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How the east and the west shall meet

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Chapter Summary

To understand why "Western" theories, especially in sociology, have been so dominant, two factors come to mind: that the normative practices of theoretical development favor theoretical confirmation rather than theoretical challenge, and that empirical discrepancies observed in Eastern societies tend to be explained away with theories purportedly capturing societal differences, with Western Europe and North America seen as the anchor or point of social reference. The chapter describes a recent effort made to exercise the possibility of theory construction based on fragmented but consistent observations regarding social exchanges as practiced in the East. The "target" received theory is economic rationality, quite dominant in both economics and sociology in the West.

Keywords: Eastern societies; normative scientific behaviors; relational rationality; social exchanges; sociological theories; Western Europe



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