Performative

Wilfred M. McClay

What is worse, the meaning of performative in contemporary parlance, while not very precise, is almost exactly the opposite of the word’s original meaning.

The Long, Withdrawing Roar

Philip S. Gorski

Over the last half century, there has been a transition from regular to irregular forms of cultural and political combat.

The Endless Pursuit of Better

Elizabeth Currid-Halkett

What is clear is that the great divisions in our country rest on our different systems of cultural capital.

Identity Tethering in an Age of Symbolic Politics

Mark Dunbar

The less politics effects change, the more politics will affect mood.

Distinctions That Define and Divide

What are the dynamics and power of the capitals of distinction?


Of Continuing Interest

A selection of articles from the archives

Our Pets, Ourselves

Christine Rosen

A turn to animals for emotional support is hardly surprising, even if it is not ideal.

The Lost Art of Dying

Thomas Pfau

Death is experienced as the total absence of meaning and, consequently, as something not to be understood but merely to be managed by drawing on medical ingenuity, pharmaceutical resources, and the (increasingly limited) forbearance of insurance companies.

Re-enchantment and Iconoclasm in an Age of Images

Anna Marazuela Kim

Much like the old wars of religion that shaped Europe, the new wars are fought on the ground of the image.

Against Mastery

Wilfred M. McClay

Our dignity derives not only from our relentless drive for mastery but also from our graceful acceptance of limits.