Making Culture, Changing Society: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Making Culture, Changing Society

1st Edition

By Tony Bennett


22 pages

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Paperback: 9780415738491
pub: 2013-11-11
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pub: 2013-03-21
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pub: 2013-09-02
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Making Culture, Changing Society proposes a challenging new account of the relations between culture and society focused on how particular forms of cultural knowledge and expertise work on, order and transform society. Examining these forms of culture’s action on the social as aspects of a historically distinctive ensemble of cultural institutions, it considers the diverse ways in which culture has been produced and mobilised as a resource for governing populations.

These concerns are illustrated in detailed case studies of how anthropological conceptions of the relations between race and culture have shaped – and been shaped by – the relationships between museums, fieldwork and governmental programmes in early twentieth-century France and Australia. These are complemented by a closely argued account of the relations between aesthetics and governance that, in contrast to conventional approaches, interprets the historical emergence of the autonomy of the aesthetic as vastly expanding the range of art’s social uses.

In pursuing these concerns, particular attention is given to the role that the cultural disciplines have played in making up and distributing the freedoms through which modern forms of liberal government operate. An examination of the place that has been accorded habit as a route into the regulation of conduct within liberal social, cultural and political thought brings these questions into sharp focus. The book will be of interest to students and scholars of sociology, cultural studies, media studies, anthropology, museum and heritage studies, history, art history and cultural policy studies.



Table of Contents

Introduction. Part I: Culture: Veridical, Material, and Compositional Perspectives 1. After Culture? 2. Making Culture, Organising Freedom, Changing Society 3. Civic Laboratories: Museums, Cultural Objecthood, and the Governance of the Social Part II: Anthropological Assemblages Inter-text 1 4. Making and Mobilising Worlds: Assembling and Governing the Other 5. Collecting, Instructing, Governing: Fields, Publics, Milieus Part III: Governing through Freedom: Aesthetics and Liberal Governance Inter-text 2 6. The Uses of Uselessness: Aesthetics, Freedom, Government 7. Guided Freedom: Aesthetics, Tutelage and the Interpretation of Art Part IV: Habit and the Architecture of the Person Inter-text 3 8. Habit, Instinct, Survivals: Repetition, History, Biopower 9. Habitus/Habit: Freedom/History. Afterword. References

About the Author

Tony Bennett is Research Professor in Social and Cultural Theory in the Institute for Culture and Society at the University of Western Sydney. His work has had a defining influence on contemporary debates in cultural studies and cultural sociology. Making Culture, Changing Society builds on and extends his distinctive perspective on the relations between culture and society developed in his The Birth of the Museum; Culture: A Reformer’s Science; and Pasts Beyond Memory.

About the Series


Culture, Economy and the Social

This series establishes the importance of innovative contemporary, comparative and historical work on the relations between social, cultural and economic change. It publishes empirically-based research that is theoretically informed, that critically examines the ways in which social, cultural and economic change is framed and made visible, and that is attentive to perspectives that tend to be ignored or side-lined by grand theorising or epochal accounts of social change. The series addresses the diverse manifestations of contemporary capitalism, and considers the various ways in which the `social', `the cultural' and `the economic' are apprehended as tangible sites of value and practice. It is explicitly comparative, publishing books that work across disciplinary perspectives, cross-culturally, or across different historical periods.

We are particularly focused on publishing books in the following areas that fit with the broad remit of the series:

  • Cultural consumption
  • Cultural economy
  • Cities and urban change
  • Materiality, sociality and the post-human
  • Culture and media industries
  • Culture and governance
  • Emerging forms of cultural and economic practice

The series is actively engaged in the analysis of the different theoretical traditions that have contributed to critiques of the `cultural turn'. We are particularly interested in perspectives that engage with Bourdieu, Foucauldian approaches to knowledge and cultural practices, Actor-network approaches, and with those that are associated with issues arising from Deleuze's work around complexity, affect or topology. The series is equally concerned to explore the new agendas emerging from current critiques of the cultural turn: those associated with the descriptive turn for example. Our commitment to interdisciplinarity thus aims at enriching theoretical and methodological discussion, building awareness of the common ground has emerged in the past decade, and thinking through what is at stake in those approaches that resist integration to a common analytical model.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Social History
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / Cultural
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General