Cover: Against Essentialism: A Theory of Culture and Society, from Harvard University PressCover: Against Essentialism in PAPERBACK

Against Essentialism

A Theory of Culture and Society

Add to Cart

Product Details

PAPERBACK

$42.50 • £34.95 • €38.50

ISBN 9780674015968

Publication Date: 02/01/2005

Short

398 pages

World

Against Essentialism presents a sociological theory of culture. This interdisciplinary and foundational work deals with basic issues common to current debates in social theory, including society, culture, meaning, truth, and communication. Stephan Fuchs argues that many mysteries about these concepts lose their mysteriousness when dynamic variations are introduced.

Fuchs proposes a theory of culture and society that merges two core traditions—American network theory and European (Luhmannian) systems theory. His book distinguishes four major types of social “observers”—encounters, groups, organizations, and networks. Society takes place in these four modes of association. Each generates levels of observation linked with each other into a “culture”—the unity of these observations.

Against Essentialism presents a groundbreaking new approach to the construction of society, culture, and personhood. The book invites both social scientists and philosophers to see what happens when essentialism is abandoned.

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

Book jacket: Vera Rubin: A Life, by Jacqueline Mitton and Simon Mitton, from Harvard University Press

Q&A with Jacqueline Mitton, coauthor of Vera Rubin: A Life

While astronomer Vera Rubin made significant contributions to our understanding of dark matter and championed the advancement of women in science, she is not that well known outside of the scientific community. HUP Executive Editor for Science, Janice Audet, spoke with Jacqueline Mitton, coauthor of Vera Rubin: A Life, about Rubin’s remarkable life and work and the writing of the book