The Center for Cultural Sociology at Bar Ilan University is dedicated to the study of cultural processes and structures of meaning in social life. Cultural sociology is an influential academic school of thought committed to meaning-centered analysis in the social sciences with an emphasis on the constitutive role of cultural representations and symbolic process in all domains of social life. Because cultural phenomena cannot be divorced from the structure and patterning of social organization, studies in cultural sociology focus primarily on the meso level of social institutions and examine the variable ways in which institutional practices shape both individual and collective action and interpretation.
The Bar Ilan center is a leading hub for research in cultural sociology within the Israeli academic landscape. It is administered jointly by the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and the Interdisciplinary Program for Hermeneutics and Cultural Studies and capitalizes on the accumulated expertise of both departments in the qualitative study of culture. Our primary aim is to integrate cultural theory with grounded empirical research and to develop concepts and frameworks that illuminate how the micro, meso and macro levels of social practice interact and come together. The center also aims to establish a focal meeting point for research in the humanities and social sciences that employs interpretive methods rooted in hermeneutic and phenomenological perspectives.
Our researchers study a range of topics with a focus on: social and cultural theory, civil society, media and consumption studies, digital culture, sociology of taste, judgment and evaluation. political culture, national solidarity and politics of friendship, gift and philanthropy, sociology of emotions and the therapeutic discourse, public rituals and performance studies, anthropology of theater, ethnic, class and religious identities, organizational culture and market cultures.