First Published in 1988, this volume works towards a new understanding and exploration of the rise and development of modern society, taking its lead from two classical theorists, Emile Durkheim and Max Weber. The key concept of this approach is the 'interpenetration' of different spheres of action.
Richard Münch begins with an exploration of the points of convergence and divergence in the works of Durkheim and Weber. He then builds, from Durkheim, a new theory of social order as a complex set of ordering, dynamizing, identity-producing and goal-setting factors. Münch also constructs a new theory of personality development, based on Durkheim's view of the duality of human nature. He concludes by assessing weber's contribution to our understanding of how modern social order emerged, showing that the unique features of modern society emerged from the 'interpenetration' of cultural, political, communal and economic spheres in action.
Part I: Between Positivism, Idealism and Voluntarism: Max Weber and Emile Durkheim 1. The Convergence Between Weber and Durkheim: Interpretation and Explanation, the sacred and the profane 2. The divergence between Weber and Durkheim: Rational and Affectual Bases of Modern Social Order Part II: Social Order and Individual Anatomy 3. Community and Social Order 4. Socialization and Personality Development Part III: The Unique Nature, Formation, Development and Structural Problems of the Modern Social Order: Max Weber 5. `Capitalism' and `Occidental rationalism': Two Perspectives on the analysis of the Structural Problems in Modern Societies 6. Via Parsons to Weber: From the Theory of Rationalization to the Theory of Interpenetration