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Macionis and Plummer (2012, p. 144) defines Culture as a “the values, beliefs, behavior, practices and material objects that constitute a peoples’ way of life”, and Sociology as “the systematic study of human society” (Macionis and Plummer 2012, p.964). In light of this, Cultural sociology demands that culture and social structural forces, especially economic forces to be dissociated in order to allow a form of cultural self-governance, rather than these cultural structures to be seen as external to individuals. The following essay will discuss the frame work of cultural sociology developed by Jeffery Alexander. In order to discuss how important cultural sociology for the development of South Africa is, I will assess to what extent contemporary South Africa embodies the characteristics of a cultural society in comparison to surviving practices and traditional beliefs.
Theoretical framework of cultural sociology is best described as the importance of culture being seen an independent variable. Alexander (2003), emphasizes the importance of culture shaping society instead of culture being a product of society. He puts culture first and highlights that, “To believe in the possibility of a cultural sociology is to subscribe to the idea that every action, no matter how instrumental, reflexive or coerced vis-a-vis its external environments” (Alexander 2003:12). Comparatively, “Sociology of culture” implies that institutions, irrespective of how impersonal and technocratic have an ideal substructure that essentially shapes their institutional objectives and gives the structured factors for debates regarding their legitimation. Due to natural positivism, one would state that the more traditional sociology of culture system refers to culture as a dependent variable. Contrary to popular belief cultural sociology is regarded an independent variable that consists a comparable...

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