The study of culture occupies a ubiquitous space in sociology. Cultural issues traverse—because they constitute—virtually every domain of social analysis, from the most discrete practices of everyday conversation to the sprawling organizational and institutional networks that bind states, politics, markets, religion, and ideology across time and space, to the collective movements that challenge those binds. At UCSB, culture is a core area within the department and also intersects deeply and broadly with all the other areas. The department’s strength lies in the rich theoretical, analytical, and methodological diversity of the faculty. Historically oriented research that examines the pivotal role of cultural factors in knowledge formations, political regimes, and institutions is complemented by research that highlights current intersections of culture with the politics of gender, sexuality, and race, and media formations older and new. Fields of study include cultural theory, cultural studies, popular culture, the arts and creative industries, as well as the cultural dimensions of social and political movements, prisons, the law, the labor process and the workplace, and other organizational settings. The diverse interests and strengths of the faculty in this area have earned our department a top 10 ranking in the sociology of culture by the US News and World Report

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