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1. ProtoSociology: Volume > 27
Terrell Carver Orcid-ID The Discursive Politics of Modernization: Catachresis and Materialization
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Modernization represents a political project of power and domination, marginalization and exclusion. The concepts that make up modernization-theory are deeply complicit with this and are implicated in legitimation strategies for the regimes and peoples who benefit. As with other power/knowledge projects, tropes of literality that reference materiality generate the discourses of certainty through which political persuasion takes place. These discourses are bounded by a constitutive “outside” of metaphor, and thus devalue other subjects of knowledge and knowing subjects. Said’s Orientalism presents a remarkable catachresis through which an alternative understanding of knowledge-production becomes visible. This work challenges Euro-Americano-centric social science and intellectual life, because it undermines the binaries through which ideas themselves are understood as certain or not. Butler’s theory of materialization in turn conceptualizes materiality and certainty in a complementary way.
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2. ProtoSociology: Volume > 27
Carlos H. Waisman Institutional Transfer and Varieties of Capitalism in Transnational Societies
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This paper discusses the varieties of capitalism in transitional societies in Latin America and Central / Eastern Europe. The intended purpose of these transitions from semi-closed import-substituting economies in the first case and state socialist ones in the second was to institutionalize open-market economies. Twenty or thirty years later, there is a variety of types of capitalism in these countries, which I classify into three: open-market, neo-mercantilist, and anemic. The question for sociology is whether these quite different variants represent temporary stages or distortions in the same process of transition or whether, on the contrary, they may institutionalize as discrete forms of peripheral capitalism. Neither standard “legacy” argu­ments nor institutionalist theories offer satisfactory answers to this question. The multiple modernities approach, on the other hand, is more appropriate as a theoretical perspective, but it has not produced yet specific propositions applicable to this question. My paper makes two claims. First, the successful transfer of institutions depends on the congruence between these institutions and the broader institutional framework of the recipient economies, a point not developed by institutionalist theories. I offer a hypothesis in this regard: Two critical nodes of congruence are the regulatory and extractive capacity of the state and the strength of civil society. Second, market capitalism (as liberal democracy as well) is a complex institution, and some of its components “travel” more easily across societies and institutional frameworks, and therefore are easier to institutionalize. This is the source of the hybrid variants.
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3. ProtoSociology: Volume > 27
David E. Apter From Order to Violence: Modernization Reconfigured
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Almost a half century has passed since the appearance of The Politics of Modernization, (Apter, 1965) an analysis purporting to treat political development in terms of structural-functional theory. Since that time the world has virtually turned upside down. Modernization theory itself has all but disappeared. In part this has been for good reasons. Its three frames, social change in general, industrialization, in particular, and modernization as an aspect of the first resulting from the consequences of the second, contained too many far from warranted assumptions, especially about the prospects of integrative order. Indeed, so much have the problematic questions changed that subsequent efforts to bring back at least of its principles have not had much success. In some ways this is a great pity. I believe it had greater depth and theoretical power than its critics have given it credit for. Accordingly I want to suggest some of the ideas that were most germane to modernization theory as it was practiced in the sixties of the last century and comment briefly on a few of theoretical characteristics. I will do so in three parts. Part I will outline of the ingredients and concerns of modernization theorists sketching its intellectual pedigree. Part II will examine particular schools and approaches to modernization. Part III will address some questions about modernization today suggesting new ways to examine them.
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4. ProtoSociology: Volume > 27
Louis Kontos Media Distortion: A Phenomenological Inquiry Into the Relation between News and Public Opinion
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How is a massive quantity of information and steady stream of images received in the cognitive form of a given reality? In Bergson’s terms, its reception coincides with a “cosmic” perspective, and in that sense it appears outside of and prior to experience and its zones of immediate relevance. At the same time, inasmuch as there is what Schutz calls a “stock” of experiences the elements of which are not immediately relevant to one another, information might be understood to move the unorganized givens in the direction of unified structures of experience, detached from both those givens and experience as such. In that case, there is a coincidence of imposed relevances and what is yielded by communication. An event seems, suddenly, to make sense, offsetting the gap between experience and cultural representation. The erasure of this gap, in other words, leaves experience unguided and its subjects overwhelmed by a certainty for which they can neither account nor frame in such a way that accountability could be seen as a problem. Distortion is then not simply a matter of manipulation or error, but, what is more problematic, a matter of losing the sense of being able to re-imagine what is now imagined as certain. It will be examined below.
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5. ProtoSociology: Volume > 27
Rebeca Raijman, Adriana Kemp Labor Migration in Israel: The Creation of a Non-free Workforce
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This paper describes the ways by which state regulations created fertile soil on which legal labor migration in Israel developed into an unfree labor force. We show how state policies effectively subject foreign workers to a high degree of regulation, giving employers and manpower agencies mechanisms of control that they do not have over Israeli citizens. These mechanisms create a group of non-citizen workers that are more desirable as cheap, flexible, exploitable and expendable employees through enforcing atypical employment relations: fixed-term contracts, the binding system enforcing direct dependence of the migrants on manpower agencies and employers, and the threat of automatic deportation. These stringent state regulations have provided the context for the legal labor migrants to turn into a captive labor force, the system sometimes even degenerating into a human trafficking industry.
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6. ProtoSociology: Volume > 27
Michael Devitt Deference and the Use Theory
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It is plausible to think that members of a linguistic community typically mean the same by their words. Yet “ignorance and error” arguments proposed by the revolution in the theory of reference seem to show that people can share a meaning and yet differ greatly in usage. Horwich responds to this problem for UTM by appealing to deference. I give five reasons for doubting that his brief remarks about deference can be developed into a satisfactory theory. But this appeal has an even deeper problem: the appeal is inconsistent with UTM. These problems are not minor ones of details: they strike at the very core of UTM.
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7. ProtoSociology: Volume > 27
Contributors
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8. ProtoSociology: Volume > 27
Impressum
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9. ProtoSociology: Volume > 27
On ProtoSociology
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10. ProtoSociology: Volume > 27
Simon J. Evnine Constitution and Composition: Three Approaches to their Relation
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Constitution is the relation between something and what it is made of. Composition is the relation between something and its parts. I examine three different approaches to the relation between constitution and composition. One approach, associated with neo-Aristotelians like Mark Johnston and Kathrin Koslicki, identifies constitution with composition. A second, popular with those sympathetic to classical mereology such as Judith Thomson, defines constitution in terms of parthood. A third, advocated strongly by Lynne Baker, takes constitution to be somehow inconsistent with relations of parthood. All of these approaches, I argue, face serious problems. I conclude, tentatively, that constitution and composition have nothing to do with each other.
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11. ProtoSociology: Volume > 27
Cooperations – Announcements
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12. ProtoSociology: Volume > 27
Digital Volumes available
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13. ProtoSociology: Volume > 27
Published Volumes
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14. ProtoSociology: Volume > 27
Bookpublications of the Project
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15. ProtoSociology: Volume > 28
Andrew Kipnis Chinese Nation-Building as, Instead of, and Before Globalization
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In this era of “globalization”, nation-building has become a relatively neglected topic. In this essay, I use Thomas Hylland Eriksen’s textbook, Globalization, as a framework for exploring nation-building in China. I take his eight-concept chapter outline—disembedding, acceleration, standardization, interconnectedness, movement, mixing, vulnerability, and re-embedding—and apply it to dynamics of nation-building in China. In so doing, I tease out actual and potential relationships among the processes evident in Chinese nation-building and globalization. In addition, I explore some of the relationships, productivities and pitfalls of “globalization” and “nation-building” as concepts.
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16. ProtoSociology: Volume > 28
Björn Alpermann Orcid-ID Class, Citizenship and Individualization in China’s Modernization
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Against the backdrop of China’s rapid social change in recent decades, this article explores the social categorizations of class and citizenship and how these have evolved in terms of structure and discourse. In order to do so, possibilities of employing Beck’s theory of second modernity to the case of China are explored. While China does not fit into Beck’s theory on all accounts, it is argued here that his individualization thesis can be fruitfully employed to make sense of China’s ongoing process of modernization. It may provide a welcome new starting point for analyses of China’s current social developments beyond the “simple” modernization theories that still dominate in China studies.
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17. ProtoSociology: Volume > 28
John R. Gibbins Principles for Cosmopolitan Societies: Values for Cosmopolitan Places
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Postmodern theory is well placed to provide a useful resource in carrying forward the project of instituting cosmopolitan morality and justice at the local level. It is qualified to contribute because the central problematic of postmodern political theory is shared by cosmopolitanism, namely, how can a multiplicity of divergent autonomous groups, with few, or no shared cultural resources, negotiate and agree to share common spaces? How, can we have political and moral order when the preconditions, normally believed to accompany these, are non existent or unstable. Postmodern thinking also brings to the debate about cosmopolitanism, the resources that will allow for the toleration, openness and ingenuity that build upon eclecticism, pluralism, the celebration of difference, and expressivism in a period experiencing alteration, vulnerability, irony and insecurity. In approach, postmodern thinking shares with cosmopolitanism: a preference for particular narrative over grand narrative; the local over the global; particular over universal; difference over generalisation; eclecticism over absolutism; synchrony over unity; and pluralism over monism. Both approaches are resources that can help us re-learn how neighbours can live together in strange times.
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18. ProtoSociology: Volume > 28
Ma Rong Income Gaps in Economic Development: Differences among Regions, Occupational Groups and Ethnic Groups
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The income gap in Chinese society has increased significantly in recent years. This disparity can be confirmed by the critical level of China’s current Gini coefficient. In response, que­stions concerning social stratification and mobility in China, and how to improve China’s income distribution have become key discussions among Chinese sociologists.The income gap, a result of economic development, can be examined via discussions of income disparity between different regions, occupational groups and ethnic groups. Previous analyses based on official government and academic statistical data have tended to focus primarily on regional and occupational differences in relation to income disparity. However, the income gap exhibited between different ethnic groups is in effect directly linked to inconsistencies in income acquisition and employment opportunities. Furthermore, this link is intimately related to China’s national policies in ethnic affairs.
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19. ProtoSociology: Volume > 28
Sanzhu Zhu Modernizing Chinese Law: The Protection of Private Property in China
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Over the past three decades a progressive transformation of the law and legal institutions in China took place as part and parcel of China’s broader modernization process driven by economic reform and development. The recognition and protection of private property as embodied in the amendment of the 1982 Constitution, the 2007 Property Law and other legislations, is one of the stories contributing to the transformation of modern Chinese law and legal institutions, which reflects a historical modernization process of socio-economic change in contemporary China. However, this study by examining the development of a legal framework for the protection of private property, the problems related to urban housing demolition, and the rule of law in relation to the protection of private property, submits that the legal modernization in the protection of private property had no radical departure from, but confined within and compromised with, China’s current existing systems which, among others, still uphold socialist ideology and practice.
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20. ProtoSociology: Volume > 28
Peter J. Peverelli Orcid-ID Chinese Organizations as Groups of People: Towards a Chinese Business Administration
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Business is booming in China and so are Business Administration courses. However, these courses do not always seem to prepare their students for the job of managing Chinese organizations. In order to design better courses, we first need to look deeper into the nature of Chinese organizations. A number of Chinese scholars have realized this and started looking at Chinese intellectual traditions, in particular Confucian thought, to discern the differences between Western organizations (for which most globally used MBA courses have been designed) and their Chinese counterparts. This has already led to interesting new insights. However, predicates like ‘Chinese’ or ‘Confucian’ make it difficult to apply the new finding, more generally. This paper acknowledges the findings, but proposes an alternative organiza­tion theory that can not only find and explain the Chinese-ness of Chinese organizations, but can be applied globally, to determine local modes of organizing
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