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The Logic of Culture: Authority and Identity in the Modern Era

ISBN: 978-0-631-21344-4
228 pages
December 2001, Wiley-Blackwell
The Logic of Culture: Authority and Identity in the Modern Era (0631213449) cover image


This book proposes an analysis of the underlying 'logic' of culture, drawing on a wide range of material not previously examined in works of this kind.
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Table of Contents

Series Editor's Preface.


Introduction: The Paradox of Culture.

1. The Roots of Cultural Logic.

2. Inventing Culture.

3. Instituting Culture.

4. Culture, Critique and Community.



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Author Information

William Ray teaches literature, literary theory, and the Humanities at Reed College. He has previously taught at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh and the University of Oregon. His previous books include Literary Meaning (Blackwell Publishers, 1984) and Story and History (Blackwell Publishers, 1990) He is currently working on the evolution of fiction in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries as a mechanism of social stratification.
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The Wiley Advantage

  • An original theory, considering culture as a grammar of subjectivity and identity.

  • Focuses on material not examined in previous works of this kind - the novel as a genre, the newspapers of the French Revolution, the French Revolutionary debates on public education.

  • Addressed to a general international audience.
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"This densely and incisively written book provides a compelling theoretical framework for the understanding of the "logic" of culture in modern times. From the rhetoric of the French Revolution to contemporary museum displays, from Schiller's aesthetics to concepts broached by Matthew Arnold, Foucault and Bourdieu, Ray engages a variety of periods, genres, issues, and regimes of thought with mastery and elegance. A major accomplishment and a fascinating read!" Bernadette Fort, Northwestern University and Editor of Eighteenth-Century Studies

"A tightly argued and coherent account of the conflicting impulses within culture, Ray's study will take its rightful place among the best recent work on the intricacies of culture." John C. O'Neal, Hamilton College

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