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Volume 27, 2011
Modernization in Times of Globalization II

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new theoretical approaches
1. ProtoSociology: Volume > 27
Roland Robertson Religion, International Relations and Transdisciplinarity
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Recently there has been an upsurge in interest concerning the relationship between religion and international relations. Much of this has been expressed as if the relationship between these was entirely new. In contrast, this paper involves the argument that it is not so much a question of religion returning but rather why it is that students of international relations have neglected the connection since the Peace of Westphalia. This neglect has largely occurred because of the primacy given to changes and events in the West, particularly since the formal separation of church and state and its imposition on or emulation by Eastern societies. The recent concern with globalization has provided the opportunity to undertake historical dis­cussion in new perspectives which overcome the Western “normality” of the absence of religion in the Realpolitik perspective. Moreover, it is argued that much of the neglect of religion in work on world affairs has largely been the product of the inaccurate and ideologically motivated perception of ongoing secularization. The overall discussion is framed by some objections to the limiting consequences of disciplinarity, particularly the way in which both IR and sociology were rhetorically constituted.
2. ProtoSociology: Volume > 27
Raymond Boudon Modernization, Rationalization and Globalization
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Is moral evolution a mere illusion, as postmodern thinkers state or a more or less permanent feature of history though it can be thwarted by unfavorable conjunctures, as Weber or Durkheim thought? The question is tentatively answered by a reanalysis of data drawn from the World Values Survey conducted under the lead of the University of Michigan. The data on seven Western countries show, when comparing the answers of younger to older respondents and of more to less educated respondents, that definite trends characterize the frequencies. On the questions regarding issues related notably to work, authority, morals, religion, politics and attitudes towards other people, the younger and the more educated appear as giving answers less inspired by tradition. On the whole, the data illustrate Weber’s notion of ratio­nalization. The same trends can be observed in countries outside the Western world as India, Russia and Turkey. Such trends may plausibly be reinforced by globalization.
3. ProtoSociology: Volume > 27
Ino Rossi Modernity Confronts Capitalism: From a Moral Framework to a Countercultural Critique to a Human-Centered Political Economy
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The term “modernity” is used to refer to the cultural component of modernization, which encompasses also the political component (state formation) and economic component (capitalism). Historical analysis shows that in the phases of merchant and Dutch capitalism the dominant culture provided a religious justification and stimulus to capitalism, the Scottish philosophers provided an ethical framework based on human sentiments, especially empathy. With the secularization and turbulence of the 19th century a series of cultural critiques of the capitalist system emerged in the form of “modernism”, “postmodernism” and finally “global civil society”. Presently, we experience a hiatus between certain counter-cultural movements and the capitalist system as well as an ideological divide and a political impasse between social policy concerns and capitalist priorities. A human-centered cultural framework is proposed to serve as a tool for “civil society” to formulate societally agreed guidelines of political economy.
4. ProtoSociology: Volume > 27
Manfred B. Steger, Paul James Three Dimensions of Subjective Globalization
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Arguing that today’s burgeoning globalization literature still neglects the investigation of powerful subjective dynamics of growing social interconnectivity, this article explores how various ideological articulations of globalization have shaped its material designs and in­stantiations. The thickening of global consciousness can be conceptualized along the three interrelated dimensions or layers of ideology, imaginary, and ontology. Each of these three layers of subjective globalization is constituted in practice at an ever-greater generality, durability, and depth. Normative contestations continue, but they tend to have a common global point of reference—albeit not to the exclusion of the national.
5. ProtoSociology: Volume > 27
Eliezer Ben-Rafael Transnational Diasporas: A New Era or a New Myth?
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The numberless unprecedented situations attached today to the concept of transnational diaspora arise the debate of whether or not this phenomenon signals a new era. Our own contention is that it does represent a factor of new kinds of heterogenization of both the societal reality and of the diasporas themselves, as worldwide entities. It is in this dialectic perspective that we describe transnational diasporas as causes of discontinuity in our world and point out to the qualitative change in the social fabrics that they represent. Among other aspects, dual or threefold homeness that is bound to the transnational condition signifies for diasporans a slipping away from the totalistic character of the commitment and view of the nation that the nation-state requires of its citizens. When viewed in its multiplicity, the cohabitation under the same societal roof of a priori alien socio-cultural entities yields a configuration that is not uniform in every setting, but which still responds in its essentials to the new reality experienced by many a contemporary society.To illustrate this approach, this paper compares four well-known contemporary transnational diasporas—namely, the Muslim, African, Hispanic and Chinese.
6. ProtoSociology: Volume > 27
Terrell Carver 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.
the problem of social order in a disordered time
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
on contemporary philosophy and sociology
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. ProtoSociology: Volume > 27
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On ProtoSociology
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