Article Information

THE NEW SOCIOLOGY OF CULTURE: FROM TOOLKITS TO COGNITIVE PROCESSES

Dmitrii Sharikov (ddsharikov@hse.ru)

National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia

Citation: Sharikov D. (2019) Novaya sotsiologiya kul'tury: ot «yashchikov s instrumentami» k kognitivnym protsessam [The new sociology of culture: from toolkits to cognitive processes]. Zhurnal sotsiologii i sotsialnoy antropologii [The Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology], 22(3): 179–210 (in Russian). https://doi.org/10.31119/jssa.2019.22.3.8

Abstract. This analytical overview examines the main understandings of culture in contemporary sociological theory. It attempts to reconstruct the theoretical logic behind the classical functionalist understanding of culture. It is argued that the classical model of culture has its roots in Durkheim’s works on collective representations. It is then explained how Parsons’ interpretation of Durkheim’s theoretical legacy shaped the former’s concept of cultural system. Next, the classical model of culture is criticized from the point of view of modern psychology and cognitive sciences. The key premises of Ann Swidler’s alternative model of culture are then outlined. After that, the research tradition of “The Sociology of Culture and Cognition” is introduced. Vaisey’s “dual-process” model of culture is then scrutinized in the light of its significance for the conceptual integration of Parsons’ and Swidler’s accounts of culture. The distinction between non-declarative and declarative culture, as well as between public and personal culture proposed by Lizardo is discussed in view of its contribution to the development of the dual-process model. The limitations of dual-process theories of culture are then made explicit. Following the debate between Lizardo and Turner, the role of mirror neurons in the transmission of practical competencies from one actor to another is analyzed. A brief critique of the psychological foundations of dual process theories is then offered. The main points of the debate between computationalist and enactivist approaches in cognitive sciences are then summarized. The philosophical ideas of levels of analysis, social emergence, and downward causation are considered thereafter. In conclusion, the main prospects of further theoretical development are laid out.

Keywords: cultural sociology, cognitive sociology, dual process theories of cognition, psychological sociology, interdisciplinarity.

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