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Sociológica (México)

On-line version ISSN 2007-8358Print version ISSN 0187-0173


REYGADAS, Luis. Critique of Critical Dualism. The Return of Essentialist Approaches in the Analysis of Culture. Sociológica (Méx.) [online]. 2019, vol.34, n.96, pp.73-106. ISSN 2007-8358.

This article examines a way of conceiving culture that could be called “critical dualism,” characterized both by its transformative orientation and by its resorting to dualist visions that separate societies and cultures into two opposing, inescapable kinds. Essentialist views of culture predominated for centuries, postulating that each society and group had a distinctive, homogeneous culture shared by all its members. These ideas began to be severely questioned in the late twentieth century. The author attempts to show that, far from having disappeared, essentialist approaches have returned in new forms, in the framework of critical dualism. This is why he argues that it is necessary to renew efforts to incorporate historical and sociological dimensions into the study of cultures.

Keywords : culture; essentialism; sociology of culture; dualism; ontological turn.

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