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21. ProtoSociology: Volume > 28
Thorsten Botz-Bornstein Confucianism, Puritanism, and the Transcendental: China and America
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Max Weber examined Chinese society and European Puritanism at the beginning of the Twentieth Century in order to find out why capitalism did not develop in China. He found that Confucianism and Puritanism are mutually exclusive, which enabled him to oppose both in the form of two different kinds of rationalism. I attempt neither to refute nor to confirm the Weberian thought model. Instead I show that a similar model applies to Jean Baudrillard’s vision of American culture, a culture that he determined in terms of hyperreality. Instead of rejecting Weber’s thoughts right away, I give Weber’s model a further push and show that through a further twist that “Western culture” has received within particular American constellations, Weber’s understanding of Confucianism and Baudrillard’s understanding of American civilization manifest amazing similarities.
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22. ProtoSociology: Volume > 28
Richard Madsen Signs and Wonders: Christianity and Hybrid Modernity in China
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The Protestant Christianity that came to China in the 19th century was mostly a “modernizing” Christianity that promoted the transition to what Charles Taylor calls an “immanent frame”—a disenchanted world based on natural laws, knowable through scientific reason, which can be used by humans for their mutual benefit. Within this immanent frame, religion is a matter of private belief that cultivates good personal moral character. And there is no place for “signs and wonders”—miracles that suspend the laws of nature. But Chinese modernity has turned out to be a hybrid kind. Especially (but by no means exclusively) in the countryside, the immanent modernity brought from the West has mingled with the enchanted world carried down from Chinese traditions. One sign of this is the prevalence of “signs and wonders” popular Christianity, which has been the most rapidly growing form of Christianity in China. The history of Catholicism in China has similarities to these developments.
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23. ProtoSociology: Volume > 28
Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom China and the Town Square Test
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This essay assesses the way that issues relating to freedom of speech and public and private forms of dissent have and have not changed in the People’s Republic of China in recent decades. It looks at the way China’s unusual trajectory suggests that Nathan Sharansky’s famous “town square test,” which is often used to divide countries along a single axis (with “free” nations on one side, “fear” nations on the other) is problematic. The need to take regional variations within China into account is one theme that is stresses.
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24. ProtoSociology: Volume > 28
Alan Millar The Epistemological Significance of Practices
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25. ProtoSociology: Volume > 28
Ying Zhang Metaphor, Poetry and Cultural Implicature
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Metaphor has been a feature of poetry for centuries. Some metaphorical phenomena in poetry raise questions for the traditional framework, in which metaphor is a matter of the metaphorical use of individual words. White does not adopt the traditional view. He intro­duces a sentence-approach instead. I argue that the alleged phenomena occur in the Chinese poetry as well. I argue further, that White’s structure of representing metaphor can be used to analyze metaphor in the Chinese poetry, but that it must be constructed on the basis of working out the relevant cultural implicatures. In effect, interpreting a metaphor involves generating the cultural implicature where a literary quotation is being alluded to, because the quotation acts as the key to understanding the metaphor in the poetry.
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26. ProtoSociology: Volume > 28
Jody Azzouni Can Science Change our Notion of Existence?
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I explore the question of whether scientific changes can induce mutations in our ordinary notion of existence. I conclude that they can’t, partially on the grounds that some of the pro­posed alternative-notions of existence are only terminologically-distinct from our ordinary notion, and so don’t provide genuine metaphysical alternatives, and partially on the grounds that the ordinary notion of existence is criterion-transcendent.
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27. ProtoSociology: Volume > 28
Impressum
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28. ProtoSociology: Volume > 28
J. Adam Carter On Cappelen and Hawthrone’s “Relativism and Monadic Truth”
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29. ProtoSociology: Volume > 28
Published Volumes
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30. ProtoSociology: Volume > 28
Contributors
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31. ProtoSociology: Volume > 28
On ProtoSociology
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32. ProtoSociology: Volume > 28
Bookpublications of the Project
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33. ProtoSociology: Volume > 28
Digital Volumes available
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34. ProtoSociology: Volume > 29
Manussos Marangudakis Multiple Modernities and the Theory of Indeterminacy: On the Development and Theoretical Foundations of the Historical Sociology of Shmuel N. Eisenstadt
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The essay presents the parallel development of Shmuel Eisenstadt’s historical and theoretical sociology from a critical correction of structural functionalism found in The Political Systems of Empires to the full development of the theory of indeterminacy of his later works that culminated in the ‘multiple modernities’ thesis. The key factor that shapes the course of Eisentadt’s theoretical progress is the crucial role of various elites to fill the open space between actuality and potentiality creating and sustaining institutions that permit the development of structural differentiation according to some fundamental cosmological and cognitive principles that shape the course of historical development inside these social systems. Infusing structural-functionalism with a strong dose of conflict sociology, Eisenstadt came to the conclusion that social development is not a process of internal systemic growth, but the unintended consequence of the elites’ efforts to institutionally control free resources. And while this process in the pre-modern past led to the development of relatively distinct civilizations, in the framework of modernity has created a global framework of fundamental contradictions of tensions intrinsically irresolvable.
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35. ProtoSociology: Volume > 29
Scott Wilson China’s State in the Trenches: A Gramscian Analysis of Civil Society and Rights-Based Litigation
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The article analyzes the rise of civil society organizations and litigation related to environmental pollution and HIV/AIDS in China. China’s state has responded to pressure from civil society with regulations to limit civil society organizations’ contentiousness and ties to international groups, restricted access to the courts, and creation of GONGOs to vie with grassroots organizations over leadership of civil society. Against liberal theories of civil society, the author argues for a Gramscian model of civil society in which the state takes an active role in constructing its hegemony in civil society.
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36. ProtoSociology: Volume > 29
Qingbo Zhang Modernization of Law in China – its Meaning, Achievements, Obstacles and Prospect
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The core of modernization of law in China is the protection of basic rights of freedom and equality, which was lacking in the tradtional Chinese society. Today, the modernization from the perspective of legal texts has been fast thoroughly finished, while the function of law and the mentality of people need developing. This process could be better understood against the whole background of modernization in China. With the deepening of modernization a modern legal system could be expected in China in the long run.
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37. ProtoSociology: Volume > 29
Merle Goldman Dissent of China’s Public Intellectuals in the Post-Mao Era
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During the reign of China’s Communist Party leader, Mao Zedong (1949–1976), any political or academic dissent was brutally suppressed. With Mao’s death in 1976, China, under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping and his successors, opened China to the outside world and loosened political controls over the intellectual community. As China moved to a market economy and engagement with the Western world, the party loosened controls over intellectual endeavors. Nevertheless, a small number of intellectuals who criticized party’ policies and publicly called for democratic reforms were silenced and a a number of them were imprisoned. Though, intellectuals enjoyed more personal and academic freedom in the post-Mao era, if they criticized the party’s policies or practices directly, they were ostracized from the intellectual community and a small number were imprisoned.
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38. ProtoSociology: Volume > 29
Francis Schortgen, Shalendra Sharma Manufacturing Dissent: Domestic and International Ramifications of China’s Summer of Labor Unrest
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With the onset of heretofore unprecedented instances of labor unrest in the summer of 2010, it has become readily apparent that China’s economy has reached a critical juncture. Perceptions of rising social inequity and redistributive injustice are indicative of strains of economic growth that have proved as inevitable as they are consequential. Against the backdrop of an impending leadership transition and a global economy emerging from recessionary throes, changing labor market conditions will shape economic development and growth in substan­tive ways as first-tier cities and provinces are beginning a transition from take-off to early maturity stage of development. In its effort to mitigate regional disparities, China is locked into a precarious socio-economic balancing act with far-reaching consequences for domestic stability and international competitiveness. What are the short- to medium-term implica­tions for China’s domestic political economy space? What is the likely effect on China’s global labor cost arbitrage and international competitiveness?
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39. ProtoSociology: Volume > 29
Ritu Vij Time, Politics and Homelessness in Contemporary Japan
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This paper examines heterotopias of homelessness in contemporary Japan. Against received claims about a shift from a social to a post-social form of politics, the paper draws attention to distinct temporal horizons that shape statist and precarious political subjectivities at sites of economic abandonment, complicating generalizations about the demise of the social and the shift to new (post-representational) political practices in neoliberal Japan. In contrast to the politics of representation that continue to mobilize statist social imaginaries around advocacy and care for the homeless, political heterotopias of homelessness index a critical refusal of hegemonic interpellations of home and home-coming. In an effort to expand understanding of the political in Japan, the paper draws attention to the multiple temporalities constitutive of the social space of homelessness. In so doing, it seeks to make visible fugitive forms of political subjectivities beyond statist and neoliberal enclosure, and contribute more broadly to a critical discourse on the nature of politics in contemporary Japan.
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40. ProtoSociology: Volume > 29
Beatriz Carrillo Garcia Business Opportunities and Philanthropic Initiatives: Private Entrepreneurs, Welfare Provision and the Prospects for Social Change in China
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This paper explores the different ways in which the Chinese Party-state has promoted for-profit service provision and the philanthropic initiatives of private entrepreneurs, in order to elucidate the changing nature of China’s social contract. Throughout the 1980s and up to the mid-1990s the prevalent social contract, built around the idea that market mechanisms would bring economic prosperity to all citizens, had largely not been challenged. That changed in the late 1990s as a result of rising socio-economic inequalities, massive lay-offs from state owned enterprise reform, rising urban poverty, rising health care costs, the countryside consistently falling behind urban levels of development, and other social issues. Over the last decade there has been a reconfiguration and rearticulation of the social contract in China, with social welfare policy becoming a key element of the Party-state’s efforts to maintain legitimacy. Initially adopting an ambivalent position towards the private provi­sion of core public services such as health and education, the Party-state now recognises the important role played by private service providers, and has introduced legislation designed to protect the providers of such services, while also ensuring that their activities can be regulated more closely.
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