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Regular version of the site

Article

Weber’s Nationalism vs. Weberian Methodological Individualism: Implications for Contemporary Social Theory

Changing societies and personalities. 2019. Vol. 3. No. 2. P. 124-138.

Most contemporary sociologists’ aversion towards nationalism
contrasts with the alleged nationalist views of one of the key
classics of sociology, Max Weber. The considerable accumulated
scholarship on the issue presents a unified belief that Weber was
indeed a nationalist yet varies considerably in the significance
attributed to the issue. Most authors entrench Weber’s nationalism
within biographical studies of Weber’s political views as an individual
beyond Weberian sociological theorizing. A different approach
suggests that the notions of nationality in Weber’s works do have
certain theoretical value as potentially capable of enriching the
current understanding of the nation. The present article aims to bring
together the notions of nationality dispersed within Weber’s various
writings with the Weberian methodological individualism. The main
argument of the article is that individualism and nationalism in Weber’s
thought are not a contradiction despite the collectivism associated
with the essentialist view of the nation. Instead, they represent a
reflection of the fundamental shift from an earlier view of society as
a meganthropos towards the pluralist problematization of the micromacro link definitive for the modern social theory. Analyzing the
internal logic of this change provides new insights into the currently
debated issue of retraditionalization, especially in relation to the
ongoing renaissance of nationalism.