Lee, Orville

Orville Lee
PhD, Sociology, University of California, Berkeley;
MA, Sociology, University of California, Berkeley;
AB, History, Washington University
Associate Professor of Culture and Media

My research is primarily focused in the areas of social theory/social thought, cultural sociology, and the sociology of knowledge. These areas have overlapped in several research projects: a theoretical reconstruction of the concept of race in the social sciences; explorations of the languages social scientists use to understand the relationship between culture and power; and the analysis of concept of meaning and its place in interpretive sociology.
Courses Taught:
Classics in Social Thought: Marx, Durkheim, Weber
Culture Concept: Society, History, Critique
Symbolic Struggles: Culture, Conflict, and Consensus in the U. S.
Psychoanalysis and Society
Heterodox Identities: Racial Passing in Media and Performance
Understanding Inequality and Social Policy
Recent Publications:

  • Desire for Race (Cambridge University Press, November 2008)

  •    “Race After the Cultural Turn” in Mark Jacobs and Nancy Hanrahan eds., The Blackwell Companion to the Sociology of Culture, 2004

  •   Legal Weapons for the Weak? Democratizing the Force of Words in an Uncivil Society,” Law & Social Inquiry 26, 2001

  •  “Classifying Acts: State Speech, Race, and Democracy,” Constellations: An International Journal of Critical and Democratic Theory8, 2001
  • “The Constitution of Meaning: On the Practical Conditions of Social Understanding,” Current Perspectives in Social Theory 20, 2000
Office Location:
Lang College
457, 65 W. 11th Street
Office Hours:
Tues. 2-4 pm

Research Interests:
Politics and cultural processes; Interpretation and the social sciences; Symbolic power, norms, and social critique; Psychoanalysis; Otto Gross
Professional Affiliations:
  • American Sociological Association
  • Editorial Council, Constellations: An International Journal of Critical and Democratic Theory
Awards and Honors:
  • Distinguished University Teaching Award. New School University. 2004
  • Outstanding Article of 1999. Awarded by the Sociology of Culture Section of the American Sociological Association for “Culture and Democratic Theory: Toward a Theory of Symbolic Democracy,” Constellations: An International Journal of Critical and Democratic Theory 5, 4 (December 1998): 433-455.

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