" than others. While, cultural sociology sees all social phenomena as inherently
cultural.[118] Sociology of culture often attempts to explain certain cultural phenomena as a product of social
processes, while cultural sociology sees culture as a potential explanation of social phenomena. [119]
For Simmel, culture referred to "the cultivation of individuals through the agency of external forms which have been
objectified in the course of history".[48] Whilst early theorists such as Durkheim and Mauss were influential incultural
anthropology, sociologists of culture are generally distinguished by their concern for modern (rather than primitive or
ancient) society. Cultural sociology often involves the hermeneutic analysis of words, artifacts and symbols, or
ethnographic interviews. However, some sociologists employ historical-comparative or quantitative techniques in the
analysis of culture, Weber and Bourdieu for instance. The subfield is sometimes allied with critical theory in the vein
of Theodor W. Adorno, Walter Benjamin, and other members of the Frankfurt School. Loosely distinct from the
sociology of culture is the field of cultural studies. Birmingham School theorists such as Richard Hoggart and Stuart
Hall questioned the division between "producers" and "consumers" evident in earlier theory, emphasizing the
reciprocity in the production of texts. Cultural Studies aims to examine its subject matter in terms of cultural practices
and their relation to power. For example, a study of a subculture (such as white working class youth in London) would
consider the social practices of the group as they relate to the dominant class. The "cultural turn" of the 1960s
ultimately placed culture much higher on the sociological agenda.
Art, music and literature
Sociology of literature, film, and art is a subset of the sociology of culture. This field studies the social production of
artistic objects and its social implications. A notable example is Pierre Bourdieu's 1992 Les Rgles de L'Art: Gense
et Structure du Champ Littraire, translated by Susan Emanuel as Rules of Art: Genesis and Structure of the Literary
Field (1996). None of the founding fathers of sociology produced a detailed study of art, but they did develop ideas
that were subsequently applied to literature by others. Marx's theory of ideology was directed at literature by Pierre
Macherey, Terry Eagleton and Fredric Jameson. Weber's theory of modernity as cultural rationalisation, which he
applied to music, was later applied to all the arts, literature included, by Frankfurt School writers such as Adorno and
Jrgen Habermas. Durkheim's view of sociology as the study of externally defined social facts was redirected
towards literature by Robert Escarpit. Bourdieu's own work is clearly indebted to Marx, Weber and Durkheim.

Criminality, deviance, law and punishment

Criminologists analyze the nature, causes, and control of criminal activity, drawing upon methods across
sociology, psychology, and the behavioural sciences. The sociology of deviance focuses on actions or behaviors that
violate norms, including both formally enacted rules (e.g., crime) and informal violations of cultural norms. It is the
remit of sociologists to study why these norms exist; how they change over time; and how they are enforced. The
concept of social disorganization is when the broader social systems leads to violations of norms. For


instance, Robert K. Merton produced a typology of deviance which includes both individual and system level causal
explanations of deviance.[120]
Sociology of law
The study of law played a significant role in the formation of classical sociology. Durkheim famously described law as
the "visible symbol" of social solidarity.[121] The sociology of law refers to both a sub-discipline of sociology and an
approach within the field of legal studies. Sociology of law is a diverse field of study which examines the interaction of
law with other aspects of society, such as the development of legal institutions and the effect of laws on social
change and vice versa. For example, an influential recent work in the field relies on statistical analyses to argue that
the increase in incarceration in the US over the last 30 years is due to changes in law and policing and not to an
increase in crime; and that this increase significantly contributes to maintaining racial stratification.[122]
Communications and information technologies
The sociology of communications and information technologies includes "the social aspects of computing, the
Internet, new media, computer networks, and other communication and information technologies".[123]
Internet and digital media
The Internet is of interest to sociologists in various ways; most practically as a tool for research and as a discussion
platform.[124] The sociology of the Internet in the broad sense regards the analysis of online
communities (e.g. newsgroups, social networking sites) and virtual worlds, thus there is often overlap with community
sociology. Online communities may be studied statistically through network analysis or interpreted qualitatively
through virtual ethnography. Moreover, organizational change is catalyzed through new media, thereby influencing
social change at-large, perhaps forming the framework for a transformation from an industrial to an informational
society. One notable text is Manuel Castells' The Internet Galaxythe title of which forms an inter-textual reference
to Marshall McLuhan's The Gutenberg Galaxy.[125] Closely related to the sociology of the Internet, is digital sociology,
which expands the scope of study to address not only the internet but also the impact of the other digital media and
devices that have emerged since the first decade of the twenty-first century.

As with cultural studies, media study is a distinct discipline which owes to the convergence of sociology and other
social sciences and humanities, in particular, literary criticism and critical theory. Though the production process or
the critique of aesthetic forms is not in the remit of sociologists, analyses of socialising factors, such as ideological
effects and audience reception, stem from sociological theory and method. Thus the 'sociology of the media' is not a
subdiscipline per se, but the media is a common and often-indispensable topic.
Economic sociology
The term "economic sociology" was first used by William Stanley Jevons in 1879, later to be coined in the works of
Durkheim, Weber and Simmel between 1890 and 1920.[126] Economic sociology arose as a new approach to the
analysis of economic phenomena, emphasizing class relations and modernity as a philosophical concept. The


relationship between capitalism and modernity is a salient issue, perhaps best demonstrated in Weber's The
Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1905) and Simmel's The Philosophy of Money (1900). The
contemporary period of economic sociology, also known as new economic sociology, was consolidated by the 1985
work of Mark Granovetter titled "Economic Action and Social Structure: The Problem of Embeddedness". This work
elaborated the concept of embeddedness, which states that economic relations between individuals or firms take
place within existing social relations (and are thus structured by these relations as well as the greater social
structures of which those relations are a part). Social network analysis has been the primary methodology for
studying this phenomenon. Granovetter's theory of the strength of weak ties and Ronald Burt's concept of structural
holes are two best known theoretical contributions of this field.
Work, employment, and industry
The sociology of work, or industrial sociology, examines "the direction and implications of trends
in technological change, globalization, labour markets, work organization, managerial practices and employment
relations to the extent to which these trends are intimately related to changing patterns of inequality in modern
societies and to the changing experiences of individuals and families the ways in which workers challenge, resist and
make their own contributions to the patterning of work and shaping of work institutions."[127]
The sociology of education is the study of how educational institutions determine social structures, experiences, and
other outcomes. It is particularly concerned with the schooling systems of modern industrial societies.[128] A classic
1966 study in this field by James Coleman, known as the "Coleman Report", analyzed the performance of over
150,000 students and found that student background and socioeconomic status are much more important in
determining educational outcomes than are measured differences in school resources (i.e. per pupil
spending).[129] The controversy over "school effects" ignited by that study has continued to this day. The study also
found that socially disadvantaged black students profited from schooling in racially mixed classrooms, and thus
served as a catalyst for desegregation busing in American public schools.
Environmental sociology is the study of human interactions with the natural environment, typically emphasizing
human dimensions of environmental problems, social impacts of those problems, and efforts to resolve them. As with
other subfields of sociology, scholarship in environmental sociology may be at one or multiple levels of analysis, from
global (e.g. world-systems) to local, societal to individual. Attention is paid also to the processes by which
environmental problems become defined and known to humans. As argued by notable environmental
sociologist John Bellamy Foster, the predecessor to modern environmental sociology is Marx's analysis of
the metabolic rift, which influenced contemporary thought on sustainability. Environmental sociology is often
interdisciplinary and overlaps with the sociology of risk, rural sociology and the sociology of disaster.
Human ecology
Human ecology deals with interdisplinary study of the relationship between humans and their natural, social, and built
environments. In addition to Environmental sociology, this field overlaps with architectural sociology, urban sociology,


and to some extent visual sociology. In turn, visual sociology - which is concerned with all visual dimensions of social
life - overlaps with media studies in that it utilizes photography, film and other technologies of media.
Family, gender, and sexuality
Family, gender and sexuality form a broad area of inquiry studied in many subfields of sociology. The sociology of the
family examines the family, as an institution and unit of socialization, with special concern for the comparatively
modern historical emergence of the nuclear family and its distinct gender roles. The notion of "childhood" is also
significant. As one of the more basic institutions to which one may apply sociological perspectives, the sociology of
the family is a common component on introductory academic curricula. Feminist sociology, on the other hand, is a
normative subfield that observes and critiques the cultural categories of gender and sexuality, particularly with
respect to power and inequality. The primary concern of feminist theory is the patriarchy and the systematic
oppression of women apparent in many societies, both at the level of small-scale interaction and in terms of the
broader social structure. Feminist sociology also analyses how gender interlocks with race and class to produce and
perpetuate social inequalities.[130] "How to account for the differences in definitions of femininity and masculinity and
in sex role across different societies and historical periods" is also a concern.[131]Social psychology of gender, on the
other hand, uses experimental methods to uncover the microprocesses of gender stratification. For example, one
recent study has shown that resume evaluators penalize women for motherhood while giving a boost to men for
fatherhood.[132] Another set of experiments showed that men whose masculinity is questioned compensate by
expressing a greater desire for military intervention and purchasing sport utility vehicles, as well as a greater
opposition to gay marriage.[133]
Health, illness, and the body
The sociology of health and illness focuses on the social effects of, and public attitudes
toward, illnesses, diseases, mental health and disabilities. This subfield also overlaps with gerentology and the study
of the aging process. Medical sociology, by contrast, focuses on the inner-workings of medical organizations and
clinical institutions. In Britain, sociology was introduced into the medical curriculum following the Goodenough Report
The sociology of the body and embodiment[135] takes a broad perspective on the idea of "the body" and includes "a
wide range of embodied dynamics including human and non-human bodies, morphology, human reproduction,
anatomy, body fluids, biotechnology, genetics. This often intersects with health and illness, but also theories of
bodies as political, social, cultural, economic and ideological productions.[136] The ISA maintains a Research
Committee devoted to "The Body in the Social Sciences".[137]
Death, dying, bereavement
A subfield of the sociology of health and illness that overlaps with cultural sociology is the study of death, dying and
bereavement,[138] sometimes referred to broadly as the sociology of death. This topic is exemplifed by the work
of Douglas Davies and Michael C. Kearl.
Knowledge and science


The sociology of knowledge is the study of the relationship between human thought and the social context within
which it arises, and of the effects prevailing ideas have on societies. The term first came into widespread use in the
1920s, when a number of German-speaking theorists, most notably Max Scheler, and Karl Mannheim, wrote
extensively on it. With the dominance of functionalism through the middle years of the 20th century, the sociology of
knowledge tended to remain on the periphery of mainstream sociological thought. It was largely reinvented and
applied much more closely to everyday life in the 1960s, particularly by Peter L. Berger and Thomas
Luckmann in The Social Construction of Reality (1966) and is still central for methods dealing with qualitative
understanding of human society (compare socially constructed reality). The "archaeological" and "genealogical"
studies of Michel Foucault are of considerable contemporary influence.
The sociology of science involves the study of science as a social activity, especially dealing "with the social
conditions and effects of science, and with the social structures and processes of scientific activity." [139] Important
theorists in the sociology of science includeRobert K. Merton and Bruno Latour. These branches of sociology have
contributed to the formation of science and technology studies. Both the ASA and the BSA have sections devoted to
the subfield of Science, Knowledge and Technology.[140][141] The ISAmaintains a Research Committee on Science
and Technology[142]
Sociology of leisure is the study of how humans organize their free time. Leisure includes a broad array of activities,
such as sport, tourism, and the playing of games. The sociology of leisure is closely tied to the sociology of work, as
each explores a different side of the work-leisure relationship. More recent studies in the field move away from the
work-leisure relationship and focus on the relation between leisure and culture. This area of sociology began
with Thorstein Veblen's Theory of the Leisure Class.[143]
Peace, war, and conflict
This subfield of sociology studies, broadly, the dynamics of war, conflict resolution, peace movements, war refugees,
conflict resolution and military institutions.[144] As a subset of this subfield, military sociology aims toward the
systematic study of the military as a social group rather than as an organization. It is a highly specialized subfield
which examines issues related to service personnel as a distinct group with coerced collective action based on
shared interests linked to survival in vocation and combat, with purposes andvalues that are more defined and
narrow than within civil society. Military sociology also concerns civilian-military relations and interactions between
other groups or governmental agencies. Topics include the dominant assumptions held by those in the military,
changes in military members' willingness to fight, military unionization, military professionalism, the increased
utilization of women, the military industrial-academic complex, the military's dependence on research, and the
institutional and organizational structure of military.[145]
Political sociology
Historically political sociology concerned the relations between political organization and society. A typical research
question in this area might be: "Why do so few American citizens choose to vote?"[146] In this respect questions of
political opinion formation brought about some of the pioneering uses of statistical survey research by Paul


Lazarsfeld. A major subfield of political sociology developed in relation to such questions, which draws on
comparative history to analyze socio-political trends. The field developed from the work of Max Weber and Moisey
Contemporary political sociology includes these areas of research, but it has been opened up to wider questions of
power and politics.[148] Today political sociologists are as likely to be concerned with how identities are formed that
contribute to structural domination by one group over another; the politics of who knows how and with what authority;
and questions of how power is contested in social interactions in such a way as to bring about widespread cultural
and social change. Such questions are more likely to be studied qualitatively. The study of social movements and
their effects has been especially important in relation to these wider definitions of politics and power.[149]
Political sociology has also moved beyond methodological nationalism and analyzed the role of non-governmental
organizations, the diffusion of the nation-state throughout the Earth as a social construct, and the role ofstateless
entities in the modern world society. Contemporary political sociologists also study inter-state interactions and human
Population and demography
Demographers or sociologists of population study the size, composition and change over time of a given population.
Demographers study how these characteristics impact, or are impacted by, various social, economic or political
systems. The study of population is also closely related to human ecology and environmental sociology, which
studies a populations relationship with the surrounding environment and often overlaps with urban or rural sociology.
Researchers in this field may study the movement of populations: transportation, migrations, diaspora, etc., which
falls into the subfield known as Mobilities studies and is closely related to human geography. Demographers may
also study spread of disease within a given population or epidemiology.
Public sociology
Public sociology refers to an approach to the discipline which seeks to transcend the academy in order to engage
with wider audiences. It is perhaps best understood as a style of sociology rather than a particular method, theory, or
set of political values. This approach is primarily associated with Michael Burawoy who contrasted it with professional
sociology, a form of academic sociology that is concerned primarily with addressing other professional sociologists.
Public sociology is also part of the broader field of science communication or science journalism. A subfield of public
sociology is applied sociology, also known as clinical sociology or sociological practice, which applies knowledge
derived from sociological research to solve societal problems.
Race and ethnic relations
The sociology of race and of ethnic relations is the area of the discipline that studies the social, political, and
economic relations between races and ethnicities at all levels of society. This area encompasses the study
of racism, residential segregation, and other complex social processes between different racial and ethnic groups.
This research frequently interacts with other areas of sociology such as stratification and social psychology, as well
as with postcolonial theory. At the level of political policy, ethnic relations are discussed in terms of


either assimilationism or multiculturalism.[150] Anti-racism forms another style of policy, particularly popular in the
1960s and 70s.
The sociology of religion concerns the practices, historical backgrounds, developments, universal themes and roles
of religion in society.[151] There is particular emphasis on the recurring role of religion in all societies and throughout
recorded history. The sociology of religion is distinguished from the philosophy of religion in that sociologists do not
set out to assess the validity of religious truth-claims, instead assuming what Peter L. Berger has described as a
position of "methodological atheism".[152] It may be said that the modern formal discipline of sociology began with the
analysis of religion in Durkheim's 1897 study of suicide rates amongst Roman Catholic and Protestant populations.
Max Weber published four major texts on religion in a context of economic sociology and social stratification: The
Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1905), The Religion of China: Confucianism and Taoism (1915), The
Religion of India: The Sociology of Hinduism and Buddhism (1915), and Ancient Judaism (1920). Contemporary
debates often center on topics such as secularization, civil religion, the intersection of religion and economics and the
role of religion in a context of globalization and multiculturalism.
Social change and development
The sociology of change and development attempts to understand how societies develop and how they can be
changed. Within this field, sociologists often use macrosociological methods or historical-comparative methods. In
contemporary studies of social change, there is overlaps with international development or community development.
However, most of the founders of sociology had theories of social change based on their study of history. For
instance, Marx contended that the material circumstances of society ultimately caused the ideal or cultural aspects of
society, while Weber argued that it was in fact the cultural mores of Protestantism that ushered in a transformation of
material circumstances. In contrast to both, Durkheim argued that societies moved from simple to complex through a
process of sociocultural evolution. Sociologists in this field also study processes of globalization and imperialism.
Most notably, Immanuel Wallerstein extends Marx's theoretical frame to include large spans of time and the entire
globe in what is known asworld systems theory. Development sociology is also heavily influenced by postcolonialism. In recent years, Raewyn Connell issued a critique of the bias in sociological research toward countries in
the Global North. She argues that this bias blinds sociologists to the lived experiences of the Global South,
specifically, so-called, "Northern Theory" lacks an adequate theory of imperialism and colonialism.
Social networks
A social network is a social structure composed of individuals (or organizations) called "nodes", which are tied
(connected) by one or more specific types of interdependency, such as friendship, kinship, financial exchange,
dislike, sexual relationships, or relationships of beliefs, knowledge or prestige. Social networks operate on many
levels, from families up to the level of nations, and play a critical role in determining the way problems are solved,
organizations are run, and the degree to which individuals succeed in achieving their goals. An underlying theoretical
assumption of social network analysis is that groups are not necessarily the building blocks of society: the approach
is open to studying less-bounded social systems, from non-local communities to networks of exchange. Drawing
theoretically from relational sociology, social network analysis avoids treating individuals (persons, organizations,



states) as discrete units of analysis, it focuses instead on how the structure of ties affects and constitutes individuals
and their relationships. In contrast to analyses that assume that socialization into norms determines behavior,
network analysis looks to see the extent to which the structure and composition of ties affect norms. On the other
hand, recent research by Omar Lizardo also demonstrates that network ties are shaped and created by previously
existing cultural tastes. Social network theory is usually defined in formal mathematics and may include integration of
geographical data into Sociomapping.
Social psychology
Sociological social psychology focuses on micro-scale social actions. This area may be described as adhering to
"sociological miniaturism", examining whole societies through the study of individual thoughts and emotions as well
as behavior of small groups. Of special concern to psychological sociologists is how to explain a variety of
demographic, social, and cultural facts in terms of human social interaction. Some of the major topics in this field are
social inequality, group dynamics, prejudice, aggression, social perception, group behavior, social change, nonverbal
behavior, socialization, conformity, leadership, and social identity. Social psychology may be taught
with psychological emphasis. In sociology, researchers in this field are the most prominent users of the experimental
method (however, unlike their psychological counterparts, they also frequently employ other methodologies). Social
psychology looks at social influences, as well as social perception and social interaction.
Stratification, poverty and inequality
Social stratification is the hierarchical arrangement of individuals into social classes, castes, and divisions within a
society. Modern Western societies stratification traditionally relates to cultural and economic classes arranged in
three main layers: upper class,middle class, and lower class, but each class may be further subdivided into smaller
classes (e.g. occupational). Social stratification is interpreted in radically different ways within sociology. Proponents
of structural functionalism suggest that, since the stratification of classes and castes is evident in all societies,
hierarchy must be beneficial in stabilizing their existence. Conflict theorists, by contrast, critique the inaccessibility of
resources and lack of social mobility in stratified societies.
Karl Marx distinguished social classes by their connection to the means of production in the capitalist system:
the bourgeoisie own the means, but this effectively includes the proletariat itself as the workers can only sell their
own labour power (forming the material base of the cultural superstructure). Max Weber critiqued Marxist economic
determinism, arguing that social stratification is not based purely on economic inequalities, but on other status and
power differentials (e.g. patriarchy). According to Weber, stratification may occur amongst at least three complex
variables: (1) Property (class): A person's economic position in a society, based on birth and individual achievement.
Weber differs from Marx in that he does not see this as the supreme factor in stratification. Weber noted how
managers of corporations or industries control firms they do not own; Marx would have placed such a person in the
proletariat. (2) Prestige (status): A person's prestige, or popularity in a society. This could be determined by the kind
of job this person does or wealth. and (3) Power (political party): A person's ability to get their way despite the
resistance of others. For example, individuals in state jobs, such as an employee of the Federal Bureau of
Investigation, or a member of the United States Congress, may hold little property or status but they still hold
immense power. Pierre Bourdieu provides a modern example in the concepts of cultural and symbolic capital.



Theorists such as Ralf Dahrendorf have noted the tendency toward an enlarged middle-class in modern Western
societies, particularly in relation to the necessity of an educated work force in technological or service-based
economies. Perspectives concerning globalization, such as dependency theory, suggest this effect owes to the shift
of workers to the developing countries.
Urban and rural sociology
Urban sociology involves the analysis of social life and human interaction in metropolitan areas. It is a discipline
seeking to provide advice for planning and policy making. After the industrial revolution, works such as Georg
Simmel's The Metropolis and Mental Life(1903) focused on urbanization and the effect it had on alienation and
anonymity. In the 1920s and 1930s The Chicago School produced a major body of theory on the nature of the city,
important to both urban sociology and criminology, utilising symbolic interactionism as a method of field research.
Contemporary research is commonly placed in a context of globalization, for instance, in Saskia Sassen's study of
the "Global city". Rural sociology, by contrast, is the analysis of non-metropolitan areas. As agriculture and
wilderness tend to be a more prominent social fact in rural regions, rural sociologists often overlap with environmental
Community sociology
Often grouped with urban and rural sociology is that of community sociology or the sociology of community.Taking
various communities - including online communities - as the unit of analysis, community sociologists study the origin
and effects of different associations of people. For instance, German sociologist Ferdinand Tnnies distinguished
between two types of human association: Gemeinschaft (usually translated as "community")
and Gesellschaft ("society" or "association"). In his 1887 work, Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft, Tnnies argued
that Gemeinschaft is perceived to be a tighter and more cohesive social entity, due to the presence of a "unity of
will". The 'development' or 'health' of a community is also a central concern of community sociologists also engage
indevelopment sociology, exemplified by the literature surrounding the concept of social capital.


There is no art form that is as completely intertwined with a particular society as its architectural
expression: for it is art that is physically rooted in the geographic location of that society. For the members
of that society and this is to no way deny that the society may be far from an integrated entity it reflects both
their aspirations, their artistic sensibility, and their economic wealth; the level of advancement of their
technology; the elements of climate and topography, and the structure of their social organisation. Not only
does the architecture of any people physically express all this, being the net result of all the contradictions
that society embodies, but is also helps shape the vision of the society of itself. It is both a mirror of that
society's activities and an instrument shaping its identity.It is undeniable that the taste of the governing elite
is likely to dominate the pattern of buildings that give an area its easily identifiable character and that
serveas landmarks and promotes artistic expression is totally constrained by societal reality. Without
question artists be they architects, painters or sculptors play a role in defining, articulating and improving
society's perception of itself and its perception of its aesthetic reality. However, architects are more
constrained than other artists. They have tocontend with clients and financing, and they have to contend
with the need for their creations to function properly and to meet a rigorous set of codes and restrictions.
They interact with society much more than other artists, and they cannot function in isolation. Hence,
architecture is by far the most closely linked of the arts to the reality of society in its multiplicity of
dimensions, be they economic, social,cultural, political, institutional or religious.
As we have seen, the architect is responsible, by the variety of activities that he or she
undertakes, for the definition or "image of progress" that a society holds of itself. The physical expression of
that society today in most Third World countries is closely identified with the Manhattan skyline, and leaves
little room for a more articulated and sensitive response that is more respectful of cultural continuity and
more responsive to climatic and site requirements. Unless architects can successfully convince the elites of
their societies to replace their imported image of progress with a more coherent and effective one, there is
going to be little chance to reverse that widespread degradation of the urbanistic character and
architectural expression.The task of defining such an alternative reality for a contemporary image of
progress in the Third World, is not an easy one. The designers who will cope with that task have to
convince the "disassociated" decision-makers and the commercial elite of their societies of the superiority
of the alternative that they present, to the imported model.
Only if this task can be done will the secondary effects of this new indigenous alternative reality be
achieved. Namely, that the architectural expression of the whole society will be gradually affected. The
lower middle classes aspire to have residences and to work in places that are comparable to those of the
upper middle classes, and the upper middle classes to have residences and to work in places that are
comparable to those of the prevailing elite. By changing the architecture of the elite, architects can indeed
change the perception of large segments of society as to what is desirable as an expression of modernity
and of social status. It is unlikely that architects will be able to do this alone. A wide variety of disciplines
have to interact in order to ensure that the visionary efforts of imaginative, sensitive architects are not left in
isolation, but that the intellectual underpinnings that deal with abstractions and ideas, as well as with the
social, economic and institutional realities of any societal system, are coherent and pull in the same
direction. Without that, inherent tension is likely to continue and ruptures of a cultural and intellectual kind,
at the very least, are bound to continue. Architecture and urban planning will suffer in their inability to fulfill
their assigned and noble mission of being the agents of progress rather than the servants of an elite.


Preservation of the Heritage: What, Why, How, and for Whom?
The preservation of tradition works at different levels, reflects if anything, differing contemporary
functions and ideological needs (e.g. the need for legitimacy) by ascendant elites or their rivals. On one
level, there is the effort to preserve the best examples of traditional buildings as exemplars, sources of
contemporary inspiration and/or custodians of part of what its bearer regard as their contemporary cultural
identity. On a different level, the preservation and reuse of individual buildings in contemporary society
raises serious functional and ideological problems. Yet, such adaptive reuse appears to be the only
possibility of maintaining vitality for the buildings and avoiding the museum approach to important elements
of an organic living city.
Elsewhere, this author has analysed the approach and economics of dealing with adaptive reuse.
Whole seminars have been devoted to the subject and many learned treatises have dealt with its different
aspects and, indeed, one is struck by the vast number of little noticed examples of such successful
renovation and reuse found in any single country. The preservation of a single building, whether reused or
not, is different from the preservation of the character of an area and, here, different criteria come into play.
Of these, the sense of urban space is a fundamental one, as is the question of scale, proportions, street
alignments, fenestration, articulation of volumes, relations between solids and voids, and, most of all,
activities permitted in the public space and inter-relationship between the public and private domains.
This level of dealing with the historic past, underlines the types of skills that a practising architect should
aquire to work in the world today, where ferment and change are important. In such situations of change
and ferment society at large seeks to anchor its headlong rush into the future in its past and the assertion of
its own individualism, i.e., its identity as witnessed by the greatness of its exemplars .
Architects must acquire the sophistication to read the symbolic content of this heritage in a manner
that enriches their ability to produce relevant buildings for today and tomorrow. This sophistication can only
come through a strengthened educational process which engenders in future architects the critical sense
required to decode the symbolic content of the past in a realistic, as opposed to an ideologically mystifying,
fashion. This, of course, necessitates a broad knowledge of the methodology as well as the content of
historical studies, a sense of the growth of societies as a process of successive attempts at totalisation and
above all an ability to see the built environment of the past as it was perceived by contemporaries.
Societies in Transition.
The societies of the Third world are inescapably societies in transition, however much some
members of those societies may try to avoid this basic process by denying it, or by absolutising a past
which exists only in their own minds as a counterweight to the present reality they deny and the future
which they fear. The demographic, technical, economic, cultural, political and ideological components of
this transition process are well known. Drowning in a flood of Western technology and cultural imports that
are frequently ill-matched to local conditions and insensitive to cultural traditions, societies are today
struggling to create a cultural environment that provides them with a viable sense of self identity and which
is suited to regional and national conditions. Authenticity for an Indonesian will not be the same as
authenticity for a Moroccan. Yet there is this fine thread of commonality of the nature of the search with


variability of the conditions under which it is undertaken. This is part of the creative genius of the Third
world culture, whose hallmarks have always been unity with diversity.
Contemporary "regionalism" must express itself in new and contemporary ways. This truism must
be restated frequently in the face of a strong current that seeks refuge in perpetuating the myth that
traditional vernacular architecture is enough. This "escape into the past" must be forced to recognize the
scale and technology that increasingly link and undergird the urban built environment. Slavish copying of
the past is not the answer. For those who would try, the dimensions of modern technology and its related
infrastructural requirements will quickly remind them that the path of excellence requires creativity.
Architects must be masters of a wide range of skills and their deployment a range far greater
than architectural education currently prepares them for. First, architects must be able to decode the past
so they can understand how their predecessors viewed their past, present, and future. Armed with this
comparative knowledge, they must secondly attempt to read the signs and trends of the present. This is
particularly tricky as, while buildings last a long time, current trends may prove ephemeral, and become so
within the space of a few years. Third, architects must not only think of their single building, but of its
relationship to the wider community. Fourth, and most significantly, they must pull all of this analysis
together and design and implement a product which, over its lifetime, can justly win a place in the timeless
continuity of world architecture, as have the great buildings of the past which, speak of excellence, not of
an age, butfor all time!
It flows from the above that the role of the architect in societies in transition such as the Third
world is currently undergoing is indeed a pivotal one, both in defining the society's sense of its own reality,
as well as in refining its perceptions of its taste and its authentic cultural expression. There is much to learn
from folk architecture but under no circumstance should we delude ourselves into trying to maintain and
copy previous solutions that may have been perfectly rational and functional for social and economic
circumstances that prevailed in society at a certain point in time. We must acknowledge the need for
important changes in architectural forms as facets of the physical expression of the changes wrought by
economic and social development.
The architect, in my judgement, is the sole person capable of creating those unique structures that
become landmarks in an environment and help identify and shape the collective image a society has of
itself. Only the architect sets the tone for a new generation of buildings, and successfully reshapes a
society's image of itself. The breakthrough innovative buildings are not produced without architects, they
are produced as a result of the creative genius of a collectivity of individuals whose vocation is destined to
become architecture. At the same time, it is important to recognise that when architects have tried to build
large numbers of houses, addressing those sets of buildings that constitute about 70 per cent of an
average modern city's buildings, they have failed miserably.
Planners are those who design the skeleton that helps shape a city; whether it be in terms of its
transportation networks or its basic infrastructure or setting the building codes, subdivision regulations, and
zoning ordinances that make an urban environment what it is. Planners help shape the overall structure of
the city, but they seldom have a major impact on the individual building except in very special cases. They
bring all the overall concerns of topography, economic base, social structure, levels of service, financial
health and viability of a municipality, to bear on the problem of the physical environment. Beyond that, their
role is, and should be, limited. It has long been the view of this writer that only a public-private partnership


can make for a viable attack on the problems of the urban environment and the planner's domain, the
public one, is to be limited to those aspects of the overall problems that cannot and should not be handled
by private initiative. Most of the remaining cityscape is filled in by anonymous architecture that although
individually not distinguished collectively provides the flesh over the planner's skeleton. It is the architect
who provides the distinguished and distinguishing features. It is the architect who caps this collaboration
between planners and non-architects by providing those buildings and those features that ultimately give an
urban environment its landmarks and articulates its character. It is the architect who helps mould the major
complexes in well designed urban planning schemes and who keeps rejuvenating cityscapes with new
generations of buildings and structures that modify and improve as well as enrich, enhance and re-enforce
the cultural identity of that environment.
The architect, therefore, must act on the one hand, as an instrument of change and a forward
looking agent of the transformation of cultural identity, on the other hand as the keeper of existing identity, a
preserver and extender of a heritage, and the molder and reinforcer of cultural authenticity. Just as
architecture is inextricably entwined with society, so is the individual architect placed in a pivotal role in the
society of which he or she is a member.
The reality of the role of the architect in today's society, limited as it becomes in relation to that of
the many anonymous and the few well known builders, and circumscribed as it is by the work of the
planners, is still sufficiently important in the broader context I have suggested to raise serious questions
about qualifications and professionalism as they now exist. Professional associations have consistently
sought to seek broad acceptance of the "professional" status of the occupations or practices they
represent.In most of the Third world today, the problems of the architectural profession are somewhat
different. They tend to fall into one or more of the following: Firstly, architects impact on a very small part of
the built environment. Charles Correa estimates that architects interact with only one per cent or less of the
society at large. Secondly, architects (and urban planners) tend to be subsumed under the broader
professional grouping of engineering professions where their concerns are seldom adequately reflected in
the activities of the association. Finally, the views of architects and urban planners are frequently
considered to be matters of "taste", i.e. much more discardable than, say, the views of structural engineers.
This leads to a demobilisation of the professionals and a reduction of the professionalism in the practice of
architecture and planning. With few exceptions, the relationship between Third world societies and their
architects (and planners) needs to be upgraded. A deeper respect for the real contributions of the
profession(s) will be achieved only if we upgrade the quality of the performance of the professionals. This
means that in addition to the "certification" function of architecture schools, there must be a genuine
nurturing of real talent, to produce the type of notable performance that can properly address the awesome
challenge of building in the Third world today.


rchitecture is a connection with the past. However, our concern is not for relics but for the revitalization

of historic buildings, repurposing them for a new generation. Architecture can communicate memory, but it
can also communicate values and a sense of place.
Every era produces its own vocabulary.
However, there is a media fascination for bigness in any field. When a building is the largest, a bridge the
longest, or a tower the highest, it inevitably attracts attention, but for every one of these mega-projects, we
produce infinitely more equally deserving but less publicized projects. Never has the exhortation to do
more with less to make an enclosure lighter, to use materials more economically, to consume less
energy been more relevant. The principles of sustainable design, are completely central to architecture
Glass is just one of a vast palette of materials at our disposal, and it can transmit light without being seethrough. However, it has allowed us to open up previously very insular buildings to the outside world. For
example, in early discussions about the transformation of the Reichstag, the theme that emerged most
clearly was that it should be publicly accessible and transparent, both literally and symbolically the
resulting cupola of metal and glass is a very tangible expression of democracy. The main chamber of
parliament is visible for all to see. Public and politicians meet and interact; they can see and be seen.
Architecture is an expression of values the way we build is a reflection of the way we live. This is why
vernacular traditions and the historical layers of a city are so fascinating, as every era produces its own
vocabulary. Sometimes we have to explore the past to find inspiration for the future. At its most noble,
architecture is the embodiment of our civic values.
The city is a response to human needs
The pace of growth in China has indeed been unprecedented the top six of the worlds megacities are on
the Pacific Rim. The model for every city must be different there is no one-size-fits-all approach to urban
development. However, there are common problems, and cities can learn from one another one of the
most important lessons, in terms of reducing energy and creating a walkable, enjoyable city, is density.
There is a myth that higher urban densities lead to something poorer literally and also in terms of quality


of life. Macao and Monaco, for example, are among the densest communities on earth, yet their roots lie at
opposite ends of the economic spectrum. Proximity to a park or garden square is a major factor. Mayfair
and Belgravia in London, for instance, pair with Hyde Park, just as the Upper East and West Sides of
Manhattan relate to Central Park, and the most desirable parts of Brooklyn are on the borders of Prospect
Park. It is interesting that the most popular aspect of our master plan for the West Kowloon Cultural District
with the people of Hong Kong is the major new waterfront park.
The city is a response to human needs. There is a need to tackle the challenges we face as the worlds
populations proliferate and become increasingly urbanized. However, there is no single solution with global
applicability. In some cases, there may be a need for a new city in others, the focus will be on the
densification or development of an existing city. No two scenarios are the same.
To say so would be to discount the important role that Western architects, engineers, and consultants,
working with local collaborators, are playing in the development of these pioneering cities in the Asia and
the Middle East. Masdar, for example, is the worlds first experiment to create a zero carbon, zero waste
desert city and we designed the master plan as well as the first buildings.

Buildings and the infrastructure, or urban glue, that binds them together do not design themselves they
are designed by people regardless of how the individuals are titled. Some of their conceptions for living
together have proved successful, been adapted and endured others have not. As Winston Churchill said,
We shape our buildings and they shape us. Le Corbusier is no exception. Some of his visions and their
interpretations by others were not successful others were.

Mabel Berezin, "Cultural Form and Political Meaning: State-subsidized Theater, Ideology, and the
Language of Style in Fascist Italy," American Journal of Sociol-ogy 99(5) March 1994: 1237-86. 1994 by
the University of Chicago.
All rights reserved; Karen Cerulo, excerpted from Deciphering Violence: The Cognitive Structure of Right
and Wrong (New York and London: Routledge, 1998). Copyright 1998 by Karen Cerulo. Reproduced by
permission of Taylor and Francis/Routledge, Inc.; Ronald N. Jacobs} "Civil Society and Crisis: Culture,
Discourse, and the Rodney King Beating," American Journal of Sociology 101(5) March 1996: 1238-72.
1996 by the University of Chicago.
All rights reserved; Rhys H.Willa ims "Constructing the Public Good: Social Movements and Cultural
Resources," reprinted by permission from Social Problems 42(1) February 1995: 124-44. 1995 by The
Society for the Study of Social Problems; Paul Lichterman, The Search For Political Community: American
Activists Rein-venting Commitment (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996).
Cambridge University Press 1996. Reprinted with the permission of Cambridge University Press; Ann
Swidler, "Cultural Power and Social Movements," chapter 2 in Hank Johnston and Bert Klandermans
Social Movements and Culture (Minneapolis: Uni-versity of Minnesota Press, 1995), volume 4 in the
"Social Movements, Protest, and Contention" series. Copyright Q 1995 by the Regents of the University
of Minnesota; William H. Sewell, Jr.,
"A Theory of Structure: Duality, Agency and Transforma-tion," American Journal of Sociology 98 (1992):
1-29. Q 1992 by the University of Chicago. All rights reserved; Robert Wuthnow, reprinted by permission
of the publisher from Robert Wuthnow, Communities of Discourse: Ideology and Social Structure in the
Reformation, the Enlightenment, and European Socialism (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press,
1989). Copyright Q 1989 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College; Fredric Jameson, excepted
from "Postmodernism, or The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism," New Left Review 146, July-August 1984:
53-92. Reprinted by permission.
The publishers apologize for any errors or omissions in the above list and would be grateful to be
notified of any corrections that should be incorporated in the next edition or reprint of this book.
Introduction: Culture and Cultural Sociology Lyn Spillman

A Vocabulary of Culture and Society (New York: Oxfor University Press, 1976), and
Neil Smelser, "Culture: Coherent or Incoherent," pp. 3-28 in Richard Munch and Neil J. Smelser, eds.,
Theory of Culture (Berkeley: University California Press, 1992). For an explanation of definitional
proliferation see Russell Faeges,

Gary G. Hamilton and Nicole Woolsey Biggart, "Market, Culture, and Authority: A Comparative Analysis of
Management and Organiza-tion in the Far East," American Journal of Sociology (Supplement) 94 (1988):
552-594: 195,
Margaret Levi, "The Institution of Conscription," Social Science History 20 (1996): 154.
Erving Goffman, "Felicity's Condition," American Journal of Sociology 89 (1983): 42.
George W. Stocking, Race, Culture and Evolution (New York: The Free Press, 1968),
John H. Rowe, "The Renaissance Foundations of Anthropology," American Anthropologist 67 (1965): 1-20.
Alfred L. Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn, Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions (New
York:Vintage Books, 1963 [1952])
Robert Rydell, All the World's A Fair: Visions of Empire at American International Expositions, 1876-1916
(Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1984);
Paul Greenhalgh, Ephemeral Vistas: The Expositions Universelles, Great Exhibitions, and World's Fairs,
1851-1939 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1988), and
Lyn Spillman, Nation and Com-memoration: Creating National Identities in the United States and Australia (
Cambridge and New York: Cambridge-University Press, 1997), ch. 3.
According to Raymond Williams, the Symposium on Culture and Meaning in Contemporary Sociology 29
(4) July
David R. Maines, "The Social Construction of Meaning," 577-84, assner, "Where Meanings Get
Constructed," 590-94,
Michele Lamont, aping-Making in Cultural Sociology: Broadening Our Agenda," 602-7. See also swold,
Cultures and Societies in a Changing World (Thousand Oaks, CA:
Terry Eagleton, Ideology: An Introduction (London: Verso, 1991), 7., The Idea of Culture (Oxford and
Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2000).
Lyn Spillman, "Culture, Social Structure, and Discursive Fields," Current Perspectives in Social Theory, 15
(1995): 129-54, and "How are Structures Meaningful? Cultural Sociology and Theories of Social Structure,"
Humboldt Journal of Social Relations, Special Issue, "Recent Advances in Theory and Research in Social
Structure," 22 (1996): 31-45.
Philip Smith, "The New American Cultural Sociology: An Introduction," pp. 1-14 in Philip Smith, ed., The
New American Cultural Sociology (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998).
Robert A. Nisbet, The Sociological Tradition (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 1993 [1966]).

L. Kroeber and Talcott Parsons, "The Concepts of Culture and of Social System," American Sociological
Review 23 (1958): 582-3.
Jeffrey Alexander, "Analytic Debates: Understanding the Relative Autonomy of Culture," pp. 1-27
Jeffrey C. Alexander and Steven Seidman, Culture and Society: Contemporary Debates (Cambridge and
New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990).
Elizabeth Long, "Introduction: Engaging Sociology and Cultural Studies: Disciplinarity and Social Change,"
pp. 1-32 in Elizabeth Long, ed., From Sociology to Cultural Studies (Malden, MA and Oxford: Blackwell,
Karl Marx, The Ger-man Ideology, Part One, "Estranged Labour" (from "Economic and Philosophical
Manu-scripts of 1844") and "The Fetishism of Commodities and the Secret Thereof" (from Capital, Volume
1), all reprinted in Robert Tucker, ed., The Marx-Engels Reader, 2nd edn. (New York: Norton, 1978), pp.
146-200, pp. 70-81, and pp. 319-29 respectively;
Emile Durkheim, The Elementary Forms of Religious Life trans. Karen Fields (New York: Free Press,
1995), especially pp. 1-44,99-126,207-41 and 303 448;
Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism 2nd edn. (Los Angeles: Roxbury, 1998), and
"The Social Psychology of the World Religions," pp. 267-301 in H. H. Gerth and C. Wright Mills, eds., From
Max Weber: Essays in Sociology (New York: Oxford University Press, 1946); and
George Herbert Mead, Mind, Self, and Society, Charles Morris, ed. (Chicago and London: University of
Chicago Press, 1962 [1934]), pp. 61-90, 135-64,173-8, and 192-226. 11
Robert Merton, "The Sociology of Knowledge," pp. 510-42 in Social Theory and Social Structure (New
York: The Free Press, 1968);
Peter Berger, Invitation to Sociology: A Humanistic Perspective (Doubleday: New York, 1963), 110-18
Ann Swidler and Jorge Arditi, "The New Sociology of Knowledge," Annual Review of Sociology 20 (1994):
Herbert Blumer, Symbolic Interactionism: Perspective and Method (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall,
1969) and Howard Becker and Michal McCall, eds., Symbolic Interac-tionism and Cultural Studies (Chicago
and London: University of Chicago Press, 1990). 12
Talcott Parsons, Seymour Martin Upset, and (in his early work) Neil Smelser. Examples and extensions
building on the "ideology" view can be found in excerpts from the work of Horkheimer and Adorno, and
Raymond Williams; important related work includes that of Georg Lukacs, Antonio Gramsci, Alvin
Gouldner, and Louis Althusser. 13 These and the following examples are excerpted in this collection. 14
This discussion is based on Spillman (1995). 15 Smith (1998), 6-12.

Chandra Mukerji, "Towards a Sociology of Material Culture: Science Studies, Cultural Studies, and the
Meanings of Things," pp. 143-62 in Diana Crane, ed., The Sociology of Culture (Oxford and Cambridge,
MA: Blackwell, 1994) and
Daniel Breslau, "Sociology after Humanism: A Lesson from Contemporary Science Studies," Sociological
Theory 18 (2000): 289-307. On social postmodernism see Linda Nicholson and Steven Seidman, eds.,
Social Post-modernism: Beyond Identity Politics (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press,
1995) and editor's notes on excerpts from work by Jameson, and Larson, this volume. On cultural studies
see the many useful articles in Elizabeth Long, ed. From Sociology to Cultural Studies (Malden, MA and
Oxford: Blackwell, 1997); Lawrence Grossberg, Cary Nelson and Paula Treichler, eds., Cultural Studies
(New York and London: Routledge, 1992); and
Janet Wolff, "Cultural Studies and Sociology of Cul-ture," Contemporary Sociology 28 {1999}.499-507.
Sharon Hays, "Constructing the Centrality of Culture - and Deconstructing Soci-ology," Contemporary
Sociology 29 (2000): 594-602.