Following the Book. Toward a Pragmatic Sociology of the Book
Carreira, da Silva Filipe
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Carreira, d. S. F. (2015). Following the Book. Toward a Pragmatic Sociology of the Book. Sociology https://doi.org/10.1177/0038038515587650
This article offers an outline of a pragmatic sociology of the book. Whilst ubiquitous, books have received relatively little attention from sociologists. I propose to remedy this situation by drawing upon the ideas of GH Mead, namely his neo-Hegelian theory of the subject–object relationship. Mead’s chief insight is that objects such as books are first social and only then physical entities. They have agency not because of their thing-ness, so to speak, but because of their sociality. After reviewing the existing literature on the book, I discuss Mead’s most relevant contributions. In the proposal for a pragmatic sociology of the book that follows, I combine pragmatism’s focus upon the materiality of meaning-production with genealogy’s concern with power and violence. I conclude with an illustration of the approach: the simultaneous decanonization of Tocqueville’s Democracy in America among sociologists today and its canonization in political science.
book, GH Mead, history of sociology, materiality, object, pragmatism, social theory
This article has been written with the support of a British Academy-Leverhulme Small Research Grant (SG132730).
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0038038515587650
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/251295