How are boundaries created between groups in society? And what do these boundaries have to do with social inequality?
In this pioneering collection of original essays, a group of leading scholars helps set the agenda for the sociology of culture by exploring the factors that push us to segregate and integrate and the institutional arrangements that shape classification systems. Each examines the power of culture to shape our everyday lives as clearly as does economics, and studies the dimensions along which boundaries are frequently drawn.
The essays cover four topic areas: the institutionalization of cultural categories, from morality to popular culture; the exclusionary effects of high culture, from musical tastes to the role of art museums; the role of ethnicity and gender in shaping symbolic boundaries; and the role of democracy in creating inclusion and exclusion.
The contributors are Jeffrey Alexander, Nicola Beisel, Randall Collins, Diana Crane, Paul DiMaggio, Cynthia Fuchs Epstein, Joseph Gusfield, John R. Hall, David Halle, Richard A. Peterson, Albert Simkus, Alan Wolfe, and Vera Zolberg.