Interstitial Institutions

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    Lately, cultural sociologists have been engaged in theorizing the complexity and ambiguities of border-crossing translations from a variety of research strings. This article contributes to this theorizing by developing the concept of interstitial institutions as ongoing sites of translations. Building on the history of gift-giving practices of Danish philanthropic organizations from the enactment of the Danish constitution in 1849 till today, the article broadens and expands on civil sphere theory (CST) in three ways. First, it shows how interstitial institutions are an important site of translation because they work as a lock on the border between the non-civil and civil spheres, and this dual membership inevitably leads to ongoing boundary tensions. Second, the study of interstitial institutions provides insights into how civil repair is molded by cultural-historical contexts and narratives and consequently fertilizes particular ways of mobilizing cultural codes. Third, studying interstitial institutions and their translation practices emphasizes and strengthens CST’s processual ground.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalCultural Sociology
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)96-114
    Number of pages19
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023

    Bibliographical note

    Published online: November 4, 2022.


    • Border-crossing
    • Civil repair
    • Civil sphere theory
    • Gift-giving
    • Interstitial institutions
    • Philanthropy
    • Translations

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