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Symbols, Power and Politics


Elzbieta Halas

The volume is the first one in the series Studies in Sociology: Symbols, Theory and Society. The authors from Australia, Finland, Germany, Poland, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, who contributed to it, are sociologists bound by a conviction that the study of the social context of making use of symbols cannot be underestimated. Conception of symbolism as a social phenomenon and not an autonomous semiotic system is of their common interest and a symbolic interactionist perspective is apparent in many texts. The readiness to trespass the boundaries of various approaches and disciplines is noticeable. The volume is divided into three parts: Symbols and Society. Theoretical Perspectives; Political Discourse and Symbolic Action; Religious Symbolism and Power. Symbolism of discourses, symbolic objects and symbolic actions are three intrinsically related domains that were studied.
Contents: Gary Alan Fine: Coordination, Symbolic Action and the Quadrants of Social Order – Richard Grathoff: Symbolic Types in Political Actions: A Phenomenological Perspective on Symbols, Powers and Politics – Marek Czyżewski: Collective Symbolization in Public Debates on Right-Wing Extremist Violence – John Borland: Let’s Go Walking: History, Symbols and Action in the Reproduction of Ulster Loyalism – Elżbieta Hałas: Public Symbols and Polish Identity. Change and Ambiguity of Meaning in State Holidays Calendar of the Third Republic of Poland – Jerzy J. Smolicz: Native Tongues and Family Structures as Symbols of Ethnic Identity: an Australian Experience – Grażyna Woroniecka: Conflict Over Joint Householders’ Possession in Perspective of Discoursive Symbolism – Annamaria Orla-Bukowska: Religious Symbols, Political Power: the Cross, the Star of David and Auschwitz-Birkenau – Martti Muukkonen: Less Than a Confession but Much More Than a Mere Formula of Agreement. The YMCA’s Paris Basis as a Symbol of Unity.