Department of Sociology

Cultural Matters Group (CMG)

Cultural sociology is a broad international field, and holds at its heart a belief that culture as a system of meaning, materiality and practice is a sphere and a force that should be studied in its own right. Sociality is viewed as being produced and ordered culturally. Through various cultural and linguistic turns in social science, the ubiquitous role of culture in all human interaction, organization and society, has been demonstrated. Culture matters to social interaction, structuring and reproduction, and the approach may be applied to almost any social phenomenon. Understanding how culture works is critical to any sociological investigation of power relations, inequalities, identities and politics. Thus, meaning making, materiality and practice are at the very heart of cultural sociological research, and provide the focus for the Cultural Matters group.

The research group Cultural Matters aims at empirical investigations, methodological exploration and conceptual generation within cultural sociology. However, it also seeks to transgress the – internationally established – rather narrow boundaries of the field. This is done through, first, making connections with other related sociological fields such as sociology of culture, symbolic interactionism, ethnomethodology, and more, and second, synergetic couplings with other disciplines such as economics, political science, history, ethnology, biology, etc. Moreover, through transgressing the academic boundaries, we explore new methods for investigating the cultural field; learning from practitioners within cultural production, such as film makers, authors and actors, we will inform our methodological approach. The expected benefits with such transgressive undertakings are both theoretical – furthering cultural sociological theory - and empirical: exploring social phenomena and sociological problems in new ways.