Thursday, April 26, 2018


congrats everyone!

final exam review sheet

Sociology of Culture
Prof. Gabe Ignatow

Review Sheet for Final Exam at 8am Saturday May 5 in our classroom:

The final exam will cover the following course readings on the syllabus:

  • Gretchen Purser, The Dignity of Job-Seeking Men
  • Richard Peterson and Roger Kern, Changing Highbrow Taste: From Snob to Omnivore
  • Bethany Bryson, Anything But Heavy Metal
  • Will Atkinson, The context and genesis of musical tastes: Omnivorousness debunked, Bourdieu buttressed
  • Sam Friedman, Cultural Omnivores or Culturally Homeless?
  • Richard Peterson, Why 1955? Explaining the Advent of Rock Music
  • Wendy Griswold, American Character and the American Novel
  • Sam Friedman, The Hidden Tastemakers: Comedy Scouts as Cultural Brokers at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

You should be able to define and discuss all of the following terms (this list is not exhaustive):

day laborers
symbolic boundaries
International Avenue
Bay Area Worker’s Center


Musical dislikes
High-status exclusiveness
Educated tolerance
Symbolic racism
Patterned tolerance
Multicultural capital
tolerance line

dominant classes
petite bourdeoisie
difficult and obscure music
popularized “legitimate” music
simple, repetitive structures
passive, absent participation
hierarchies of legitimacy within genres

humor and social class
humor omnivorousness and divided habitus
dissonance and uneasiness
dryness and subtlety
“class racism”

Production of culture
Culture industries
Copyright law
Supply-side explanations
Demand-side explanations
Legal changes
U.S. Copyright Law
Technological changes
45 rpm record

reflection theory
American character
International Copyright Act of 1891

Edinburgh Festival Fringe
Mass market comedy
Legitimate comedy
Alternative Comedy Movement
Comedy scouts

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

review sheet for exam 2

The second exam will cover the course readings on Durkheim, Bourdieu, culture and poverty, and ‘Culture and Moral Boundaries in the United States.’

Emile Durkheim, The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life, Summary
Film: "Warriors of the Amazon"
Sulkunen, Pekka. Sociology Made Visible: On the Cultural Sociology of Pierre Bourdieu
Pierre Bourdieu, Social Space and Symbolic Power
Pierre Bourdieu, The Field of Cultural Production
Sam Friedman, Habitus Clivé and the Emotional Imprint of Social Mobility
Small, Harding, and Lamont, Reconsidering Culture and Poverty
Lamont et al., Cultural and Moral Boundaries in the United States

You should be able to define and discuss all of the following terms (this list is not exhaustive):

The sacred
The profane
Collective effervescence
The yanomami

Social Capital
Cultural Capital
Economic Capital
Social Field/Power Field/Social Space
Symbolic Power
Symbolic Violence
Habitus Clivé
Social mobility
Speed of mobility
Distance of mobility
Resentment and ridicule
Hysteresis effect

cultures of poverty
blaming the victim

Symbolic boundaries
Boundary work
Moral boundaries
Cultural boundaries
Socioeconomic boundaries
Cultural specialists
For-profit workers

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Sociology of Culture Review Sheet for Exam 1

Review Sheet for Exam 1
Friday February 16, 2018

The first exam will count for 25% of your final grade, and will cover the following readings:

William Sewell jr., The Concept(s) of Culture
Critical Theory, from Standord Encyclopedia of Philosophy 
Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno, The Culture Industry
Max Weber, “The Social Psychology of the World Religions”
Max Weber, "The Protestant Sects and the Spirit of Capitalism"
Samuel Huntington, Cultures Count
Ruth Benedict, The Diversity of Cultures
Clifford Geertz, Thick Description: Toward an Interpretive Theory of Culture
Richard Shweder, "On the Return of the 'Civilizing' Project" 

You should be able to define and discuss the following people and ideas:

Karl Marx
George Lukacs
Antonio Gramsci
Horkheimer and Adorno
Max Weber
Bryan Turner
“Prison Notebooks”
“The Dialectic of Enlightenment”
“The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism”
“cultural turn”
Newtonian paradigm
Hypothesis testing
Cause-and-effect relationships
“linguistic turn”
“cognitive revolution”
Sociology of culture
Cultural sociology

Culture as “cultivation”
civilization and barbarism
folk culture
culture as learned behavior
culture as learned behavior associated with social meaning
culture as systems of symbols and meanings
culture as a life-system, way of life

historical materialism
Communist revolution
false consciousness
“Opium of the people”
Commodity Fetishism
Class consciousness
“Organic intellectuals”
Culture industry
“lowest common denominator”

Purposive rationality

Social capital
Time orientation

cultural anthropology
synchronic analysis
diachronic analysis
“personality writ large”
“modal personality”
“man is an animal suspended in webs of significance”
“thick description”
“the return of the ‘civilizing’ project”

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

sociology of culture syllabus

Sociology of Culture
SOCI 4620
MoWeFr 10:00AM - 10:50AM
Wooten 122

Jan 16, 2018- May 11, 2018

Associate Professor Gabe Ignatow
Office: 288E Sycamore Hall


What is culture? How do cultures shape individuals, nations, and economies? And what kinds of social processes influence cultural production and consumption (art, music, literature, movies, television)? This course looks at questions of culture through a sociological lense, and at society through a cultural lense. Most of the readings will be from cultural sociology and the sociology of culture, but we will also discuss anthropology, literary criticism, philosophy, and cultural history.

The course is fairly theoretical as sociology courses go, and requires serious reading and discussion. It is particularly suitable for students interested in the media, arts, literature, religion, social theory, and cultural differences.


1. Articles linked from this site
2. Articles available in from on-campus computers


Two exams (short-answer blue book) 25% and 30% each

Final exam (short-answer blue book) 25%
Pop quizzes, 20%

Attendance Policy

Attendance is mandatory, and active participation in class discussion is encouraged.
Attendance will not be taken, but absence will be noted.
There will be no make-up quizzes. Make-up exams can be scheduled for the week following the original exam date, but are generally more challenging than the original exam.


Part I: Introduction

week 1
William Sewell jr., The Concept(s) of Culture (download from bottom of this page)

week 2
Part II: Karl Marx and Critical Theory

Critical Theory, from Standord Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno, The Culture Industry

weeks 3 and 4
Part III: Max Weber and Values Analysis

Max Weber, “The Social Psychology of the World Religions” (download from bottom of this page)
Bryan Turner, Islam, Capitalism and the Weber Theses (bottom of page)
Samuel Huntington, Cultures Count (bottom of page)

week 5
Part IV: Cultural Anthropology and Cultural Relativism

Ruth Benedict, The Diversity of Cultures
Richard Shweder, "On the Return of the 'Civilizing' Project" (bottom of page)

Exam 1 February 16

weeks 6 and 7
Part V: Emile Durkheim and Neo-Durkheimian Cultural Sociology

Emile Durkheim, The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life, Introduction and Chapter 1
Film: "Warriors of the Amazon"
Jeffrey Alexander and Philip Smith, The Strong Program in Cultural Theory
Tognato, "A Neo-Durkheimian Perspective on Central Banking" (bottom of page)

week 8
Part VI: Culture and Social Class

Pierre Bourdieu, Social Space and Symbolic Power (bottom of page)

week 9

week 10
Small, Harding, and Lamont, Reconsidering Culture and Poverty

Exam 2 Friday March 30

week 11
Part VII: Culture and Morality

Lamont et al. "Cultural and Moral Boundaries in the United States" (attached at bottom of this page)

Gretchen Purser, The Dignity of Job-Seeking Men (attached at bottom of this page)

week 12
VIII. Cultural Consumption

Richard Peterson and Roger Kern, "Changing Highbrow Taste: From Snob to Omnivore" (bottom of page)
Bethany Bryson, Anything But Heavy Metal

week 13
Part IX: The Culture Industries

Richard Peterson, Why 1955? Explaining the Advent of Rock Music (get from JSTOR)

week 14
Wendy Griswold, American Character and the American Novel (get from JSTOR)

Final Exam Saturday, May 5, 8am

*Students with disabilities are invited to meet during office hours, or to email, to discuss any special needs for this class.

*As for all classes at UNT, academic dishonesty, plagiarism, collusion and falsification of academic records or the attempt to do these things constitute academic dishonesty, as per the UNT Code of Student Conduct and Discipline. All exams for this course are closed-book and closed-notes unless otherwise specified by the instructor.


I encourage in and out of classroom input. I am available for consultation during my open office hours (or preferably by appointment) and welcome the opportunity to assist students. To arrange for an appointment and for purposes of this course, please use the Blackboard Learn message function or email me at


Academic dishonesty (cheating and/or plagiarism) will not be tolerated at any time. Any person suspected of academic dishonesty will be handled in accordance with the policies and procedures set forth by the University of North Texas, the College of Public Affairs and Community Service and the Department of Sociology. You will find the complete provisions of the code in the student handbook. Please note that I take academic dishonesty very seriously and the consequences will be very harsh.

Plagiarism is defined as the act of taking another's ideas, words, writings, or research findings and not giving them proper credit through quotations or citations. Even when we are paraphrasing another's ideas, we must give them credit. To do otherwise is to allow the reader to think these ideas and words are your own when they are not. This act is considered theft of intellectual property. Plagiarism is considered one of the most serious transgressions that can be committed in the educational community.

In the case of plagiarism, there are several options available to an instructor, including verbal and/or written reprimand, assignment of a lower grade with an explanation from the instructor, expulsion from the course with the assignment of a passing grade (WP), expulsion from the course with the assignment of a failing grade (WF), and/or expulsion from the university.

Therefore, all written work should be properly cited when:

  1. Describing the ideas of another (even if it is not a direct quotation),
  2. Describing the research of another (even if it is not a direct quotation),
  3. Using the words, phrases, paragraphs, or pages of another, and/or
  4. Quoting the words of another.


If you intend to miss class sessions for religious reasons sometime during the semester, you must notify me in writing by no later than 5 PM on July 14 (Friday).


Please refer to the UNT Faculty Handbook  or your department  regarding  the Add/Drop    Policy.


U.S. Federal Regulation:  For F–1 students  enrolled  in classes  for credit or classroom  hours, no  more than the equivalent of one class or three credits per session, term, semester,  trimester,  or quarter  may be counted toward the full course of study requirement if the class is taken on-line or through  distance  education  and does  not require the student's  physical  attendance  for classes,  examination  or other  purposes  integral to completion  of the class. An on-line or distance  education  course is a course that is  offered principally through the use of television, audio, or computer transmission including  open broadcast, closed circuit, cable, microwave, or satellite,  audio conferencing, or computer  conferencing.  If the F–1  student's course of study is in a language study program, no on-line or distance education classes may be considered  to count toward  a student's  full course  of study requirement.

To read detailed Immigration and Customs Enforcement regulations for F-1 students taking online courses,  please go to the Electronic  Code of Federal  Regulations  website  at:

The specific portion concerning  distance education  courses is located   at:

"Title 8 CFR 214.2 Paragraph (f) (6) (i) (G)” and can be found buried within this document

To comply with immigration regulations, an F-1 visa holder within the United States may need to  engage in an on- campus experiential component  for this course. This component  (which must be approved  in advance by the instructor) can include activities such as taking an on-campus exam, participating in an on-campus  lecture or lab activity, or other on-campus  experience  integral to the completion  of this   course.

If such an on-campus  activity is required,  it is the student’s  responsibility  to do the  following:

  1. Submit a written request to the instructor for an on-campus experiential component  within one week of  the start of the  course.
  2. Ensure that the activity on campus takes place and the instructor  documents  it in writing with a    notice sent to the International Student and Scholar Services Office. ISSS has a form available  that you may use for this purpose.

Because the decision may have serious immigration consequences, if an F-1 student  is unsure about his or her need to participate in an on-campus experiential component for this course, s/he should contact the UNT International Student and Scholar Services Office (telephone 940-565-2195 or email  to get clarification  before  the one-week deadline.


The University of North Texas seeks to provide appropriate academic adjustments for all individuals with disabilities. This University will comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws, regulations and guidelines, specifically Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), with respect to providing appropriate academic adjustments to afford equal educational opportunity.

However, it is the responsibility of the student to register with and provide medical verification and academic schedules to Disability Support Services (DSS) at the beginning of each semester and no later than the second week of school unless otherwise determined by the coordinator. The student also must contact the faculty member in a timely manner to arrange for appropriate academic adjustments.

Appropriate adjustments and auxiliary aid are available for persons with disabilities. Call 940-565-2456 (TDD access 1-800-735-2989).

The University of North Texas makes reasonable academic accommodation for students with disabilities. Students seeking accommodation must first register with the Office of Disability Accommodation (ODA) to verify their eligibility. If a disability is verified, the ODA will provide you with an accommodation letter to be delivered to faculty to begin a private discussion regarding your specific needs in a course. You may request accommodations at any time, however, ODA notices of accommodation should be provided as early as possible in the semester to avoid any delay in implementation. Note that students must obtain a new letter of accommodation for every semester and must meet with each faculty member prior to implementation in each class. Students are strongly encouraged to deliver letters of accommodation during faculty office hours or by appointment. Faculty members have the authority to ask students to discuss such letters during their designated office hours to protect the privacy of the student. For additional information see the Office of Disability Accommodation website at: You may also contact them by phone at 940.565.4323.


Links to all of these services  can be found on the Academic  Support  tab within Blackboard    Learn:

  • Academic Resource Center: buy textbooks and supplies, access academic catalogs and programs, register for classes, and more.
  • Center for Student Rights and Responsibilities: provides Code of Student Conduct along with other useful links.
  • Office of Disability Accommodation: ODA exist to prevent discrimination on the basis of disability and to help students reach a higher level of independence.
  • Counseling and Testing Services: CTS provides counseling services to the UNT community as well as testing services; such as admissions testing, computer-based testing, career testing and other tests.
  • UNT Libraries: online library services
  • Online Tutoring: chat in real time, mark up your paper using drawing tools and edit the text of your paper with the tutor’s help.
  • The Learning Center Support Programs: various program links provided to enhance the student experience.
  • Supplemental Instruction: program for every student, not just for students that are struggling.
  • UNT Writing Lab: offers free writing tutoring to all UNT students, undergraduate and graduate.
  • Math Tutor Lab: located in GAB, room 440.
  • Succeed at UNT: how to be “a successful student” information.


The following information has been provided to assist you in preparation for the technological aspect  of the course.

Minimum Technical Skills Needed:

Examples  include:

    1. Using the learning management system,
    2. Using email with attachments,
    3. Creating and submitting files in commonly used word processing program formats,
    4. Copying and pasting,
    5. Downloading and installing software, and
    6. Using spreadsheet programs.


The University of North Texas UIT Student Helpdesk provides  student  technical  support  in the use of Blackboard and supported  resources.  The student  help desk may be reached   at:

Email: Phone: 940.565-2324
In Person: Sage Hall, Room 130 Our hours are:
Monday-Thursday 8am-midnight Friday 8am-8pm
Saturday 9am-5p Sunday 8am-midnight


The Voluntary Product Accessibility Template®, or VPAT® documents Blackboard Learn 9.1's conformance with the accessibility standards  under  Section  508 of the Rehabilitation  Act (29 U.S.C.  '794 d), as amended  by the Workforce  Investment  Act  of 1998  (P.L. 105 - 220), August  7,  1998.