The warring twins

History of the Human Sciences 20 (2):99-122 (2007)
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Of all sociology's `strange others', cultural studies is perhaps the least unfamiliar to many sociologists. Yet cultural studies exists in one of the most ambiguous relationships with sociology of any academic discipline. In this article, it is argued that the complicated nature of the relationship is compelled by the very closeness of the two participants in it. What often seems to be an ongoing state of ritualized antagonism between them flows not from their ostensible differences but in fact from their striking underlying similarities. Their symbiotic bond both compels, and is hidden by, the rhetorical displays of selfhood in which they both often engage. The article reviews and assesses this state of affairs, and argues that the similarities between the two disciplines are actually based on a number of shared epistemological assumptions, a priori ways of thinking that in fact are very much open to question. A critique of these assumptions is outlined, and it is suggested that by recognizing their shared nature, both sociology and cultural studies, and the relationship between them, would enter into a greater state of intellectual maturity.



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Critique of Pure Reason.I. Kant - 1787/1998 - Philosophy 59 (230):555-557.
Culture and Society, 1780-1950.R. A. C. Oliver & Raymond Williams - 1959 - British Journal of Educational Studies 8 (1):74.
Boundary Maintenance, Border Crossing and the Nature/culture Divide.John Bone & David Inglis - 2006 - European Journal of Social Theory 9 (2):272-287.

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