Contemporary articles citing Weber M (1968) Ec Soc
model, choice, understanding, suggests, process, developed, interaction, culture, many, will
- Adkins, Daniel & Stephen Vaisey. 2009. "Toward a Unified Stratification Theory: Structure, Genome, and Status Across Human Societies." Sociological Theory. 27:2 99-121.
- While social scientists and geneticists have a shared interest in the personal characteristics instrumental to status attainment, little has been done to integrate these disparate perspectives. This is unfortunate, as the perspectives offer complementary insights, which, if properly combined, stand to substantially improve understanding of the stratification process. This article synthesizes research from the social sciences and genetics to develop a multistage theory of how social structure moderates the influence of the genome on status outcomes. Its thesis is that the strength of the genome's influence on status is primarily moderated by two properties of social structure-levels of resource inequality and social mobility. Thus, it is theorized that under conditions of low inequality and high social mobility, the influence of the genome on status will be high relative to conditions of high inequality and low social mobility. The essential logic is (1) as inequality increases, the characteristics and abilities intrinsically useful in status attainment are increasingly influenced by individuals' social backgrounds and decreasingly determined by their genomes; and (2) as social closure and inequality increase, the utility of these characteristics and abilities to status attainment is diminished. In sum, a model of status attainment is developed proposing that while both genome and social background influence the status attainment process, the relative importance of these factors is determined by the surrounding structure of the society.
- Simpson, B & D Willer. 2005. "The Structural Embeddedness of Collective Goods: Connection and Coalitions in Exchange Networks." Sociological Theory. 23:4 386-407.
- The growing body of literature on coalitions in exchange networks has addressed issues such as the kind of social dilemmas posed and how structurally disadvantaged actors overcome free-rider problems. We add to this stream of research by focusing explicitly on what low-power actors can gain from collective action. We offer theory that predicts whether actors can gain a collective good by forming coalitions and, if so, the size of that good, for all types of network connection. The results from new experiments yield strong support for the predictions. Results show that (1) collective goods are latent in some, but not all, types of exchange structures; (2) when present, collective good size is determined by connection type; and (3) these goods are made manifest through collective action. Among other phenomena, the theory explains why networks that generate identical exchange ratios when participants act independently can produce different size collective goods when they act collectively. This article concludes with a discussion of implications, limitations, and directions for future research.
- Berger, J, D Willer & M Zelditch. 2005. "Theory Programs and Theoretical Problems." Sociological Theory. 23:2 127-155.
- Some sociologists argue that sociological theory does not grow and the reason why it does not grow is that the discipline lacks a core of highly developed, almost universally accepted, paradigms; even worse, because it is reflexive, its criteria of problem and theory choice are so noncognitive that there are no paradigms, hence no progress, in its future. We do not question that sociology lacks a core of almost universally accepted paradigms, nor that highly developed paradigms may be a sufficient condition of theory growth, but we question both that universal acceptance of them is necessary and that sociology has nothing like them. We argue that theoretical research programs-sets of strategies, sets of interrelated theories embodying these strategies, and empirical models interpreting these theories-are sufficient for theoretical growth. An examination of three theoretical research programs in this article shows that they perform some of the same functions for theory growth as, in Kuhn, are performed by paradigms. Sociology may lack a universally accepted core, but there are theoretical research programs in sociology, and therefore already there is theory growth if it is looked for in the right place. Nor is there any warrant for the view that because its criteria of problem and theory choice are inescapably noncognitive, there are no paradigms, hence no progress, in sociology's future. If that were true, not only would sociology lack paradigms, but also theoretical research programs. We conclude from our study that sociology need not wait on the emergence of a universally accepted core. It is sufficient for the growth of theory that it develops further its existing theoretical research programs and that it encourages the creation of new programs.
- Ritzer, G. 2003. "Rethinking Globalization: Glocalization/grobalization and Something/nothing." Sociological Theory. 21:3 193-209.
- The concept of ``grobalization'' is proposed to complement the popular idea of ``glocalization.'' In addition, a sociologically relevant concept of ``nothing'' is defined and juxtaposed with ``something.'' Two continua are created-grobalization-glocalization and nothing-something-and their intersection creates four quadrants: the grobalization of nothing, glocalization of nothing, grobalization of something, and glocalization of something. Of greatest importance are the grobalization a nothing and the glocalization of something, (is well (is the conflict between them. The grobalization of nothing threatens to overwhelm the latter and everything else. Other issues discussed include the loss of something in a world increasingly dominated by nothing, the disappearance of the local, and the relationship of the triumph of nothing to political economy, especially social class. I conclude that no social class is immune to this process and that the poor and lower classess may be ``doomed'' to something.
- Hallett, T. 2003. "Symbolic Power and Organizational Culture." Sociological Theory. 21:2 128-149.
- With the recent wave of corporate scandals, organizational culture has regained relevance in politics and the media, However, to acquire enduring utility, the concept needs an overhaul to overcome the weaknesses of earlier approaches. As such, this paper reconceptualizes organizational culture as a negotiated order (Strauss 1978) that emerges through interactions between participants, an order influenced by those with the symbolic power to define the situation. I stress the complementary contributions of theorists of,practice (Bourdieu and Swidler) and theorists of interaction (Goffman and Strauss), building upward from practice into interaction, symbolic power, and the negotiated order. Using data from initial reports on the fall of Arthur Andersen and Co., I compare this symbolic power approach to other approaches (culture as subjective beliefs and values or as context/public meaning). The symbolic power model has five virtues: an empirically observable object of study; the capacity to explain conflict and integration; the ability to explain stability and change; causal efficacy; and links between the micro-, meso-, and macrolevels of analysis. Though this paper focuses on organizational culture, the symbolic power model provides theoretical leverage for understanding many situated contexts.
- Verter, B. 2003. "Spiritual Capital: Theorizing Religion With Bourdieu Against Bourdieu." Sociological Theory. 21:2 150-174.
- Bourdieu's. theory of culture offers a rich conceptual resource for the social-scientific study of religion. In particular, his analysis of cultural capital as a medium of social relations suggests an economic model of religion alternative to that championed by rational choice theorists. After evaluating Bourdieu's limited writings on religion, this paper draws upon his wider work to craft a new model of ``spiritual capital.'' Distinct from Iannaccone's and Stark and Finke's visions of ``religious capital,'' this Bourdieuian model treats religious knowledge, competencies, and preferences as Positional goods within a competitive symbolic economy. The valuation of spiritual capital is the object of continuous struggle and is subject to considerable temporal and subcultural variation. A model of spiritual capital illuminates such phenomena as religious conversion, devotional eclecticism, religious fads, and social mobility. It also suggests some necessary modifications to Bourdieu's theoretical system, particularly his understanding of individual agency, cultural production, and the relative autonomy of fields.
- Gartman, D. 2002. "Bourdieu's Theory of Cultural Change: Explication, Application, Critique." Sociological Theory. 20:2 255-277.
- Pierre Bourdieu's theory of cultural change is more powerfull and comprehensive than other recent theories, which neglect one or another of the important dimensions of cultural markets. Bourdieu's theory conceptualizes both the supply and demand sides of the market, as well as specifying their interaction with external social factors. Two cases from American culture are developed to demonstrate the explanatory power of Bourdieu's theory of cultural change: the demise of tail fins in automobile design and the fall of modernism in architecture. These cases reveal, however, that Bourdieu's theory fails to account for the leveling of cultural hierarchies and the emergence of pluralized cultural fields. The general conditions,for such leveling and pluralization are developed from a comparison of the two cases.
- Rawls, AW. 2000. "``race'' as an Interaction Order Phenomenon: W.e.b. Du Bois's ``double Consciousness'' Thesis Revisited''." Sociological Theory. 18:2 241-274.
- This article reports on a study of interaction between Americans who self-identify as Black and White that reveals underlying expectations with regard to conversation that differ between the two groups. These differences seem not to have much to do with class or gender, but rather vary largely according to self-identification by ``race''. The argument of this paper will be that the social phenomena of ``race'' are constructed at the level of interaction whenever Americans self-identified as Black and White speak to one another. This is because the Interaction Order expectations with regard to both self and community vary between the two groups. Because the ``language games'' and conversational Orders, the ``working consensus'' is substantially different and as a consequence,conversational ``moves'' are not recognizably the same. It will be argued that a great deal of institutional discrimination against African Americans can be traced to this source.
- Collins, R. 2000. "Situational Stratification: a Micro-macro Theory of Inequality." Sociological Theory. 18:1 17-43.
- Kiser, E. 1999. "Comparing Varieties of Agency Theory in Economics, Political Science, and Sociology: an Illustration From State Policy Implementation." Sociological Theory. 17:2 146-170.
- As rational choice theory has moved from economics into political science and sociology, it has been dramatically transformed. The intellectual diffusion of agency theory illustrates this process. Agency theory is a general model of social relations involving the delegation of authority, and generally resulting in problems of control, which has been applied to a broad range of substantive contexts. This paper analyzes applications of agency theory to state policy implementation in economics, political science, and sociology. After documenting variations in the theory across disciplinary contexts, the strengths and weaknesses of these different varieties of agency theory are assessed. Sociological versions of agency theory incorporating both broader microfoundations and richer models of social structure, are in many respects the most promising. This type of agency theory illustrates the potential of art emerging sociological version of rational choice theory.
- Bendix, J. 1998. "Comparison in the Work of Reinhard Bendix." Sociological Theory. 16:3 302-312.
- Discussions of modes of analysis, as well as the received wisdom about,which categories to place scholars in, often obscure the breadth and nature of inquiry a particular figure engaged in. This examination of Reinhard Bendix's various uses of comparison suggests that, beyond the sociohistorical comparison he was known for one should also consider his reflexive works, his work on the role of social science and claims for knowledge, and his reflections on the history of ideas, the need for conceptual clarification of terms, and the search for regularities and universals.
- Whitmeyer, JM. 1997. "Endogamy as a Basis for Ethnic Behavior." Sociological Theory. 15:2 162-178.
- In this article I argue for endogamy as a fundamental cause of human behavior that is often classified as ethnic. Specifically, I show that it would make evolutionary sense for people to help possible co-progenitors of their descendants. This suggests that in many situations people will help preferentially the minimal endogamous set of people to which they belong. Such help mostly will be restricted to providing benefits that are nearly ``non-rival''-benefits that group members can ``consume'' without making others consume less. This (partial) explanation of pro-ethny behavior reconciles key points from various approaches to ethnicity and agrees with many empirical observations, such as the link between endogamy and ethnicity and the variability of criteria for ethnicity. This explanation yields predictions and explanations in a number of problematic areas; for example, it suggests that expansion of the marriage pool, often occurring as a result of urbanization, is a crucial factor in the transformation of local identities into nationalism.
- Kalberg, S. 1996. "On the Neglect of Weber's Protestant Ethic as a Theoretical Treatise: Demarcating the Parameters of Postwar American Sociological Theory." Sociological Theory. 14:1 49-70.
- Although widely recognized as one of sociology's true classics, Max Weber's The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism has largely failed to influence the development of sociological theory in the United States. Because it has been read almost exclusively as a study of the ``role of ideas'' in economic development, its diverse and multifaceted theoretical contributions generally have been neglected. This study explicitly calls attention to The Protestant Ethic as a theoretical treatise by examining this classic in reference to four major debates in postwar sociological theory in the United States. Moreover, it demarcates an array of major parameters in American theorizing. The conclusion speculates upon the reasons for the strong opposition to The Protestant Ethic's theoretical lessons and argues that a style of theorizing unique to sociology in the United States has erected firm barriers against this classic text.