Searching for the Spirit of American Democracy

Author: Stephen Kalberg
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 131725239X
Format: PDF, Mobi
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The 'crisis of American democracy' debate is advanced in this engaging new contribution. By referring to Max Weber's long-term perspective, Stephen Karlberg provides rich new insights into the particular contours of today's American political culture - and some reasons for optimism. Kalberg draws upon Weber to reconstruct political culture in ways that define America's unique spirit of democracy. Developing several Weber-inspired models, the author reveals patterns of oscillation in American history. Can these pendulum movements sustain today the symbiotic dualism that earlier invigorated American democracy? Can they do so to such an extent that the American spirit of democracy is rejuvenated? Whilst exploring whether Weber's explanations and insights can be generalised beyond the American case, 'Searching for the Spirit of American Democracy' forcefully argues that facilitating political cultures is indispensable if democracies are to endure.

The Social Thought of Max Weber

Author: Stephen Kalberg
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISBN: 1483371484
Format: PDF, Docs
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Stephen Kalberg's The Social Thought of Max Weber, the newest volume of the SAGE Social Thinkers series, provides a concise introduction to the work, life, and influence of Max Weber, considered to be one of three most important founders (along with Marx and Durkheim) of sociology. The book serves as an excellent introduction to the full range of Weber’s major themes, and explores in detail the extent to which they are relevant today. It is ideal for use as a self-contained volume or in conjunction with other sociological theory textbooks.

Human Rights Of By and For the People

Author: Keri E. Iyall Smith
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISBN: 1315470004
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Together, the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights comprise the constitutional foundation of the United States. These—the oldest governing documents still in use in the world—urgently need an update, just as the constitutions of other countries have been updated and revised. Human Rights Of, By, and For the People brings together lawyers and sociologists to show how globalization and climate change offer an opportunity to revisit the founding documents. Each proposes specific changes that would more closely align US law with international law. The chapters also illustrate how constitutions are embedded in society and shaped by culture. The constitution itself sets up contentious relationships among the three branches of government and between the federal government and each state government, while the Bill of Rights and subsequent amendments begrudgingly recognize the civil and political rights of citizens. These rights are described by legal scholars as "negative rights," specifically as freedoms from infringements rather than as positive rights that affirm personhood and human dignity. The contributors to this volume offer "positive rights" instead. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), written in the middle of the last century, inspires these updates. Nearly every other constitution in the world has adopted language from the UDHR. The contributors use intersectionality, critical race theory, and contemporary critiques of runaway economic inequality to ground their interventions in sociological argument.

Lutheranism and the Nordic Spirit of Social Democracy

Author: Robert H Nelson
Publisher: ISD LLC
ISBN: 8771844163
Format: PDF, Docs
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One man's way of thinking about God has decisively shaped the political and economic rise of Nordic social democracy. 500 years ago, Martin Luther's writings led to the Reformation in the Nordic countries, and his values and beliefs shaped more than just the church. Lutheranism is one of the most important influences on the Nordic welfare system and a general belief in social democracy. Indeed, Nordic social democracy itself can be seen as a modern form of religion, or "secular Lutheranism". In Lutheranism and the Nordic Spirit of Social Democracy, Robert Nelson, an American observer and professor of political economy at the University of Maryland, brings a fresh perspective to the interrelated questions of religion, national identity, and governance in the Nordic world. Exploring how Lutheranism never went away as the true path to a new heaven on earth, Nelson shows how the form of Lutheran Nordic religion and culture changed radically, while its substance remained surprisingly unaltered.

Max Weber s Comparative Historical Sociology Today

Author: Stephen Kalberg
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1351919091
Format: PDF, Docs
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Bringing together the author's major scholarly work on Weber over the last thirty years, Max Weber's Comparative-Historical Sociology Today addresses major themes in Weber's thought, whilst also examining the mode of analysis practised in his comparative-historical writings. By exploring Weber's concepts and procedures, the individual chapters seek to convey the rigor of his research strategies, demonstrating their uniqueness. In this light, this study proceeds to identify as incomplete and then reconstruct the analyses undertaken by Weber of the rise of Confucianism in China, the caste system in India, and monotheism in ancient Israel. The analysis then advances to the modern era, utilising Weber's research procedures to explain the origins of four independent phenomena: the singularity of the American political culture, the cultural foundations of modern citizenship, cultural pessimism (Kulturpessimismus) in nineteenth century Germany, and the 'location' of work in contemporary German society. A dialogue with a variety of recent major schools is pursued throughout this volume. Offering a rich examination of the major themes in Weber's sociology, alongside a reconstruction of his mode of analysis and application of his approach, this book will appeal to scholars around the world with interests in social theory, German and American societies, cultural sociology, political sociology, the sociology of knowledge, comparative-historical sociology, and the sociology of civilizations.

Income Inequality

Author: Janet C. Gornick
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 0804786755
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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This state-of-the-art volume presents comparative, empirical research on a topic that has long preoccupied scholars, politicians, and everyday citizens: economic inequality. While income and wealth inequality across all populations is the primary focus, the contributions to this book pay special attention to the middle class, a segment often not addressed in inequality literature. Written by leading scholars in the field of economic inequality, all 17 chapters draw on microdata from the databases of LIS, an esteemed cross-national data center based in Luxembourg. Using LIS data to structure a comparative approach, the contributors paint a complex portrait of inequality across affluent countries at the beginning of the 21st century. The volume also trail-blazes new research into inequality in countries newly entering the LIS databases, including Japan, Iceland, India, and South Africa.

The Interpretation of Cultures

Author: Clifford Geertz
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0465093566
Format: PDF, Mobi
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In The Interpretation of Cultures, the most original anthropologist of his generation moved far beyond the traditional confines of his discipline to develop an important new concept of culture. This groundbreaking book, winner of the 1974 Sorokin Award of the American Sociological Association, helped define for an entire generation of anthropologists what their field is ultimately about.

American Vertigo

Author: Bernard-Henri Lévy
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 0307430626
Format: PDF, Docs
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What does it mean to be an American, and what can America be today? To answer these questions, celebrated philosopher and journalist Bernard-Henri Lévy spent a year traveling throughout the country in the footsteps of another great Frenchman, Alexis de Tocqueville, whose Democracy in America remains the most influential book ever written about our country. The result is American Vertigo, a fascinating, wholly fresh look at a country we sometimes only think we know. From Rikers Island to Chicago mega-churches, from Muslim communities in Detroit to an Amish enclave in Iowa, Lévy investigates issues at the heart of our democracy: the special nature of American patriotism, the coexistence of freedom and religion (including the religion of baseball), the prison system, the “return of ideology” and the health of our political institutions, and much more. He revisits and updates Tocqueville’s most important beliefs, such as the dangers posed by “the tyranny of the majority,” explores what Europe and America have to learn from each other, and interprets what he sees with a novelist’s eye and a philosopher’s depth. Through powerful interview-based portraits across the spectrum of the American people, from prison guards to clergymen, from Norman Mailer to Barack Obama, from Sharon Stone to Richard Holbrooke, Lévy fills his book with a tapestry of American voices–some wise, some shocking. Both the grandeur and the hellish dimensions of American life are unflinchingly explored. And big themes emerge throughout, from the crucial choices America faces today to the underlying reality that, unlike the “Old World,” America remains the fulfillment of the world’s desire to worship, earn, and live as one wishes–a place, despite all, where inclusion remains not just an ideal but an actual practice. At a time when Americans are anxious about how the world perceives them and, indeed, keen to make sense of themselves, a brilliant and sympathetic foreign observer has arrived to help us begin a new conversation about the meaning of America. From the Hardcover edition.

Max Weber s Comparative Historical Sociology

Author: Stephen Kalberg
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226423029
Format: PDF, Docs
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The revival of historical sociology in recent decades has largely neglected the contributions of Max Weber. Yet Weber's writings offer a fundamental resource for analyzing problems of comparative historical development. Stephen Kalberg rejects the view that Weber's historical writings consist of an ambiguous mixture of fragmented ideal types on the one hand and the charting of vast processes of rationalization and bureaucracy on the other. On the contrary, Weber's substantive work offers a coherent and distinctive model for comparative analysis. A reconstruction of Weber's comparative historical method, Kalberg argues, uncovers a sophisticated outlook that addresses problems of agency and structure, multiple causation, and institutional interpretation. Kalberg shows how such a representation of Weber's work casts a direct light upon issues of pressing importance in comparative historical studies today. Weber addresses in a forceful way the whole range of issues confronted by the comparative historical enterprise. Once the full analytical and empirical power of Weber's historical writings becomes clear, Weber's work can be seen to generate procedures and strategies appropriate to the study of present day as well as past social processes. Written in an accessible and engaging fashion, this book will appeal to students and professionals in the areas of sociology, anthropology, and comparative history.