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Re: reference suggestion -- 2nd try
by Quee-Young Kim
02 May 2002 22:14 UTC
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If you are looking for an overview of the processes of evolution of modern 
interstate system, especially for undergraduates, try Chapter 1, "The 
Territorial State and Global Politics" in  Global Transformations, prepared by 
David Held, Anthony McGrew, David Goldblatt, and Jonathan Perraton. Also try 
"The European System Becomes Worldwide," in Adam Watson, in The Evolution of 
International Society. 

For your second question, (incidentally,  I would like to point out some 
troubling underlying assumptions in your second question. Cultural forms of 
business did not and do not spread from the center to the periphery, for that 
matter, in a certain identifiable uniform pattern), you may have to go to a 
number of case studies rather than any single satisfactory work. In the above 
mentioned Global Transformations, you may find two or three chapters that deal 
with globalization of financial activities and global diffusion of corporate 
forms of business. If you want to introduce to your students specific details 
about things like, the introduction of business suit, office building, etc. in 
other cultures, you should try the excellent historical example from the 
Japanese Meiji period. Try works by Marius Jansen and of other scholars who 
have studied the transition of Japan from the Tokugawa to Meiji period. If you 
want some contrasts for comparative purposes, try some works by Jonathan Spence 
(about China, Why did the Chinese mandarins fail to change into the Western 
forms while the Japanese 'samurais" successfully transformed themselves into 
'Western-style' businessmen? ).  As Max Weber must have learned many years ago, 
the "profit and wealth accumulation as a creed" are historically and culturally 
specific, somewhat grounded in a tension between religious tradition and the 
quest for legitimacy of new opportunity structure. There are several excellent 
critiques (and re-analyses) of the classic, "The Protestant Ethic and the 
Spirit of Capitalism" and it is usually a great undergraduate experience of 
having to go through the literature.

Quee-Young   Kim
University of Wyoming
 -----Original Message-----
From:   Elson Boles [mailto:boles@svsu.edu] 
Sent:   Thursday, May 02, 2002 8:11 AM
Subject:        reference suggestion -- 2nd try

I'm reposting this for your help.  Surely there's some intelligent and
well-read person out there who has run across something that approaches
what I'm looking for.

(Steve sent one recommendation which comes close to fitting the bill --
Meyers et al article 'the nation-state and world society' in The
Globalization Reader (eds. Boli and Lechner) -- but it's a little too
difficult for intro students as he noted).

I'm looking for two articles for an introductory level Global Cultures

1.  an article on the modern interstate system / political institutions
is a cultural formation or process, that is, how people across the
planet have become socially organized and interact through the modern
political institutions (sovereign states, diplomacy, international law,
etc.) and ideology (e.g. sovereignty, national development, modern
"civilization," the rule of law, diplomacy, etc.).  That is, a
not-too-long article which sums up and introduces students to the basic
idea that the interstate system is a global and globalizing cultural

2.  an article with similar intentions but focused on modern business
forms as cultural forms, including such aspects as the spread of the
modern business suit, the cultural of office buildings and factories as
common cultural-architectural forms, profit and wealth accumulation as a
creed, rationalization of work organization, impersonal bureaucratic
organization, the port city, industrial, and corporate cities and their
environs.  (On business time, I'm considering EP Thompson, but that
doesn't cover the 20th century).

If you know of articles that speak to these issues and can be understood
by undergraduate students, I'd very much appreciate hearing from you.

Elson Boles
Assistant Professor
Dept. of Sociology
Saginaw Valley State University
University Center
Saginaw MI, 48710

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