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Solidarity, Justice, and IncorporationThinking through The Civil Sphere$
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Peter Kivisto and Giuseppe Sciortino

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199811908

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199811908.001.0001

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Civil Sphere and Political Performance

Civil Sphere and Political Performance

Critical Reflections on Alexander’s Cultural Sociology

Chapter:
(p.57) 2 Civil Sphere and Political Performance
Source:
Solidarity, Justice, and Incorporation
Author(s):

Bryan S. Turner

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199811908.003.0003

The chapter’s analysis begins with its contention that one cannot understand the civil sphere without first understanding Alexander’s version of cultural sociology and of the significance he attaches to performance and political rituals. The chapter considers the two to be inextricably linked. In its analysis, the chapter stresses the centrality of performativity. This leads to identifying what it views as the three central shortcomings of the civil sphere project. First, it states Alexander exhibits a distinctly American optimism that does not resonate with the situation in Europe. Second, by focusing on dramatic political rituals, Alexander gives insufficient attention to public reasoning. Finally, he does not think the civil sphere is adequately defined.

Keywords:   binaries, civil sphere, cultural sociology, performance, political rituals, public reasoning

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