Multiple Modernities

Max Weber was interested in the historical genesis of modernity from a global comparative perspective. In the European-American context, this new phase of society has prevailed. At the moment the question is no longer the genesis, but the spread of modernity in a global context. This poses a challenge to sociological theory, including Max Weber's approach. Modernization and Westernization are no longer congruent or synonymous. Existing theoretical terms, concepts and models must be reconsidered and adjusted. Max Weber's research programme must also be further developed in this respect. This is possible because he is one of the few sociological classics who developed and applied his theory in a cross-cultural -comparative way. In dealing with alternative theory offers, such as world society theories and world system theories, Professor Thomas Schwinn is working on updating Weber's research program, which will be able to cope with today's global challenges.

Recommended literature:

  • Schwinn, Th.: Globalisation and regional variety: Problems of theorisation, in: Jürgen Schriewer (Hg.), World Culture Re-Contextualised. Meaning constellations and path dependencies in comparative and international research. London and New York: Routledge 2016, S. 119-138.
  • Schwinn, Th.: Von der okzidentalen Moderne zur muptiplen Moderne?, in: Hans-Peter Müller/Steffen Sigmund (Hg.), Max Weber Handbuch. Leben - Werk - Wirkung. Stuttgart: Metzler 2014.
  • Schwinn, Th.: Cultura, estructura, comparación: modernidades múltiples y la actualizacion de la soziologia de Max Weber, in: Sociologia Historica 7 (2017), S. 211-232.
  • Schwinn, Th.: Aspectos e problemas de uma compreensão plural de modernidade, in: Revista de Teoria da História 16 (2016), S. 223-256.
  • Schwinn, Th.: Multiple Modernities: Konkurrierende Thesen und offene Fragen. Ein Literaturbericht in konstruktiver Absicht, in: Zeitschrift für Soziologie 38, Heft 6 (2009), S. 454-476.
  • Schwinn, Th. (Hg.): Die Vielfalt und die Einheit der Moderne. Kultur- und strukturvergleichende Analysen. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften 2006.

Research staff

Prof. Dr. Thomas Schwinn