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be as sites of collective consumption and the local

state (Manuel Castells, The Urban Question, 1977),

city city

68

the production and reproduction of urban capital



(David Harvey, Social Justice and the City, 1973, and

Consciousness and the Urban Experience, 1985), or,

more recently, global cities and their networks

(Saskia Sassen, Global Cities, 2001). The city has

also been examined in a more differentiated

manner, somewhat belatedly exploring gendered

urban spaces. This has been accompanied since

the mid-1980s by explorations of new dimensions

of the modern/postmodern city (David Harvey,

The Postmodern Condition, 1989; Michael J. Dear,

The Postmodern Urban Condition, 2000; Nan

Ellin, Postmodern Urbanism, 1999); the space of

flows in the information economy and the emergence

of the dual city and changes in the occupational

structure (Manuel Castells, The Informational

City, 1989); postcolonial cities in the world economy;

the uneven development between and

within cities, including gentrification and economies

of consumption; transformations of the

public sphere within cities; cybercities (Christine

M. Boyer, Cybercities, 1996); and the disjunction

between suburbanization and the metropolis.

Many of these transformations have been associated

with the supercession of place by space as

the focus of analysis. In part, this coincided with

a focus upon urban space, prompted by Henri

Lefebvre (1901–91) and others. Modifying

Lefebvre’s tripartite conceptualization in The Production

of Space (1991) into the production of urban

space, the representations of urban space and

spatial practices also drew attention to the representations,

images, and imaginaries of the city, as

well as how the city is negotiated and contested in

everyday practices (as in Michel de Certeau’s analysis

of taking a walk [The Practice of Everyday Life,

1984]).


The study of representations of the city is indicative

of wider interest in images of the city that

were already present, if often only implicitly in

earlier characterizations of the city. The city has

been variously viewed, for instance, as a moral

and political order, as a social and medical problem,

as an aesthetic object, as a work of art, as

ensemble of communities, as absent community,

as utopian site, as dystopia, as apocalyptic site.

The significance of cultural dimensions of economic

aspects of the city and the problems of

reading the city have been given fresh impetus

in the reception of writers such as Walter

Benjamin, whose work seems at some distance

from urban sociology. His treatments of the city

as text, as narrative, as dream-world, as site of

collective memory / collective forgetting, as

spectacle, as visual regime, recognize the city as

not merely an agglomeration of silent built structures,

as a concentration of producers and consumers,

but also as imaginary, as aspiration. The

often fragmentary experiences of the city, the

shaping of everyday life in the city, everyday practices

and the constitution of images of the city,

contested spaces and boundaries, and modes of

resistance are also consistent elements in understanding

the contemporary city. DAV ID F R ISBY

civic culture

Also referred to as political culture, this is the

culture, beliefs, and values that direct a political

system, but the study of such cultures also involves

attending to the institutions that bring

about political socialization. The term became influential

in political sociology following the publication

of Gabriel Almond and Sydney Verba’s The

Civic Culture (1963) in which they argued that the

success of stable democracy was the result of civic

institutions promoting democratic participation

and creating opportunities for commitment and

trust. The idea of political culture is thus closely

connected with the idea of civil society. Almond

and Verba undertook a comparative study of five

countries – the United States, Italy, United Kingdom,

Mexico, and West Germany. For various

historical and structural reasons, the United

States and the United Kingdom have vibrant civic

cultures because these societies have many local

and national channels whereby ordinary individuals

can participate in political processes such

as voting, registering opinions, selecting political

leaders, and influencing political opinion. Their

research has been criticized in methodological

terms by Robert Dowse and John Hughes in Political

Sociology (1986) on the grounds that surveys

and questionnaires cannot easily tap into political

cultures. Another criticism is that each social

class will have its own political culture

and therefore, where social class divisions are significant,

it would be misleading to presuppose a

unified civic culture. In other words, Almond

and Verba did not take into account the issue of

internal variations in political cultures. Another

critical response, which was developed by Michael

Mann in Consciousness and Action among the western

Working Class (1973), has been to argue that liberal

democracies survive because the working class

have a “pragmatic acceptance” of their place

in capitalism and because there is a general lack

of any consistent commitment to values in

the society. BRYAN S. TURNER

city civic culture

69

civil religion



This is a term initially used by Jean-Jacques Rousseau

(1712–78) and reintroduced to sociology

by Robert N. Bellah in a highly influential essay

published in the mid-1960s, “Civil Religion in

America” (1967). Extending E´mile Durkheim’s

understanding that all things in society can be

classified as either sacred or profane, Bellah developed

the idea that, quite apart from institutionalized

church religion, American society also

has a publicly articulated and institutionalized

civil or civic religion that anchors the civic culture.

In the United States, Bellah argued, the “American

way of life,” the core founding values and ideals of

the republic, are given a sacred meaning in and of

themselves, and are given an added religious dimension

by their intertwining with specifically

religious motifs, most usually drawn from biblical

archetypes. In pluralistic societies wherein religious

denominational beliefs may have a sectarian

function, the affirmation of the nation’s civil religion

serves social integration rather than fragmentation.

A civil religion blends sacred cultural

ideas and symbols with religious affirmations and

is invoked to unify the nation and strengthen the

shared communality of its people, to provide an

“imagined community” out of diversity. A society’s

civil religion is most evident during highly ceremonial

public rituals – presidential inaugurations,

parliamentary convocations, and other

symbolically rich public events (assemblies, protests)

that take place at the country’s sacred (civic)

places. The complexity of a civil religion lies in the

tension between appealing to sufficiently broad

(nonsectarian) religious symbols and to the

society’s high ideals (for example equality), while

simultaneously not being appropriated in a

sectarian manner to legitimate public policies

that in practice may threaten rather than enrich

social solidarity. MICHELE DILLON

civil rights

– see rights.

civil rights movement

– see social movements.

civil society

An expression that became influential in eighteenth-

century theories about the individual,

social contract, and the state, this denotes an

area of social consensus based on agreements

about norms and values. Whereas the state requires

some level of force, civil society implies a

degree of freedom. The concept was used by Adam

Ferguson (1723–1816) in his An Essay on the History

of Civil Society (1767) to make a contrast between

the civilization of western Europe and the despotism

of the East. The connection between “civil

society” and “civility” and “civilization” was

made clear in Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel’s

The Philosophy of Right (1821 [trans. 1942]), where

the German term is bu¨rgerliche Gesellschaft. He recognized

civil society as a specific area of ethical

life, which exists or mediates between the family

and the state. The word family was originally associated

with oikos or “household,” and the word

economy originally referred to the running of a

household. In short, Hegel saw civil society as

existing between the state (a coercive institution)

and the economy (an institution based on selfinterest).

The freedom of the individual and the

enjoyment of rights were made possible by

the historical evolution of civil society as a manifestation

of bourgeois civilization.

The adjective bu¨rgerlich means “civil, civic” and

also “middle-class, bourgeois.” Civil society is thus

an area of social life that contrasts the world of

the bourgeoisie from those of the nobility and

clergy. These notions are also closely connected

with the idea of citizenship.

Gesellschaft or “society” derives from Geselle or

“companion.” Sociology is the scientific study

of society or Gesellschaftwissenschaft. It became commonplace

in sociology to distinguish between

affective social ties and more abstract social

relations. Thus Ferdinand To¨nnies made an

important distinction between organic communities

(Gemeinschaft) and mechanical association

(Gesellschaft) in his Community and Association (1887

[trans. 1957]).

The concept of civil society was shared by both

liberalism and socialism, albeit with different significance.

For John Locke (1632–1704) in the Two

Treatises of Government (1690) the social contract

was necessary to protect the individual and property

rights, and it was this contract that created

civil society in contrast to the “state of nature.”

Liberal civil society requires limited government,

the separation of powers, the rule of law, and rule

by representative government. These political institutions

are important for securing civil society,

but Locke argued that a primary responsibility of

government was the protection of property. Locke

has been attacked by, for example, C. B. Macpherson,

The Political Theory of Possessive Individualism

(1962), for providing a crass defence of capitalism.

In contrast, John Dunn, Western Political Theory in

the Face of the Future (1979: 39), argues that, in the

language of his day, Locke treated “property” and

civil religion civil society

70

“right” synonymously, and hence Macpherson’s



criticism represents a translation error.

Karl Marx was critical of Hegel’s understanding

of civil society and, in his Economic and Philosophical

Manuscripts (1844 [trans. 1964]), he argued that

bourgeois society was characterized by economic

self-interest and the struggle between social

classes. Civil society was not an arena of civilized

co-operation, but the epitome of bourgeois culture

which merely masked the objective struggle

between irreconcilable classes.

The idea of civil society was revived in the twentieth

century by the work of the Italian Marxist

revolutionary Antonio Gramsci, who argued that

the state was a mixture of force plus consent, or

hegemony with coercion. While political society

organizes force, civil society is that set of social

institutions that provides consent. The leadership

of the working class by intellectuals requires the

transformation of civil society by political education

if the dominant hegemony is to be challenged.

Gramsci recognized that, because the

Roman Catholic Church was influential in providing

moral leadership in Italy, it was necessary

to provide a moral alternative at the local level.

This tradition of analysis of civil society has been

continued, for example, by Norberto Bobbio,

Democracy and Dictatorship (1980 [trans. 1989]).

The notion of “civil society” continues to be

important in contemporary sociology because

the vitality of civic institutions is seen to be essential

for sustaining democracy. Civil society is also

the public sphere within which opinions are

formed, developed, and exchanged. This arena of

debate is important in the minimal sense that it

permits lively criticism of government policies

and ministers. One function of bourgeois society

was that it created social spaces in which conversation,

debate, and criticism could take place. The

idea that the transformation of mass media and

communications by the monopolistic ownership

of newspapers, radio, TV, and film has seriously

curtailed the possibility of critical dialog and argument

was put forward by Ju¨rgen Habermas in

his The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere

(1962 [trans. 1989]).

Habermas’s pessimistic view of modern society

has in turn been challenged by sociologists, partly

influenced by the idea of network society in

Manuel Castells, who claim that modern electronic

technology – such as cell phones and computers

– has created new opportunities for debate

and dialogue. These technologies make possible a

new global civil society which cannot be easily

controlled by the state, and they allow rapid,

cheap means of political discussion. If the coffee

house was the principal site of Habermas’s traditional

bourgeois public sphere, where newspapers

could be read and debated over coffee,

the cyber cafe´ is the location of the new forms of

information exchange. BRYAN S. TURNER

civilization

A concept referring to an advanced stage or condition

of organized social life and social development,

often used in distinction to primitive

societies, the most important contribution to an

understanding of civilization comes from Norbert

Elias. In The Civilizing Process (1939 [trans. 2000]),

Elias examines the sociogenesis and the social

function of the concept. He argues that the term

was formed in the second half of the eighteenth

century, replacing the concepts of politesse or civilite

´ which, before its arrival, had formed the same

function: to express the self-image and specific

kind of behavior of the European upper class, in

relation to others whom its members considered

simpler or more primitive. One of its earliest

usages is found in the work of the Comte de Mirabeau,

Honore´-Gasriel Riqueti (1749–91), who reformulated

the concept of Homme civilise´ while

simultaneously drawing on the progressivism

and reformism prevalent in the Parisian circles

of court society. Like the Physiocrats, he believed

that social events followed laws, and that a knowledge

and understanding of these laws could be

used as a progressive force by kings in their rule.

Civilization stood between barbarism and a false

“decadent” civilization engendered by a superabundance

of money.

Mirabeau’s approach was extended by Enlightenment

thinkers, such as Anne-Robert Jacques

Turgot, Baron de l’Aulne (1727–81), and P. H. T.,

Baron d’Holbach (1723–89), who also called for

the improvement of institutions, education, and

law, equally within a reformist framework.

Though society had reached a stage on the road

to civilization, it remained partial and incomplete

since the masses remained uncivilized.

This essentially middle-class idea for reform and

the liberation of the broader sections of the population

from all that was irrational in existing

conditions, including class restrictions on the

bourgeoisie, became fused with the aristocratic

belief, which was pervasive in court society, that

all others outside this sphere were uncivilized or

barbaric with reference to morals, manners, and

lifestyle.

Though it did not play a considerable role in the

French Revolution, following the revolution it was

civil society civilization

71

used to justify French national expansion and



colonization. Whole nations henceforth began to

consider the process of civilization as completed

within their own societies – while forgetting the

social conditions of its emergence – and came to

see themselves as superior standard-bearers of an

expanding civilization and architects of colonial

conquest. Elias argues that civilization came to

express the self-consciousness of the West: “It

sums up everything in which western society of

the last two or three centuries believes itself superior

to earlier societies or ‘more primitive’ contemporary

ones” (2000: 5). This pride could be

related to its level of technology, its type of

manners, its development of scientific knowledge,

or to its religious ideas and customs.

However, the term did not mean the same thing

to different nations. The French and English use of

the concept could be contrasted with the German

term, Zivilisation, which, although referring to

something useful, only had a secondary value. It

was the concept of Kultur which expressed the selfimage

of the Germans in their own achievements.

While the French and English use of civilization

was expansionary, outward-looking, and emphasized

what was common to all human beings,

the German concept of Kultur accentuated national

differences and group identity, and was

inward-looking. The conceptual antithesis between

culture and civilization reflected the two

different worldviews and the marked social division

between a relatively powerless middle-class

German intelligentsia, which emphasized genuineness,

personality, sincerity, and intellectual development,

on the one hand, and a Frenchspeaking,

politically powerful, German court nobility,

which championed outward appearance

and manners on the other. This conceptual and

social contraposition in turn reflected the political

fragmentation of Germany as compared with

the unified “good society” found in France, in

which the rising middle classes, as already noted,

readily adopted aristocratic traditions and behavioral

models, and only showed a moderate reformist

opposition to aristocratic world-views. For

Elias, the implications of this were crucial in the

different paths of development of England,

France, and Germany and their subsequent use

of the term.

The contrast between civilization and culture

also formed a crucial conceptual opposition in a

number of books which influenced Elias’s work:

Thomas Mann’s Reflections on a Life (1924), which,

as part of his revolutionary conservative worldview,

affirmed inward culture against moralistic

civilization; Sigmund Freud’s Civilization and Its

Discontents (1930), which examined the conflict

between sexual desires and social mores as the

basis for aggression and violence in modern

civilization; and Oswald Spengler’s Decline of the

West (1918 [trans. 1926 and 1928]), which

employed biological metaphors to argue that cultures

pass through cycles in which they rise,

mature, and decline. For Spengler, civilization

was the inevitable destiny of culture, and an expression

of its decline: “Civilizations are the most

external and artificial states of which a species of

developed humanity is capable. They are the conclusion,

the thing-become succeeding the thingbecoming,

death following life, rigidity following

expansion” (31).

Equally, the British historian Arnold Toynbee,

in his comparative study of civilizations in The

Study of History (1934–61), attempted to analyze

the rise and decline of twenty-six civilizations,

while placing an emphasis on religion as a regenerative

force. More recently, Samuel Huntington,

in The Clash of Civilizations (1998), has taken the

concept of religion further by understanding civilizations

largely as synonyms for it in a conflictridden

world.


However, because the concept refers to a

variety of contradictory facts, it has been notoriously

difficult to define and use. E´mile Durkheim

and Marcel Mauss in “Note on the Notion of

Civilization” (1913 [trans. 1971, Social Research

38]) defined civilizations as referring to phenomena

which pass beyond political and national

frontiers: these are “interdependent systems,

which without being limited to a determinate

political organism are however, localizable in

time and space . . . systems of facts that have their

own unity . . . and form of existence a kind of

moral milieu encompassing a certain number of

nations.” More recent writers, by contrast, have

classified civilizations according to the relationship

between humans and their environment

(Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, Civilizations, Culture,

Ambition, 2000). Moreover, the connotations of

collective self-approbation, especially by Europeans

and Americans, which have become attached

to the word have made many social

sciences reluctant to use the concept as an analytical

category. STEVEN LOYAL

civilizing process

– see Norbert Elias.

class conflict

– see social class.

civilization class conflict

72

class consciousness



– see social class.

class interest

– see social class.

cluster analysis

A multivariate statistical technique, used in the

social sciences to divide a heterogeneous sample

into a number of smaller, more homogeneous

clusters, based on their similarity on a number

of variables, there are a number of different ways

of performing a cluster analysis. Small samples

(tens of cases) can be clustered by building the

clusters one link at a time, by joining cases with

their nearest “neighbor” in terms of their similarity

on the variables. For larger numbers of cases,

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