Defending Culture

Conceptual Foundations and Contemporary Debate

  • Johan Fornäs

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-viii
  2. Johan Fornäs
    Pages 1-7
  3. Towards Culture: Concepts

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 9-9
    2. Johan Fornäs
      Pages 35-48
  4. Against Culture: Contestations

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 89-89
    2. Johan Fornäs
      Pages 91-108
    3. Johan Fornäs
      Pages 109-140
    4. Johan Fornäs
      Pages 141-162
  5. Rethinking Culture: Considerations

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 163-163
    2. Johan Fornäs
      Pages 165-194
    3. Johan Fornäs
      Pages 195-217
    4. Johan Fornäs
      Pages 219-225
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 227-256

About this book


This book concerns the implications and interrelations of key concepts of culture, defending an updated communicative notion of culture as meaning-making against a series of current challenges. The first part of the book distinguishes four main concepts of culture, presenting their histories, uses, limitations and mutual contradictions, which else often tend to be neglected. The second part scrutinizes neomaterialist and posthumanist critics’ antihermeneutic efforts to escape the spirals of interpretation and meaning. Learning from such contestations, the third part summarizes the arguments and in five theses reconstructs a contemporary and comprehensive agenda for cultural studies, based on creative imagination and communicative mediation in the dynamic interface between meaning and materiality. This thus provides a survey of fundamental concepts and theories of culture for students and scholars in the humanities and social sciences, while simultaneously also serving as an introductory guide to the contemporary debate in this field.


Cultural Theory New materialism Post-humanism Critical hermeneutics Cultural concept

Authors and affiliations

  • Johan Fornäs
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Culture and EducationSödertörn UniversityHuddingeSweden

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2017
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Literature, Cultural and Media Studies
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-57809-5
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-57810-1
  • About this book