Theorising Culture: Hermeneutical Themes in the Social Theory of Alain Touraine

By Glenda Ballantyne.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

One of the most conspicuous social theoretical developments of the past several decades has been a ‘cultural turn’ which has seen a shift away from the view that social life is something that happens in ‘structures’ or ‘systems’ to the view that social life is ordered by meanings and beliefs. The shift to more culturalogical modes of thinking, however, has gone in a number of directions, and the outcomes have been uncertain. In this paper, I argue that a hermeneutical conception of culture opens up more fertile avenues of analysis. The possibilities opened up by such an approach are explored through the unmistakable, but implicit and unfinished hermeneutical turn evident in Alain Touraine’s recent social theory.

Keywords: Hermeneutics, Culture, Alain Touraine, Paul Ricoeur, Subjectivity

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 2, Issue 6, pp.215-222. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 489.396KB).

Dr. Glenda Ballantyne

Lecturer in Sociology, Social Sciences, Lilydale, Swinburne University, Australia

Glenda Ballantyne began teaching sociology at Swinburne, Lilydale in 2002. Her research interests include social movements, multiple modernities, identity and subjectivity and hermeneutics. Before moving to Swinburne, she taught and undertook a Phd at La Trobe University. She was a founding director of the feminist printing and publishing co-operative, Sybylla Press, and has been active in the women's movement and local initiatives to foster intercultural dialogue and political involvement. Recent publications include Creativity and Critique: Subjectivity and Agency in Touraine and Ricoeur, Brill, Leiden, 2006/7.

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