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

DOI: 10.31857/S013216250009375-5
ID of the Article:

For citation:

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


Akhiezer A.S. (1998) Russia: Critics of Historical Experience (Sociocultural Dynamics of Russia): in 2 vols. Vol. 2: Theory and Methodology. Novosibirsk: Sibirskiy Khronograf. (In Russ.).

Avanesova G.A. (2000) Culturally Oriented Modernization in Russia. Social'no-gumanitarnye znaniya [Social-Humanitarian Knowledge]. No. 4: 42–53. (In Russ.)

Collins R. (2015) Macrohistory: Essays in Sociology of the Long Run. Transl. from Eng.; afterword by N.S. Rozov. Moscow: URSS: LENAND. (In Russ.)

Davydov Y.N. (1994) Weber and Bulgakov (Christian Ascesis and Labour Ethics). Voprosy Filosofii. No. 2: 54–73. (In Russ.)

Drucker P. (1999) Post-Capitalist Society. In: Inozemcev V.L. (ed.) The New Postindustrial Wave in the West. Anthology. Moscow: Academia: 70–100. (In Russ.)

Esaulov I.A. (1995) The Category of ‘Sobornost’ in Russian Literature. Petrozavodsk: Petrozavodskiy un-t. (In Russ.)

Fedotova V.G. (2002) Nonclassical Modernization and Alternatives of Modernization Theory. Voprosy Filosofii. No. 12: 3–21. (In Russ.)

Gajdenko P.P., Davydov Y.N. (1991) History and Rationality: Max Weber’s Sociology and the Weberian Renaissance. Moscow: Politizdat. (In Russ.)

Gans E.S. (2001) Modernization Models in Russian History. In: Reason and Culture. Saratov: Povolzhskiy mezhregional'nyj uchebnyj tsentr: 237–241. (In Russ.)

Golik N.V. (2004) Problems of Modernization of Russia. Filosofskie nauki [Russian Journal of Philosophical Sciences]. No. 11: 5–21. (In Russ.)

Inglehart R. (1999) Modernization and Postmodernization. In: Inozemcev V.L. (ed.) The New Postindustrial Wave in the West. Anthology. Moscow: Academia: 261–291. (In Russ.)

Harrison L. (2016) Jews, Confucians, and Protestants: Cultural Capital and the End of Multiculturalism. Moscow: Mysl'. (In Russ.)

Khoros V.G. (1991) Modernization of Russia and Japan (Civilizational Aspects). Mirovaya ekonomika i mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [World Economy and International Relations]. No. 8: 70–79. (In Russ.)

Khvostov A.A. (2002) Working Man in the Modernization Process (the Ethical Aspect). In: Conceptual Paradigms of Reason and Man. Saratov: 77–80. (In Russ.)

Magaril S.A. (2004) The Social-Cultural Archetype and Russian Modernization. Social’no-gumanitarnye znaniya [Social-Humanitarian Kmowledge]. No. 6: 26–45. (In Russ.)

Manchenko A.P. (2000) Social Modernization of Contemporary Russia. Moscow: NOU. (In Russ.)

Modernization and National Culture. (1995) Moscow: Aprel’–85. (In Russ.)

Modernization in Russia and a Conflict of Values. (1994) Moscow: IF RAN. (In Russ.)

Naumova N.F. (1996) Recurrent Modernization in Russia as a Form of Civilization Development. Sotsiologicheskiy zhurnal [Sociological Journal]. No. 3/4: 5–28. (In Russ.)

Osipova E.V. (1995) Costs and Errors of Our Reformation. In: Modernization and National Culture. Moscow: Aprel’–85: 108–113. (In Russ.)

Perepyolkin L.S. (1993) Revisiting Modernization of Russia. Mir Rossii [Universe of Russia]. No. 1: 154–159. (In Russ.)

Rozov N.S. (2009) Historical Macrosociology: Methodology and Methods. Novosibirsk: NGU. (In Russ.)

Schumpeter J.A. (2004) History of Economic Analysis. Vol. 3. St. Petersburg: Ekonomicheskaya shkola. (In Russ.)

Shapovalov V.F. (1994) Where Will the Spirit of Capitalism Come From? Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. No. 2: 23–33. (In Russ.)

Shevchenko V.N. (1995) Modernization Theory from a Socio-philosophical Point of View. In: Modernization and National Culture. Moscow: Aprel’–85: 70–77. (In Russ.)

Stankevich L.T. (2001) Modernization of Russian Political Culture. In: Modernization of Russia at the Turn of Centuries. Saint Petersburg: SPb. gornyj institut imeni G.V. Plekhanova: 63–65. (In Russ.)

Weber M. (1990) The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. In: Weber M. Selected Works. Moscow: Progress: 61–272. (In Russ.)

Weber M. (2017) The Economic Ethics of World Religions: Comparative Sociology of Religion. Confucianism and Taoism. St. Petersburg: Vladimir Dal'. (In Russ.)

Yadov V.A. (1996) Russia in the Global Space. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. No. 1: 27–30. (In Russ.)

Zapf W. (1998) The Modernization Theory and Different Ways of Social Development. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. No. 8: 14–26. (In Russ.)

Zarubina N.N. (1995) An Original Way of Modernization. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociologicaal Studies]. No. 3: 46–51. (In Russ.)

Zarubina N.N. (1998) The Components of the Modernization Process. Vostok [The East]. No. 4: 25–37. (In Russ.)

Content No 6, 2020