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Social Sciences | American Journal of Cultural Sociology - A Palgrave journal

American Journal of Cultural Sociology
Palgrave Macmillan UK

American Journal of Cultural Sociology

Editor: J. Alexander; R.N. Jacobs; P. Smith

ISSN: 2049-7113 (print version)
ISSN: 2049-7121 (electronic version)

Journal no. 41290

Palgrave Macmillan UK


Welcome to the American Journal of Cultural Sociology.
Launched in 2013 the American Journal of Cultural Sociology aims to provide a single space where cultural sociologists can follow the latest developments and debates within the field

AJCS forthcoming special issue on the 2016 US Election

American politics are now hurtling forward into unanticipated territories. What mad switchmen placed the US on this set of tracks?
In this special issue of the American Journal of Cultural Sociology, Guest Edited by Jason L. Mast, leading sociologists explain the mystery of how the 2016 US presidential election created a sense of rupture even while the cultural elements that facilitated Trump’s victory have been shaping America’s political, religious, news media and entertainment spheres for some time.
The articles in this special issue explain how and why Donald Trump won the presidency, and they outline how his victory will impact the future of democratic politics, journalism, the US’s positioning in the global order, and America’s model of multicultural citizenship.
This special issue presents new theorizing on post-rupture politics, and charts innovative pathways forward for analysing democratic elections occurring in contexts of fractured civic epistemologies and troubled legitimacies.
Click here to see the full list of contributions that will comprise the issue ahead of its publication. We hope you enjoy them!
A flyer about the issue is available here.

AJCS special issue: Inequality

Inequality has come roaring back onto the public agenda, punctuated by Barack Obama’s December 2013 claim that income inequality is “a defining challenge of our time”. But if the new object of civil concern is economic, the nature of that concern remains centrally cultural.
Ahead of the American Sociological Association's 2017 meeting, which tackles culture, inequalities, and social inclusion across the globe, we are pleased to announce a special double-length issue of AJCS which explores the social meanings that inform contemporary discussions about inequality. Examining prisoner re-entry narratives, racialized exclusion, support programs for former foster youth, discourses of cultural mobility, and elite parenting strategies, these articles provide important new resources for thinking about culture and inequality.

AJCS selected for the Thomson Reuters Emerging Sources Citation Index!

We are delighted to announce that the American Journal of Cultural Sociology will now be indexed in Thomson Reuters’ Web of Science Core Collection, in the new Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI)!
Starting with issue 4.1 (February 2016), AJCS will be included in a new index, ESCI, which launched in 2015. This index extends the publications discoverable in Thomson Reuters’ Web of Science Core Collection to include high-quality, peer-reviewed publications in emerging scientific fields and of regional importance. The Thomson Reuters Web of Science is one of the most trustworthy sources for citation counts, and AJCS’s inclusion in the ESCI provides greater discoverability for the journal and allows for real-time insight into the citation performance.
AJCS is already indexed by SCOPUS, a database listing journals and country scientific indicators and rankings. Inclusion into Web of Science within our first four years of publishing is a huge milestone!

Dedicated Book Reviews Editor appointed to AJCS

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Isaac Ariail Reed as Book Reviews Editor for the American Journal of Cultural Sociology. The addition of Dr. Reed to the editorial team is a welcome expansion of the journal's activities and will broaden the scope of the conversation that AJCS promotes.
Authors interested in submitting a Book Review to AJCS should contact Dr. Reed at iar2c@virginia.edu.

American Journal of Cultural Sociology accepted into Scopus

We are delighted to announce that AJCS has been accepted into Elsevier's international indexing database, Scopus. The reviewers of the title commented, “this is an outstanding journal with a great team of editors and an internationally prominent editorial board, top-notch authors, interesting papers, and a citation record that older, more established journals must envy”. We are very proud indeed of this journal, as it has only just completed its second volume and is therefore very young to be included. Our warmest congratulations and thanks to everyone involved, but particularly our team of editors.

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  • Aims and Scope

    Aims and Scope


    From modernity's onset, social theorists have been announcing the death of meaning, at the hands of market forces, impersonal power, scientific expertise, and the pervasive forces of rationalization and industrialization. Yet, cultural structures and processes have proved surprisingly resilient. Relatively autonomous patterns of meaning - sweeping narratives and dividing codes, redolent if elusive symbols, fervent demands for purity and cringing fears of pollution - continue to exert extraordinary effects on action and institutions. They affect structures of inequality, racism and marginality, gender and sexuality, crime and punishment, social movements, market success and citizen incorporation. New and old new media project continuous symbolic reconstructions of private and public life.

    As contemporary sociology registered the continuing robustness of cultural power, the new discipline of cultural sociology was born. How should these complex cultural processes be conceptualized? What are the best empirical ways to study social meaning? Even as debates rage around these field-specific theoretical and methodological questions, a broadly cultural sensibility has spread into every arena of sociological study, illuminating how struggles over meaning affect the most disparate processes of contemporary social life.

    Bringing together the best of these studies and debates, the American Journal of Cultural Sociology (AJCS) publicly crystallizes the cultural turn in contemporary sociology. By providing a common forum for the many voices engaged in meaning-centered social inquiry, the AJCS will facilitate communication, sharpen contrasts, sustain clarity, and allow for periodic condensation and synthesis of different perspectives. The journal aims to provide a single space where cultural sociologists can follow the latest developments and debates within the field.

    We welcome high quality submissions of varied length and focus: contemporary and historical studies, macro and micro, institutional and symbolic, ethnographic and statistical, philosophical and methodological. Contemporary cultural sociology has developed from European and American roots, and today is an international field. The AJCS will publish rigorous, meaning-centered sociology whatever its origins and focus, and will distribute it around the world.

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