Culture Does Matter? А Critique of the Russian Weberiana in the Modernization Issue

Culture Does Matter? А Critique of the Russian Weberiana in the Modernization Issue

Trubitsyn D.V.

Dr. Sci. (Philos.), Prof., Transbaikalian State University, Chita, Russia

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Trubitsyn D.V. Culture Does Matter? А Critique of the Russian Weberiana in the Modernization Issue. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2020. No 6. P. 16-27


The article focuses on M. Weber’s works that are methodologically important for largescale historical studies and for the analysis of modernization problem in Russia. The research is based on Russian scholarly studies of Weber`s work revising the cultural factor of modernization in 1990s and 2000s, as well as on Weber`s “Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism” and “Economic Ethics of World Religions”. It is highlighted that the statement about the incompatibility of liberal modernization and Russian culture has become the crucial thesis of the Russian Weberiana, contributing to criticism of reforms and calls for policy change. However, the thesis is arguably based on Weber`s most empirically vulnerable and criticized theoretical conclusions: the origin of European capitalism from the Protestant Ethics and capitalism as a phenomenon endogenous to Europe. Even though methodological individualism and theoretical and methodological grounds of the interpretive sociology do not allow transplant results of European modernization studies to Russia of the 1990s, that is precisely what happened. It is assumed that it has become one of the factors for the conservative turn of Russian policy in the 2000s.

modernization; culture; religion; ethics; interpretive sociology


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Content No 6, 2020