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The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Wenzhou Entrepreneurs in Milan and in Their Homeland (新教伦理与企业家精神∶意大利米兰的温州商人)

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Despite challenges from the government because of its large Protestant population, Wenzhou has come to be known as “the Jerusalem of China.” Many of the city’s entrepreneurial “boss Christians” (laoban jidutu 老板基督徒) have exported their successful businesses overseas. The empirical findings presented in this paper are part of an in-depth, comparative, qualitative study of Chinese entrepreneurs working in Milan, Italy. Treating the house churches as a sect and examining the nature of the “calling” (yi xiang 异象) described by boss Christians provides an opportunity to reconsider Max Weber’s discussion of the so-called Protestant ethic and the concept of Beruf (calling). The interviews were conducted among Protestant and non-Christian business owners active in Milan’s Chinatown and other areas in Italy, and also during fieldwork in their homeland in China. The study points out the connection between their business ethic and Protestantism.温州因其庞大的基督徒群体而享誉为“中国的耶路撒冷。”当地许多“老板基督徒”成功地将商业活动开展至海外。本文是一项针对意大利米兰的温州企业家展开的深入比较质性研究。文中有关“异象”和家庭教会的分析,涉及到马克斯·韦伯的理论观点。研究方法结合了访谈和观察。作者访问了意大利米兰和其他地区中国城的基督徒和非基督徒企业家,并前往他们家乡做田野观察。本研究认为,他们的商业伦理与新教存在着联系。 (This article is in English.)

Affiliations: 1: Universita degli Studi di Milano, ottavio.palombaro@unimi.it

10.1163/22143955-00401005
/content/journals/10.1163/22143955-00401005
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/content/journals/10.1163/22143955-00401005
2017-04-27
2018-10-23

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