Culture(s) on the margins: an introduction

Simon Stewart*, Rita Ribeiro

*Corresponding author for this work

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Sociologists and those working in related disciplines have often found more of interest on the margins than in the centre. It is where innovation takes place, where the new replaces the outmoded, where ‘outsider’ or heterodox voices challenge the orthodoxy, and where culture creators are most able to follow the laws inherent to their specific region of the cultural field. The margins are where you will find ‘underground’ or ‘cutting edge’ scenes. Moreover, ethnographic traditions in sociological research have produced fine-grained accounts of cultures of subaltern, subcultural, diasporic groups, and the ways in which these groups and individuals engage in counter-hegemonic practices. At the same time, sociologists have also drawn attention to how those occupying the margins of societal fields are characterised in terms of lack: dominated individuals and groups lack the requisite cultural capital or social connections to get on in life. This special issue, which derives from discussions held at the Culture(s) on the Margins mid-term Sociology of Culture Research Network (European Sociological Association) conference at University of Portsmouth in the summer of 2022, contributes to debates on the relatively underexplored topic of culture(s) on the margins through several conceptual and empirical interventions. In doing so, it focuses on three interrelated aspects of marginality: first, marginality as a site of domination; second, marginality as opening up spaces of resistance; and third, marginality as enabling different ways of seeing and thinking.
Original languageEnglish
Article number08
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Cultural Analysis and Social Change
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Dec 2023


  • culture
  • margins
  • marginality
  • sociology
  • cultural sociology

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