Chicago Studies in Practices of Meaning
In recent years, the study of culture has become a burgeoning interdisciplinary enterprise. Within this growing field, Chicago Studies in Practices of Meaning seeks to develop a particular insight: that meaning-making is a practical activity. Actors make meanings by inventing, reproducing, and transposing cultural forms, both in everyday social life and in epic historical events. Practices of meaning are always produced in a material nexus, utilizing specific material media and mobilizing social and economic as well as semiotic resources. They are political, necessarily entwined in diverse struggles for social power. And they are historical, varying from place to place and era to era and constantly evolving.
The series will publish studies of practices of meaning that apply this broad approach to societies in all geographical regions of the world. The editors, who represent four different social science disciplines – anthropology, sociology, history, and political science – are committed to publishing works of interpretive social science that cross disciplinary frontiers and that combine serious theoretical reflection with rich accounts of local experience. And we encourage our authors to reflect on what their analyses of practices of meaning might tell us about our own historical conjuncture – to risk, in other words, a theorization of the present.