Group cultures and subcultures

Authored by: Gary Alan Fine

Handbook of Cultural Sociology

Print publication date:  July  2010
Online publication date:  September  2010

Print ISBN: 9780415474450
eBook ISBN: 9780203891377
Adobe ISBN: 9781134026159

10.4324/9780203891377.ch20

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Abstract

Although it has once been conventional to treat culture as a “characteristic” or “feature” of societies, many cultural sociologists now emphasize the importance of examining grounded cultures. But this move has often lacked sufficient attention to what it entails. My intention here is to present the theoretical stakes of this shift to analyzing culture from a micro- or meso-level of analysis. Culture should be conceptualized as a set of actions, material objects, and forms of discourse held and used by groups of individuals. In this view culture is a tool that is situated in particular communities of action, shaping the contours of civic life (Fine and Harrington 2004). As a result, culture is tied to the existence of shared pasts and prospective futures.

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