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81. ProtoSociology: Volume > 17
Hans Lenk Epistemological Remarks Concerning the Concepts “Theory” and “Theoretical Concepts”
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Current interpretations of the concept of theory by philosophers of science of different orientations are sketched out, in particular the traditional statement view (theories as systems of statements) and the formal axiomatic interpretation (theories as calculi) as well as the historical or historicist interpretation of theories as series of successive research programs or paradigms etc. (theory dynamics). In addition, the model-theoretical nonstatement view (the so-called structuralist interpretation) of theories is roughly delineated and discussed as regards the status and interpretation of theoretical (T-theoretical) concepts. Finally, technological and action-theoretical approaches defining the model-theoretic view are presented as particularly apt for a methodology of technology.A number of recommendations are developed from this, particularly the idea of satisficing in construction theory and the methodological idea of optimum fit instead of approximation to truth.The interplay between action, experiment and gaining knowledge is highlighted from a methodological and schema-interpretationist perspective. This approach seems to be conducive to a methodology and epistemology of engineering sciences, in particular construction theory and design theory.
82. ProtoSociology: Volume > 17
Steven Miller, Marcel Fredericks Social Science and (Null) Hypothesis Testing: Some Ontological Issues
83. ProtoSociology: Volume > 17
Steven Gross Vagueness, Indirect Speech Reports, and the World
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Can all truths be stated in precise language? Not if true indirect speech reports of assertions entered using vague language must themselves use vague language. Sententialism – the view that an indirect speech report is true if and only if the report’s complement clause “same-says” the sentence the original speaker uttered – provides two ways of resisting this claim: first, by allowing that precise language can “same-say” vague language; second, by implying that expressions occurring in an indirect speech report’s complement clause are not used. I reject the first line of resistance, but argue that the second is successful if one accepts sententialism.
84. ProtoSociology: Volume > 17
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85. ProtoSociology: Volume > 17
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86. ProtoSociology: Volume > 17
87. ProtoSociology: Volume > 17
88. ProtoSociology: Volume > 17
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89. ProtoSociology: Volume > 17
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90. ProtoSociology: Volume > 20
Richard E. Lee, Gerhard Preyer Introduction: Contemporary Directions and Research in World-Systems Analysis
91. ProtoSociology: Volume > 20
Christopher Chase-Dunn, Terry Boswell Global Democracy: A World-Systems Perspective
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This essay is on the concept of global democracy. We discuss the historical development of the concept of democracy and the material bases for the possible emergence of a democratic and collectively rational global commonwealth in the future. We confront the problem of contested meanings of democracy, the roots of the modern concept in the European Enlightenment, the problem of Eurocentrism in the formulation of a global philosophy of democracy, the relationship between capitalist globalization and antisystemic movements and the need for globalization from below.
92. ProtoSociology: Volume > 20
Richard E. Lee A Note on Method with an Example – The “War on Terror”
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Much has been made of the centrality of comparison to sociological research. The world-systems perspective, however, posits a single unit of analysis that challenges the possibility of designating the independent cases demanded by the formal logic of comparative analysis. The present work suggests an alternative to comparisons of multiple cases in the form of analogies among instances of processes. The consequences of such a methodological shift are explored through the example of the contemporary “War on Terror”.
93. ProtoSociology: Volume > 20
Peter J. Taylor Material Spatialities of Cities and States
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The concept of spatiality is introduced as an analytical tool for studying the modern world-system. The spatialities of cities and states are contrasted as spaces of flows and spaces of places respectively. It is argued that the latter is embedded in the social sciences as an unexamined spatiality. Dis-embedding is achieved through constructing a revisionist world-systems analysis that focuses on cities. This world-systems analysis is then used to describe two world-spatialities, for the current situation and for a generation hence. The conclusion identifies a systemic bifurcation as an anarchist moment.
94. ProtoSociology: Volume > 20
Göran Therborn Culture as a World System
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This article attempts to come to grips with the lack of a systematically argued “systemness” in world-systems analysis and with a reductionism regarding the multidimensionality of world-system relations. In addressing these issues, systemness is taken as a contingent variable and a case made for distinguishing at least five major interconnected and interacting human world systems, that, however, are not reducible to one another. From this perspective, the world system of culture is singled out and illustrative examples of the relationships between religious identities, family structures, cognitive and symbolic forms, and high and popular culture on a global scale are examined to highlight the contradictions of hegemony and resistance in the contemporary world.
95. ProtoSociology: Volume > 20
Barrie Axford Multi-Dimensionality, Mutual Constitution and the Nature of Systemness: The Importance of the Cultural Turn in the Study of Global Systems
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In this article I will address the critical question of the constitution of global systems and the part played in such processes by what is often summarized as culture. I examine the important distinction between culture and globalization and culture as constitutive of global social relations. The need to cleave to a systemic treatment of globality is put, while noting the dangers that lie in one-dimensional accounts of global system constitution. To offset any such tendency I explore the constitution of global systemness from a structurationist perspective. I outline the nature and significance of culture in the study of global systems, drawing attention to different literatures. Finally I underscore the importance of the cultural turn in the study of global systems and what has to be done to take full advantage of it.In what follows I will address the critical question of the constitution of global systems and the part played in such processes by what is conveniently – if sometimes unhelpfully – summarized as “culture”. By global systems I mean networks of interaction and meaning that transcend both societal and national frames of reference. I want to shift the emphasis away from an under-theorized focus on cultural globalization to a consideration of global systems as enacted in part through cultural processes. In other words, I do not want to conflate the conjunctional features of contemporary (cultural) globalization with culture as the realm of lived experience integral to the enactment of all social-systemic relations. In some respects this approach may be seen as part of a shift – perhaps a paradigm shift – in how we understand the space of the social, and in how, or whether, we construe the global as the constitutive of all social relations (Beck 2003; Shaw 2003). I will begin with a mild polemic against a well-known systemic account of world-making forces that highlights some of these issues.
96. ProtoSociology: Volume > 20
Dale Tomich Atlantic History and World Economy: Concepts and Constructions
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This article presents a unified, multidimensional, and relational approach to Atlantic history by treating the Atlantic as a historical region of the capitalist world economy. In contrast to more conventional comparative approaches, the approach presented here grounds Atlantic history in the longue durée geographical historical structure of the maritime Atlantic and construes particular political, economic, social, or cultural units as parts of the more encompassing Atlantic and world economies. Within this framework, particular units or relations are viewed as complex historical outcomes of relations and processes operating across diverse spatial and temporal scales. Thus each unit is related to the others, and each occupies a distinctive location in the maritime Atlantic division of labor. Through an example of plantation slavery, the article examines the ways in which specific units are formed within the larger historical field and examines the variation among them. By calling attention to the relations among units over time and in space within a unified historical field, it identifies specific conjunctures and contingencies shaping Atlantic history.
97. ProtoSociology: Volume > 20
Denis O’Hearn Path-Dependency, Stocks, Switching-Points, Flows: Reflections on Long-term Global Change and Local Opportunities
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This paper examines the possibilities for peripheral localities to achieve upward mobility in the world-system by “hooking on” to larger processes of world-system accumulation. In particular, is it possible for economies that are dependent on foreign investment to receive a flow of investments that is high enough to overcome the negative impacts of a high stock of foreign investment, thus enabling them to cross a threshold and achieve upward mobility in the world-system? An analysis of the recent experience of the southern Irish “Celtic Tiger” economy during 1990-2000 indicates that such an upward movement is possible on the basis of massive foreign investment inflows. On closer examination, however, the Irish-type model appears to be highly deficient, because a high proportion of growth is illusionary and also on grounds of social desirability and lack of generalizability.
98. ProtoSociology: Volume > 20
Gerard Delanty Multiple Modernities and Globalization
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What is often called “multiple” modernities is best seen as referring to the different expressions of an increasingly emergent global modernity rather than simply to multiple societal forms. Modernity is not converging into a unitary, homogenous form; rather it denotes an isomorphic condition of common aspirations, learning mechanisms, visions of the world, modes of communication. As such modernity can arise anywhere in the world; it is not a specific tradition or societal form but a mode of processing, or translating, culture. Modernity is a particular way of transmitting culture that transforms that which it takes over; it is not a culture of its own and therefore can take root anywhere at any time. This is because every translation is a transformation of both the object and the subject. The essence of modernity is a capacity to transform culture in a continuous process of translation.
99. ProtoSociology: Volume > 20
Mathias Bös Ethnicity and Religion: Structural and Cultural Aspects of Global Phenomena
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Ethnicity and religion are European concepts used to describe social patterns in the world system. Historically, the Jewish and Greek traditions exemplify two models of the relation between religion and ethnicity. In sociological theory ethnicity and religion are two aspects in the multilayered systems of cultures in human society. Structurally most religions include many ethnic groups, but most ethnic groups have one majority religion. This relation often leads to the local misperception that identifies one ethnic group with one religion. Cultural and structural features of religion and ethnicity show four mechanisms, which account for the particularizing effects of the interaction between religion and ethnicity: religion and ethnicity as meaning structures mutually enhance each other; religion and ethnicity fit together structurally on many levels; religion and ethnicity are highly efficient “mobilizing mechanisms”; and religion and ethnicity can serve as symbolic expressions of inequality.
100. ProtoSociology: Volume > 20
Shmuel N. Eisenstadt The Dialogue between Cultures or between Cultural Interpretations of Modernity: Multiple Modernities on the Contemporary Scene