Metrics details Shmuel N. Da ihm zufolge , S. Die multiplen Modernen stellen sich vielmehr als das zeitlich situierte Ergebnis eines mit historischen und zivilisatorischen Traditionen beladenen, gleichwohl aber offenen und konflikthaft verlaufenden Prozesses sozialen Wandels dar. Diese hat ihren Niederschlag in vielen Themenbereichen und Disziplinen gefunden — in der Historischen Soziologie und Zivilisationstheorie; in der Religionssoziologie; in den rezenten postkolonialen Studien und nicht zuletzt auch in der neueren Globalgeschichte.

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Eisenstadt has modified the classical theory of modernization in principle. In the history of his work which is connected with the changes of sociological theory since the s he has made a turn from the comparative analysis of institutions to the research program of comparative civilizations. The research program of multiple modernities has emerged out of this shift of attention. This led him to the critique of the theory of structural differentiation as the main process underlying the socio-structural evolution of societies and the convergence theories of modernization which have taken effect in contemporary sociological theory.

It interprets his research program of multiple modernities and the function of Axial-civilization in the structural evolution in this framework. Eisenstadt was one of the leading figures in sociology since the s. There is no single sociologist whose research and theorizing has carried on for nearly 60 years. He has contributed significantly to the formation of the sociological theory from the beginning of his career. Eisenstadt has established since the mids the research program of comparative civilisations and has conducted research on it at the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology of the Truman Research Institute Hebrew University, Jerusalem.

Overall, his sociological work and his intellectual career is characterized by a shift, in the context of sociological theory, from the comparative analysis of institutions to the research program of comparative civilisations.

Einleitung in sein Werk, Wiesbaden , The so-called classical theory characterized the modern social structure and its cultural program by the tendency of structural differentiation of the economic, political, scientific, religious, educational subsystems of the society, a process which goes along with urbanization, particular channels of communication and a strong individualistic lifestyle.

The social structure was established as it shifted from the medieval European civilization, politics, and economies to the modern society in particular after the French Revolution. The view was that this program and structure would be adapted by all modernizing societies ultimately by the expansion of the pattern of Western modernization.

This was prevalent in the development theories and the convergence theories since the s, and especially until the s, a period which was characterized by an optimistic attitude about the success of the Western model of modernization. It was a new, optimistic view of modernity and of the chance to be successful with the Western modernization.

Parsons assumed that evolutionary universals for re-interpretating modernization are not only caused by the global expansion of modernity in different cultural spheres of the emerged so-called world society, but are also developed under particular internal societal conditions. Bellah, for example, analyzed the Togugawa regime and society as a functional equivalent to the role played by Ascetic 3 On the view of the classical theory of modernization C.

Black, The Dynamics of Modernization. Levi, Modernization and the Structure of Society. Weiner, Modernization. On a critique of development theories, J. Nederveen Pieterse, Development Theory. But he does not conclude from the point of view of this critique of the classical theory of evolution and its assumption of the structural differentiation as impetus of the evolutionary change, that in the sociological theory the analysis of structural change is not fruitful.

From his point of view the socio-structural evolution happens as a variation of structures. His particular sociological question and his research on the structural evolution of societies emerged in the context of the changes in sociological theory after the Second War; it was this that he took apart and reshaped. Bellah, Tokugawa Religion, Glencoe Ben-Ari eds.

Kreiner ed. There is no society without the collective identity of its members. Collective identities are not residuals, as some theorists of modernization in the s, for example, G. Myrdal and other contemporary sociologists have argued. Social change is conditioned by the construction of the conditio humana——the cosmological and ontological belief systems——which dominate all societies and communications. The result of his research is a new analysis of the relationship between culture and social structure.

This takes effect in the understanding of social order because socio-structural evolution is at the same time an order- transforming and order-maintaining process. From the contemporary sociological theory perspective, this problem is affirmed by the new version of the theory of social integration. Thirdly, I will refer to his characterization of the Axial civilizations as impetus of multiple modernities in socio-structural evolution. On the structural question of social integration and the fields of research, see Preyer, Soziologische Theorie der Gegenwartsgesellschaft 3 vols.

Structure and the Semantic Map a The Problem of Structure The majority of sociologists agree that social evolution is an abbreviation of processes of social structural change. The mechanisms of social change are the subject of sociological theory and transdisciplinary research. Eisenstadt has accepted the basic implication of the classical theory of evolution of human societies that populations have a strong tendency to expand.

Eisenstadt has investigated the properties of the development in different dimensions of such expansions and differentiation in the process of evolutionary change and its breakthrough. He gives a particular analysis of structural differentiation, social order and the belief systems M.

The core of his version of evolutionary differentiation is that the link of the decoupling of structural and symbolic dimensions is the decoupling of the basic elites. This takes effect in our understanding of structural evolution and history.

Social systems are boundary-structured entities which have a particular epistemological and ontological status because they exist in the communications of their members only. They are not parts of their environment. Their differentiation from their environment goes along with structures.

The structure and structuration of the social interaction and their contribution to the socio-structure as the macro-order of a society is determined by the basic borderline that divides inside from outside social interaction.

Human agency and agent activities——in this point Eisenstadt agrees with A. Giddens——reproduce and transform at the same time a society by structuration. He goes along with W. See on structuration A. Outline f the Theory of Structuration, Oxford The question of sociological theory from the point of view of the s was the problem of the relationship between structure and event respectively between agency communication versus structure. Structures are restrictions of expectations and their regulations which are determinated by conditions of membership in social systems.

In my point of view, this is in harmony with the sociology of membership. Eisenstadt, They constitute the basic frameworks within which any action takes place. But their concrete specification continuously changes in history through processes of interaction which develop within such frameworks.

Such processes which entail the interweaving of the concrete parameters of these frameworks change, but not the general tendency to the structuration of human activity within them. This precondition explains the role of authorities and power in all societies. The preconditions are embedded in the conflicts and change in every society. The key of the analysis of the construction of structure is that its construction generates hegemonic power which elites dispose about the free resources.

The access to the production and the flow of resources is the core of human agency. But the conflicts and potentialities of change differ by the particular development within societies and civilizations.

III: Mitgliedschaft und Evolution, Call that the initial evolutionary situation of structural evolution. Following E. Mayer, he explains the indeterminacy by the openness of the biological human program. They are constituted through communication and its structure. The indeterminacy is inherent in all human activities; therefore the relationship between the goal orientation of participants to communication, the resources they can dispose of and the organization of communication generates the major problem of filling the open space by general propensities and their specification.

Call that the initial evolutionary situation or system of structural evolution. The limitation of the indeterminacy and the shaping of open spaces require, as a functional imperative, the construction of trust, solidarity, legitimation, meaning and the regulation of the use of power. Eisenstadt has investigated this question by the interplay of agency creativity and structure, culture and social structure in the socio-structural 16 E.

Mayer, Evolution and the Diversity of Life, Cambridge But the awareness of the indeterminacy of the members of the social system causes the experience of contingency of the given social order. Eisenstadt makes the assumption that the main question of the sociological theory since the s was the analysis of the relationship between social structure, culture, and social change.

The background of this analysis is the problem of creativity. This problem was, of course, already central in classical sociological theory. The latter, which is involved agency, also causes an increase of autonomy and a tendency of differentiation of agency from social contexts.

This continuously provokes particular strains in the social structure. Eisenstadt investigates the relationship between culture and social structure as analytical components of communication, interaction and creativity of the members of a society. Eisenstadt continues the approach of M. Weber and E. Shils, Center and Periphery, Chicago The connection between both of them is the question how to convert the cultural visions and orientations in the basic premises of civilization and the political and social order.

These premises specify the relation between the social division of labor, the regulation of the use of power, the construction of trust and meaning which are articulated and spread by various elites. Eisenstadt concludes that the organization of the division of labor and market mechanisms are inadequate when explaining the construction and maintenance of social order, like the founding fathers of sociology have assumed.

The institutional processes and mechanisms take effect in the structure. The cognitive and evaluative schemes organize behavior in social systems. They are not only purely cognitive, but are connected with the problem of the existence of human life and social organization. Eisenstadt counts within this existential foundation the self-awareness and the reflexivity and problematization which emerges as meta-thinking. The central focus of this reflexivity is the recognition of the arbitrariness and contingency of the social order, and social orientations which generate a certain ambivalence toward this order.

Ben-Rafael, Y. They emphasize that Eisenstadt investigates the role of elites in social contexts an in social historic change. Such schemata are first of all constituted according to distinct parameters of structuration which are to be found——as the structuralists have stressed in their Kantian orientation——in all societies or cultures. On the most general level, such schemata are structured around the categories of time, space, and the self- reflecting subject in relation to different objects to the environment.

A central aspect of such human self-reflection is the fact that the subject also constitutes an object of such reflection.


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