Friedrich Tenbruck (Transl. by: Andrei Kamarouski 1 ; Translation ed. by: Oleg Kil'dyushov 2)
  • 1 Institute of Sociology of NAS of Belarus, Building 2, 1 Surganov Street, Minsk, 220072, Republic of Belarus
  • 2 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 20 Myasnitskaya Str., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation

Representative Culture

2013, vol. 12, No. 3, pp. 93–120 [issue contents]

This paper uncovers the problem of the sociological understanding of culture and the concept of representative culture by German sociologist Frederick Tenbruck. The paper focuses on the conceptual underdevelopment of the concept of “culture” in sociology as compared with the concept of “structure", or “society”, which is the central concept of structural functionalism. Turning to intellectual history, Tenbruck traces the trajectory of these concepts, defining the various functions in the social dictionary of the 19th–20th centuries. The dictionary also fixes notions of culture as developed in the approaches of Max Weber and Talcott Parsons, demonstrating the use of the reduced concept of culture in Parsons’ sociology as a universal normative sphere. The paper justifies the role of representative culture in the structuring and innovation (openness) of actual socio-cultural processes, achieved by the relative autonomy of culture (contents). The paper develops the thesis that an adequate study of the sociology of culture requires a return to the notion of ‘representative culture’ that had been lost during the process of segmentation of this discipline, as well as the segmentation of the history of culture. Cultural sociology is presented as a self-reflexive, meta-paradigmatic approach to the analysis of the institution of (social) science and its critical and constructive role in modern society.

Citation: Tenbruck Friedrich (2013) Reprezentativnaya kul'tura [Representative Culture] The Russian Sociological Review, 3, pp. 93-120 (in Russian)
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