Theorieträume der Kulturwissenschaft

Jakob Tanner 1
  • 1 Forschungsstelle für Sozial- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte, Universität Zürich, Rämistraße 64, CH-8001, Zürich, Switzerland

Abstract

My short article is a critical comment on Hartmut Böhme’s position paper „Perspectives of cultural studies in historical and contemporary analytical perspective“. I share Böhme’s conviction that research projects in the broad and blurred interdisciplinary field of culture studies must be grounded in a flexible theoretical plot. However, Böhme’s paper does not meet this challenge. I try therefore to suggest two trajectories of significant importance in a paradigmatic way: On the one hand, the always controversial definitions of culture are scrutinized, thereby relying on a context-sensitive concept of „difference“ that allows grasping culture as a permanent and interference-prone process of translations. On the other hand, I focus on the impact, agency or effectualness of things against the background of a symmetrical anthropology and the actor-network-theory. In both cases, the analysis is orbiting around the notion of „cultural practices“ by demonstrating how tightly the media turn and the ontological turn are theoretically intertwined.

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