Max Weber's Sociology of Civilizations: A Reconstruction  book cover
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Max Weber's Sociology of Civilizations: A Reconstruction





ISBN 9780367497286
Published July 30, 2021 by Routledge
554 Pages

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Book Description

This volume examines civilizations through the broad lens articulated by the works of Max Weber. In focusing upon his comparative-historical mode of analysis and his causal explanations for the sources, contours, and trajectories of civilizations, this study reconstructs Weber’s sociology in a manner that provides clear guidelines to researchers seeking to investigate civilizations systematically. Through detailed interpretations of the West’s unique development from Antiquity to the Modern era, precise comparisons to the long-range and singular pathways taken by China and India, and careful demarcations of the "particular rationalisms" of several civilizations, the author addresses Weber’s powerful model-building on the one hand and his opposition to organic holism and structural presuppositions on the other hand. Both a broad-ranging conceptual framework and case-based empirical investigations are pivotal to Weber. His research strategy emphasizes further the "subjective meanings" of actors East and West and the deep cultural origins of groups. Finally, this volume masterfully conveys Weber’s contextual and multi-causal methodology rooted in a tight interweaving of the present with the past. Max Weber’s Sociology of Civilizations: A Reconstruction will appeal to comparative sociologists and historians, as well as to theorists of all persuasions. The social scientist pursuing a cross-civilizational agenda will here discover the distinct contribution of Weber’s "interpretive understanding" procedures to the now-essential field of civilizational analysis.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Part I: Weber's Major Themes and the Foundational Features of His Methodology

1. Five Civilizations Themes

2. The Methodology: Foundational Features and the Mode of Analysis

Part II: The Conceptual Framework I: The Rationalization of Social Action Models and the Development Models

3. The Rationalization of Social Action Models: The Overarching Civilizations Theme

4. The Rationalization of Social Action Model I: The Rulership Domain

5. The Rationalization of Social Action Model II: The Law Domain

6. The Rationalization of Social Action Model III: The Religion Domain

7. The Rationalization of Social Action Model IV: The Economy Domain

Part III: The Conceptual Framework II: Expanding its Range and Evaluating its Usefulness

8. Weber's Further Models Salient to the Analysis of Civilizations  

9. Evaluating the Conceptual Component: Strengths and Weaknesses of the Civilizations Analytic

Part IV: The Application of Weber's Mode of Civilizational Analysis I: The Origins, Contours, and Trajectories of the Rationalisms of Ancient China and Ancient and Medieval India

10. The Unique Rationalism of Ancient China

11. The Unique Rationalism of Ancient and Medieval India

Part V: Applications of Weber's Mode of Civilizational Analysis II: The Origins, Contours, and Trajectory of Western Rationalism and Modern Western Rationalism

12. The Rationalism of the Ancient West: The Tracks, Monotheism, World-Oriented Salvation Paths, the City, and Ancient Roman Law

13. The Uniqueness and Rise of Modern Western Democracy and Egalitarianism

14. The Uniqueness and Rise of the Modern State: Legal Equality and Universalism

15. The Uniqueness and Rise of Modern Capitalism

16. The Uniqueness and Rise of Logical-Formal Law

17. The Uniqueness and Rise of the Modern Bureaucracy

18. The Uniqueness and Rise of the World-Oriented Ethical Individual

19. The Uniqueness and Rise of Western Rationalism and Modern Western Rationalism: An Overview

Part VI: Toward a Systematic Study of Civilizations: Themes and Methodology Revisited

20. Weber's Main Themes Revisited

21. Weber's Methodology Revisited: The Mode of Analysis

Part VII: The Interpretive Understanding of Civilizations: A Weberian Guide

22. Lessons for Today: A Weberian Guide

23. The Interpretive Understanding of the Other: Expanding the Researcher's Horizon

...
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Author(s)

Biography

Stephen Kalberg is Professor of Sociology Emeritus at Boston University and Local Affiliate of the Center for European Studies, Harvard University, USA. He is the author of Max Weber’s Comparative-Historical Sociology; The Social Thought of Max Weber; Searching for the Spirit of American Democracy: Max Weber’s Analysis of a Unique Political Culture; and Max Weber’s Comparative-Historical Sociology Today. He is also the editor of Max Weber: Readings and Commentary on Modernity, and the translator of Weber’s The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism.