Joshua J. Yates

Joshua J. Yates Director

Research Assistant Professor of Sociology

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Joshua J. Yates is Research Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Virginia and Director of the Program on Culture, Capitalism, and Global Change at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture.
Professor Yates is a sociologist specializing in the study of culture and cultural change in the late modern world, with an emphasis on moral and ethical life.

His work thus far has concentrated on two overlapping questions: (1) How is globalization changing, challenging, and complicating our inherited moral outlooks and ethical practices? and (2) What does it mean and take to thrive in a globalizing world?

The first question examines the development, institutionalization, and diffusion of a rudimentary global cultural order based in an array of international governmental and non-governmental organizations and activist movements, while the second concentrates on the ways this global cultural order defines, seeks to secure, measures, and evaluates human thriving.

He has written on the cultural imperatives of humanitarian and human rights organizations, on the rise of the anti-globalization protest movement, on the ways modern institutions contend with disaster and catastrophe, and, most recently, on the cultural significance of sustainability as a leading paradigm of social, political, and ethical action.

He is currently working on two separate, but related lines of research. The first is a book project on the moral and ethical dimensions of contemporary globalization, entitled: The Problem of ‘the Good’ World: Global Culture and Our Changing Moral Imaginaries. The second is “The Thriving Cities Project,” a multi-year, interdisciplinary initiative to create a new form of community assessment based on a holistic understanding of “thriving” in twenty-first century cities.

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The Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture is an interdisciplinary research center and intellectual community at the University of Virginia committed to understanding contemporary cultural change and its individual and social consequences, training young scholars, and providing intellectual leadership in service to the public good.

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