Berliner Journal für Soziologie
 
 Home
 Current Issue
 Forthcoming
 Archive
 Ordering
 Contact
 Submission
 Deutsche Version

 

 

Please take a look at the new
online edition of the BJS at
www.bjs-digital.de

 

 

Berliner Journal für Soziologie
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Institut für Sozialwissenschaften
Unter den Linden 6
D-10099 Berlin
Tel.: 030-2093-4355/-4356/-4357
Fax: 030-2093-4365
BJournal@sowi.hu-berlin.de

 

 

 

Last updated Mai. 29, 2007

Archive



English Abstracts 1995






















English Abstracts 1995
Edition 1/1995

 
Richard Münch
Elements in a theory of the integration of modern societies. An Inventory

Sociology can approach the elemental problem of the integration of modern societies from various different angles. On one level, integration can be understood in economic, political, solidary and cultural terms. On a further level, it is necessary to differentiate between systemic and social integration. Finally social and systemic integration are no longer a matter for national societies, but are increasingly the concern of supranational and global units. A workable solution to the problem of the integration of modern societies must take into account these various approaches and levels and fuse them together to form a coherent theory.



 
Thomas Schwinn
Functional differentiation - what's the point? An updated inventory

Since the end of the seventies functional differentiation experiencies a comeback in sociology. The article starts with different theories of differentiation: the systemtheoretical versions in the succession of Talcott Parsons: Niklas Luhmann, Richard Münch and the so-colled neofunctionalists; interpretations of Max Weber in the light of differentiation by Wolfgang Schluchter and Jürgen Habermas and finally radical voluntaristic conceptions, which call in question the process of differentiation. Further on studies will be presented, which uses this concept more in an empirical sense as an instrument for the diagnosis of problems of modern societies and for the explanation of the break-down of the socialist societies. From both working contexts the open questions will be extracted, which a future differentiation theory has to face. A significant trend to reconstruct the differentiation concept with action theory is recognizable. Finally an outline of an action-based differentiation theory is made. Which systemtheoretical presuppositions have to be dropped and how changes the view on this traditional systemtheoretical coined theme of sociology with action theory?



 
Michael Schmid
Social norms and social order II. Outline of a theory of the evolution of social norms

In contradiction to a thesis of Jon Elster it is shown that an evolutionary explanation of the genesis, change and maintainance of norms can be given. In all cases the possible acceptance of normative regulations depends on their ability to neutralize the dilemmata of collective action; it is argued that durable equilibrium-solutions of those dilemmata cannot be expected.



 
Stephen Turner
Charisma and Obedience. A Risk Cognition Approach

Weber's account of charisma solved certain specific problems in the philosophy of law by using a concept from the history of church law. The concept Weber generalized relied on the notion of divine action; Weber's uses required a substitute causal force. The standard substitutes are culturalist, in which the power of the charismatic leader or the state comes from meeting cultural expectations for leaders, or contractual, in which leaders give followers something they want. Neither account squares with the fundamental use of the idea, to explain cultural innovation and internal change in followers. A new model of the character of charisma that fits these needs in proposed. In it the leader is seen as a person who both offers a choice of a new vision of risks and opportunities and through his or her own conduct provides evidence of the realizability of this vision through submission. The example of Frank Lorenzo, a case of business charisma, is discussed in detail.



 
Hartmut Häu_ermann
The city and the sociology of cities. Urban lifestyles and the integration of the foreign

Two different theories of urban Vergesellschaftung have been established in the field of Urban Sociology. Georg Simmel represents in his "theory of the City" the process of individualization, whereas Robert Park's theory concentrates on "Integration through Community formation". Both theories agree on the city as a place of existing heterogeneous individuals resp. communities, both having a tendency to show agression towards each other. Furthermore, they agree on the concept of "integration through separation". On the base of a guaranteed system integration, indifference and isolation become then virtues of urban life. The second part of this paper will argue that this form of integration will be jeopardized through present forms of urban developments.



 
Peter A. Berger
Presence and absence. Spacial relationships of social action

As Georg Simmel, but also Niklas Luhmann has argued, the simultaneous presence of people within a limited space makes communication inevitably. Especially in premodern secieties, presence was for the most times a necessary and often even a sufficient condition for the development of trust, traditions and identities. In modern "globalizing" societies, technical means of transportation and communication seem to have broken this neat connections: On the one side, means of mass transportation of people, i. e. trains, create manifold situations, where presence without communication has become frequent and sometimes even "normal". On the other side, modern means of communication, i. e. telephones, enable more and more people to communicate wothout being present. Using terms of Anthony Giddens, this processes therefore can be analyzed as separation and recombination of social integration (presence) and system integration (absence).




















English Abstracts 1995
Edition 2/1995

 
Marianne Friese
Modernization gaps in the course of history. The development of gainful employment of women in a changed Europe

This article pursues the issue of systematic modernization gaps of female labor and education by providing a historio-comparative analysis based on a critical examination of the current individualization theorem. The term "social difference" occupies a central position, with its double meaning in terms of a difference between the sexes and the social differences between women. The article then traces the historical discourse concerning equality and difference by using the example of women in the workforce. It becomes apparent that the historical stage is at the same time set for a process of "gender change" in occupations, which has proven itself to be an effective guarantor of segmentation in the labor and education markets. The second part of the article shows the social differences between women as can be attributed to differing social and ethnic origins, a historically acknowledged structure of inequality, which in the course of the current transformation of Europe creates new social patterns and thereby doubtless yields two aspects of a single modernization process. The one aspect typifies a revived process of devaluated female education, which the author shows to exist in the phenomenon of the "East European lady academic working as a servant in a West German household." The other aspect typifies a process, limited though it may be, of career development of middle class Western women, a process that leads not only to a new international division of labor between women, but also to a new political arrangement between women and men of the same educational level.



 
Elizabeth Beck-Gernsheim
Examples of mobility and barriers to mobility for women. Labor market prospects in the new Europe

Europe has been really set in motion with the European single market being created, the East--West border being opened and cross-border migration flows on a larger scale than ever seen before. This article aims at showing the development of women's occupational situation under these conditions in Germany with a focus on the following questions: how do women's careers and living conditions reflect the new scope of international division of labor, migration flows and the political changes? Where do new opportunities result and where disadvantages for women? And where could different social and hierarchical levels among women emerge?



 
Ilona Ostner
Played out? A short history of the European Community's policy on women

The dynamic effects associated with the transition from national to supranational sovereignty can be studied in terms of the European Community's policies on women. Supranational institutions, the European Court of Justice and the Commission of the European Communities have always tended to give equal pay and equal treatment of women in the workplace a broad interpretation, sometimes even in opposition to national interpretations and customs. There are still two hurdles that must be cleared in terms of topics relevant to women: the Commission and the Court of Justice must recognize them as having immediate relevance in terms of gainful employment, and these topics have to pass through the filter of national gender constellations as they travel back and forth between the EU and its member states, because they are implemented within the framework of each country's sovereignty. This article concentrates on a description of this filtering process.



 
Susanne Schunter-Kleemann
"Balancing the budget on the backs of female farmers." Aspects of the lives of rural women in four European countries

The article focuses on the living conditions of farm women in four European countries (Portugal, Spain, France, West and East Germany). It examines what effects the structural change in the agrarian sector has had on the working conditions and the social security of women, a change which was accelerated by European integration. The existential breaks and crises which resulted for former GDR farm women following the German unification and with this the given immediate integration into the European agricultural market structure is depicted in greater detail. The analysis makes it clear that the structural change in the agrarian sector had severe effects on nearly all groups of farmers and farm labourers in all European countries.In the Southern European countries it was mostly the small and medium-sized farms, which came under pressure and often had to be given up, but in East Germany also many of the large-scaled agrarian units run into severe hardship, and often were not able to adjust to the European agrarian structures which were enforced under great political and economic pressure. Farmer's wives and female farm hands in all European countries are having to face this situation with hardly any safeguards and protection.



 
Lisa Böckmann-Schewe/Christine Kulke/Anne Röhrig
Finding the golden mean between family and career was always the deciding factor." Continuity and change in the lives of women in eastern Germany

The article focuses on whether, and to what extent, women in the former German Democratic Republic developed subjective orientations and behavioral patterns that were based on their traditional role in the reproduction process, the equality they formally enjoyed in the workplace and the ideals proclaimed by the state for them. Select empirical results of the separation of duties in the area of reproduction are presented here in the context of the GDR's policy of equality. The article also examines whether the political transformations and the difficulties arising for women who were previously experiencing gainful employment as a matter of course have caused them to give up reliable lifestyle and orientation patterns. Finally, work collectives and women's ambivalence to them are identified as the specific socio-cultural context that provided most East German women with their social identity.



 
Marilyn Rueschemeyer
Women in politics in Eastern Europe: The ongoing transformation

This contribution contrasts papers written by female scientists who studied the roles of women in the political arena of East European countries since the middle of the 1970s with observations of the women in these countries who have entered into politics since 1989. The social and political position of women in communist-ruled countries of eastern Europe is outlined from a historical and comparative perspective, and their role in the transformations of their countries depicted. The paper finally examines the degree to which women have actually been successful in making contributions to politics in their reform states, as well as the new and old problems they are faced with.



 
Jost Halfmann
Technical innovations in risk society

The article starts from the question which Mary Douglas and Aaron Wildavsky raise in their book on "Risk and Culture": "Are dangers really increasing or are we more afraid?". Modern societies are confronted with an increase of risks because of an increase of decisions under uncertainty. Decisions on technical risks have split society into makers and takers of decisions and thus led to a duality of perspectives on technology: decision-makers tend to see only risks, decision-takers only dangers. The problem then is: how are risks absorbed? The author then discusses two significant mechanisms of risk-absorption: safety-technology which might increase the complexity, but not necessary the safety of technology; and risk-transformation by industrial enterprises which is geared at transforming technical into economic risks, but where the social "embedding" of technical innovations creates the risks of acceptance. The article concludes that the dangers of and the anxiety over technology have increased simultaneously in modern society.




















English Abstracts 1995
Edition 3/1995

 
Guenther Roth
Max Weber in Erfurt, father and son

Max Weber senior has been neglected in the literature, in part because of the negative picture Marianne Weber offered in her husband`s biography. I take a first step toward reconstructing the prominent career of father Weber in municipal and national politics, limited to the period from his student years to the end of his parliamentary representation of Erfurt. An early member of the National-Liberal elite, Weber also had family links with the international bourgeoisie.Max Weber junior was born in Erfurt as a true child of the railway age. Traces of childhood memories and family connections with the railroad industry can be found in "Economy and Society" and in the famous railroad metaphor that expresses a central idea of his sociology and developmental history.



 
Wolfgang J. Mommsen
Max Weber and the formation of the Democratic Republic of Weimar

Max Weber's political commitment during the period preceding the founding of the Weimar Republic is the central topic of this article. The author closely traces the substantial contributions Weber made in the years of transition between the revolution of 1918/1919 and the establishment of a German parliamentary system of democracy. The article describes Weber as an early and vehement supporter of the parliamentary system. His influence in shaping the post-war order was based more on his activities as political writer rather than on any direct involvement in politics. True to his conviction that Germany's future development would be directly determined by the outcome of the peace negotiations, Weber strongly denounced the outbreak of revolution in 1918. In the aftermath, Weber's pragmatic considerations led him to call for political cooperation between the progressive middle-class liberals and the Majority Social Democrats, demanding the formation of a new liberal party, the DDP. Although Weber was not elected to the national assembly, his personal contacts and writings significantly influenced the constitutional debate. Following the disappointment at not being elected by the DDP to a promising place on the party's list of candidates, Weber withdrew from party politics. He remained politically active, however, as is evidenced by his role as special adviser to the peace negotiations in Versailles and by his co-authoring of the memorandum known as the Professorendenkschrift. In it, he voiced his strong opposition to the establishment of German war guilt by treaty, considering such a move unhelpful to the democratization of Germany.



 
Rüdiger vom Bruch
Max Webers critique of the "System Althoff" with regard to its significance in the politics of science

This article examines Weber's conflict with the so-called Althoff System between 1908 and 1911 in the context of the verdict he pronounced in Wissenschaft als Beruf: "both in theory and in practice, the constitution of the university has become fictitious." In the light of more recent research on the late German empire conducted by universities and historians, this critique by Weber has, despite his well-known tendency for temperamental outbreaks prompted by events in his life, taken on significance as a key to precisely defining the qualitative gap which existed between the standard ideal of a university, embodied in the Humboldt University, and the historical truth of the distortion of university and academic structures at the turn of the century. Under the conditions of the uniquely constituted industrial society in Germany, an evaluation of Weber's position on this subject may be useful in operationalizing criteria (bearing in mind university and academic history) for a system which allows academic life to flourish.



 
M. Rainer Lepsius
Max Weber and the program of institutional politics

The ongoing interest in the work of Max Werber rests on the one side upon the actuality of problems he raised, on the other side upon the methodological basis of his suggestions for the solution of problems. Therefore, his legacy is still open for inquiry. Among the open questions belongs the problematic of the analysis of institutions and the contribution to institutional politics Weber may offer. The article attempts to expose Weber's program for institution-building. It discusses systematically some dimensions of institutional analysis in relation to present political processes.



 
Wolfgang Schluchter
Ethic and capitalism. Two theses of Max Weber

In the debate of Max Weber's analysis of modern capitalism it is fairly often overlooked that he proposed two theses: one on the cultural significance of ascetic Protestantism for the spirit of modern capitalism and one on the unethical character of established capitalism as a system. In view of the fact that for the successor states of the former Soviet empire the establishment of a rational capitalist system is crucial and that among Western theorists there is a tendency to call for a remoralization of the established capitalist market economy, a reinterpretation of these theses seems to be in oder. In this essay an attempt is made to show in which way Weber differentiated the relationship between ethics and capitalism. His view seems to be relevant for the current debate.



 
Hartmut Lehmann
Max Webers interpretation of Luther

The picture of Luther which Max Weber presents is strongly biased, on the one hand by lingering anti-catholic prejudices rooted in the Kulturkampf, and on the other by his rejection of the glorification of Luther associated with the generation of Weber's father, which had declared Luther a national hero in 1883. Weber is unable to resolve the conflicts resulting from this opposition. Although Weber does trace the modern concept of Beruf (calling) back to Luther, his observations on Luther are not as precise as they should be, considering the extensive influence enjoyed by his thesis on the modern conception of Beruf. It is from this thesis that a new understanding of worldly labour, and hence of the approach to economic activity, developed.



 
Wilfried Nippel
Max Weber and the occidental city

Max Weber's posthumously published and uncomplete text on the "city" (written ca. 1913/14) follows up his earlier work on forms of pre-modern capitalism but at the same time shows his interest in the comparative sociology of religion which dominates his later work. Verbrüderung (confraternity) is the central category for both the comparison between the ancient and medieval period of the Occident and the contrast between Occident and Orient. Weber's critical view of the ancient republics, i. e. that an omnipotent state precluded any development towards rational capitalism may be traced back to a tradition of thought associated with Constant, Fustel de Coulanges and J. Burckhardt.



 
Zdzislaw Krasnodebski
Max Weber and Eastern Europe

In this article, Max Weber's attitude as a political thinker toward Eastern Europe is examined. Weber's political ideas concerning Eastern Europe were mainly concentrated on the triangle: Germany, Russia and Poland. His attitudes towards Russia and "Polish Question" were closely interconnected and varied in a characteristic way. Dealing with Russia he could get over the differences of national interests and he sceptically but with sympathy analysed the political events 1905--1906. His views on the Polish minority and work-seeking immigrants were uncompromising and refusing. They were based on presupposition of an inevitable war of "nationalities" in the eastern provinces of Germany. During the First World War, when he supported the project of "Mitteleuropa", Weber argued, Germany should become a defender of small Slavonic nations and should warrant their independence against Russia that now was considered by him as a major enemy of Germany. After the First World War, as the new political order in the Central Europe emerged, Weber considered it as unacceptabel and once again he looked at Russia as a possibly ally. These changes of his opinions are motivated by prevailing German political interests, but in his arguments he refers to the convictions and images deeply rooted in German culture. After 1989 a new "Mitteleuropa" has appeared between Germany and Russia. The relations of Germany with it must be defined anew, therefore the question arises, to what extent these old images are still present and if they can have an influence on the future relations between nations in Central Europe.



 
Frank Ettrich
The reception of Max Weber in the GDR - A retrospective view

In East Germany, Max Weber was not considered a classical writer on the social sciences. Being a "bourgeois author" he was subjected to the mechanisms of exclusion and marginalization typically applied to Western modernists. Nevertheless, marked differences can be traced over the 40-year existence of the GDR in how the state dealt with the man considered today to be the world's most influential German-language author in the field of sociology. By looking first at Georg Luk˛cs's criticism of German sociology in the light of the national socialist experience, then at the establishment of sociology in East Germany in the sixties and finally at the discussion on historical theory (the analysis of formations through history) in the seventies and eighties, this article describes the retreat from tradition and the gradual process of re-adaptation which occurred in the GDR not only in the case of Max Weber's works, but which was typical of East Germany's treatment of Western modernists. The reception of Weber's works in the GDR focused on the fundamental positions in his theories of value and cognition as well as his methodology. Even here acceptance was hindered by unsurpassable hurdles erected by a political regime whose survival depended on the legitimizing ideology of Marxism-Leninism.




















English Abstracts 1995
Edition 4/1995

 
Hans Bertram
Restructuring of Living Conditions, Restructuring of the Sciences

In the new German Länder, the social sciences have for the most part been successfully restructured or newly established at the universities. The non-university sector (the Academy of Sciences excepted) has on the other hand undergone quite a drastic, albeit "silent", process of winding up which has to date hardly been analyzed. Public sector neglect of non-university research in the former GDR as a whole and the lack of so-called "an-institutes" and networking structures may in future lead to gaps in sociology's ability to clarify important issues. New determination can and should be displayed in combatting this development.



 
Renate Mayntz
Sectoral Differences in the Transformation of the GDR's Sciences System

The transformation of the GDR's sciences system enables us to look back at the effect the various governance structures had on this process and its outcome. The institutional composition of the corresponding science sectors in West Germany were of key importance following the accession procedures culminating in German unification. The transformation of the "market-affiliated" industrial research sector was by and large guided by market processes, which under the initial economic conditions led to the large-scale erosion of the industrial research capabilities of former East Germany. In the two "state-affiliated" research sectors, one operating within and the other outside the higher education system, the differences in their institutional structures were to have a sustained influence on the transformation process. We can thus say that although the transformation results point to a comparable similarity of the objectives, the two sectors began the process under very different conditions.



 
Rudi Schmidt
The Significance of Social Relationships for the Modernization of East German Production

This article looks at the reasons for the development of the unique social cohesion which had developed in the industrial complexes in former East Germany and to what degree it has persisted in these industries following their transformation. The author does so by examining two contrasting approaches to operations and rationalization management. In companies with no clear prospects and a policy of forced competition and performance differentiation, the close bonds between the workers dissolve, the only residue being a shared feeling of remoteness from and rejection of the unreasonable demands of management. In the other case, company management, by developing a relationship with its workers based on integration, succeeded in taking the social cohesion inherited from the past and carrying it forward in a positive way, in the end winning the workers' support for a rationalization concept which in some respects was quite drastic. It may be concluded that the efficiency of companies undergoing transformation benefits from engaging, positively channeled social relationships.



 
Richard Hauser
The income distribution in the "New L"nder" becomes more unequal!

This paper deals with the question, which changes of the distribution of incomes have occurred during the transformation process in the "New Länder". The paper starts with several hypotheses that were derived theoretically in 1991 referring to the distribution of income in socialist countries and the changes to be expected during the transformation process. The Socio-economic Panel (SOEP) which could be extended to the German Democratic Republic just before the monetary union occurred in 1990 is used as a data base. It is shown that the income distribution was much less unequal in 1990, and that inequality increased considerably since then but is still less than in the "Old Länder". Additional results are derived for household members of unemployed persons, for families with children, and for the elderly. Income poverty increased considerably during transformation. Most of the expected changes actually occurred. Additionally, it is predicted that while average income in East Germany will gradually approach the West German level, inequality of income will also increase to the West German measure.



 
Sabine Schenk
The Gender Contract in East Germany - Restructuring or new structures?

It is well-known that the women's status in society as well as the main pattern of family life and childrearing differed remarkably in the two former parts of Germany. Not only did women in the GDR have a higher ratio of labour force participation but also their careers more often went without long-lasting interruptions. Additionally, the use of public childcare became more and more normal for parents in the GDR. In this paper it is discussed whether -- due to Unification -- the gender contract in East Germany is about to shift towards the dominant pattern in West Germany or not. In summary, we can not find empirical evidence for a strong trend towards convergence between the gender contracts in East and West Germany -- although East-German women are especially affected by the extreme reduction in manpower and although the women and family policies of the FRG are now in full work in the Eastern part, too.



 
Reinhard Kreckel
Macrosociological Considerations on the Struggle for Normal and Part-Time Work and the Effect on Relations between the Sexes

One problem related to the integration of the two parts of Germany is the much higher employment rate among the women of eastern Germany as compared to west German women. In the course of the all-German majorization process, the west German gender-asymmetric career path model is bringing heavy hegemonic pressure to bear on east Germans. But the east German labor market has resisted. 5 years following "the changes" in eastern Germany, there is no sign that women there are significantly less disposed to enter the work force than before. The willingness of east German women to accept part-time work is furthermore not very significant. The empirical question of how women's participation in the labor force will develop in future is therefore simultaneously a key theoretical question, the raising of which is an indication of the pervasiveness of the west German societal model throughout Germany.



 
Hellmut Wollmann
The Transformation of Local Government Institutions: Between Organizational Upheaval and Sociocultural Change

The paper deals with the institutional transformation in East Germany focusing, as cases in point, on the municipal charter enacted still by the GDR and on the municipal charters and communal territorial and administrative reforms passed by the new Länder. The analysis is put in a conceptual framework in the institution building is seen as shaped, on the one hand, by "structural" factors following from the East Germany's "integration" into the Federal Republic ("exogenous path dependency"), on the one hand, and by the pertinent East German political arenas, their power constellations and the interests and influence ("will and skill") of the important political actors, one the other. The main conclusions of the paper are that, through the "integration logic", basic organisational schemes and criteria of the "old" FRG have formally or practically acted as "structural givens" for institution building in East Germany (for instance, as to "whether" large-scale territorial and administrative reforms should be tackled right away). Yet, within these "givens" and their wide scope, East Germany's institution building process has been largely shaped by the political interests, institutional concepts and influences ("will, skill and crafting") of the pertinent political actors at the Land and local levels as well as by specific East German conditions ("endogenous path dependency").



 
Helmut Wiesenthal
The Crisis of Holistic Reform Policies and the Project of Intentional System Transformation (in Post-Socialist Countries)

There is widespread consensus about the assumption that thoroughgoing reforms of modern societies' political and economic institutions are unfeasible. This is due to both a lack of reliable information about the starting conditions and the available trajectories, as well as the fact that the collective actors do not function as neutral agents of holistic reforms. Neither do they allow for an adequate coordination between the subsystems affected by the reforms. Today, this theoretically well-founded view has been put into question by the project of transforming socialism to democracy and a market economy as has been designed and put into practice in East Central Europe. Obviously, interventions and measures employed in this undertaking fulfill all the major criteria of a project of holistic reform. Therefore, post-socialist transformation is useful for testing the premises of the "impossibility theorem" of holistic policies. The test results confirm scepticism regarding thoroughgoing reforms in modern societies, while providing insight into the peculiar conditions for reforms as they were implemented in 1989 and 1990. Socialist "legacies" such as etatist political attitudes, the absence of organized interests and the hierarchical-centralist mode of societal integration provided, indeed, a proper framework for employing a holistic approach. At the same time, the political logic of shock therapy became apparent. It allowed politicians to commit themselves to an socially costly investment strategy the positive effects of which can only be felt after some length of time.