Executive Board

Jeffrey C. Alexander

Jeffrey Alexander is the Lillian Chavenson Saden Professor of Sociology at Yale University, founder and co-director of Yale’s Center for Cultural Sociology, and co-editor of The American Journal of Cultural Sociology. A social theorist whose early work challenged the anti-cultural reductionism of classical and modern sociology, Alexander has worked with generations of students and colleagues to create a “strong program” in cultural sociology. Synthesizing late Durkheim with semiotics, poststructuralism, and cultural anthropology, he has conceptualized, not only models of deep cultural structure, but theories of cultural trauma, social performance, and material iconicity. In monographs and essays over the last two decades, Alexander has also developed ”civil sphere theory,” a macro-sociological model of democracy and the forces that can undermine it. He is currently organizing a series of conference/book projects, The Civil Sphere in Latin America, The Civil Sphere in East Asia, and The Civil Sphere and Radicalism, volumes from which will be published by Cambridge University Press. Alexander’s most recent books are Obama Power (2013, Polity, with B. Jaworsky), The Crisis of Journalism Reconsidered: Democratic Culture, Professional Codes, Digital Future (2016, Cambridge UP, ed. with E. Breese and M. Luengo), and The Drama of Social Life (forthcoming May, 2017, with Polity).

Ron Eyerman

Ron Eyerman, Professor of Sociology, received his B.A. from the New School for Social Research, a Masters in Labor and Industrial Relations from the University of Oregon, and his Doctorate at the University of Lund, Sweden. He is the author of Music and Social Movements (Cambridge, 1998), Cultural Trauma: Slavery and the Formation of African-American Identity (Cambridge, 2002), Cultural Trauma and Collective Identity (with Alexander, Giesen, Smelser, and Sztompka, University of California Press, 2004) and the editor of Myth, Meaning and Performance: Toward a New Cultural Sociology of the Arts (with Lisa McCormick, Paradigm Publishers, 2006). Eyerman’s interests include cultural and social movement theory, critical theory, cultural studies and the sociology of the arts.

Philip Smith

Philip Smith researches in the areas of social and cultural theory, cultural sociology and criminology. Working mostly from a Durkheimian perspective, he is concerned with the role of symbolic codes, narratives, classifications, morality and rituals in social life and the ways that these structure conflict, identity and action. Smith is author of Why War? The Cultural Logic of Iraq, the Gulf War and Suez (Chicago, 2005), and is co-editor with Jeffrey Alexander of The Cambridge Companion to Durkheim (Cambridge, 2005). His textbooks include The New American Cultural Sociology (editor, Cambridge, 1998); Researching the Visual (with M. Emmison, Sage, 2000); Cultural Theory: An Introduction (Blackwell, 2001) and Law, Criminal Justice and Society (with K. Natalier, Sage, 2005). He has contributed around forty articles and chapters to venues such as: The American Journal of Sociology; British Journal of Criminology; British Journal of Sociology; The Encyclopedia of Nationalism; The Encyclopedia of Peace, Violence and Conflict; The European Sociological Review; Theory, Culture and Society; Theory and Society and The Sociological Review.

Frederick F. Wherry

Frederick Wherry is an economic and cultural sociologist who toggles between domestic and global investigations of money, value, and social life. Since 2008, he has published five books and a four volume encyclopedia. (Two more books are under contract, including the new Oxford Handbook of Consumption, edited with Ian Woodward.) He serves as vice-president of the Social Science History Association and will serve as president starting in November 2017. He is also chair-elect of the Economic Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association and past-chair of the Consumers and Consumption Section. He serves on the Policy Board of the Journal of Consumer Research and on the Advisory Board of Race in the Marketplace. At Yale he is co-director of the Center for Cultural Sociology. His work has explored how people use narratives, social ties, and dynamic performances to understand, contest, and transform the value of places and things. His work is now focused on financial inclusion and budgeting practices for low- and moderate-income consumers in the US and abroad. He is the co-editor (with Jennifer Lena and Greta Hsu) of the new book series at Stanford University Press: Culture and Economic Life.