Prof. Jeffrey C. Alexander

Jeffrey C. Alexander

Lillian Chavenson Saden Professor of Sociology
Chair of the Department of Sociology
Yale University (USA)

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Jeffrey C. Alexander got his Ph.D in 1978 from University of California, Berkeley.

Prof. Alexander works in the areas of theory, culture, and politics and is one of the most eminent exponent of the "strong program" in cultural sociology; he has investigated the cultural codes and narratives that inform such diverse areas as computer technology, environmental politics, war-making, the Watergate crisis, and civil society.

In the field of politics, Prof. Alexander is finishing a redefinition of a theory of the Civil Sphere and its contradictions (he has been particularly interested in studying the structured discourse of the civil sphere, finding a binary language of purifying and polluting qualities).

As to the theory issues, he has recently moved "after" neofunctionalism to try to develop some new directions in contemporary theory, especially making connections with philosophy, literary studies, and political theory.

In cultural sociology, his work has been associated with what he calls the "late-Durkheimian" approach, or the "strong program" in cultural sociology (as compared to the "weak" program of the sociology of culture).

Prof. Alexander's researches move between the history of social thought, interpretative disputes and the construction of systematic models.

His visiting appointments include being Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, (1998-1999), Fellow at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study in the Social Sciences (1992 and 1996), Fellow at the School of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton, New Jersey, (1985-1986) and being Visiting Professor at Nanki University (PRE), Hebrew University, University of Bordeaux, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales and École des Hautes; Études en Sciences Politiques. From the 1994 he has been Executive Council of International Sociological Association's Research Committee on Sociological Theory.

His most recent book is The New Social Theory Reader (edited with S. Seidman, Routledge, 2001).

At AILUN Prof. Alexander presents his recent investigations on the Civil Society sphere and how it is at the foundations of some current social claims such as movements against arms, movements for sexual citizenship, movements to create an ecologically harmonious society.

Some Publications

Jeffrey C. Alexander and Steven Seidman (eds) (2001), The New Social Theory Reader Contemporary debates, Routledge

Neil J. Smelser and Jeffrey C. Alexander (eds) (1999), Diversity and Its Discontents, Princeton

Jeffrey C. Alexander (1998), Real Civil Societies: Dilemmas of Institutionalization, SAGE publications

Jeffrey C. Alexander (ed) (1998), Neofunctionalism and After, Basil Blackwell

Jeffrey C. Alexander (1995), Fin-de-Siècle Social Theory: Relativism, Reduction and the Problem of Reason, Verso Books

Jeffrey C. Alexander and Steven Seidman(eds) (1990), Culture and Society: Contemporary Debates, Cambridge University Press

Jeffrey C. Alexander (1989) Structure and Meaning: Relinking Classical Sociology, Columbia University Press

Jeffrey C. Alexander (1988), Action and Its Environments: Towards a New Synthesis Columbia University Press

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