A century after the publication of Max Weber's The Protestant Ethic and the "Spirit" of Capitalism, a major new work examines network-based organization, employee autonomy and post-Fordist horizontal work structures.
An ethnographic study on Design Thinking, this book offers profound insights into the popular innovation method, centrally exploring how design thinking’s practice relates to the vast promises surrounding it. Through a close study of a Berlin-based innovation agency, Tim Seitz finds both mundane knowledge practices and promises of transformation. He unpacks the relationships between these discourses and practices and undertakes an exploratory movement that leads him from practice theory to pragmatism. In the course of this movement, Seitz makes design thinking understandable as a phenomenon of what Boltanski and Chiapello described as the “new spirit of capitalism”—that is, an ideological structure that incorporates criticism and therefore strengthens capitalism.
One of the world’s most celebrated theologians argues for a Protestant anti-work ethic In his classic The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, Max Weber famously showed how Christian beliefs and practices could shape persons in line with capitalism. In this significant reimagining of Weber’s work, Kathryn Tanner provocatively reverses this thesis, arguing that Christianity can offer a direct challenge to the largely uncontested growth of capitalism. Exploring the cultural forms typical of the current finance-dominated system of capitalism, Tanner shows how they can be countered by Christian beliefs and practices with a comparable person-shaping capacity. Addressing head-on the issues of economic inequality, structural under- and unemployment, and capitalism’s unstable boom/bust cycles, she draws deeply on the theological resources within Christianity to imagine anew a world of human flourishing. This book promises to be one of the most important theological books in recent years.
"The Spirit of Capitalism" answers a fundamental question of economics, a question neither economists nor economic historians have been able to answer: what are the reasons (rather than just the conditions) for sustained economic growth? Taking her title from Max Weber's famous study on the same subject, Liah Greenfeld focuses on the problem of motivation behind the epochal change in behavior, which from the sixteenth century on has reoriented one economy after another from subsistence to profit, transforming the nature of economic activity. A detailed analysis of the development of economic consciousness in England, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Japan, and the United States allows her to argue that the motivation, or "spirit," behind the modern, growth-oriented economy was not the liberation of the "rational economic actor," but rather nationalism. Nationalism committed masses of people to an endless race for national prestige and thus brought into being the phenomenon of economic competitiveness. Nowhere has economic activity been further removed from the rational calculation of costs than in the United States, where the economy has come to be perceived as the end-all of political life and the determinant of all social progress. American "economic civilization" spurs the nation on to ever-greater economic achievement. But it turns Americans into workaholics, unsure of the purpose of their pursuits, and leads American statesmen to exaggerate the weight of economic concerns in foreign policy, often to the detriment of American political influence and the confusion of the rest of the world.
Release on 2013-02-07 | by Paul du Gay,Glenn Morgan
Crises, Justifications, and Dynamics
Author: Paul du Gay,Glenn Morgan
Pubpsher: OUP Oxford
Category: Business & Economics
After many years in which it appeared to be losing the pre-eminent position it had occupied in the lexicon of the social and human sciences, the term 'capitalism' has once again become a matter of critical concern, both theoretically and substantively, in a range of disciplinary fields. The global financial and environmental crises, and the shifting of economic power associated with the rise of the BRICs and the sovereign debt contagion in the Eurozone, for example, have all put the norms, practices, and devices of capitalist conduct back under the spotlight. Luc Boltanski and Eve Chiapello's The New Spirit of Capitalism has become a seminal text since its publication, sparking debate about the meaning, significance, and effects of contemporary changes in economic and organizational life, and becoming a reference point in political discussions about the welfare state, collective action in a 'networked' world, and reconciliation of the interests of social justice with the 'laws of the markets'. This edited book offers the first comprehensive attempt to examine the power and reach of Boltanski and Chiapello's argument, the text's theoretical and methodological perspectives, tools, and techniques, and to do so in relation to the development of neo-liberal capitalism in the period since its original publication and in particular the culmination of these developments in the ongoing crisis since the financial collapse of 2007-8. The volume provides both a balanced critique and overview of New Spirit, but also shows how it can be used in a variety of empirical studies to develop new insights into the functioning and regulation of capitalism in the contemporary era. The volume brings together leading scholars from a range of disciplinary fields such as Sociology, Management and Organization Studies, and Geography. Luc Boltanksi and Eve Chiapello also offer their thoughts on the continuing relevance of New Spirit over a decade after its publication, and in the context of contemporary global economic and political developments.
For the first time in 70 years, a new translation of Max Weber's classic The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism --one of the seminal works in sociology-- published in September 2001. Translator Stephen Kalberg is an internationally acclaimed Weberian scholar, and in this new translation he offers a precise and nuanced rendering that captures both Weber's style and the unusual subtlety of his descriptions and causal arguments. Weber's original italicization, highlighting major themes, has been restored, and Kalberg has standardized Weber's terminology to better facilitate understanding of the various twists and turns in his complex lines of reasoning. Weber's compelling work remains influential for these reasons: it explores the continuing debate regarding the origins and legacy of modem capitalism in the West; it helps the reader understand today's global economic development; and it plumbs the deep cultural forces that affect contemporary work life and the workplace in the United States and Europe. This new edition/translation also includes a glossary; Weber's 1906 essay, "The Protestant Sects and the Spirit of Capitalism"; and Weber's masterful prefatory remarks to his Collected Essays in the Sociology of Religion, in which he defines the uniqueness of Western societies and asks what "ideas and interests" combined to create modem Western rationalism
This book explores reforms to young adults' schooling that mobilise capital friendly learning-and-earning (l'earning) webs. It argues that deschooling l'earning builds young adults' commitment to modern modes of capital accumulation, gives insights into how they can secure their future, and reassures them that this can serve the common good.
Any vision of capitalism's future prospects must take into account the powerful cultural influence Catholicism has exercised throughout the world. The Church had for generations been reluctant to come to terms with capitalism, but, as Michael Novak argues in this important book, a hundred-year-long debate within the Church has yielded a richer and more humane vision of capitalism than that described in Max Weber's classic The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Novak notes that the influential Catholic intellectuals who, early in this century saw through Weber's eyes an economic system marked by ruthless individualism and cold calculation had misread the reality. For, as history has shown, the lived experience of capitalism has depended to a far greater extent than they had realized on a culture characterized by opportunity, cooperative effort, social initiative, creativity, and invention. Drawing on the major works of modern Papal thought, Novak demonstrates how the Catholic tradition has come to reflect this richer interpretation of capitalist culture. In 1891, Pope Leo XIII condemned socialism as a futile system, but also severely criticized existing market systems. In 1991, John Paul II surprised many by conditionally proposing "a business economy, a market economy, or simply free economy" as a model for Eastern Europe and the Third World. Novak notes that as early as 1963, this future Pope had signaled his commitment to liberty. Later, as Archbishop of Krakow, he stressed the "creative subjectivity" of workers, made by God in His image as co-creators. Now, as Pope, he calls for economic institutions worthy of a creative people, and for political and cultural reformsattuned to a new "human ecology" of family and work. Novak offers an original and penetrating conception of social justice, rescuing it as a personal virtue necessary for social activism. Since Pius XI made this idea canonical in 1931, the term has been rejected by the Right as an oxymoron and misused by the Left as a party platform. Novak applies this newly formulated notion of social justice to the urgent worldwide problems of ethnicity, race, and poverty. His fresh rethinking of the Catholic ethic comes just in time to challenge citizens in those two large and historically Catholic regions, Eastern Europe and Latin America, now taking their first steps as market economies, as well as those of us in the West seeking a realistic moral vision.
The Other Rise of the Novel relies on new research concerning the relevance of bourgeois values and ideals in the early modern period in France to question the extent to which characters in works of fiction portray the rise of individualistic and self-interested behavior.
Release on 2014-11-01 | by Simon Susen,Bryan S. Turner
Essays on the ‘Pragmatic Sociology of Critique’
Author: Simon Susen,Bryan S. Turner
Pubpsher: Anthem Press
Category: Social Science
What is the relevance of Luc Boltanski’s ‘pragmatic sociology of critique’ to central issues in contemporary social and political analysis? In seeking to respond to this question, this book contains critical commentaries from prominent social theorists attempting to map out the influence and broad scope of Boltanski’s oeuvre.