Contemporary articles citing Weber M (1978) Ec Soc

concept, suggests, action, rational, approach, recent, second, argues, society, first

Manza, Jeff & Clem Brooks. 2012. "How Sociology Lost Public Opinion: a Genealogy of a Missing Concept in the Study of the Political." Sociological Theory. 30:2 89-113. Link
In contemporary sociology the once prominent study of public opinion has virtually disappeared. None of the leading theoretical models in the closest disciplinary subfield (political sociology) currently provide ample or sufficiently clear space for consideration of public opinion as a possible factor in shaping or interacting with key policy or political outcomes in democratic polities. In this article, we unearth and document the sources of this curious development and raise questions about its implications for how political sociologists have come to understand policy making, state formation, and political conflict. We begin by reconstructing the dismissal of public opinion in the intellectual reorientation of political sociology from the late 1970s onward. We argue that the most influential scholarly works of this period (including those of Tilly, Skocpol, Mann, Esping-Andersen, and Domhoff) face an underlying paradox: While often rejecting public opinion, their theoretical logics ultimately presuppose its operation. These now classical writings did not move toward research programs seeking engagement with the operation and formation of public opinion, even though our immanent critique suggests they in fact require precisely this turn. We address the challenge of reconceptualizing how public opinion might be productively integrated into the sociological study of politics by demonstrating that the major arguments in the subfield can be fruitfully extended by grappling with public opinion. We conclude by considering several recent, interdisciplinary examples of scholarship that, we argue, point the way toward a fruitful revitalization.

Scheve, Christian. 2012. "The Social Calibration of Emotion Expression: an Affective Basis of Micro-social Order." Sociological Theory. 30:1 1-14. Link
This article analyzes the role of emotions in social interaction and their effects on social structuration and the emergence of micro-social order. It argues that facial expressions of emotion are key in generating robust patterns of social interaction. First, the article shows that actors' encoding of facial expressions combines hardwired physiological principles on the one hand and socially learned aspects on the other hand, leading to fine-grained and socially differentiated dialects of expression. Second, it is argued that decoding facial expression is contingent upon this combination so that reciprocal attributions of emotional states, situational interpretations, and action tendencies are more effective within rather than across social units. Third, this conjunction affects the conditions for emotional contagion, which is argued to be more effective within social units exhibiting similar encoding and decoding characteristics, and thus aligns emotions and action tendencies in a coherent, yet socially differentiated way.

Jansen, Robert. 2011. "Populist Mobilization: a New Theoretical Approach to Populism." Sociological Theory. 29:2 75-96. Link
Sociology has long shied away from the problem of populism. This may be due to suspicion about the concept or uncertainty about how to fit populist cases into broader comparative matrices. Such caution is warranted: the existing interdisciplinary literature has been plagued by conceptual confusion and disagreement. But given the recent resurgence of populist politics in Latin America and elsewhere, sociology can no longer afford to sidestep such analytical challenges. This article moves toward a political sociology of populism by identifying past theoretical deficiencies and proposing a new, practice-based approach that is not beholden to pejorative common sense understandings. This approach conceptualizes populism as a mode of political practice-as populist mobilization. Its utility is demonstrated through an application to mid-twentieth-century Latin American politics. The article concludes by sketching an agenda for future research on populist mobilization in Latin America and beyond.

Steinmetz, George. 2009. "Feminism and the Abyss of Freedom." Sociological Theory. 27:1 85-89. Link

Eastwood, Jonathan. 2007. "Bourdieu, Flaubert, and the Sociology of Literature." Sociological Theory. 25:2 149-169. Link
In The Field of Cultural Production and The Rules of Art, Pierre Bourdieu offered a highly suggestive reading and analysis of Gustave Flaubert's Sentimental Education. Bourdieu's approach has been extraordinarily influential in recent years in both the sociology of culture and, increasingly, literary criticism. Yet, his treatment of Flaubert's work, this article argues, despite its indisputable insight is problematic in several ways. This article has two objectives in this connection: (1) to show how the weaknesses in Bourdieu's treatment of the novel point to certain key weaknesses in his broader social theory, and (2) to use a parallel reading of the same novel both to demonstrate said weaknesses and to embark on a discussion of the future possibilities of the sociology of literature, arguing that though we should not simply engage in Bourdieuian readings of literary texts, a consideration of the late sociologist's work could inspire a renewed, vigorous research program in this area.

Saito, Hiro. 2006. "Reiterated Commemoration: Hiroshima as National Trauma." Sociological Theory. 24:4 353-376. Link
This article examines historical transformations of Japanese collective memory of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima by utilizing a theoretical framework that combines a model of reiterated problem solving and a theory of cultural trauma. I illustrate how the event of the nuclear fallout in March 1954 allowed actors to consolidate previously fragmented commemorative practices into a master frame to define the postwar Japanese identity in terms of transnational commemoration of ``Hiroshima.'' I also show that nationalization of trauma of ``Hiroshima'' involved a shift from pity to sympathy in structures of feeling about the event. This historical study suggests that a reiterated problem-solving approach can be efficacious in analyzing how construction of national memory of a traumatic event connects with the recurrent reworking of national identity, on the one hand, and how a theory of cultural trauma can be helpful in exploring a synthesis of psychological and sociological approaches to commemoration of a traumatic event, on the other.

Symonds, M & J Pudsey. 2006. "The Forms of Brotherly Love in Max Weber's Sociology of Religion." Sociological Theory. 24:2 133-149. Link
This article examines the concept of ``brotherliness'' as presented in Max Weber's sociological studies of religion. It argues that Weber presents a complex, if at times implicit, understanding of a number of contrasting forms of brotherliness: charismatic, Puritan, mystic, and medieval Christian. The article suggests that although these contrasting forms have been largely overlooked by Weberian scholars, they add an important dimension to Weber's understanding of the costs and paradoxes of Western rationalization.

Leach, DK. 2005. "The Iron Law of What Again? Conceptualizing Oligarchy Across Organizational Forms." Sociological Theory. 23:3 312-337. Link
The debate around Michels's ``iron law of oligarchy'' over the question of whether organizations inevitably become oligarchic reaches back almost a century, but the concept of oligarchy has frequently been left underspecfied, and the measures that have been employed are especially inadequate for analyzing nonbureaucratically structured organizations. A conceptual model is needed that delineates what does and does not constitute oligarchy and can be applied in both bureaucratic and nonbureaucratic settings. Definitions found in the research are inadequate for two reasons. First, treating oligarchy solely as a feature of organizational structure neglects the possibility that a powerful elite may operate outside of the formal structure. A democratic structure is a necessary precondition, but it does not guarantee the absence of oligarchy. Second, studies that equate oligarchy with goal displacement and bureaucratic conservatism cannot account for organizations with radical goals that are nonetheless dominated by a ruling elite. This article presents a model that distinguishes between legitimate and illegitimate forms of formal and informal power to define oligarchy as a concentration of illegitimate power in the hands of an entrenched minority. The model is intended for use in organizations that are nominally democratic to determine whether a formal or informal leadership has in fact acquired oligarchic control. By providing a common framework for tracking fluctuations in the distribution and legitimacy of both formal and informal power, it is hoped that this model will facilitate a more productive bout of research on the conditions under which various forms of democratically structured organizations may be able to resist oligarchization.

Mirchandani, R. 2005. "Postmodernism and Sociology: From the Epistemological to the Empirical." Sociological Theory. 23:1 86-115. Link
This article investigates the place of postmodernism in sociology today by making a distinction between its epistemological and empirical forms. During the 1980s and early 1990s, sociologists exposited, appropriated, and normalized an epistemological postmodernism that thematizes the tentative, reflective, and possibly shifting nature of knowledge. More recently, however, sociologists have recognized the potential of a postmodern theory that turns its attention to empirical concerns. Empirical postmodernists challenge classical modern concepts to develop research programs based on new concepts like time-space reorganization, risk society, consumer capitalism, and postmodern ethics. But they do so with an appreciation for the uncertainty of the social world, ourselves, our concepts, and our commitment to our concepts that results from the encounter with postmodern epistemology. Ultimately, this article suggests that understanding postmodernism as a combination of these two moments can lead to a sociology whose epistemological modesty and empirical sensitivity encourage a deeper and broader approach to the contemporary social world.

Alexander, JC. 2004. "From the Depths of Despair: Performance, Counterperformance, and ``september 11''." Sociological Theory. 22:1 88-105. Link
After introducing a perspective on terrorism as postpolitical and after establishing the criteria for success that are immanent in this form of antipolitical action, this essay interprets September 11, 2001, and its aftermath inside a cultural-sociological perspective. After introducing a macro-model of social performance that combines structural and semiotic with pragmatic and power-oriented dimensions, I show how the terrorist attack on New York City and the counterattacks that immediately occurred in response can be viewed as an iteration of the performance/counterperformance dialectic that began decades, indeed centuries, ago in terms of the relation of Western expansion and Arab-Muslim reaction. I pay careful attention to the manner in which the counterperformance of New Yorkers and Americans develops an idealized, liminal alternative that inspired self-defense and outrage, leading to exactly the opposite performance results from those the al-Qaeda terrorists had intended.

Frank, DJ & JW Meyer. 2002. "The Profusion of Individual Roles and Identities in the Postwar Period." Sociological Theory. 20:1 86-105. Link
In recent decades, the individual has become more and more central in both national and world cultural accounts of the operation of society. This continues a long, historical process, intensified by the consolidation of a more global polity and the weakening of the primordial sovereignty of the national state. Increasingly, society is culturally rooted in the natural, historical, and spiritual worlds through the individual, rather than through corporate entities or groups. The shift has produced a proliferation and specification of individual roles, accounting for what individuals do in society. It has also produced an expansion in recognized indivdual personhood, accounting for who individuals are in the extrasocial cosmos and fueling elaborated personal tastes and preferences. Where it has been contested, the shift to the individual has also produced a rise in specializing identities (e.g., in such domains as ethnicity or gender). These offer accounts of individuals' distinctive linkages to the cosmos, and they serve to bolster individual claims to standard roles and personhood. Over time, specializing identities tend to get absorbed into roles and personhood. And in turn, expanded roles and personhood provide further bases for specializing identity claims. Because many theorists mischaracterize the relationship of specializing identities to roles and personhood, the literature often overemphasizes the anomic character of the identity explosion and the closeness of the coupling between social roles and identity claims. Oil the contrary, specializing identities tend to be edited to remain within general rules of individual personhood and to be disconnected from the obligations involved in institutionalized roles.

Fligstein, N. 2001. "Social Skill and the Theory of Fields." Sociological Theory. 19:2 105-125. Link
The problem of the relationship between actors and the social structures in which they are embedded is central to sociological theory. This paper suggests that the ``new institutionalist ``focus on fields, domains, or games provides an alternative view of how to think about this problem by focusing on the construction of loca( orders. This paper criticizes the conception of actors in both rational choice and sociological versions of these theories. A more sociological view of action, what is called ``social skill,'' is developed. The idea of social skill originates in symbolic interactionism and is defined as the ability to induct cooperation in others. This idea is elaborated to suggest how actors are important to the construction and reproduction of local orders. I show how, its elements already inform existing work. Finally I show how the idea can sensitize scholars to the role of actors in empirical work.

Hopcroft, RL. 2001. "Theoretical Implications of Regional Effects." Sociological Theory. 19:2 145-164. Link
Local economic institutions (systems of property rights and rules of land use) influenced the course of economic change in European history, as well as state formation and religious change. In this paper, I outline the theoretical implications of these regional effects. None of our existing macrolevel theories and explanations of the ``rise of the West'' can adequately incorporate them, so I present an alternative theory, based on rational choice premises. Yet the existence of these regional effects also highlights the deficiencies of a rational choice theoretical approach. First, the approach is unable to explain historical contexts, institutional legacies, or the effects of timing, which were vital for outcomes of social change but that lie outside the model itself. Second, although it can be very useful, the model of the actor motivated by material self-interest often proved inadequate in historical situations. Solutions are suggested.

Brint, S. 2001. "Gemeinschaft Revisited: a Critique and Reconstruction of the Community Concept." Sociological Theory. 19:1 1-23. Link
Community remains a potent symbol and aspiration in political and intellectual life. However, it has largely passed out of sociological analysis. The paper shows why this has occurred, and it develops a new typology that can make the concept useful again in sociology: The neu typology is based on identifying structurally distinct subtypes of community using a small number of partitioning variables. The first partition is defined by the ultimate context of interaction; the second by the primary motivation for interaction; the third by rates of interaction and location of members; and the fourth by the amount of face-to-face as opposed ro computer-mediated interaction. This small number of partitioning variables yields eight major subtypes of community. The paper shows how and why these major subtypes are related to important variations in the behavioral and organizational outcomes of community. The paper also seeks to resolve some disagreements between classical liberalism and communitarians. It shows that only a few of the major subtypes of community are likely to be as illiberal and intolerant as the selective imagery of classical liberals asserts, while at the same time only a few are prone to generate as much fraternalism and equity as the selective imagery of communitarians suggests. The paper concludes by discussing the forms of community that are best suited to the modern world.

Gibson, DR. 2000. "Seizing the Moment: the Problem of Conversational Agency." Sociological Theory. 18:3 368-382. Link
In conversation, actors face constraints on when they can speak, whom they can address, what they can say, and what they carr safely expect from others by way of cooperation. This is the backdrop against which people pursue their idiosyncratic interests and objectives, success at which constitutes conversational agency. In principle, agency is made possible by the ``looseness'' of conversational constraints. This does not create a clear path for the advancement of personal ends, however, since options are always limited by the context, and success is always contingent upon the cooperation of others. Ultimately, the most agentic people are those who readily exploit imperfect options though this means abandoning the inflexible pursuit of pre-conceived objectives.

Baxter, V & AV Margavio. 2000. "Honor, Status, and Aggression in Economic Exchange." Sociological Theory. 18:3 399-416. Link
The concept of honor links reputation and self-esteem with interaction. in social groups and provides a promising way to approach questions about the release of aggression aggression in economic exchange. While the internalization of conventional honor codes offers the hope of peaceful, if not just, exchange, competing codes of honor coexist within various aspects of the self and among members of various status groups. When a person's sense of individual or group honor is repeatedly violated in economic interaction, the reaction may include the release of aggression to repair damaged honor and establish self-respect. The narrative proceeds with art exploration of the concept of honor-followed by a brief review of the association of honor with rational action in pursuit of economic success. The problematic inscription on the self of conventional codes of honor is then discussed. A brief discussion of staged role performance and the display of alternative codes of honor in workplace interaction and in extralegal market exchange illustrates the argument. A final section considers alternative approaches to the problem of self-control as social control.

Dillon, M. 1999. "The Authority of the Holy Revisited: Habermas, Religion, and Emancipatory Possibilities." Sociological Theory. 17:3 290-306. Link
This article argues that Jurgen Habermas's view of religion as anathema to rational critical discourse reflects his misunderstanding that religion comprises a monolithic and immutable body of dogma that is closed to reason. Illustrative data from Catholic history and theology and empirical data gathered from contemporary American Catholics are used to show the weaknesses in Habermas's negation of the possibility of a self-critical religious discourse. Specifically, I highlight the doctrinal differentiation within Catholicism , its longstanding theological emphasis on the coupling of faith and reason, institutional reflexivity, and the doctrinally reflexive reasoning that contemporary Catholics us in negotiating what might appear as ``contradictory'' identities (e.g., being gay or lesbian and Catholic). Although the data presented take issue with Habermas's disavowal of religion the article shows that the practical relevance of doctrinal reasoning at both the institutional and the individual level vindicate Habermas's faith in the emancipatory potential of reasoned argumentation to advance participative equality.

Torpey, J. 1998. "Coming and Going: on the State Monopolization of the Legitimate ``means of Movement''." Sociological Theory. 16:3 239-259. Link
Following the imagery of ``expropriation'' used by Marx to describe the process of capitalist development and by Weber to characterize states' monopolization of the legitimate use of violence, I argue that modern states have also ``expropriated the legitimate means of movement'' and monopolized the authority to determine who may circulate within and cross their borders. Against this background, we should reconsider the metaphor of ``penetration'' typically used to discuss the enhanced capacity of modern states relative to their predecessors, and instead think of states as ``embracing'' populations, identifying persons unambiguously in order to control their movements and to distinguish members from nonmembers.

Martin, JL. 1998. "Authoritative Knowledge and Heteronomy in Classical Sociological Theory." Sociological Theory. 16:2 99-130. Link
This article traces the impact of philosophical questions regarding the grounds of moral autonomy and heteronomy (rule-from-another as opposed to rule-from-oneself) on classical sociological theory, arguing that both Weber and Durkheim understood sociology to have a contribution to make in the debate,with Kant over the grounds of ethical action. Both insisted that the only possible ethical action was one within the bounds of rational knowledge that was inherently authoritative, but this sat uneasily with their focus on the relation between concrete social authority and the authoritativeness of beliefs in the sociology of religion. In rejecting Comte's explicit avowal of the embodiment of moral authority in the secular priesthood of sociologist, Weber and Durkheim had to paper over the social authority supporting the formulation of this rational knowledge. Each then produced a sociology of knowledge without a well-specified mechanism, in turn encouraging the development of the sociology of knowledge as ct flawed sub-discipline.

Jones, MP. 1996. "Posthuman Agency: Between Theoretical Traditions." Sociological Theory. 14:3 290-309. Link
With his recent introduction of ``posthumanism,'' a decentered variant of constructivist sociology of science, Andrew Pickering advertises novel conceptual resources for social theorists. fn fact, he tenders nothing less than a fundamental reordering of social thought. By invoking the concept of ``material agency,'' Pickering seeks to redefine the relationship between ``Nature `` and ``Society,'' while dismissing the ``humanist bias'' inherent in sociological inquiry. However, for all its ambition and good intentions, posthumanism delivers only analytical inconsistencies, the consequences of an uneasy synthesis of pragmatist and poststructuralist influences. When translated into the language of conventional sociological theory, these problems surface as an inadequate treatment of human agency The works of the original pragmatists, particularly C.S. Peirce and G.H. Mead, illustrate how the objectives of posthumanism can be achieved without decentering, suggesting a renewed appreciation of ``humanist'' sociologies.

Arditi, J. 1996. "Simmel's Theory of Alienation and the Decline of the Nonrational." Sociological Theory. 14:2 93-108. Link
By any standard, nonrationality is an undertheorized concept in sociology. This paper attempts to open a discussion on nonrationality by analyzing one of the most fruitful theorizations of the concept: Simmels. Simmel developed a theory that placed nonrationality on the same plane with rationality and attributed to the former a role as fundamental as the latter's in the foundations of action, and as central as the latter's in the generation of existential meanings. The gradual eclipse of the nonrational elements of life in the expanses of a modern, highly rationalized world imply, then, an impoverishment of being. I argue that Simmel's theory of the nonrational can serve as a model capable of enriching our understanding of society and of the person and can, in this sense, serve as a counterpoint to current sociological theories that emphasize the rational elements of life and conceive the person in primarily rational terms.

Alway, J. 1995. "The Trouble With Gender: Tales of the Still-missing Feminist Revolution in Sociological Theory." Sociological Theory. 13:3 209-228. Link
Why do sociological theorists remain uninterested in and resistant to feminist theory? Notwithstanding indications of increasing openness to feminist theory, journals and texts on sociological theory reflect a continuing pattern of neglect. Identify reasons for this pattern; including tensions resulting from the introduction of gender as a central analytical category: Nor only does gender challenge the dichotomous categories that define sociology's boundaries and identity, it also displaces the discipline's central problematic of modernity. The significance of this displacement is apparent when the discipline's responses to feminist and postmodernist theory are compared I discuss the relevance of feminist theoretical work to contemporary issues in sociological theory, with specific attention to the synthetic nature of feminist theorizing to work on rethinking power resistance, and oppression, and to efforts to effect a conceptual shift from `'either/or'' to `'both/and'' thinking and to establish new grounds for assessing knowledge claims.