Contemporary articles citing Weber M (1978) Ec Soc Outline Inter
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- Tavory, Iddo. 2011. "The Question of Moral Action: a Formalist Position*." Sociological Theory. 29:4 272-293.
- This article develops a research position that allows cultural sociologists to compare morality across sociohistorical cases. In order to do so, the article suggests focusing analytic attention on actions that fulfill the following criteria: (a) actions that define the actor as a certain kind of socially recognized person, both within and across fields; (b) actions that actors experienceor that they expect others to perceiveas defining the actor both intersituationally and to a greater extent than other available definitions of self; and (c) actions to which actors either have themselves, or expect others to have, a predictable emotional reaction. Such a position avoids both a realist moral sociology and descriptive-relativism, and provides sociologists with criteria for comparing moral action in different cases while staying attuned to social and historical specificity.
- Garcelon, Marc. 2010. "The Missing Key: Institutions, Networks, and the Project of Neoclassical Sociology." Sociological Theory. 28:3 326-353.
- The diversity of contemporary ``capitalisms'' underscores the need to supplant the amorphous concept of structure with more precise concepts, particularly institutions and networks. All institutions entail both embodied and relational aspects. Institutions are relational insofar as they map obligatory patterns of ``getting by and getting along''-institutional orders-that steer stable social fields over time. Institutions are simultaneously embodied as institutional paradigms, part of a larger bodily agency Pierre Bourdieu called habitus. Institutions are in turn tightly coupled to networks between various people based on, but not reducible to, strategic interests. Yet social interaction sometimes exceeds institutional boundaries, giving rise to disjunctive fields and underscoring the prominence of institutional failures in the unfolding of antagonistic relations such as warfare. Such disjunctive fields can be tracked in relation to some transnational networks at the global level without assuming developmental convergence. This last point underscores the meaning of neoclassical sociology, which eschews assumptions of developmental convergence at the global level.
- Aneesh, A.. 2009. "Global Labor: Algocratic Modes of Organization." Sociological Theory. 27:4 347-370.
- This study investigates a practice that allows workers based in India to work online on projects for corporations in the United States, representing a new mode of labor integration. In the absence of direct bureaucratic control across continents, the question arises how this rapidly growing labor practice is organized. The riddle of organizational governance is solved through an analysis of software programming schemes, which are presented as the key to organizing globally dispersed labor through data servers. This labor integration through programming code is distinguished from two other systems of organization-bureaucracy and the market-while bringing out the salient features of each system in terms of its ruling principle: bureaucracy (legal-rational), the market (price), and algocracy (programming or algorithm). The logic of algocratic systems is explored methodically to analyze global work.
- Abrutyn, Seth. 2009. "Toward a General Theory of Institutional Autonomy." Sociological Theory. 27:4 449-465.
- Institutional differentiation has been one of the central concerns of sociology since the days of Auguste Comte. However, the overarching tendency among institutionalists such as Durkheim or Spencer has been to treat the process of differentiation from a macro, ``outside in'' perspective. Missing from this analysis is how institutional differentiation occurs from the ``inside out,'' or through the efforts and struggles of individual and corporate actors. Despite the recent efforts of the ``new institutionalism'' to fill in this gap, a closer look at the literature will uncover the fact that (1) it has tended to conflate macro-level institutions and meso-level organizations and (2) this has led to a taken for granted approach to institutional dynamics. This article seeks to develop a general theory of institutional autonomy; autonomy is a function of the degree to which specialized corporate units are structurally and symbolically independent of other corporate units. It is argued herein that the process by which these ``institutional entrepreneurs'' become independent can explain how institutions become differentiated from the ``inside out.'' Moreover, this article offers five dimensions that can be operationalized, measuring the degree to which institutions are autonomous.
- Campbell, Bradley. 2009. "Genocide as Social Control." Sociological Theory. 27:2 150-172.
- Genocide is defined here as organized and unilateral mass killing on the basis of ethnicity. While some have focused on genocide as a type of deviance, most genocide is also social control-a response to behavior itself defined as deviant. As such, it can be explained as a part of a general theory of social control. Black's (1998) theories of social control explain the handling of conflicts with their social geometry-that is, with the social characteristics of those involved in the conflict. Here, Blackian theories of social control are extended to specify the social geometry of genocide as follows: genocide varies directly with immobility, cultural distance, relational distance, functional independence, and inequality; and it is greater in a downward direction than in an upward or lateral direction. This theory of genocide can be applied to numerous genocides throughout history, and it is capable of ordering much of the known variation in genocide-such as when and where it occurs, how severe it is, and who participates.
- Wherry, Frederick. 2008. "The Social Characterizations of Price: the Fool, the Faithful, the Frivolous, and the Frugal." Sociological Theory. 26:4 363-379.
- This article extends both Viviana Zelizer's discussion of the social meaning of money and Charles Smith's proposal that pricing is a definitional practice to the under-theorized realm of the social meanings generated in the pricing system. Individuals are attributed with calculating or not calculating whether an object or service is ``worth'' its price, but these attributions differ according to the individual's social location as being near to or far from a societal reference point rather than by the inherent qualities of the object or service purchased. Prices offer seemingly objective (quantitative) proof of the individual's ``logic of appropriateness''-in other words, people like that pay prices such as those. This article sketches a preliminary but nonexhaustive typology of the social characterizations of individuals within the pricing system; these ideal types-the fool, the faithful, the frugal, and the frivolous-and their components offer a systematic approach to understanding prices as embedded in and constituents of social meaning systems.
- Reed, Isaac. 2008. "Justifying Sociological Knowledge: From Realism to Interpretation." Sociological Theory. 26:2 101-129.
- In the context of calls for ``postpositivist'' sociology, realism has emerged as a powerful and compelling epistemology for social science. In transferring and transforming scientific realism-a philosophy of natural science-into a justificatory discourse for social science, realism splits into two parts: a strict, highly naturalistic realism and a reflexive, more mediated, and critical realism. Both forms of realism, however, suffer from conceptual ambiguities, omissions, and elisions that make them an inappropriate epistemology for social science. Examination of these problems in detail reveals how a different perspective-centered on the interpretation of meaning-could provide a better justification for social inquiry, and in particular a better understanding of sociological theory and the construction of sociological explanations.
- Kurzman, Charles, Chelise Anderson, Clinton Key, Youn Lee, Mairead Moloney, Alexis Silver & Maria Van. 2007. "Celebrity Status." Sociological Theory. 25:4 347-367.
- Max Weber's fragmentary writings on social status suggest that differentiation on this basis should disappear as capitalism develops. However, many of Weber's examples of status refer to the United States, which Weber held to be the epitome of capitalist development. Weber hints at a second form of status, one generated by capitalism, which might reconcile this contradiction, and later theorists emphasize the continuing importance of status hierarchies. This article argues that such theories have missed one of the most important forms of contemporary status: celebrity. Celebrity is an omnipresent feature of contemporary society, blazing lasting impressions in the memories of all who cross its path. In keeping with Weber's conception of status, celebrity has come to dominate status ``honor,'' generate enormous economic benefits, and lay claim to certain legal privileges. Compared with other types of status, however, celebrity is status on speed. It confers honor in days, not generations; it decays over time, rather than accumulating; and it demands a constant supply of new recruits, rather than erecting barriers to entry.
- Gross, N. 2005. "The Detraditionalization of Intimacy Reconsidered." Sociological Theory. 23:3 286-311.
- This essay challenges those strains of cot? temporary social theory that regard romantic/sexual intimacy as a premier site of detraditionalization in the late modern era. Striking changes have occurred in intimacy and family life over the last half-century, but the notion of detraditionalization as currently formulated does not capture them very well. With the goal of achieving a more refined understanding, the article proposes a distinction between ``regulative'' and ``ineaning-constitutive'' traditions. The former involve threats of exclusion from various moral communities; the latter involve linguistic and cultural frameworks within which sense is made of the world. Focusing on the U.S. case and marshaling various kinds of empirical evidence, the article argues that while the regulative tradition of what it terms lifelong, internally stratified marriage has declined in strength in recent years, the image of the form of couplehood inscribed in this regulative tradition continues to function as a hegemonic ideal in many American intimate relationships. Intimacy in the United States also remains beholden to the tradition of romantic love. That these meaning-constitutive traditions continue to play a central role in structuring contemporary intimacy suggests that detraditionalization involves the relative decline only of certain regulative traditions, a point that calls into question some of the normative assessments that often accompany the detraditionalization thesis.
- Black, D. 2000. "Dreams of Pure Sociology." Sociological Theory. 18:3 343-367.
- Unlike older sciences such as physics and biology, sociology has never had a revolution. Modern sociology is still classical-largely psychological, teleological, and individualistic-and evert less scientific than classical sociology. But pure sociology is different: It predicts and explains the behavior of social life with its location and direction in social space-its geometry. Here I illustrate pure sociology with formulations about the behavior of ideas, ideas, including a theory of scienticity that predicts and explains the degree to which an idea is likely to be scientific (testable, general, simple, valid, and original). For example: Scienticity is a curvilinear function of social distance from the subject. This formulation explains numerous facts about the history and practice of science, such as why some sciences evolved earlier and faster than others and why so much sociology is so unscientific. Because scientific theory is the most scientific science, the theory of scienticity also implies a theory of theory and a methodology far the development of theory.
- Dahms, HF. 1997. "Theory in Weberian Marxism: Patterns of Critical Social Theory in Lukacs and Habermas." Sociological Theory. 15:3 181-214.
- For Weberian Marxists, the social theories of Max Weber and Karl Marx are complementary, contributions to the analysis of modern capitalist society. Combining Weber's theory of rationalization with Marx's critique of commodity fetishism to develop his own critique of reification, Georg Lukacs contended that the combination of Marx's and Weber's social theories is essential to envisioning socially transformative modes of praxis in advanced capitalist society. By comparing Lukacs's theory of reification with Habermas's theory of communicative action as two theories in the tradition of Weberian Marxism, I show how the prevailing mode of ``doing theory'' has shifted from Marx's critique of economic deter terminism to Weber's idea of the inner logic of social value spheres. Today, Weberian Marxism can make an important contribution to theoretical sociology by reconstituting itself as a framework for critically examining prevailing societal definitions of the rationalization imperatives specific to purposive-rational social value spheres (the economy, the administrative state, etc.). In a second step, Weberian Marxists would explore how these value spheres relate to Each other and to value spheres that are open to the type of communicative rationalization characteristic of the lifeworld level of social organization.
- Borocz, J. 1997. "Stand Reconstructed: Contingent Closure and Institutional Change." Sociological Theory. 15:3 215-248.
- The process is traced whereby crucially important, multiple denotations of classical sociology's key notion referring to social position-the Weberian German concept of Stand-have been stripped to create a simplified and inaccurate representation of social inequalities. Some historical material from central Europe is surveyed, with a brief look at Japan, to demonstrate validity problems created by blanket application of the culturally specific, streamlined notions of status/class. As an alternative, a notion of contingent social closure argues that relaxing the modernizationist assumptions of a single transition from estate to status/class increases the comparative-historical sensitivity of research on social structure, inequality, and stratification. A dynamic reading of Polanyi suggests a reconceptualization of institutions as the ``raw material'' of social change. This might help to avoid the outdated contrast of the ``West'' vs. its ``Others''.
- Drysdale, J. 1996. "How Are Social-scientific Concepts Formed? a Reconstruction of Max Weber's Theory of Concept Formation." Sociological Theory. 14:1 71-88.
- Recent interpretations of Weber's theory of concept formation have concluded that it is seriously defective and therefore of questionable use in social science, Oakes and Burger have argued that Weber's ideas depend upon Rickert's epistemology, whose arguments Oakes finds to be invalid; by implication, Weber's theory fails. An attempt is made to reconstruct Weber's theory on the basis of his 1904 essay on objectivity. Pivotal to Weber's theory is his distinction between concept and judgment (hypothesis), where the former is the interpretive means to the formation of explanatory accounts (judgments). His theory includes criteria of abstraction and synthesis in the construction of ideal-type concepts as well as criteria for their evaluation. Weber provides a reasonably coherent, if incomplete, theory of concept formation which does not depend on Rickert's epistemological arguments.