The premiss on which this book is based is that the focus of intellectual work in the human sciences in the second half of the twentieth century has been a theme of culture. This may seem unremarkable as culture is obviously one of the foundation concepts of the human sciences and as such has always been central. I believe, however, that culture, and a number of related concepts, have become simultaneously both the dominant topic and most productive intellectual resource in ways that lead us to rewrite our understanding of life in the modern world. In these essays I will attempt to describe what I mean by these claims and illustrate their significance for contemporary social and political theory.