The Sociology of Architecture: Constructing Identities

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9781846310775: The Sociology of Architecture: Constructing Identities

States have long been active in commissioning architecture, which affords one way to embed political projects within socially meaningful cultural forms. Such state-led architecture is often designed not only to house the activities of government, but also to reflect political-economic shifts and to chime with a variety of 'internal' and 'external' publics as part of wider discourses of belonging. From the vantage point of sociology, this context necessitates critical engagement with the role of leading architects' designs and discourses relative to politicized identity projects. Focusing on the mobilization of architecture in periods of social change, The Sociology of Architecture uses critical sociological frameworks to assess the distinctive force added to political projects by architects and their work. Through engagement with a range of illustrative examples from contested contemporary and historical architectural projects, Paul Jones analyses some of the ways in which architects have sought to

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Drawing on sociological theories to assist understanding of how political power operates in the cultural sphere, The Sociology of Architecture frames the discipline as a field of symbolic and material conflict over social identities. This volume contests the notion of architecture as an apolitical endeavor and suggests that major architectural projects can act as tangible expressions of the ultimately contested nature of collective identities, thus shedding light on how those with power both legitimate and mark their position in the world.

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Paul Jones is lecturer in sociology at the University of Liverpool.

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Published by Liverpool University Press (2011)
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