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"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.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780674015968
ISBN-10: 0674015967
Format: Paperback
(227mm x 146mm x 27mm)
Pages: 398
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 1-Feb-2005
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Stephan Fuchs

Stephan Fuchs is Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Virginia.