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Richard Swedberg "bokslukare" RSS Feed (Ithaca, New York, USA)
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Solidarity in Strategy: Making Business Meaningful in American Trade Associations
Solidarity in Strategy: Making Business Meaningful in American Trade Associations
by Lyn Spillman
Edition: Paperback
Price: $26.86
24 used & new from $20.61

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book!, April 28, 2013
This book is important because it brings attention to a phenomenon in U.S. life that so far has been largely ignored, namely business associations. It also does this in a theoretically innovative way that suggests a new - and more sociological - way of looking at the way capitalism operates. The research is based on a Guggenheim.
Spillman's data on the approximately four thousand business associations that stand at the center of her study allows her to explore what turns out to be a very complex phenomenon. She excels in interpreting and making sense of this complexity in a number of ingenious ways, drawing not only on ideas about solidarity (sociology) but also on interest (economics). The decision to take interests seriously, but to do so from a deeply sociological/cultural view, is very impressive.
The end result suggests that not only business associations but also capitalism operates in a far more non-stereotypical way than the usual analysis suggests. Yes, profit and interest are involved; but so are meaning and culture and solidarity.


Science, Values and Politics in Max Weber's Methodology (Rethinking Classical Sociology)
Science, Values and Politics in Max Weber's Methodology (Rethinking Classical Sociology)
by Hans Henrik Bruun
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $130.87
17 used & new from $101.13

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Book by One of the Best Weberians, November 6, 2011
Hans Henrik Bruun is one of the our foremost interpreters of Weber's methodology; and this book is absolutely indispensable for anyone interested in what Weber has to say on the methodology of the social sciences. I find it very unhappy that the price is so high for this book (only the hard cover is currently available), since it belongs to the library of every social scientist.


The Essential Peirce, Volume 2: Selected Philosophical Writings, 1893-1913
The Essential Peirce, Volume 2: Selected Philosophical Writings, 1893-1913
by Charles Sanders Peirce
Edition: Paperback
Price: $29.40
57 used & new from $18.69

9 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Peirce is Our Aristotle, September 27, 2010
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C.S. Peirce is a genius; and these two volumes represent the best collection of his work (unless you want to get his collected works). Peirce is extremely hard and extremely rewarding. His knowledge was immense and he is the only person that I know of who equals Aristotle.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 25, 2011 12:44 PM PDT


Actors as Observers: A Theory of Skill in Social Relationships (Harvard Studies in Sociology)
Actors as Observers: A Theory of Skill in Social Relationships (Harvard Studies in Sociology)
by Eric Matheson Leifer
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Study, September 27, 2010
This study represents a very, very fine piece of sociological research, which deserves to be much better known. The author addresses the issue, what makes for a really good chess player? Do these, for example, plan many moves ahead - is that the key to their successes? The answer, based on interviews, is quite different, namely that chess masters do not follow say a game theoretical type of strategy or some form of conventional rational action. Instead they think very few step ahead and focus on creating a rich and complex situation from which they can improvise openings that lead to victory.
I am basing this quick account on my memory and a few references in the literature, since this work unfortunately is not commonly available.


The Many-Splendored Society: Surrounded by Symbols
The Many-Splendored Society: Surrounded by Symbols
by Hans Lennart Zetterberg
Edition: Paperback
12 used & new from $14.93

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book!, October 22, 2009
This is a great book by a great sociologist. Hans Zetterberg is known among sociologists for his brilliant work as part of the so-called Columbia School of Sociology, when he was a colleague of such formidable scholars as Robert K. Merton and Seymour Martin Lipset. After returning to Sweden, where he did seminal work in public opinion research and also had a political career, Hans Zetterberg has now turned his attention to language and symbols. The result is a solid as well as intellectually exciting work called "The Many-Splendored Society: Surrounded by Symbols" (volume 1). This is a book that deserves many readers!


The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (Routledge Classics)
The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (Routledge Classics)
by Max Weber
Edition: Paperback
Price: $19.68
92 used & new from $8.60

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A C lassic for All Times, May 6, 2005
Weber's "Protestant Ethic" was originally published in 1904-1905 and later in a second, revised edition (1920). This edition is the second edition, and the translator is Talcott Parsons.

In "The Protestant Ethic" Weber famously attempts to explain how the spirit of modern rational capitalism emerged; and he essentially argues that an important part in this process was played by what he termed ascetic protestantism or different types of Protestantism that were activistic and ascetic (most famously Calvinism).

Ascetic Protestantism energized businessmen and workers, and valorized a new type of capitalism: rational capitalism which is much more methodical and dynamic in nature than the type of capitalism that existed in Europe in the 1500s ("traditional capitalism"). Today rational capitalism has conquered society and turned it into an iron cage (to use Parsons' famous translation of two words in German that are more accurately - and less imaginatively - translated as "steelhard casing").

"The Protestant Ethic" is by far the most famous sociological study and is unsurpassed in theoretical boldness and creativity. Parsons said that he found it as exciting to read as a detective novel. Most of us have to struggle quite a bit with it - but it is definitely worth it!


Economy and Society: An Outline of Interpretive Sociology (2 volume set)
Economy and Society: An Outline of Interpretive Sociology (2 volume set)
by Max Weber
Edition: Paperback
22 used & new from $61.20

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic, May 6, 2005
This is an uncommly brilliant work in social theory and sociology. Moreover, economic sociology was founded through "Economy and Society", especially its second chapter ("Sociological Categories of Economic Action") which is the size of a small book (approx. 200 pages).

The general theoretical approach of Weber can be characterized as one of "interpretive economic sociology", that is, as a type of economic sociology in which the concept of "meaning" is at the very center of the explanatory exercise.

Social action (to follow Ch. 1) is defined as a type of behavior to which meaning is attached ("action"), and which is oriented to the behavior of others ("social"). Economic sociology consequently deals with "economic social action".

"Economy and Society" was part of a larger work entitled "Handbook of Social Economics", which included volumess on "Economy and Nature", "Economy and Technology" - and "Economy and Society". In his work Weber explores such topics as "economy and law", "economy and religion", "economy and politics", and much more.

The work "Economy and Society", finally, is a bric-a-brac. Weber himself only sent 4 chs to the printer (=Chs 1-4). The rest of the 2 volumes consists of manuscripts that his wife and economist Melchior Palyi put together, pretty much as they saw fit. Caution is consequently necessary when reading "Economy and Society"; and this work should not be treated as "a book" by Weber.


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